Sales Lessons Learned


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I just returned from my industry conference, the National Speakers Association. Like you, I invest in training so I can continue to improve my value to clients.

You can imagine what a scary event this can be—1500 speakers, trainers and consultants all under one roof! (Just make sure you never ask the question, “And what do you speak about?”)

After attending multiple events and presentations, it is easy for the brain to go on overload. Upon returning home and getting time to process, here are some key takeaways from the NSA conference.

  • Salespeople are still using some very outdated sales approaches and tactics. Critical thinking skills are the foundation for creating value sales and very few salespeople understand how important those skills are for future business success. Many salespeople are still buying into rah-rah speeches, in-your-face techniques or sitting in chairs waiting for the law of attraction to kick in. The sales professional of the future is smart and business savvy. He or she knows that professional selling is a combination of emotional intelligence skills, business acumen, and consultative selling skills. Make sure that whatever you are reading or studying is based on higher level thinking, not just one liner techniques.
  • There is a clear difference between mastery and average. Mark Sanborn, bestselling author of The Fred Factor, shared with his audience that masterful people don’t just study a topic; they immerse themselves in a topic. Mark was masterful in presenting his expertise with every sentence delivering impact.

Where are you on your journey as a professional salesperson? Are you studying or are you in full immersion? I saw some very masterful people at this conference. And I saw some people that were very good. There is a difference between very good and masterful both in delivery and paychecks!

  • Group think is dangerous. I attended one session being led by a very successful speaker and author. Unfortunately, the speaker didn’t prepare for this session. The interesting thing is the audience response. It was a classic case of the emperor wore no clothes. Everyone kept clapping for things that made no sense and added no value to the profession of speaking, training and consulting. Because the speaker is well known, the audience thought they were receiving value. I now know how Bernie Madoff suckered so many people into his investment scheme. So the question is: are you an independent thinker or are you just going along with what your peers and pundits are saying?
  • Humor is under estimated and we need more of it. NSA is home to some really funny humorists and speakers. During one session, I was laughing, holding my sides and trying to find air. It was a good reminder of how we need to surround ourselves by funny people or try to see the funny in our everyday lives. Humor alleviates stress which leads to clarity of thought which leads to…..a whole bunch of good stuff.

There were many more takeaways; however, these are some of my favorites. Now my challenge is to take this knowledge and apply it to my own business. How about you?

Good Selling!

Colleen Stanley

Chief Selling Officer

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colleen Stanley
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership, Inc. a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, emotional intelligence and hiring/selection. She is the author of two books, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and author of Growing Great Sales Teams.


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