Learn to sell from a teacher

Who is your favorite teacher? It may be from grade school or grad school, but we all have a teacher we admire for the how and what we learned from them. So if teachers are fondly remembered, why not emulate them in other professions?

I am surprised there is not a book series that includes titles such as, “How to Be a Teacher in Sales, in HR, in IT…” It would be bigger than the Dummies book series. We all love to learn. Maybe we don’t like to sit in a classrooms, I don’t particularly like sitting for hours listening to lectures, many don’t. But, I rarely meet someone that does not enjoy learning.

If you disagree, sit back and watch any dialog. Listen for the questions one person asks another when conversing. It’s a thirst for knowledge. Even if you happen to pick someone who is thirsty to hear all the details of the Kardashians, the point is proven.

If it were just information people needed, you could get it all from the Internet. But, the simple truth is that the web has inundated us with information. Sometimes, we just need another human to teach us something.

Ron Johnson knew this simple fact when he developed the Genius Bar at Apple. He created huge brand value when he made it easy to schedule time in the store to work with an Apple Genius and learn how to solve a problem or do something new and creative.

The CEB recently released The Challenger Sale, which explains how the best sales people create value when they deliver tailored insights to customers and challenge clients to think differently.

Ron is now at J.C. Penney and just announced a partnership with Martha Stewart. He’s planning to bring his own version of the Apple Genius Bar to the store, by having trained employees who can offer advice and tips, reports Dealbook. In mini stores within the store, you will get to learn from the pros as if you were being advised about home decorating by Martha herself.

Whether it’s a hot product like Apple, Business to Business Sales represented by the CEB, or a brand on the comeback, such as J.C. Penney, part of the value equation is getting your customers’ attention through teaching.

Take a queue from your favorite teacher and become your clients’ favorite sales person — emulate your best teacher.

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