A Rye Observation on Education and SalesIn Sunday’s Frazz comic strip, an elementary school student laments, “Half of what I learn, I’m going to forget. The other half will become obsolete. Education is like bread. Even the good stuff goes stale.”

He’s absolutely right.

Much of what we learned 20 years ago or 10 years ago—heck, even a single year ago—is no longer relevant to what we do now. Whether you’re a salesperson, a sales manager, a business owner or a professional, your job is constantly changing, the market is constantly changing and the world around us is constantly changing.

Which is why, just as you need to continually buy fresh bread, you need to continually invest in fresh education. If you’re going to succeed in today’s  hyper-competitive marketplace, you need to be constantly upgrading your skills and your knowledge base.

So make it a point to regularly:
• Study your company’s products and services
• Study your competitors
• Attend sales training seminars and webinars
• Attend industry conferences
• Hire a coach or consultant
• Talk with a mentor
• Read books on sales, management, negotiation and personal growth
• Read articles and blogs on a variety of business-related topics
• Watch educational television and videos
• Listen to educational radio and podcasts

Learning should be a life-long endeavor. If it’s not, then not only will your education go stale, so will your sales. And before long, you’ll go stale. As Henry Ford once remarked, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”