Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Analytical Skills + Sales Skills = Progress and Success

Show me an analyst that can’t sell and I’ll show you a number of trees that needlessly died.
I’m starting to think a course on sales should be a requirement in high school education.  The trouble is the word “sales” gets a “bad rap.”  It usually summons a vision of the stereotypical smooth talking sleaze-ball.
Does this stereotype exist?  Oh course it does, but it’s extremely rare.  In reality, most would rather not admit that we all have something to sell:  products, services, an idea, yourself to potential employers, the list goes on.  I strongly believe one’s ability to sell is the difference between success and obscurity.  Some might say, “But I’m an analyst.  I don’t need to sell.”  I couldn’t disagree more.  The best analysts are the ones that can sell.  They sell an idea, an opportunity, a threat, a direction, a conclusion.  They are the ones that leave you thinking, “Wow, we need to implement a solution based on his findings….now!”
You can have the greatest and most complicated data spreadsheets, formulas and charts in the world, but if you’re not able to sell its importance and implications to the intended audience, it will just be another report neatly filed away in a rectangular or, in many instances, a “circular” filing cabinet.
Here are a few quotes on the value of selling:
“Good ideas are common - what's uncommon are people who will work hard enough to bring them about.”

“Forget about the business outlook, be on the outlook for business.”

“Everyone lives by selling something.”