Selling – the elephant in the room!

The importance of selling skills must feature high on the agenda for enterprise and entrepreneurial policy makers ! I find myself reading report after report on the skills, attitudes, behaviours, competencies of entrepreneurs. What I dont get is, why has no one realised that if you (or someone in your team) cant sell then you will NOT succeed in either setting up or building a business – my first book Pitch Perfect was the manifestation of my frustration around seeing loads of good ideas/products/services  that never enjoyed the revenue streams they deserve. I see lots of entrepreneurs sat they in their office waiting for the phone to ring! However they have got a great business plan ! I also see loads of extremely well turned out business graduates who can interpret a balance sheet standing on their head whilst having a brew – but they cant sell! I once had a heated debate with a Business School Professor – I asked him the question why dont you teach selling? I was then talked down to by an academic who couldnt even run a chippy never mind a business.

The reality is that policy makers need to see this for themselves – if we are going to support the growth agenda it means – companies  have to sell more – I dont know what it is but it just feels like the elephant in the room. Selling has this spiv like image – well maybe its down to definition – great selling is marketing driven and ethical, its underpinned by drive and determination to succeed – its about solving problems.

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3 Responses to Selling – the elephant in the room!

  1. Andrea Reive says:

    John – this then begs the question of are you truly selling your ideas in the most effective manner?

  2. Andrea Reive says:

    John, bear in mind that quiet leaders are catalysts for insights. They don’t disclose the answers as they know there’s tremendous power and motivation in other people coming to their own insights, so they take another approach by leading the conversation towards the insight. Asking the question ‘why don’t you teach selling?’ is immediatel going to put any academic on the defensive. It’s great progress getting people to listen but the challenge is for you to get them to think.

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