Socks, Sales and Teaching


I was shopping at a local running store the other day looking for socks. For most people, socks are socks and I will confess that in most moments of my existence I feel precisely the same: socks are socks.

Today I was educated about the importance of quality socks if I were planning to log high mileage in preparation for a spring marathon. I needed to think about comfort, fit and ability to withstand moisture, especially in the coming potentially sloppy winter months. I ended up buying what my son had gotten me back on Father’s Day, Balega Hidden Comfort socks (he knew something I didn’t know even back them).

My socks, while immensely important to the story, are not what this is about. This is about sales and education. In order to make the correct sock decision, I had to be taught what to look for in the right sock for me.

I was lucky, my salesperson asked what kind of mileage I was running and the type of surface I ran on most. Someone not as good would have just tried to sell me socks. And please note that prior to teaching me about socks, my salesperson asked about my wants, needs and personal circumstances.

Sales is about Education. Sales people are Teachers. Many times the lesson is about the features and benefits of a product, other times the lesson is why you should pick me instead of the other guy or girl. Either way, the better I am at teaching the lesson, the more people I can help and the better I do.

So why not look at customers and clients as students? Focus, obviously, on what they want and need but also try to understand how they learn so that you may design the “lesson” most appropriate for them.

Selling is teaching. Go teach someone today!

Principle Four of the Ultimate Listing Course is: A presentation is an educational tool and should be created, designed and delivered accordingly.