Want to read a sample of the book? Here’s the introduction, which outlines the themes and straightforward style of Mike Beehler’s writing. Each chapter of the book features numerous “exhibits”—illustrations and practical instructions on how to navigate some of the challenges related to sales. There’s advice on how to get your first meeting with a prospective client, and then what to do once you get there. You’ll learn tactics for creating lasting relationships, all of which begin with understanding that people like to work with their friends.
Read below. And if you have any thoughts or input, remember to contact Mike Beehler and MBA, LLC here.
“Change before you have to.” —Jack Welch
Sales are based on science. They are not an art. The word science comes from the Latin word scientia and means “knowledge.” Knowledge, as you will learn, is fundamental to sales. Knowledge about customers, your product or service, the salient issues and opportunities of your industry, and the process of successfully negotiating the price and commercial terms of a contract must be mastered. Art is based on creativity and imagination that appeals to the emotion. Science, in particular social science, deals with individuals and societies through study of communications, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. Engineers, accountants, lawyers, data analysts, computer technicians, and other scientifically-oriented people that excel at the use of knowledge for practical applications should embrace the idea that they are made for success in sales.
That’s good news because 40-50% of the jobs we do today will disappear in the next 10-15 years due to the science of Artificial Intelligence, according to Dr. Kai-Fu Lee in his fascinating book, AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order. When I hear predictions like this, I like to ask myself, “What if this is just half right?” What are the ramifications of just 20% of today’s jobs disappearing in the next 20 years? Is that your career horizon? AI will not discriminate between blue collar and white collar jobs. Jobs that are hazardous, repetitive, that require little manual dexterity or human interaction are at risk. Jobs that require creative thinking, strategy, or human relationships should provide good opportunities for the future.
Jobs Disappearing in Your Career Horizon
Drivers – Farmers
Cashiers – Travel Agents
Waiters and Bartenders
Pilots and soldiers
Fast Food – Telemarketers
Tax Accountants – Stockbrokers
Construction Workers – Actors
If your job is on this list, you need to re-invent yourself right now. Will your current job be on the next list(s)? What skills do you need to compete with and prevail over the AI robot? Again, the jobs and careers that survive in your career horizon will be those related to creativity and strategy or those that engage with people in close personal and relational ways that computers cannot emulate.
Your best opportunity, and my purpose in writing this book, is for you to learn how to build and maintain close personal and professional relationships that lead to long term business success for all parties engaged. That’s called sales. At the end of the day, if you are in business, you are in sales.
And, you need passion for sales. If you had to be passionate about sales to save your job, could you do it?
Passion is a fundamental part of The Hedgehog Concept featured in Jim Collin’s book Good to Great. The hedgehog metaphor is based on a famous philosophical essay, “The Hedgehog and the Fox,” by Isaiah Berlin. Collins adopts this metaphor describing how a tiny little hedgehog (representing you) protects itself from the wyly and crafty fox (its natural predator and your competition) by rolling into a tiny, spiny little ball that befuddles the fox and allows the hedgehog to live. Because competition for your job comes at you from all angles, like the hedgehog, you need to rally around your best natural defenses. In the business world, Jim Collins says your best defense and most successful career choice will be the confluence of your deep passion, your natural giftedness, and what best allows you to make money.
The Hedgehog Concept
If you’re not passionate about sales, and if a sales-related job just is not your “hedgehog” today, then you need to train and re-invent yourself right now. Artificial Intelligence will not wait for you to catch up. Read this book and do the hard work. There is no prize for second place, and universal basic income for the masses is no way to make your dreams come true.
This book gives you the scientific tools to be successful in sales…nothing artistic about it. I hope that you will love engaging with and serving your customers as they become your career and lifelong friends.
And, ultimately, perhaps you will come to appreciate…the thrill of a sale.
Order The Science of the Sale to read the entire book. It’s available from Amazon as an ebook or in paperback.