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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Beware: Common Knowledge (aka Common Sense) Isn’t Always That Common

describe the imageOkay, it was worth a chuckle. Indeed, it was worth the effort to pull my cell phone out and take a picture of the sign, indicating a wading pool depth of one and a half feet.  And then it added, “No Diving.”

Isn’t it pretty obvious that if the pool is 18 inches deep, leading with your head as you enter the pool might be a bad idea?

It gets better. I walked along the gradual slope of the pool, and found subsequent signs that read, “6 inches,” and then, “0 feet 0 inches.” Each depth indicated followed, naturally, by the warning of “No Diving.”

But beyond finding the signage a bit humorous (and being reminded that we live in a litigious society), it brought me back to a conversation I had more than a decade ago, when The Center for Sales Strategy founder Steve Marx and I first met.

Steve was impressed with my copywriting, and the way I “led with creative” when selling advertising. “It just makes so much sense,” I said. “Life is so much easier when you build an idea. People fall in love with the idea, and the advertising medium sells itself.” He explained that not everyone finds it so easy to “build an idea.” Later, I would learn that creativity is not a skill that can be taught. It’s a part of talent. If hints of that talent are there, it can be developed. But just because you find something easy, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It only means that thing is easy for you. 

If you have a particular talent, accomplishing tasks related to that talent seem to come naturally to you.  So easy that you might assume anyone can do it. But beware:  Others may not have your innate talents in equal measure.  

describe the imageYou might think of “closing” as common sense. You might think meeting new people should be as easy as falling down. You might believe paying attention to the details of your company paperwork should just be a breeze for anyone on the staff. But each of these tasks is made easier (or harder) by the presence (or absence) of a talent and your sales coaching should reflect these differences.

As Steve Marx pointed out to me, it is easy to assume those talents in others that you, yourself, have in abundance. But making that assumption might be like diving into a pool before you know how deep it is.

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Topics: Management Talent Sales