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Key Concepts to Successful Business

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It was a challenging task to write about only three concepts that I learned in this informative class. The concepts that stood out to me were Learning Style Inventory, preparation and delivery. I believe these concepts are critical aspects to a person's success in the business world.

One of the concepts that I found to be very interesting was "The Learning Style Inventory." "The Learning Style Inventory (LSI) describes the ways you learn and how you deal with ideas in day-to-day situations." (Hay/McBer Training Resource Group, 1999, p. 2). The LSI is based on a test. The test contains twelve questions dealing with problem solving, working with others, dealing with adversity, career decisions, and the effect of relationships on individuals. Each question has four optional answers. The answers range from one to four. Answering a question with a one is least like your style. Answer with a four is most like your decision making style.

When I began the test, I read all the questions in order, before answering any of them. I then went back to the questions that jumped out at me. I did not answer them from "least like" to "most like." I answered them from "most like" to "least like." I tried to answer the questions with how I do things in my everyday life. I did not only reflect upon how I am at work, but also how I am at home with my family. Upon calculating my score and completing my diagram, I began to see how one sided my learning style is.

There are four different learning modes. The first is Concrete Experience (learning from experience). The second is Reflective Observation (thinking before doing). The third is Abstract Conceptualization (analyzing information and forming a plan based on that information). The fourth is Active Experimentation (learning by doing).

My score lead me to draw my diagram indicating that my learning style inventory is heavily dependent

on concrete experience and active experimentation. I found the theory behind the test to be accurate. I believe that concepts and theories are not learned from books but from experience. A theory is only that; a theory until you have tested the theory and proven it to true or false.

One of the ideas that we practice in my line of work, is to have every customer take a test drive. In theory, if you have an eighty percent demonstration ratio, than your closing percentage, how many sales you make, will increase by five percent. One month I decided to test out the theory for myself. In November of 1997, I talked to seventy-six people. I took fifty-five of those people out on test drives. The result was I sold fifteen cars. I had a closing percentage of twenty percent. In December of the same year, I talked to the same number of people. This month, I took sixty-one people out on test drives. I hit my goal of an eighty percent demonstration ratio. In turn, I sold nineteen cars that month. The theory proved true. A five percent increase in sales did prevail, if my test drive percentage was eighty percent. Every month, after that, I worried more about how many customers I took on test drives knowing my sales would increase by doing so.

I found it explanatory to learn that my being an action oriented individual was a strong character learning style for people in a sales based career. So many people have told me that I am a natural at what I do. I now understand why.

One of the most important components of oral and written communication is preparation. "Preparation alleviates apprehension and helps identify potential stumbling points in the presentation." (Krizan, Merrier, Jones, 2002, p. 447). Without either one of these components, it is near impossible to succeed in your career. Some career choices involve more written communication while others involve more oral communication. In my chosen career, as a sales representative, I use oral communication over written.

It is important to be prepared when making a presentation of any kind. Preparation leads to a well-delivered presentation. The main purpose of an oral presentation is one of two concepts. The first is to inform the audience of facts. The second is to persuade the audience.

There are four styles of presentations; manuscript, memorized, impromptu, and extemporaneous. As a sales person, I cannot use notes to help me persuade customers into purchasing products and services. I use the combined styles of memorization and impromptu speaking when making a presentation to my customers. I have memorized word track, product specifications, and pricing information. I am also able to remain calm and think quickly, when asked questions by my customers about our products and services. I believe that memorization and impromptu speaking go hand in hand because if you do not know your product you can not respond "on your feet," when asked to discuss it.

The key component to a presentation is a strong delivery. I speak to groups of people on a regular basis. Sometimes I speak to a meeting room full of salespeople. While other times I speak to customers about products and services we offer at the dealership. Whoever my audience is, my delivery has to be sincere. If it is not I have no creditability. "Sincerity is everything.



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