Is Teaching the New Selling?
Aug 26, 2009 Teaching 2415 Views
If teaching is, as I suggest, the new selling, then I might be in trouble running my own Internet business - not because I disagree with the concept, but rather because all those teachers out there may want to have a share in what I am doing! Allow me to explain how I have arrived at this theory. To do so, we need to go back almost twenty years when I was at a party talking with a chap who was just that little bit older ( naturally ) and wiser than I was.
If I remember correctly, he was either a social worker or salesman - I forget which but it doesn't matter for now. The bottom line is he had a theory that if you could teach, you could do social work and selling as well. I was actually considering becoming a driving instructor at the time and I assumed he was just padding the conversation to appear interested in my future goal.
In retrospect, I don't think I could have been more wrong - and yes, I know some people will say that they have living proof that what I am suggesting isn't so but there will, of course, always be exceptions to prove the rule. Anyway, allow me to explain in a more practical way why these three professions have such a transferable skill. In order to help somebody, we need to be a good listener. This ins not just to ascertain where the client is "coming from" but also to allow them to try and work out the answer for themselves. In teaching, a popular method is the use of Socratic questioning whereby one would ask the pupil a series of questions until they worked out the answer for themselves. It is not difficult to see how this method can be used in the aforementioned professions.
So, to come back to the original point as to whether teaching is, indeed, the new selling or not, we need to consider just what selling really is in relation to marketing as well because there always seems to be a fine line in distinguishing the two. I, personally, see marketing as the written word or advert that draws a potential customer in and the selling part that whereby you actually speak with said client. The buzz word of the last few years in marketing has been that of Educational Marketing - whereby one would offer a piece of information that worked to educate the potential customer in order to interest them enough to want to learn more.
Does it not make sense, then, to suggest that the selling process which inevitably follows the marketing should be done in a teaching manner? For example, you might follow up with a short question and answer ( Socratic ) session to allow the client to come up with his own solution ( which just happens to be what you are offering him ). OK., so perhaps this has been happening for longer than I have been involved in starting a marketing business on the Internet, and so one might not, perhaps, be able to say that the concept is a new one at all. It does, however, put into perspective the argument that the three jobs I mention above are all one and the same thing anyway so that the teaching is in the selling, new or not!
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