At a recent meeting at a vitamin company, emotions overflowed. The CEO had a top salesmen pinned in his guest chair. The CEO stood over the salesmen with an angry glare. His vein bulged out of his neck.
"I have a big problem with you. I just looked over the annual payroll report. Do you realize you made 1 million dollars more than I did this year?"
"Yes, and?" the salesman quietly replied.
The CEO continued his tirade: "I am the head of this company. Don't you see anything wrong with me not having the highest salary of all? I mean after all, you are just a salesmen."
The salesman grinned like a Cheshire cat, calmly took a sip of his coffee, and leaned forward in his chair. "You are the CEO of this company. You know everything there is to know about vitamins, distribution, and company operations."
The CEO relaxed his gaze and nodded, seemingly relieved to have an understanding.
"However", the salesman paused for effect, then continued. "Even though you know all those things, there is one little thing I know how to do, which you don't."
The CEO's vein made another appearance on the side of the neck. "And what is that?"
"I know how to get people to come into your store and buy your vitamins."
The salesmen sipped his coffee and continued: "So without me, everything you know is worthless."
Everybody has a second career: Sales
You see, whether you are negotiating, pleading, or persuading, you are selling. Don't believe me? Try to remember when you were a kid:
Age 2: Mommy, can I have some milk? Please!
Age 5: Mommy, can I get the newest toy at the toy store?
The Teenage Years: Mommy, can I go on a date?
You may not have realized at the time, but you were selling. Sales isn't always about money. It's about ideas, it's about progressing forward toward a goal.
Which brings me to something disturbing: Why isn't more emphasis placed on persuasion in high school and college?
Everybody has a second career: Sales
Persuasion is a timeless art. Persuasion allows you to sway people to your side. We know more practice increases skill. Now imagine, what would happen if a high school student or college student started practicing persuasion early? They kept at it through their school years. By the time they hit the job market, they would be unstoppable.
Some time, at some point in your life, you will need to persuade. Succeeding in this persuasion will help you in your quest for a better life. What better time to start then now?
The Skill people fear more than death
Every year, surveys are taken asking people what their greatest fear is. It turns out, people fear public speaking more than death. Think about that for a moment: people would rather check out of this life than go up in front of people and speak. Why do they fear it so much?
Embarrassment. The fear of humiliation from peers is a powerful driver in human behavior. Ah, but here is where it gets interesting. You see, one of the highest paid skills in any career, is persuasion. Public speaking, when done well, represents a powerful income generation machine.
Entire careers have been changed from one good speech. People who worked boring jobs for years, suddenly gave one great speech, and this opened doors for promotions and more earning power.
Start Now, Dominate Later
Any high school or college student wanting to learn the secrets of getting ahead should practice public speaking. If I could rewind time and do school over again, I'd invest many hours in public speaking. I'd buy courses, watch videos, and practice. I'd learn all I could to improve my public speaking skill set. The first step is eliminating fear. Remember, if you can speak well and inspire, you have your audience in the palm of your hand.
Still not convinced? Warren Buffet, one of the world's richest men, , "Now, you can improve your value by 50 percent just by learning communication skills, public speaking."
When somebody worth billions of dollars tells you public speaking is a valuable skill, who are you to argue?