In Pursuit Of Getting Better At Something By Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

Features, advantages, and benefits of your product- also known as the F.A.B. formula; Closing the sale/ asking for the order; Closing techniques like: alternate of choice, Ben Franklin balance sheet, sharp angle, tie-down; just to name a few. And of course: “Objections and how to overcome them.” There are “perceived drawbacks;” “Misunderstandings,”

“More information needed…” Then, once identified, you are taught to respond according to type, and then further, guess what? CLOSE. again!!

Upon graduating, you are given a little card to carry with you with an outline of the high points to help you remember what to say. Then you can go on to study the techniques of Masters such as Zig Ziglar, J. Douglas Edwards, Tom Hopkins, Omar Periu, Stephen Covey, etc. etc. and learn more and more, to get better and better….personally…. at selling. Now what?

We  often believe that when we learn a new skill. or perhaps several new skills, ie. Time management; Sales Technique; Motivation/Public Speaking; Goal Setting, etc. that this is what’s been missing or what stands between us and success.  Once again, I am going to challenge this popular “wisdom” and say that authenticity trumps technique almost every time.

What I have learned, and opine, is that a fundamental truth of human nature is that there are man – made skills…let’s call them techniques and “tips.” and there are “life” skills. 

Most man- made skills can be mastered with commitment, practice, and time; and Lord knows there are many, MANY, skilled and wonderful teachers. And mastery of ANYTHING is admirable, useful, and nearly always worthwhile.

What about “Life Skills” however? Learning about “listening” for instance: How we listen..or don’t; or just as important how others listen to us? I don’t believe this skill can be perfected and mastered…only practiced. If this is so, is it worth study, time and commitment? 

What about being responsible? Being Your word? Crafting a project? Hitting goals beyond what you or others thought were possible? Taking a stand. Having and keeping an empowering vision? NEVER GIVING UP?!

How do you develop them? Not with knowledge, or reading, or by attrition. You do it with a declaration, practice, and a commitment known as a “stand.”

So it is my considered opinion that we can want to get better at something and study skills, and perhaps “move the needle” a little to feel good about ourselves; Our position being “What have I got to lose? If I get better at this fine, if not , so what?”

OR.…with no evidence or knowledge of the outcome we can take an existential act of courage and say “THIS IS WHO I AM, NOW!” This is what I’m creating! This is how I can serve you! How do I know it will work?


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Russ DeVan
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