CityVP 🐝 Manjit en Selling, Competition, Sales Learning Journey of a beBee Brand Ambassador • making beBee the Hub of my Learning Journey 12/11/2016 · 3 min de lectura · +400

The Great Canadian Sales Competition

The Great Canadian Sales Competition

Sergio Zyman back in 1999 declared that the purpose of marketing is to "sell stuff".  Zyman is a celebrated marketer who led coca-cola's marketing strategy and who wrote the book "The End of Marketing" published in the last year of the 20th Century.

At the same time, some renegade rebels challenged the prevailing marketing ethos with a rambling classic called the Cluetrain Manifesto.  It emulated the Luther's 95 thesis, with its own 95 thesis on marketing and business practices, formulated by its four authors.  The first thesis was that "markets are conversations".  Whether it is sales or marketing, conversation matters.

Move on a couple of decades and a team of young, brilliant entrepreneurial leaders at the Sales Talent Agency are putting the zest and hip into sales that was once associated with marketing. Combining industry experts and creating a competition that captures the imagination, they have managed to shine new light on the profession of sales and ingeniously are introducing sales to a whole new generation of millennials.  Utilizing a simple competitive approach based on a short video sales pitch, they created the "The Great Canadian Sales Competition".

The Great Canadian Sales CompetitionOn Thursday November 10th 2016, the Pilon School of Business Competition Team led by Nehal Phillips, Nicholas Soares and Joanna Wang, invited Katherine Perrin to facilitate a workshop to help students preparing for case competitions. 

Our Toastmasters Club are also helping the PSBCT executive with three other workshops. 

Perrin is the Ontario region Competition Coordinator and led an practical workshop, during which students got a chance to practice creating 30 to 90 second sales pitches.  What followed was an intriguing process that introduced sales to college students in a way that grabbed their attention.

While the idea of pitching a video is straight-forward, the GCSC approach is ingeniously simple and has viral properties that engage young minds who may not otherwise considered the art of selling to be something worthy of due consideration.  Why would selling capture young minds when the traditional image of selling has been defined by films like Boiler Room and the cult classic Glengarry Glen Ross featuring Alec Baldwin's "ABC - Always Be Closing", as well as plays like "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller, which is a a title that does not evoke any inspiration.

The field of corporate sales has not traditionally inspired people to explore careers that include work that is skillful and passionate as anything that today attracts students into the marketing profession.   While marketers like Sergio Zyman acknowledge that marketing is a part of the selling process, a student competition brings that closer to a reality, at least for those young students who are exposed to this particular gateway to selling. 

The intention of the competition is not simply to introduce students to careers in sales that they would not otherwise recognize, but more importantly teach students selling skills that will help in many other areas of their life also articulated by one of the co-founders of Sales Talent Agency. A winning video by Sara Westwood provides an example of a student pitch : The Great Canadian Sales CompetitionThe competition is not looking for a slick marketing pitch, the judges who represent some of the biggest business corporations in the world are looking for raw sales ability and focus on the actual pitch rather than video production.  This is a point that Katherine Perrin reiterated as students quizzed her about the production quality standards for their submissions. 

The Great Canadian Sales Competition shares the same value that is honoured at Sheridan Bruins Toastmasters Club, as well as on beBee, affinity at the individual level, as well as acknowledgement of investing in the future which is today's young people, and noting the visual and branded age society is gravitating towards as detailed in a beBee infographic.

Both Flynn, the Club President of Sheridan Bruins Toastmasters Club and myself participated in a demo sales pitch video-taped by Perrin.  It was a powerful experience, made more so because of the feedback that Perrin was providing all students at the workshop.  It is surprising how many facets of selling emerge by going through just 90 seconds of video.  While pitching is just one part of the myriad forms of selling skills, it does represent a great doorway because selling, like public speaking, like management and like leadership is a practice.

It is Peter Drucker who constantly re-iterated fields of work that are practice, which also include the practice of medicine.  The Great Canadian Sales Competition represents a simple form of practice, but it has powerful effects, and for the students there is also the added incentive of a student competition, which in a few short years has become the biggest student competition in Canada.  Thursday night was a great evening, facilitated professionally and introducing students at our college to a whole new way of looking at sales.  If the Cluetrain Manifesto was meant to change the world of marketing and did not, perhaps in reframing the world of selling, the words of Sergio Zyman will finally meet with reality in the 21st Century, and perhaps in doing so, also the hopes expressed by those who gave voice to that manifesto in 1999.

Finally, what impressed me about the Great Canadian Sales Competition are the brains behind this initiative.  Here is co-founder Jamie Scarborough talking about F.A.C.E. which speaks of a sales acronym that takes into account the 17 year old, as well as 70.The Great Canadian Sales Competition

CityVP 🐝 Manjit 12/11/2016 · #8

@Juan Imaz As soon as I upgrade from my IBM laptop (yes I said IBM laptop) and/or decide to to use a cellphone I will then be able to play the beBee pitch Let me know if you guys are uploading your beBee videos pitches onto you-tube. I decided about five years ago to operate on a less is more lifestyle, but now I must reconsider it.

Aurorasa Sima 12/11/2016 · #7

#4 I am just a humble student who happens to be connected to greatness. Mike is an incredible teacher and person. I must warn you ... the link contains a very casual and personal story, but if you care to learn why I say that I own my sales career to Mike have a look:

His latest training is a human connection training more than a classical sales training. Some companies use us to help team building and especially in Public Workshops we are honored by people from sales-related and non-sales professions.

I know what you mean regarding self-praise. "Sales Ninja" and so on. Is that something you should say about yourself? And why do some salespeople make their profiles look as if they are aggressive sharks that could not care less about their clients?

CityVP 🐝 Manjit 12/11/2016 · #4

#3 Mike Bosworth certainly fits into my own personal learning journey world. When I go to any sales workshop I do fear encountering the people who wheeler-dealers, snake oil salespeople and sleazy and weazy, but I also began my work life as a purchasing agent then purchasing manager, and so I gained an early appreciation of the qualities of brilliant sales-people.

Today I can tune out people who are B-players. I simply center myself and then focus on who I should be focusing on and that simple switch of attention lets the river of mediocrity to flow away in the current of the past - because focusing on corruption of excellence does take our mental and emotional bandwidth away from the source. If salmon can try to come back to origin, why can't we as human beings?

Appreciation for people like Mike Bosworth has more value than those who practice sand-bagging and call themselves sales professionals. Every profession has its upper echelon and this appreciation is not elitist - it is absolute appreciation.

I have connected to your storyseekers hive and have already moved Mike Bosworth's book into my latest learning hive. When it comes to sales, this is your area of expertise so I gladly defer to you as "Sensei" but it will take a greater deal of time for me to be "Videosei" rather than Video Shy. The hives I manage are a part of my own learning journey, I look upon your hive as an expert hub and I appreciate having access to that expertise also.

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Aurorasa Sima 12/11/2016 · #3

#2 Hahaha, NO, you can´t be video shy. I can´t allow this, you´re Mr. Toastmaster.

Have a look at my "Storyseekers" hive too, it´s also related to helping people to become top performers.

I am working with Mike Bosworth (the guy who made Solution Selling, Customer Centric Selling and What great salespeople do). He is one of the best trainers for the type of sales you described.

Yes, I agree. The (soft) skill(s) is(are) often found in professions and entrepreneurs that do not have an official sales role.

Many years will pass until AI can replace a salesperson who is able to create emotional connection and trust. I´m talking about larger scale B2B investments only.

Selling has a bad reputation from all of sleazy and weasly guys. If you look at it as someone you can trust, a partner, who can help you to create and realize your vision it becomes nicer.

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CityVP 🐝 Manjit 12/11/2016 · #2

#1 Dear Aurorasa, the 30 second pitch I volunteered at the workshop is not one I have seen yet, and it has not been emailed to me - and it was totally impromptu in front of other students - the official submissions to this competition are made individually by students. Once I have taken a look at the workshop video I will let you know if I will post it - usually I am video shy :-)

Interesting link to the Forrester Research and I note that the large segment of jobs that will be eliminated in sales are those of order takers. There will still be the need for top-end sales people in major account sales and my focus is on the best of the best, which is why I created a new hive called SELLING. I have posted this buzz to the SALES hive also, but have made a distinction between SELLING and SALES.

Selling is a much broader skill which does not necessarily mean a career in sales. No matter what professional role students end up playing, the skill of selling is inherent part of the communication and competency of professionals who navigate themselves through work life. I have always appreciated top sales people and their entrepreneurial DNA but the fact that I set up the Selling Hive only last night, means that I have fully embraced selling as a part of my own learning journey right now.

Until that hive got set up, sales was a part of other commercial areas that fit my Orange Hive and then very loosely described as per Orange Twitter page for Society Manjit Katherine Perrin is just one more person whose workshop has nudged me back towards recognizing that selling is something I need to focus more on as a learning.

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Aurorasa Sima 12/11/2016 · #1

Do you have the video of the pitch you were involved? Interesting project. B2B sales is changing drastically. The ones who will stay are the ones who are able to create emotional connections. How to do that in 90 seconds? A story works. And the video approach works too.

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