Though I read a lot of posts this week, and learned from them, I didn’t find any that I felt were universal and impactful enough to share. Instead, a few words about exposure.
My Dad, a traveling salesman, would take my sister and me on trips in his territory during the summer. We were out of school and driving my mother crazy in our non air-conditioned apartment in Queens, NY, so my Mom enjoyed the trips as much as we did.
We stopped for lunch once at Carroll’s (a now-defunct precursor of McDonald’s) outside of Syracuse, NY. Taking a bite, I complained to Dad “Hey, there’s mustard on this!” (We preferred ketchup on our burgers.) Dad said that people in different places have different tastes and customs. He said I didn’t have to like them all, just try them.
And we did – try everything. Beef on Weck in Buffalo to Spiedies in Binghamton and we washed it down with soda (as we called it) or Pop as others did. I learned a lot, and I think the exposure may parents gave us to different food, people, customs and ways of doing things not only instilled a love of learning, but a broader understanding that there are multiple solutions to the same challenge.
Later on, my parents told me that they felt exposure to different things was one of the most important things they could do for us. Let us see and experience different things so that we would be more open and tolerant of things and people different than what was normal for us. On a recent trip to Hong Kong and Thailand, we went to a small, local Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong to try the local stuff and my older son ordered a dish with donkey meat. Though he didn’t recommend it, he said it’s good to try new things. Our younger son, who works in Shanghai, has traveled extensively, experiencing the rich diversity of Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands, trying things I didn’t know existed. Thus, we’ve successfully passed the torch.
In your sales process, do you expose yourself to new ideas/strategies/tactics? Do you read 3-4 sales books each year? Do you read sales blogs and enewslettters, attend webinars? More important, do you try some of what you learn? As I personally benefited from the exposure my parents gave me and our sons from that which my wife and I gave them, so too can you professionally benefit from exposure and trying new things.
Remember how the dinosaurs became extinct?