As a professional salesperson, did you even realize that there is a social environment in business in sales? If you did, you were probably one of the more successful salespeople in your organization. If you didn’t, you probably aren’t. That is one of the takeaways from this conversation with Christian Madsbjerg, author of the new book, “Sensemaking.” Anthony believes his book is the must-read book of 2018 for every business person. It’s a treatise on the intersection of AI and culture and makes a case for how AI must be made to enhance and serve human culture in the end. This is a fascinating conversation for salespeople who want to understand how to maximize the human side of sales.
Is a good sale the optimized one or the convincing one?
AI is being introduced into the sales profession at an unprecedented pace. The optimization of sales cycles and sequences through AI is at the forefront the minds of many who are charged with increasing the bottom line through product and service sales. In this conversation, Christian asks if the best sale is the convincing one or the one that is best optimized? In his thinking, our infatuation with refining processes and building out great systems has us thinking a bit askew. Find out why a good sale is the convincing one and why only human beings can do the kind of convincing needed to put the right product in the hands of the person who truly needs it.
Computers don’t care – humans do
Anthony has long believed and said that caring is the currency of success in business and in sales. In the end, the person who cares more is the one who will be most trusted and therefore most successful. Christian Madsbjerg makes an intriguing case for a stronger understanding of and reliance on human intuition, cultural understanding, and social appropriateness as tools that can fuel long-term success in sales relationships. It’s too much to contain in a short paragraph like this so you need to make sure that you listen to this conversation to hear Christian’s masterful way of describing it.
There is a third kind of knowledge that all sales professionals need
The first type of knowledge we all possess is subjective or preferential. Some examples are that you may feel that one type of sound is too loud or a certain type of food is too spicy. Then there’s the kind of knowledge that we can measure. But Christian points out that there’s a third kind of knowledge – one he calls an “intersubjective” kind. It’s social or cultural in nature. Examples: We know how far to stand from each other at a party. We know how loudly we should speak. This is another type of knowledge that can’t be measured, but it’s a kind that is critical in the business world. If you only rely on data sets to tell you about your customers, you make big mistakes because you’re not relying enough on your innate human ability to understand others and what that understanding tells you about their needs. Sound helpful for a sales professional? You bet it is. Listen to hear more, on this episode.
What is the appropriate use of personal information in the digital age?
With the recent outrage over data breaches and inappropriate use of personal data, as well as the advent of the GDPR in the European Union, many questions are being asked about not only the security and privacy of personal data but also its proper use. Christian believes that those who lead companies today need to look beyond the practical leverage they can gain through data sets and begin to ask what benefit their use of data will have to real people. How will the end result for people be BETTER if personal data is used in a particular way? These are important questions for our time, and Anthony digs into them with his guest, Christian Madsbjerg, on this episode of In The Arena.
Outline of this great episode
- Why Christian wrote his book out of annoyance: “Sensemaking”
- What is a Silicon Valley State of Mind – and why is it problematic?
- Is a good sale the optimized one or the convincing one?
- How looking at culture is different than looking at individuals
- What’s the difference between thick data and thin data?
- The third kind of knowledge and how it relates to sales
- Great salespeople are able to intuit their prospects: The Dreyfus model
- What’s the value of understanding social context?
- Current issues: what’s the appropriate use of personal information?
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
- Christian Madsbjerg’s company
- Christian’s book: Sensemaking
- IBMs Watson
- Ken Wilbur’s integral theory
- The Dreyfus model
- George Soros
- Nassim Taleb
- Flannery O’Connor
- Elon Musk
The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud