An Engineer and a Sales Rep Walk Into a Bar…

by Nancy Nardin on November 21, 2011

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Quick, how many jokes can you think of about engineers and salespeople?

We all know that engineers have certain, ahem, personality traits. And salespeople are known for their own, very different “personalities.” Jokes aside, it’s those special traits that make for great engineers and great salespeople.

But personality differences between technical and non-technical types can sometimes cause friction within an organization. What we need is an “Engineers are from Venus, Salespeople are from Mars” book to help us understand each other better.

There will be soon! Babette Ten Haken of Sales Aerobics for Engineers is about to release her book on the very subject.

Called “Do YOU Mean Business? Technical / Non-Technical  Collaboration, Business Development and YOU” the book walks readers through what a collaborative, cross-functional mindset looks like and how it can be adapted, adopted and applied to impact a company’s revenue stream.

I’ve been a big fan of Babette’s program for several years. Through the Sales Aerobics for Engineers program, she teaches engineers, IT and technical staff to be “who they are” with one significant advantage: the ability to “simultaneously translate” engineering and technical jargon and deliverables into sales and marketing terms and deliverables. This skill set translates into productive, collaborative internal working relationships which positively impact the bottom line.

idea briefcase An Engineer and a Sales Rep Walk Into a Bar...Imagine how much more successful your company could be if engineers understood the language and nuances of sales and marketing better.

There’s no need to dread those Monday morning cross-functional, technical / non-technical meetings.Her program helps engineers learn about business development from the customer’s perspective as well as the perspective of colleagues in sales and marketing, seated across the table in those dreaded Monday meetings.

One of my favorite articles of hers is “Let’s play 20 questions: should the VP of Business Development run your next Engineering meeting?”

Engineers who master the art of sales and marketing are a highly valuable asset.  Imagine if 80% of your engineers had a good understanding of sales and marketing? Your company just might be that powerhouse you envision.

Check out Ten Haken’s unique program and watch for her book!

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