Fitness is an interesting subject. It certainly means staying bodily fit–and the tens of thousands of gyms seen all over our cities serve as reminders of how much attention people have on toned physiques today. But it also means staying fit in mind and spirit, and in fact, it’s a coordination of all three.
In this series of articles, we’re going to explore what fitness means for a salesperson–and it’s a lot more than being buffed out!
Early in Life or On the Job
When we’re young, fitness is obvious. You can see it in our school pictures, and in our wedding photos. But then ten years down the road, well, we don’t often appear so fit. We’ve added pounds. We’re not so active. Sometimes we’re also not so sharp mentally.
A similar situation happens when a person is new on a job. They come in with enormous enthusiasm and verve, much like a young person running track in school, and this energy is reflected in their work. After awhile, though, they settle in to the security of the position. They tend to get complacent, soften up and kind of coast along. They’re not so fit any more.
If the business world is heading in any direction today, it is becoming more, and more, and more competitive. Competition is becoming fierce. In most developed countries, population is rapidly growing. More and more businesses are crowding into each industry. That means for each individual, and for each organization, there is constantly increasing competition.
What does this mean for anyone coming into the business world today? You’ve got to be totally fit to operate in your chosen sphere. If not, there are ten other people lined up behind you ready to take your place, and they all claim they can do it better than you–for half the price!
On the consumer side, all of this competition is of considerable benefit–it means that when you are in the market for a particular product or service, they’re all fighting over you and doing everything they can to win your business. A great example today is restaurants; dining out today is not just a nice meal, it’s a whole experience. 20 or 30 years ago the selection of such outstanding experiences was much more limited. But today, with vastly increased competition, they must deliver at a much higher level. This is true in endless other areas, too–hotels, automobile purchases, credit cards, travel, museums and many more.
Moving back over to the sales side of things, you must remain constantly fit to stay ahead of all that heavy competition.
What Does “Fit” Mean?
As I pointed out that the top of this article, “fit” doesn’t just apply to the body. It also applies to the spirit or soul, and to the mind.
That doesn’t mean you can treat each of these completely separate from the other. That practice actually comes from the ancient Greek, in which different parts of existence were split distinctly apart. This is an unhealthy view of life, as seen around the first century when a man would say that if he was visiting a prostitute, it was his body, not him, and he wasn’t responsible. Looking at today’s headlines, we can certainly see how ridiculously untrue that is.
All three of these components–mind, body, and soul or spirit–must function as a unit. As one is improved, so must the others be. For example, if your body is constantly tired, how can you stay mentally alert?
For a salesperson, fit means keeping all of these elements completely tuned up. Mentally, means keeping your learning ability high; there is an ever-increasing amount of technology that a salesperson must learn, and learning capability must be right on the money. A salesperson must also be fit in communication, and in numerous other areas, too.
As I said, a salesperson is up against a huge amount of competition–and attaining and retaining fitness is the only way to win this race. Of course, before you win against competition, you also have to win against yourself; an old saying says that it’s easy to overcome enemies, but much harder to overcome your own walls, barriers and obstacles.
An example of remarkable fitness is what we see in today’s “digitals”–the youth playing video games. Just watch them sometime–their reaction times are unbelievable. We have to be at least as good!
In the coming weeks we’ll explore this vital topic in detail. Stay with me!
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