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About fifteen years ago, I ran across a paper written by Arie De Geuss, then chief of corporate planning for Royal Dutch Shell. In it, he made one of those pithy observations that really capture the essence of sustained excellent performance. Insightful as he was at the time, it's just not enough any more.
So you learned something. So what?
"The only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than your competitors."
There is no doubt that this 20th century insight from Mr. de Geuss still has great value for sales reps. It builds on Isaac Newton's 18th century, "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants" and Francis Bacon's 16th century, "Knowledge is power." Their core idea as applied to sales is to ...