Oops!  Step, Fall, Step Fall

When I was first beginning my sales career, it seemed that I would take one step forward…

And then I would fall.

I would get back up and take another step forward…

And I would fall again.

It took me quite a while to get comfortable with the whole process of selling.

If you’re not comfortable with some of your sales activities, have you ever wondered why that is happening to you?

The answer is quite simple. We tend to learn new skills in a four stage process.

It doesn’t matter if it is a child learning to walk and talk, or a sales person learning to prospect and present. We all go through the same four stages.


Awareness – that stage in the learning process where you are first exposed to a skill that you want to mimic. Example: a crawling child notices that their older sibling moves around differently than they do. A sales person is exposed to a prospecting script.

Awkwardness – that stage in the learning process where you first attempt to mimic the skill you became aware of in the first stage. This is the most uncomfortable stage of learning. Example: A child attempts their first step and falls on their backside. Or a sales person makes their first prospecting call and does pretty much the same thing.

Skillfulness – That stage in the learning process in which you begin to master that which you are trying to learn. It is not totally comfortable yet, but you are succeeding. Example: a toddler who is walking, but still occasionally unstable. A sales person able to close sales but still having to think about their process a little too much – sometimes at the expense of focusing on what the prospect is saying.

Reflex Action – that stage in the learning process when you no longer have to think about what you are doing. It is an automatic response. Example: An adult who no longer has to think about how to walk or talk. Or a sales person who knows what they are doing so well that they can focus more on their prospect during the interaction.

As a general rule, sales people who fail usually get stuck in the Awkwardness Stage. They quit because they never get comfortable with the activities they need to do.


Your goal: you want to get to the Skillfulness Stage as quickly as possible with the Reflex Action Stage being your ultimate goal.


The challenge: you have to move through the stages in order and there is no way to skip a stage.

The process: Repetition, repetition, repetition. Repetition imbeds the skill into the sub-conscious mind.

I had always heard that a habit is formed when an action is repeated for 21 days.  In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller – founder of Keller Williams Realty states that the science actually supports a habit being formed in an average of 66 days instead of 21.

Either way… get moving and get your repetitions in.  🙂