8 TED Talks All Salespeople Should Watch
At DiscoverOrg, we’re a bunch of self-proclaimed gluttons for learning. That’s why a while back, we presented our top five books and blogs for inside sales folks. While we love a good page-turner, we know that salespeople are busy. The work is demanding and there’s nothing more satisfying than going home at the end of the day to relax with the fam.
Squeezing business books into that time is tough. That’s why we love the power of video to quench our thirst for knowledge and enlighten us in the field of sales. We’ve come across 8 excellent TED talks that can do just that.
1. Richard St. John: 8 Secrets of Success
This three-minute video should be mandatory viewing for every new salesperson – and it’s an excellent reminder for the veterans too. St. John spent several years conducting hundreds of interviews to find out what successful people believe made them successful. He boiled it all down to 8 secrets.
We don’t want to give all those secrets away here, but you can bet the list includes passion and focus. These 8 principles can apply to many areas of business, but in the field of sales, they are especially vital.
2. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action
The greatest lesson you can learn from Sinek in this video is that, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” He believes that the most successful leaders and companies are the ones with clear purpose behind what they do. In order to really sell, you need to know why you get out of bed in the morning to go sell what you’re selling.
We all know sales can be a hard job. Salespeople have to face a lot of rejection (over and over and over again) before closing a deal. But having a strong “why” behind what you’re doing is the secret to overcoming those objections. It’s all about capturing a good balance between your personal “why” and the company’s “why.”
3. Enersto Sirolli: Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen!
Sirolli’s story is fascinating. He speaks primarily about his experiences in Africa, where he focused on helping business owners and entrepreneurs by helping business owners and entreperneurs learn to shut up and listen. His work there gave him incredible insight about what it takes to be successful in business.
We can all agree that sales is a very competitive field. Every salesperson is focused on reaching quotas and goals, motivated by personal agendas and incentives. Sirolli’s speech also serves as a reminder that the best companies are focused on the team rather than a single individual. A team works together to leverage each other’s skills and resources. It’s worth asking what this means for sales.
4. David Pogue: Simplicity Sells
The subject is pretty self-explanatory: simplicity sells. Pogue entertains his audience with a number of anecdotes on the opposite of this lesson. And it’s an excellent reminder for salespeople, no matter what industry you’re in.
Are you in staffing? Then this is a good reminder that simply sending over one or two really outstanding candidates rather than sending 15 average candidates makes a massive difference in closing the deal.
In marketing? You could try to advertise every single possible service for every possible industry you sell to. Or you could hone in on one or two key offerings and embrace your niche. Simplicity sells.
5. Donald Doane: The Science of Sales
Doane speaks from his experience building a repeatable and sustainable sales process for startup companies. But his experience also applies to individual salespeople — in any sized company and any industry.
Specifically, Doane explores the journey scaling growth of the business from identifying sales opportunities through closing and growing those sales. He also recognizes the difficulty of hitting the ground running. Most people are going to start out at a crawl and must practice and train to achieve walking and then running.
6. Jack Vincent: A Sale is a Love Affair
Jack Vincent’s enthusiasm about the parallelism between finding love and finding (and closing) a sale is catching. He believes that the primary element of a sale is trust. Sales is all about relationship-building. There must be this intimate process of sparking interest, asking questions, listening, and solving problem – in the same way you would in a personal relationship.
A new perspective always presents a new opportunity to learn and grow in your field, and Vincent’s insight definitely comes from a fun yet insightful viewpoint.
7. Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work
Known for his books about happiness, Shawn Achor is particularly illuminating in this video. He claims to knows the number one secret to high performance at work: gaining what he calls the “happy advantage.”
Achor suggests that it’s possible to rewire your brain to become more successful by becoming more positive. There are number of ways to boost your optimism and train your brain, and Achor’s speech is a compelling argument to do just that.
Want to be more successful in sales? You need to become a happier person first.
8. Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons from an Ad Man
This last one is a gem. While there isn’t a tangible lesson to apply to sales here, there is great insight into the inner workings of the business world.
Sutherland, after spending years in the advertising industry, discusses the notion that value is relative. “All value is perceived value,” he says. It’s a familiar concept but one that’s frequently forgotten. An important reminder for both sales and marketing folks.