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.