My friend Steve Subar, CEO of Open Kernel Labs, made an interesting point over dinner the other night. “Do you realize you can’t major in selling at any business schools? You can major in accounting, or marketing, or finance, or economics, but not in selling.”
To test Steve’s assertion, I did a little searching. It turns out you can major in sales management at a number of business schools, but I couldn’t find any majors in selling. As anyone who’s ever been around sales organizations knows, there is a big difference in the job of selling and the job of managing sales people. So, as far as I could tell, Steve was right.
Pretty ironic, since sales ability seems to be one of the greatest career differentiators out there. Need proof? Go look at any law firm, insurance agency, financial advisory firm, dental practice, auto dealership, restaurant, software company, real estate firm, etc … just about any type of company, in any type of industry … and you will most often see that the people with the most lucrative and most satisfying careers have been successful at selling.
Are Steve and I wrong? Can you get an MBA with a major in selling? If not, does it matter?
People are always saying that it is ludicrous that medical schools don’t focus enough on teaching future doctors about nutrition. Add to the mix that business schools don’t teach about enough about sales.