Yet many sales trained CEOs aren’t lining up to take another sales training program any time soon. They didn’t go to school to learn how to sell.
They have companies to run.
The sales trained CEO perceives sales to be like riding a bicycle: once you learn how to sell, it stays with you for life.
The way I was taught to sell at age 25 – to complement my career as a non-sales new product development specialist – makes absolutely no sense to me now. The way I continued to be taught to sell, as I moved through my career, had transient appropriate value as I entered into more complex business development scenarios.
I educated myself (note: not trained) by melding sales into my growing professional development skill sets.
You see, I figured that business development is everyone’s job responsibility, regardless of what your title is.
Any sales professional and Businessperson of Worth will tell you that your professional development skill sets are honed through experience. That includes taking the time to periodically hit the “Reset” button on how sales interacts with your own job functionality.
Most of the time, the reality of the sales experience doesn’t resemble classroom-based sales training program(s). That’s because business is conducted in real-time, real-life, with real decision-makers who aren’t engaged in role-playing exercises.
There are plenty of folks out there selling basic sales training programs to the CEOs of small and mid-size businesses, business accelerators and startups. One-and-done. Voila! You can sell!!
Think about it this way. Are you still wearing your very first pair of running shoes?
The more accomplished you become, as a sales trained CEO, you require better information, more refined skills, improved equipment. You aren’t thinking about the technical aspects of running (or selling) as much as you are engaged in the reality of running (or selling). It becomes a natural extension of Who You Are.
If you want first customers, it’s one thing. You have to start somewhere. If you are looking for a Series A, B or C round of venture capital funding, don’t depend on those basic sales skills. Investors aren’t looking for a basic businessperson or a basic startup or a basic small to mid-size business.
As a sales trained CEO, your goal is to become a complete Business Person of Worth. That means exploring the different skill sets necessary to refine your understanding of developing and transacting business (a fancy word for “sales.”)
There’s no room for one-and-done sales trained CEOs. You will always remain your company’s Brand Ambassador and Chief Sales Officer.
Time to hit your “Reset” button?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a business coach and management consultant. Her Workshops create Playbooks for startups and small to mid-size companies who want to grow, expand and sustain their businesses, but wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Playbook on leadership, business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
Image courtesy of valentint on 123rf.com.