Please indulge me for just a few minutes: If I were to ask a random sample of 100 teachers “what is the last job you would ever consider outside of teaching,” what do you think the most common response would be? Go ahead, pick your answer and hang on to it for a bit.
I talk about this every week, both in this space and within our school and local community. It truly takes a special person to do what we all do. We have to all be wired some kinda way to do “this,” whatever “this” is. What is it that we do? Let’s try to define it. What we do includes (but is not limited to) in no particular order:
- Being a subject matter expert
- Collaborating with like-minded subject matter experts
- Supporting organizational goals and initiatives
- Sharing our individual and collective expertise with our community
- Building individual relationships with each person you serve
- Differentiating what we do to best support each individual’s unique needs
- Helping others see the value in our area of expertise and the rewards and benefits of using it effectively
- Having difficult conversations while motivating and counseling others through daily ups and downs
- Intervening with new solutions when our people aren’t successful
- Assessing how well our solutions are working and reaping rewards (or lack therof) in the short term, with opportunities to build on and improve those in the future
Now…got your answer to my question above? I’ve got mine and I’ll bet the majority of your answers is the same. Let’s all say it at the same time: 1-2-3: SALES or SELLING.
I can hear everybody now: “No way, not a chance, I could never, I’d rather dig ditches.” And what would be the worst part of selling? Cold calling. I mean, have you ever just picked up the phone and called someone you’ve never spoken to before? Asked for a few minutes of their time to explain something that happens/happened and a solution you have in mind? Shared a plan for their success going forward and asked for their support? Wow. I mean, the horrors. It sounds a lot like…
We’re selling every day whether we know it or not! Our next “sales” project, which we’ve all collaborated to build, goes out to our community today. Customers buy the relationship just as much as they buy the service or the reward. We’ve had almost eight months to build that relationship and it’s almost showtime!