“Sell me this pen” is a cheap trick. Everyone asked is confused and those asking are positioned as superiors allowing them to continue with nonsense for at least an hour. However “sell me this pen” trick made millions for Jordan Belfort and even ended up as a DiCaprio-Scorsese movie slogan. Some would say that “sell me this pen” is the pinnacle of sales training. I say it is sales training by people who think salespeople do not need to be creative.
My idea of perfect sales training is a discussion of Rothko’s art. What does his art mean? What was Rothko’s goal? How did it start selling? How can it sell for the prices it sells? How and why will the prices change? My impression is that salespeople can explain the contemporary art much better than art historians, because salespeople shaped the culture we live in, including Rothko, by enabling the trade.
Most of the sales training today underestimates salespeople. It is too simplified and focuses on simple skills. It does not unlock full potential of sales and it makes the trainees worst. The reality is that sales is a highly creative activity just like design, which should never be underestimated. Sales training needs to stimulate high level business development skills – strategy, creativity, and teamwork – and not the most basic work skills like time management, task management, sales software.
If salespeople are treated as powerful and creative, then their results will be powerful and creative. If they are underestimated and given simple training, then their results will also be simple.
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