Episode 1: February 12, 2012
by Jeb Blount
Here’s a question: do you know why selling is so important to the world economy? Well, before you answer that question, I want you to first consider the image that comes to mind when you think about salespeople.
If you work in the sales profession you probably see a businessperson in a great suit, carrying a blackberry, sitting in a boardroom getting a deal done.
If you are new to sales or in some other line of work you may see a cheesy, pushy guy in a brown polyester suit talking a million miles a minute, glad-handing a client, with his foot stuck in the door.
This, of course, is the image that the media and entertainment industry have portrayed of salespeople. For the vast majority of people, just saying the word “sales” sends chills up their spine and makes the hair stand up on the back of their neck. And if I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me, “I don’t know how you do it, I could never be in sales," well let’s just say that Bill Gates and I would be good friends.
A New Era for Sales
The good news though, despite the fact that some people still see sales as a necessary evil, is as a profession, sales has reached a new era. In the United States more than 40 Universities and Colleges offer sales degree programs. And major employers are stepping up to sponsor college sales programs, and flock to the National Collegiate Sales Competition each spring in search of the best sales talent. Academia, who for decades looked down its nose at selling, is embracing the profession as never before. Why the Change of Heart?
There are three key reasons for this change in attitude: First, private university studies indicate that around 70% of college graduates will engage in a selling role at least once in their career. Second, over the past ten years business schools noticed that their alumni who were in the sales were out earning their engineers, MBAs, accountants, and marketers, while at the same time advancing further and faster in their careers than other graduates. And finally, the most recent workforce reports indicate that, worldwide, sales is the most in-demand career category.
Sales professionals have more freedom, more flexibility, more fun, and more career opportunities; and, in the business world, salespeople get the rewards, the trophies, the trips, and the most lucrative performance incentives.
These days the sales profession is a great place to be. Top tier salespeople out earn other professionals in almost every discipline in business and society. The reality is that, in the 21st Century, Sales Professionals are the Elite Athletes of the Business World™.The World Runs on Sales.
So, back to my question: Why is selling so important to the world economy? In his book ABC Selling, author Dale Brakhage asks his readers to look around them to see if they can find anything that has never been sold. Every product and service and every component to every product and service has at some point is its lifecycle been sold – some times over and over again.
Now consider boardrooms, business meetings, politics, and even your own family. Everywhere around the world every day we are selling others on our ideas so that we can get what we want. And those ideas, when bought by others, help shape our lives and our businesses.
And if you lead a company, manage a business, or work in business, your knowledge of sales have a direct and important impact on the growth and profitability of your organization. I once overheard a college professor at a major university say that “there are only two kinds of people in business: those who sell and those who support people who sell.” And either way, if you want to succeed in business, you must get comfortable with the fact that sales is the life blood of the world economy.
And this is exactly why we created the Sales Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips Podcast. We designed this podcast to provide tips on sales and selling in a fun, easy to understand, actionable format to help sales professionals gain the winning edge over their competitors, help business leaders accelerate the growth of their enterprises through professional selling, and to provide general lessons for everyone to help people from all walks of life get what they want through practical sales techniques that really work.
Thank you for joining me on The Sales Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips for getting the deal done.