The Future Sales Rep – Sharing Skills With Edgar Allan Poe?

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

I look back at my high school years and I laugh. If there was one class that I bombed, it was English class. I thought that learning to be a strong writer was for the birds. I would laugh and say to myself “I’m going to be a stock broker, what the hell do I care about writing???” Thanks to Mr. Gates and Microsoft Office, I also hardly learned to spell.

Any sales rep during the 1990’s and first decade of the 21st century will tell you that writing resembled this:


Great chatting with you. Attached is the proposal we discussed.

I’ll call you next week to review next steps.



That was the extent of my writing in the first 10 years of my sales career. But now, the world has changed. Buyers are consuming information at a feverish pace, and their ability to find answers online is quick & easy. Buyers are now turning to “subject matter experts” that they read from to help guide themselves through challenges. Buyers are reading blogs, “how-to-guides”, infographics, webinars and eBooks to develop strategies & action plans.

Question: What does this mean for you the sales rep?

There have already been multiple discussions around the sales leadership world as to “what skills will sales reps require in the future?” Personally, I believe the future sales rep will be a hybrid between sales & marketing. These departments are merging into one “REVENUE GENERATION” department anyways.

Sales reps will keep their sales skills

– Tenacity
– Moxie
– No Fear
– Persuasion
– Think Dynamically (Solve Problems for potential clients)

Sales reps will also be required to hold new skills from marketing

– Creative
– Brand Ambassadors
– Compelling to listen too or read from (challenges the status quo)
– Nurture Prospects with other tools outside the telephone

As part of that creativity and being compelling to listen too, reps will require a vehicle to peak buyer’s interest. If buyers are learning online, wouldn’t it make sense that sales reps are online to greet them?

Sales reps are already being asked to be major contributors to their company’s blogs. Who else has a better sense of the markets challenges and opportunities? Sales reps are also being asked to be part of the marketing campaign – pushing out this highly relevant content to very specific prospects. See “Micro-Marketing”.

As a sales leader, I’ve been brushing up on my writing skills. I recommend as you’re looking to grow your sales career, you follow suit. Here are sales professionals that have taken to writing, with exceptional results:

Ken Krogue

Craig Rosenberg

Matt Heinz

Jeff Bullas

Bottom line

If you don’t brush up on your own writing skills your future clients are going to learn from other sales professionals who have taken a lesson from Edgar Allan Poe! Don’t get left behind the Social Selling wave.

If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on utilizing Social Selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out – 42 LinkedIn Tips

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