What Donald Sterling Can Teach Us About Selling

While bigots are a thorn in the side of society, they can teach us valuable lessons.

Take Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team in the United States, as an example. After his racist comments were revealed on tape he thought it prudent to be interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper to try and clean up his own mess. Rather than rehabilitate himself, he dug his self-made hole even deeper as he reinforced his deep-seated racism. This included comments about Jews versus African-Americans:

“That’s one problem I have. Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people, and some of the African-Americans…maybe I’ll get in trouble again…they don’t want to help anybody,” Sterling said.

Cooper asked, “So are you saying that African-Americans don’t contribute to African-American communities as much as Jewish people…”

Sterling cut Cooper off and snapped back.

“There’s no African-American…,” he said, raising his voice. “Never mind, I don’t know, I’m sorry. You know, they all want to play golf with me. Everybody wants to be with me. I’m easy. I’m fun.”

Sterling’s not so shining example does have a powerful message―underlying beliefs and philosophies drive everything we do and say.

When selling, if your salespeople don’t believe in what they sell or that it’s worth high margins, this will show up in their conversation, no matter what words they say. But if they believe in the value you provide, how it will greatly benefit the customer, and that it’s worth your full fee or margin, the customer will feel that belief.

While Sterling’s values are not something to be proud of, the value you deliver is worthy of immense pride. What your salespeople believe and think always shows up no matter the words they say. Sterling shows us that you can’t outrun your own beliefs and philosophies.

Views: 98

Comment by Matt Charney on May 15, 2014 at 9:11am

I think he shows us that the freedom of speech is subjective.  Which as sad as his comments were, is actually even sadder.


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