Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Business Acumen - Good Lord, they're teaching Professional Selling in Universities now...we're all doomed.


"...we learned more from a three minute record, then we ever learned in school..."

- No Retreat, No Surrender. - Bruce.

You love training classes, don't you? Certifications, tests, demo contests - teachings and ramblings from those "more learned" than we.

Tweed jacket, pipe smoking, know-nothings, droning on and on about "TCO", lease ex-dates, and scan-once, print many.


Very little practical, field tested, tools.

Professional Selling demands more.

In order to be ready, to truly own our destiny, we need to improve on our own.

We cannot rely on corporate sponsored, consultant based teachings.  Status quo dogma packaged as training "...designed to help you succeed..."

The only person you can rely on or trust to be looking out for your success is the one staring back at you in the mirror.

Nobody else.

I spoke with a student at Cal Poly - International Business Marketing major - he told me he is attending a  "Professional Selling" class.(IBM 306).

My curiosity piqued, "Oh, really?  We're now teaching kids how to sell? Impressive..."

The professor doesn't use a textbook, simply pontificating in front of the white board.  Exam questions are based on lecture material.

The tests are take home.  At this point I'm thinking, "how the hell does one get THAT gig?"

Course descriptions:

IBM 306 Professional Selling (4)
Focus on professional selling within the context of relationship marketing. Emphasis on precision selling process. Team presentations. 4 lecture/problem solving.
Prerequisite: IBM 301.

IBM 435 Advanced Professional Selling (4)
Analysis of the sales representative as a professional marketing tactician in a marketoriented
firm. Emphasis on applied and theoretical approaches utilized to effectively manage a sales territory. Analysis of sales representatives in different industries. 4 lectures/ problem solving.
Prerequisite: IBM 306.

Perhaps I am showing my age - by the way, it isn't the age, its the mileage - but since when did college's and Universities quantify the art of selling?

More important, what can all this mean to you?

Our higher education system is now churning out kids who fancy themselves Selling Professionals,  thinking they know as much as you and I.

This in itself is not terrible, a rising tide lifts all ships, but consider this next time you're sitting in a sponsored, "MPS is TCO" seminar: while your there pretending to stay awake, there is a young buck out there learning how to sell "within the context of relationship marketing" - whatever the hell that is...

Your next competitor may have grown up not with email, but texting.

He will not expect to stay at the same company for decades.  He will know how to Google faster than you.

He will demand more from his boss.

Yeah - I know, you ain't scared. You shouldn't be.

Sales is the ultimate school of hard knocks.

You can't get acumen, from an overpriced textbook, or take home quiz.  And self-esteem is not the result of some 12 step program.

Sell on.

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