The Top TED Talks for Successful Salespeople

2 min read

Self-confidence. Focus. A capacity to listen. Determination. These four qualities can be found in the DNA of anyone whose job is to contribute to a company’s sales. There are obviously other criteria for sales success, but today we’re going to let some of the gurus from TED Talks tell us more about the abilities required.

There are a host of TED conferences that help evaluate your career and improve your sales commitment.

Here we’ve selected our top 4 TED Talks for boosting your sales productivity.

1. Self-confidence

Dr. Ivan Joseph: The Skill of Self Confidence

“No one will believe in you unless you do so yourself.” Dr Ivan Joseph, Athletic Director at Ryerson University claims that self-confidence is an ability you can train yourself to have, based on repetition. Self-belief is obviously important for life in general, and helps you make your way with confidence in the area of sales.

Our natural reaction faced with adversity is to feel insignificant, and listen to the negative voice in our head that places limits on us. The good news is that our thoughts influence our actions, so by using positive affirmations we can correct those negative thoughts. In the words of Dr Joseph, “I am the captain of my ship and master of my destiny.”

What are your strong points? Your success stories? Write them down on a daily basis to reinforce your positive thinking.

Whether you’re a sales team coach or a salesperson, working in a team or on your own, always keep in mind that you’re adding value to the sales process. To enhance your own sense of security, and that of your colleagues, build the confidence of those around you by treating them as examples to emulate. Optimism and a desire for improvement will yield positive results.

2. Focus

Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days

Matt Cutts, director of Google’s anti-Spam department, encourages us to do something we’ve always wanted to add to our life, and to do it within a month. It appears simple, but we tend not to do it due to the pressure of our day-to-day responsibilities. We can apply the concept to the world of sales; Cutts suggests we learn to focus on small, sustainable challenges and complete projects that help us grow. This type of planning gives us the opportunity to relish a job well done.

3. Capacity to listen

Dr. Ernesto Sirolli: Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen!

Considered one of the foremost consultants on world economic development, the founder of the Sirolli Institute explains the 180º flip his career made once he’d learned to genuinely listen. Doctor Sirolli invites us to perform an act of humility and recognise that none of the great companies, from Ford to Google, were founded by just one person. We should therefore stop talking about “I” and start referring to “we”.

The only way we can help others and offer a service that meets their needs is when we start out by listening, and then enter into a dialogue in which we demonstrate trust, enthusiasm and sincerity. Once this lesson is learned, our sales success hinges on having a fantastic product together with an impeccable sales approach.

4. Determination

Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit

A psychologist and educational researcher, Angela Lee Duckworth defines determination as having the passion and perseverance to achieve long-term goals. People who possess these qualities approach life as a marathon, rather than a sprint. As a result they demonstrate resistance and remain motivated – two characteristics that are fundamental for any salesperson.

Let’s be clear about things: talent is not to be confused with determination. And the ability to learn isn’t finite, as it can change as a result of effort invested. If you want your sales force to operate with this type of attitude, you constantly need to evaluate the best ideas and instincts, and consider whether they are helping the team to grow. Likewise, don’t discount the possibility of failure, and if it does occur, start again taking into account the lessons learned.