“It is far better to foresee, even without certainty, than not to foresee at all.”
That’s from Henri Poincare, a noted theoretical physicist.
We all have the obligation to invest the effort to think about our future and anticipate what it will hold for us.
How will your markets, buyers, companies and careers be disrupted and transformed by rapidly changing technologies and evolving buying behaviors? What does that mean for you? What will you have to learn today to be ready for tomorrow?
I’ve spent a lot time reading and thinking about this. And, I’ll admit that my crystal ball is cloudy at best. Nonetheless, here’s a couple things I the experts believe the future will require from you as a sales professional.
1. You’ll have to become “more intensely human.”
That’s a phrase coined by author and futurist Geoffrey Colvin in his book, Humans Are Underrated.
It requires intensive education and hard work to master craft of forming workable human connection skills.
It may seem simple, but as automation increasingly assumes a larger role in your daily personal and work lives, mastering the ability to make and maintain human connections, will become a key differentiator for you.
How easily do you develop and maintain relationships? Are you able to understand the situations of others and how they perceive the world? Are you able to quickly build trust to enable cooperation and collaboration to achieve mutual goals?
If you want a career in sales, you’ll have no choice in this. The ability to become more intensely human will continue to become an increasingly necessary, and valuable, asset.
2.The future will belong to the insatiably curious and the life long learners.
My favorite quote about learning is from Thomas Huxley, a 19th century author. Huxley wrote that in life you should “Try to learn something about everything. And everything about something.”
It’s such amazing advice that you can’t go wrong following it. I credit much of my success to the wisdom of Huxley. It inspired me early in my career.
“Something about everything?” That means being interested in everything that’s happening around you. It means consuming information about, well, everything. The economy, business, politics, popular culture, technology, trends. Everything.
It will be incredibly valuable knowledge to possess at moments that you can’t anticipate now. “Everything about something?” This means to proactively learn everything you can about sales.
It requires you to become an absolute specialist in selling. And how your customers buy.
Being a sales specialist doesn’t just mean you are hitting quota.
It means that you could teach a course in selling. That you could be the authority that others look to.
You must voraciously consume information about sales, decision making, psychology, influence, leadership, AI, technology and much more.
– Andy Paul