Can Your Selling Learn From Success Teaching 15yr Olds?

cnn slide on usa v china education hours

The World Is Flat author, Tom Friedman, commented recently on the large survey into how clever 15-yr olds are around the planet.

Being as the two largest types of job employing people around the globe appear to be healthcare and education, most of us have a close friend or relative in such occupation. I am no different. So these tests garnered much mealtime reaction. You can search for these latest OECD multiple-choice exams online.

There was consternation in America and England that they seem to be so outgunned by their Asian counterparts. Rumours of the scurrilous Chinese actually prepping their students for the exams add to the furore.

I did a selection of the arithmetic questions myself online. I scored ten out of ten. That isn’t, unfortunately, because I am a super-genius.

At fifteen my maths class was already embracing calculus, statistical permutations and algebra beyond the basic.

The kinds of questions the OECD tests involve, though, I recall doing plenty of in my junior school. That is, a full five years before these OECD tests are taken.

They strike me as less about numerical acumen as concentration. The maths is fairly straightforward. Getting impatient with the long winded question evidently less so for today’s tweet obsessed youtubulars.

Friedman noted the American angst over these results; Why are we behind China? We must copy them!

He promotes another tack. They ought rather copy the best of America that is already giving great outcomes.

And here is the Sales rub. His trio of factors that lead to stellar students have clear selling siblings.

  1. The best teachers split their time 70/30. Mostly, yes they teach, the rest they consciously develop their personal skills, and do so often by collaboration.
  2. They regularly talk to parents. Even if it’s by weekly email. The parents are moulded, encouraged to engage in the education process.
  3. A culture of learning is created. The children buy into the expectation for learning. They realise they are at school to work, not text.

He backed up these points, with comments like get the best teachers in front of failing students and their fortunes turn around.

These three points each focus on a different population. The teacher, parent and scholar. Whilst you could make a case for the sales parallel to be manager, customer, rep, I feel there’s a simpler mapping.

Take your Sales environment as a whole.

How close to the 70-30 split are you in terms of selling to personal development? Indeed, are you consciously pursuing any skill improvement at all?

What about frequent communications? With any and all of the stakeholders/players in your forecast, are you in decent, bi-directional contact with them?

And what is the culture in which you either operate or engender with your prospects? Is it truly conducive to enduring, sustainable business?

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