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Teach to Learn. Learn to Teach.

2 min readAugust 11, 2020

Experience is a great teacher.

There’s a limit, however, to how much it can teach.

Ben Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers, wrote, “Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn at no other.”

Ben Jonson, the English playwright and poet who was a contemporary of Shakespeare, also chimed in on the subject. He wrote: “He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.”

So, try not to be that fool.

Want to learn how to take your sales skills, aptitude and effectiveness to the next level?

Of course, you can read books. Listen to podcasts (such as the Sales Enablement with Andy Paul podcast…) Watch videos. Take online courses. All very valuable and productive uses of your time.

Here’s another form of learning that can be as valuable as all the others.

Try teaching others how to do it. Try explaining to someone else how you sell, and why the things you do influence the actions of your buyers and help you win.

It’s one thing to robotically go through your same old sales process day after day.

But, have you really given thought to the sales skills, processes and techniques that you use? And why they work? Or, don’t work?

Have you developed a personal sales philosophy that informs and guides your actions?

Peer coaching is a simple, and powerful, way to develop a deeper understanding of how you sell. And why you sell the way you do.

And, most importantly, it forces you to develop a coherent rationale for why you sell the way you do. After all, how can you teach it if you don’t understand the logic that underpins your actions?

And, in the process, help newer members of your team to shorten their learning curves. And become more effective sellers themselves.

You don’t have to be a manager or a trainer to help others improve their sales capabilities.

Start by asking a less experienced seller on your team how you can be of help to them. Use your discovery skills to uncover the problem areas where you can be most useful to them.

Then become a non-judgmental resource they can count on for practical sales advice.

Through peer coaching you’ll not only learn more about the things you do that make you successful. You’ll also gain valuable experience in learning how to coach and mentor another seller.

Surely a colleague helped you at key moments in the beginning of your sales journey. Be that person for someone else. And you’ll be surprised at what you learn in the process.

Follow Andy on LinkedIn.