20 May What Do Selling and Teaching Have In Common?
Cristina D. shares how sales techniques make her a better teacher and teaching techniques have improved her ability to sell effectively.
Ever thought that two different areas of activity could find a place where they can function together and separately at the same time? Neither did I, until …. last year. At first glance, teaching and selling are totally independent of each other and there is no possible way to bring these two domains together. Well …think twice! Here’s why:
The Ability To Persuade
The very first attribute of a good teacher or trainer is the ability to sell their subject and themselves. A teacher needs to be capable of motivating his/her students not only to enjoy the class but also to go further and research, to gather further knowledge and to progress. Following the same lines, a good salesperson is teaching his/her product, describing it and being there to answer any other inquiry the customer might have.
Be A Good Listener
In order to actually sell your product or the subject you are teaching, you need to be a good listener. As a salesperson, active listening to the customers’ needs will bring you closer not only to offering them what they are looking for but also represents an important step in closing the deal. At the same time, by listening carefully to his/her students, a teacher is able to identify possible difficulties encountered in the learning process, or to discover what holds them back and then act accordingly.
Persuading Them It’s A Good Idea
Offering all the necessary information and active listening are equally important in both teaching and selling, but there is another aspect which links them and gives the whole process a new “flavour” and that is the guided discovery. Step by step, customers and students gather all the pieces of the puzzle in order to create the whole image in their minds. The best part here is that both customers and students live the “this-is-my-idea” experience. At the moment they discover something for themselves, a feeling of fulfilment takes place and they are more likely to act on it.
Good teachers and good sellers know that an efficient lesson or sell takes place without much interruption from the students’ or customers’ side. The best ones know that objections are a real challenge and they only mirror the interest in the lesson or in the product.
Making Your Skills Work For You
As you might have guessed in the meantime, I would not have been able to offer you this view had I not been actively engaged in both domains. These two apparently different areas meet every day in the office where I work. I like to think about selling and teaching as if they were an inter-connected spiral where the two components can act independently from each other, but it is only through their interdependence that the evolutionary process of learning and growing takes place.
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