Have you noticed that there’s something missing in higher education?
Ok, perhaps you’ve noticed a lot of things missing, but what stands out to me is at the highest levels of education, we don’t teach our students how to sell. Yes, sell.
I routinely ask groups of people to describe the situations they find themselves in day-after-day, meeting-after-meeting. More often than not they describe situations where they are trying to influence someone (a child, a spouse, a boss, a peer or a customer) to do something. And when I press them a bit about the skills they need to pull this off, they say “selling skills.”
Here’s what they don’t say; Accounting. Finance. Operations. Marketing. These are, of course, critical components of knowledge to acquire, and for decades, we have taught them really well in our higher education system.
But why is that not true for selling? And what do we do about it?