Monday, October 12, 2015

Four Ways Teachers Are Salespeople

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.

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