My wife and I watched the movie Ray a couple of weeks agowhen it came out on DVD. In the movie Jaime Foxx plays thelegendary singer Ray Charles. I was amazed at how Jaime hadcaptured the essence of Ray Charles. Many times throughoutthe movie I wondered if it was Jaime Foxx or Ray Charles I was seeing on my TV.

When I did research on Jaime Foxx's preparation for themovie I understood why he had captured Ray Charles soperfectly. In preparation for Ray, the movie, he adapted many of Ray Charles' physical characteristics and immersed himself in Soul, Jazz and Blues recordings to set the mood; attended classes at the Braille Institute; and spent weeks during rehearsal and production walking around with his eyes sealed tight for 12 hours a day, to gain an intimate understanding of what it really means to be blind.

Many on the set where stunned by how spontaneous andnatural the actor's embodiment of Charles became. Butimitation was never the point for Foxx. "The key word for me was nuance, because I didn't want to simply impersonate him," says Foxx. "Rather, I wanted to capture some part of his spirit, that's all. There were a lot of little touches which I tried to layer-his musicality, his warmth, his sense of balance, his posture-until the physicalside of things all fell into place."

The true story sells itself, and Foxx's interpretation isso uncanny that lifelong friends of the real Ray expressedgenuine confusion on set.

For all this hard word and dedication Jaime Foxx was paid millions of dollars and awarded the highest compliment bythe movie industry, an Oscar.

What does this have to do with sales training, everything!

Actors, athletes, doctors and lawyers are paid based on the amount of preparation in their chosen field. Did MichaelJordan decide one day he wanted to play basketball andbecame an instant superstar? Do the top heart surgeons in the world one day decide to cut someone open and operate on their heart?

Of course not!

They all spend years of preparation to become the best intheir field.

Then why do so many sales professionals believe they canget to the top of their profession without properpreparation?

During my twenty two years in sales I've watched countlesssales people enter the sales arena with very littlepreparation and then not understand why they failed.

I've seen sales people take little time to understand theproduct or service they are selling. Sit down to make phonecalls with no idea what to say. Head out on salesappointments and wing-it. Then go home at five o'clock andwonder why they can barely pay their bills.

They want to earn top dollar without putting in the effort.

To be a professional in any field requires work. I'm notonly talking about during the work day. I mean extra work atnight and on weekends in preparation for what to say whenyou make a call, on a presentation, handling objections,closing, in all aspects of our profession. I'm talking aboutpracticing outside the sales arena until you become sopolished; selling becomes second nature, like walking ordriving your car.

The stars in the sales profession spend time outside oftheir regular work day in preparation for how to handleevery situation that may arise. They right out exactly whatthey will say in those situations and then practice andrehearse until it flows from their mouth. They don't need tothink about it.

If you truly wish to be a star in the sales profession andget paid what stars get paid, then do what the stars do.It's not easy. It requires dedication, commitment and hardwork. However the rewards are great.

If you want to be average and get paid what average sales people get paid, then wing-it.

Author's Bio: 

Jim Klein is the owner of From The Heart Sales Training. He helps sales professionals attract new clients and generate an abundance of referrals so they can increase their income and enjoy life more. Click Here Now to sign up for our free ezine "The Sales Advisor"