This is an excerpt from my second book, Managing the Sales Process, available on Amazon.com. You can find a series of these excerpts in a dedicated blog category to get a broad overview, post-by-post, of the book (they are listed in reverse order in the category, so start with the oldest).

From Chapter 1 – The Right Attributes

Let me illustrate the fallacy of education as a predictive indicator of future sales success through a personal experience. As with all examples in the book, the names have been changed.

Through a string of connections and coincidences, I was asked to give a few guest lectures at a local business school. The students and teachers were quite receptive and appreciative of my experience and the way I presented it, so it was suggested that I explore a more regular position as a professor. I had never previously considered this, but thought I might as well talk to the dean to see what possibilities existed and if they seemed mutually beneficial for both me and the school.

I met with the dean, a marketing professor, and gave him a copy of my first book, Mastering Your Sales Process. I had referred him beforehand to my web site, blog, and LinkedIn page so that he had some sense of my background. We had a robust conversation, and he seemed genuinely interested in what I might contribute to the masters program. Then he derailed the conversation by telling me that it is not customary for the school to hire professors without an advanced degree. My formal education stopped at a bachelor’s degree.

I asked the dean what kind of degree might qualify someone to teach the subjects that I was able to teach, specifically sales. He admitted that there is no formal degree that teaches such things. He further agreed that my 20+ years of experience were far more valuable to the students than anything that I might learn in a master’s program, at least with respect to the subject at hand. Finally, he agreed that the students and professors at the school had been very positive about my lectures and that I would make a valuable addition to the faculty of the school.

In spite of all of this, he decided against moving forward, as my advanced degree from the school of hard knocks would be difficult to explain to the board of trustees at the school.

I suppose it was my fault for not qualifying well. Why he wanted to meet knowing of this roadblock remains a mystery to me, but it illustrates well the fallacy of education when hiring salespeople.

****************************************************

Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!

-David