The best TED Talks for salespeople focus on what really matters – the information you need to succeed. Here are five talks that are absolutely worth listening to.
1) Smart failure for a fast-changing world
By: Eddie Obeng – organizational theorist, author, and Professor at the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Henley Business School and the founder and Learning Director of Pentacle
The world of sales is changing faster than ever before. New technologies are wrecking old business models, and companies who can’t keep up have little hope of succeeding as a business.
It’s almost impossible to avoid failing, if only because there are some times when nobody knows what will succeed. In this talk, Eddie Obeng focuses on failing with intelligence, learning from the mistakes you make, and understanding the current reality of commerce.
2) How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings
By: David Grady – Information Security Manager, writer and speaker specializing in risk management.
Do you feel like your work day is dominated by meetings?
If so, you’re not alone. Many people are invited to far more meetings than they actually need to attend… and unless company policy says otherwise, you don’t have to attend each and every one of them.
In one of the best TED Talks for salespeople, David Grady dives into this at full throttle, focusing on ways to cut down on the number of meetings you attend and maximize your productivity at the meetings you do show up for.
If your company’s policies don’t allow you to skip meetings, consider making a case for that to be changed – after all, if nobody can explain why you need to be there or how you can contribute, there’s no point in asking you to attend.
3) Want to help someone? Shut up and listen
By: Ernesto Sirolli – International speaker and founder of the Sirolli Institute.
This video is on the longer side, but as far as the best TED Talks for salespeople go, it should be required viewing. You cannot succeed in sales if the only thing you try to do is push your product onto other people – they don’t care, they don’t want to care, and they will only try to find a way off the phone with you.
With this talk, Ernesto Sirolli shows you how to find out when other people are having a problem… and once you know what kind of problems your customers are having, you can start structuring your sales plan around helping them solve that problem.
4) How to buy happiness
By: Michael Norton – Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.
Many sales teams work in highly competitive environments, focused on both getting commissions and performing better than other teams. However, this kind of cutthroat setup isn’t always the best way of running a sales program… and it’s contrary to the mindset of today’s younger workers, many of whom would rather cooperate than compete.
Norton focuses on finding ways to let salespeople help both the company and each other, building a whole that’s much greater than the sum of its parts.
In the end, performance is what your company cares about – and if you can show them that performance will actually go up if you slow down on the competition, chances are they’ll be willing to let you create a friendlier atmosphere.
5) 8 secrets to success
By: Richard St. John – Marketer, Speaker, Author of The 8 Traits Successful People Have in Common: 8 to Be Great
This brief video is easy to fit into your schedule – and you should fit it in, because it’s easily one of the best TED Talks for salespeople in today’s environment. St. John interviewed more than 500 people over the course of seven years to find out what they felt made them successful, and he dug through everything they said until he came up with eight concepts that truly explained what they believed.
You can watch all five of these videos in less than an hour – and I encourage you to fit them in as soon as you can find the time. The earlier you know how to succeed, the quicker you can put that knowledge to use and become a better salesperson.
What about you? Do you have any resources that have resonated with you and added to your success in sales? Please leave me a note in the comments.