By Alan Dodson, “Wedding Wizard”
“Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”- Unknown
I am sure that I am like many people. I study, learn, practice and so something until I develop a confidence that I have it as perfect as it can be. Regardless of if that is a sales or performance skill, at some point; it is no longer as good as it needs to be generally because we have stopped practicing properly. Some people use the term “Practice makes perfect!” but that is incorrect, “Perfect practice makes perfect!” The nature of life is that either we are living, learning and growing or stagnating, shrinking and dying.
Clients Have Nothing to Compare Our Performance To
Professional athletes must constantly train to keep at the top of their game. The physical demands of what they do allow nothing less. Fortunately, for us as DJs and entertainers, our careers are much more forgiving, simply due to the fact that most of our clients have nothing to compare our performance to and even a mediocre event to them seems outstanding. Thus the skewed good reviews on Social Media. For licensed professionals like doctors, engineers, architects and others, they are required to continue their education throughout their careers. As a small business owner and DJ or other event professional we do not have such requirements. The choice is ours to get better or fade to mediocrity.
I have been selling almost since I began working. Whether I have been employed as a salesperson or promoting and marketing my own businesses selling has never stopped! Many people, including professional sales people, seem to believe that the ability to sell is natural and so learning to sell makes no sense. Some skills, such as running or other physical sports, are natural; but athletes serious about excelling have coaches. They study the science, mechanics and nutrition and become experts in everything connected with getting better.
Do You Invest In Your Skills?
As an entertainer, business owner and salesperson, do you invest in your skills? When was the last time you walked into a bookstore and looked at books that would help you improve? Have you ever joined Toastmasters to improve your presentation skills and build confidence? How many sales development or motivational audio programs do you own? If you are a multi-op business owner with a team, what efforts do you make to improve the skills of your team? Do you have an in-house library of books and audio/video programs available for your team? Do you conduct training sessions or bring in outside teachers/consultants?
If you knew someone who was serious about running would you simply tell him to try harder? I doubt it! I think you would tell her to find a coach, speak to a nutritionist and other experts, get the best shoes, research the best performers, and learn from their preparation and performance. Why do you not do that for yourself?
How Do You Start?
Who is YOUR coach? Consider the idea that selling, speaking and performing as a DJ is a profession and that your performance is not simply based on natural talents and hard work but can actually be developed through skills development, training and lots of practice. Realize that if you have been a DJ for many years that an outside review of your performance and business may provide an opportunity to get better! If you are new at selling then it is even more important to decide to make skills improvement a lifelong process!
If you are a multi-op, consider how much you pay your team. If you put aside even one or two percent of your payroll for skills development, this investment could pay large dividends. You should also take into account how your staff perceives you and your company. Do your employees have the impression that they are encouraged and supported to get better? If not, consider the long-term impact on your business. What if your direct competitor is investing $500 a month in training and development and you invest nothing. What will be the differences in your businesses after two or three years? Our skills provide our income and the skills of our staff build our business.
Does constant improvement make sense? Does dedicated practice make sense? Does additional training and education make sense? You decide!