What I learnt from Amanda Palmer’s Ted Talk

Ask pic_sLong after I delivered my talk on “Psychology and Science of selling” various issues are still ringing in my head. While watching this Ted Talk by Amanda Palmer I could instantly connect it with the job of a sales person.

I didn’t know about Amanda Palmer till I watched the Ted Talks and then I briefly read about her.

Her Ted Talk about ‘The art of Asking’ took me back to my thoughts on ‘Psychology and Science of selling’.  I wanted to address the question on why people are afraid of selling, what are those fears and how can I help people become better at sales. Among the things that I had heard from people who are afraid of selling was this huge resistance to ‘asking something’ from people.

I could instantly connect with Amanda’s view that if we ask we get it. I realized how effectively she has leveraged crowdsourcing. How she is able to organize gigs in less than 24 hours ( read about it on her blog here) just by asking.

It is so important in sales role to be asking – asking for information, asking for purchase order, asking for referrals.  At the same time we have to approach it very confidently. We need to remove the notion that asking is akin to begging. We need to be clear that we are also giving something in return so it is absolutely fair – the point Amanda has highlighted in her experience with the family in Miami neighborhood. Same thing in sales cycle – as a sales person we are brining something valuable to the table and we are asking their money in return, so it is absolutely a fair thing to do.

I found people are more comfortable when they have this feeling of ‘giving’ (at least in Asian culture). We need to realized that sales is not just about asking we are also giving something in return but unless we ask we will not get an opportunity to ‘give’.

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