Gretchen Fisk / Productivity / January 5th, 2017
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4 TED Talks To Be A Better Salesperson in 2017

With the turn of the year, many people hit the refresh button on their personal lives. But, why shouldn’t you do the same as a salesperson?

At the core of sales (and most professions) is interpersonal communication. It can be easy to get to the office, slip into a routine and just go through the motions. But, taking a step back and looking at your selling process from start to finish, you might begin to notice inconsistencies in your basic communication as a salesperson. 

With increased digital communication and pressure to meet goals, it can be easy to forget that at the end of the day, we’re still doing business with other humans.

So, hit that refresh button and start 2017 with a fresh, positive mentality with these helpful tips from four TED Talks.


You can listen better.

Julian Treasure starts his talk with a startling statistic: we only retain about 25% of what we hear. Thinking about this in the context of a sales call, the statistic becomes even scarier!

He goes on to talk about how so much is automated and how the ability to record sound changed how we approach communicating. But, Treasure points out that all the noise in the world makes it more difficult to pay attention and truly understand one another.

Check out his five techniques to improve conscious listening to ultimately make you a better salesperson. 


Passion is important in selling.

I love Ernesto Sirolli’s line, “planning is the kiss of death of entrepreneurship.” What he means is that listening to people (especially your prospects) is often more important than pushing your own agenda and ideas on them.

It comes down to this: not everything in business (and, especially at a startup) can be planned as it can limit growth and creativity.

Watch to see how Sirolli invented a system called “enterprise facilitation” and how it goes against everything we’re taught in sales.


Improve your conversations.

Celeste Headlee makes an excellent point in her TED Talk: we have lost the balance between listening and talking. Most of our “conversations” involve talking rather than a productive back and forth. 

She goes on to explain ten ways you can start having better, more productive conversations today.


Use your stress to motivate you.

Kelly McGonigal starts her talk by offering information on how stress affects our health. But, as a health psychologist she tries to convince us to think about our stress differently. Instead of trying to rid of stress altogether, McGonigal wants us to think of stress as your body raising to the challenge at hand.

So, instead of thinking stress at work is all negative, use it as fuel! Monthly goals, looming tasks, angry clients– these things don’t have to be stressful if you change how you interpret them. 

What’s in your sales stack?