TBS.06.04.15Once again we have a flood of new grads hitting the job market. But now the concern is, “Will my job become computerized? Will I be out of a job?” Undergrads are asking the question a different way, “What job should I prepare for that won’t be replaced by a robot?” Long-term security plays heavily in the minds of today’s students both before and after graduation. They have already seen many jobs replaced by software or machines and want to know which way to turn.

We believe that there is one job that will always be in demand and can best be done by a living, thinking, feeling human being: Sales! Why? Because ultimately it is a human being that is making the buying decision. They place trust in another human to help them make the right choices. They want to look into the eyes of a real person that they can hold accountable when they make that choice. They want to know who they are “buying,” not just what.

Another reason a job in Sales will endure is that the same skills are required to run any company. You have to sell your staff, your investors, your suppliers, your distributers, and your ultimate customers. These require the human touch and empathy for each person who touches your product or service, from the supply chain to the distribution chain. It’s all sales.

Amazingly, Sales is rarely taught in the schools. Sales Management, where you add up numbers, produce reports, do trend analysis, and create projections is taught. But actual sales, where you farm for prospects, cold call, create relationships, learn the prospects business, gain the prospects trust, overcome objections, master communication, and close the deal, is generally not taught.

So now, the jobs that really can’t be automated are generally not being taught; you would be very hard pressed to find a degree in real sales. Yet these jobs are not only high-paying and in demand, but they will be around for at least the next 50 years.

What should one study to be prepared for a career in sales given that it generally does not have its own curriculum? The Liberal Arts, also known as the Humanities or Liberal Studies. Why? Because in our experience, the more you know about the other person and the better able you are to communicate with them, the greater the likelihood of making a sale whether that’s convincing them to take action, gaining their cooperation, or actually buying a product.

  • Sociology and Cultural studies will give you a respect for other cultures and their values. This is invaluable to establish essential relationships within an increasingly international market.
  • Literature, Composition, Speech, Debate and Critical Thinking will help you communicate with every “buyer” from your banker to your employee, and from your wholesaler to your customer.
  • History and Political Science will give you the big picture perspective, classic lessons learned over time, and will make you aware of the other person’s goals – all essential ingredients to making a sale.
  • Psychology and Philosophy will help you understand how other people think and why they make the decisions they do.

Sure, there’s more to sales than just the Liberal Arts, but it’s a great start. There is also a myriad of classes on line on sales and negotiation skills to help you with your sales career. But nothing tops actual experience, especially when your livelihood depends on it. You’ll learn the dos and don’ts pretty fast. We did.

So whatever you are taking in school, buy an insurance policy on long-term security by studying the Liberal Arts. You will be a lot less likely to be replaced by a robot!




Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.