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Do You Have the Level of Competence That Sells?

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Competence is your knowledge and ability in a particular subject area. Competency can be real, perceived, or imagined. True competence comes from life-long learning and experience that gradually taught you what you know. Perceived competence comes from other people judging you based on external factors and their experiences with you.

A study shows that competence can increase sales. An experimenter in a mall approached unsuspecting patrons and asked them to buy raffle tickets. In the first situation, the experimenter dazzled the shoppers with his incredible calculating ability when in actuality he was using a concealed communication device. In the next situation, the experimenter showed poor calculating skills and made a fool of himself. In the third and final situation, the experimenter did not have any incredible skills. The study found that the shoppers bought considerably more raffle tickets from the supposed calculating genius. The situation where the experimenter showed extreme competence increased sales.

We consider others to be competent when we see them continually learning and advancing their training and education, being successful in what they do, or having a strong track record with all the people they have worked with. Ultimately it comes down to “either you know it or you don’t.” Can you deliver what people are looking for? The dictionary definition of competence is the quality of being adequately or well qualified physically and intellectually. Competence is being qualified to teach about, persuade on, or perform in regards to your particular topic.

People will watch and judge you to see if you pass as competent. Two studies clearly illustrate this point. In the first study, a group of elementary school children watched a video of two boys taking a math test. The teacher walked between the boys and looked at each of their papers. To one boy she said nothing while to the other boy she said, “Don’t forget to carry your tens.” The children observing the videotape were told the boys scored the same on the test. They were then asked whom they wanted as a future math partner. Most of the children chose the boy who did not receive any help from the teacher. The simple need for assistance will influence how others perceive your competence.

Personal development and growth is one of the biggest factors for competence. When you are focusing on your development you are using your mind knowledge and skills. You find hidden motivation and you develop a sense or urgency and a sense of direction that will bring to higher levels of success. You cannot be successful until you decide to explode out of your comfort zone and attempt the things you always wanted the things that challenge you. Many feel reading and personal development is something when you are in school are have to make the grade. Your real education comes after your schooling. Traditional education gives you a base for your continual progression and growth.

If you don’t continue to educate yourself you will never reach true success. If you don’t build on your self, you previous knowledge education will begin to deteriorate and vanish. If you don’t develop your mind, it will starve. Even going without food you will be hungry, but after a few days the hunger pains will cease to exist. Just in feeding your mind after months of neglect you will no longer feel the need for personal development. You need to program your mind to reach exponential success. You can choose to reach success at a fast pace or a slow pace or no pace. Personal development is the key to how fast you want you success. Never become impressed with your knowledge or if you become smarted than others. Your mind needs to exercise and nourished. Your mind can’t live on junk food.

Most people go around life not knowing they don’t know. Ignorance destroys when the person does not know he does not know and think he know but he doesn’t know. But he wants to know but is not willing to pay the price to know. It seems the more you read the less you feel you know. The less you read the more you think you know. If we are not working on ourselves we don’t realize the wealth of knowledge is waiting for us. It has been said what you don’t know won’t hurt you didn’t live in this modern age. This is the information age and if you don’t spend the time to learn, to keep up and to increase you knowledge base you will fall behind never catch up. Knowledge is the key to success in today’s society. In your career the knowledge is like a train leaving the station. While you were in school you could slack and the train was not going that fast and you could catch up. As you get into your career the speed picks up speed and if you are not on the train learning and growing within you life and career there will come a point when you will never catch up because you were playing at the station. You are not truly educated unless you are learning and growing everyday. Learning from others, your experiences, books, tapes, and investing in your future what you learned today. If you don’t take time to think about the day and what happened what you could do good and what you could do better you are wasting valuable knowledge you could invest in your future. It is like putting your paycheck in the trash after you earned it.

True competence is an accurate reputation based on your intelligence, expertise, and knowledge. People create perceived confidence in themselves by using certain tactics, like dressing in the appropriate uniform: a white lab coat or a suit and tie, for example. Perceived competence is tricky – you have to be careful how you explain your competence. If you launch into a laundry list of your accomplishments or of your education and titles, you might be perceived as a braggart. Take advantage of less direct or less self-proclaiming ways to show your competence. For example, you can hang your degrees on the wall, have someone else give a brief bio in their book’s introduction, or have someone else offer their recommendation.


Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. It is the missing puzzle piece that will crack the code to dramatically increase your income, improve your relationships, and help you get what you want, when you want, and win friends for life. Ask yourself how much money and income you have lost because of your inability to persuade and influence. Think about it. Sure you’ve seen some success, but think of the times you couldn’t get it done. Has there ever been a time when you did not get your point across? Were you unable to convince someone to do something? Have you reached your full potential? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to achieve more and accomplish their goals? What about your relationships? Imagine being able to overcome objections before they happen, know what your prospect is thinking and feeling, feel more confident in your ability to persuade.

Kurt Mortensen - EzineArticles Expert Author

Go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis to determine where you rank and what area of the sales cycle you need to improve in order to close every sale! Take your test now at

Kurt Mortensen teaches over a hundred techniques to give you the ability to effectively work with every customer that walks in your door. Professional success, personal happiness, leadership potential, and income depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. Kurt Mortensen’s trademark is Magnetic Persuasion; rather than convincing others, he teaches that you should attract them, just like a magnet attracts metal filings. He teaches that sales have changed and the consumer has become exponentially more skeptical and cynical within the last five years. Most persuaders are using only 2 or 3 persuasion techniques when there are actually 120 available! Learning how to persuade and influence will make the difference between hoping for a better income and having a better income. Go to and take the free Persuasion IQ analysis.


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  • Posted On December 2, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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