You might have noticed that college today isn’t what it used to be. It used to be that students went off to university to learn about themselves and others. They experienced new things. They might have been exposed to another point of view and changed their minds. That no longer seems to be the case. Here’s why these student protesters would make terrible salespeople.
They’re not tough.
Do you know what a trigger warning is? It’s a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, or other material that alerts the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material.
Trigger warning: I’m going to call today’s college protesters foolish.
Can you imagine a group of people who need to be warned before being told that there’s poverty, inequality, famine, war and destruction in the world today? Even worse is that the trigger warning guidelines are somewhat fuzzy and the students set them.
In sales, you’re going to hear from customers who are unhappy with your products or you. They just might even quit and switch to your competition. They might even raise their voice. Oops, I forgot the trigger warning. Sales is not for the faint of heart.
Do not consider sales if you need a trigger warning in college.
They’re hypocrites and hypocrisy doesn’t sell.
Perhaps you heard what’s going on at the University of Missouri. Some students are demanding that the statue of Thomas Jefferson, a founding father, President and writer of the Declaration of Independence, be removed. Why, you wonder? It’s because Jefferson had an “offensive” history as a slave owner.
If these students were so disgusted to be reminded of Mr. Jefferson and American history, then why did they apply to that college in the first place? They’re a bunch of hypocrites. Hypocrisy has no place in selling. Being persuasive and being consistent are essential for sales success.
Can you imagine a nutritionist selling a nutrition program who comes to the meeting eating a Twinkie? How about a fitness trainer who smokes? What would you think of an environmentalist who drives a Humvee?
One of the biggest components of influence is speaker credibility. You have virtually none eating a Twinkie, smoking a cigarette and driving a Humvee.
These foolish college students and their actions defy common sense. What’s worse is that with the capitulation of many college administrations, it appears that common sense isn’t needed on college campuses today.
Instead, these students could insist on a forum where everyone can learn about the role that slavery played in our history and how and why it was ended. Even better is to learn why slavery is abhorrent to Americans, yet it still exists today in other parts of the world. By ignoring history you lose the opportunity to learn from it.
You are at your peril if you lack common sense in the world of sales. Students, you can demand all you want. You would make lousy salespeople.