Frequent readers know I quit teaching last spring to try out other options. I am currently working retail.
I've never thought of myself as a salesperson. I read To Sell Is Human a couple of years ago and started thinking about sales differently. Daniel Pink believes we are all in sales.
Here are some similarities between teaching and sales:
1. I have to know my customer. If I don't build rapport and find out my customer needs, I am wasting both of our time. In teaching, I need to know my student as an individual in order to help.
2. I have to know my product. People want to buy from knowledgeable sales staff. Students need to learn from knowledgeable teachers. The homework I am doing these days to prepare is learning about a new industry so I can answer questions honestly.
3. I need to be resilient. A successful salesperson overcomes objections. So does a successful teacher. If one approach doesn't work, I need to find other ways to convince my client I have something they need/want.
4. It takes time to be an expert. When I feel uncertain about my new position, I remember how long it took to become comfortable in front of a class of students.
I'm sure that there are other comparisons I can make as I continue working in sales. As I am learning something new, it helps to make connections with the familiar.