So today as I was driving to work, I was listening to some audio, I got to town without realizing that i was driving. This happens most of the days even when am driving home, it’s like the car is on auto pilot. Sometimes i leave office with a plan to pass somewhere else but the car finds its way towards home. I have heard most people who drink saying that the car knows it’s home. I remember back in 2006 when I was learning how to drive, it was very difficult, it seemed like it was a preserve for a few. My husband could not allow me to drive to town alone though driving with him was not easier either. One day when he was away, I took the car with the help of my sister who was already a driver and that was a highlight in my driving career because I drove to town and back but I was not hit, of course my hubby started allowing me to drive sometimes alone.

This process of learning starts with unconscious incompetence, this is where you are completely incompetent but you are not aware of it. You even guide other drivers while they give you a lift. When you go to a driving school you start learning and you become Conscious incompetent. At this point you are not allowed to drive without an L or have to drive with a qualified  driver. As we continue practising we become Conscious competent, this is where you can confidently drive but you try very hard not to make mistakes, you take all the precautions to avoid failure. With experience you become unconscious competent, this is when the car goes on auto pilot, you do not need to think about it, you do it effortlessly.

This is true for a sales person and especially insurance sales person. Because you are talkative, many people tell you that you can do very well in sales, you also believe them because you think you are convincing or you have a large network of friends, you are unconscious incompetent.  When you join the company, of course you go through training and you go to the field to try make your first sale and this is when you discover it’s not as easy. The friends or relatives who you thought would be the first to sell to do not want to buy, either because they don’t need your products or cannot afford or they just don’t think you are serious. At this point you become Concious incompetent. You realize it’s not as simple as just knowing someone and talking. It’s only at this point that you start seeking help, you read all the books that can help you close that one sale. You associate with successful sales people, at this point you must keep your sales coach/ Manager very close for guidance and support.

With time you realize that you can pitch and make a few sales, you are Conscious competent. The fear of making a mistake is still real. You are still not making as much money as you want but you are a bit comfortable.  The more you read and get coaching, the more you grow and you become unconscious competent. This is the point where even prospects call you, you have become soo good at what you do that you can even tell if you will close the sale before you meet the client. This is called mastery, you master your game. At this point, you don’t think about money, your focus is to meet the clients needs. You are the guru on your field. Those who have achieved this level of competence earn the highest.

Unfortunately, very few sales people achieve the highest level of competence. This is because most of them lack patience, persistence and focus. When they get to Conscious competent level, they are earning some comfortable income, they become complacent. It is no wonder you will find many sales people with over 10 years experience that never break their own record. Their income has stagnated, they don’t like it when new people come and outshine them but they cannot stop them. So they accept mediocrity as their standard and become a liability to the company because they can easily poison the new sales people.

Photo by Free Digital Photos

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