EDP lacks training in sales and leadership

In The Advocate-Messenger’s previous reporting, the EDP Chairman used memorable words from a comic book character’s famous quote when describing the size of the new EDP board; “Golly Gee Batman!” Golly Gee Batman? Seems appropriate however for describing the June 28 EDP budget meeting.

I’m sure many sales professionals cringed when the chairman counted $30,000 dollars received from memberships which don’t exist. Likely others cringed as well when another called the mayor’s questioning of counting dollars not yet received as “negative.”

It’s apparent “some” in our Economic Development Partnership need training in sales and leadership.

We are trying to sell a product called Danville-Boyle County. It’s an excellent product because reality and reputation proceeds us. However, the Economic Development Partnership became a product as well when it became a product to sell and its reputation also proceeds them.

Lesson number one, you don’t count a sale until the money is in hand. It’s not being negative it’s being responsible. Dollars pay the salesperson’s salary and you are doing the salesperson, especially the new salesperson, a disservice if you don’t correct this misunderstanding.

My training and experience in sales and leadership show the mayor’s question was not inappropriate. A sale isn’t a sale until money is in hand.

You can teach in a period of days to a week the knowledge and psychology of sales. However, the art of selling is learned through studious reflection and practice, on job training, repetition being the mother of learning. Leadership is the same.

Through leadership training you can bring about duplication of your efforts within your management teams. However, there is one area you cannot take the time or afford the risk and this is the area of telling the truth. Sales training is head knowledge but character and integrity is heart knowledge. Telling the truth is as important as selling the product.

If leadership and sales representatives won’t tell the community the truth how can prospective companies expect the truth?

EDP leadership talk a good game regarding teamwork, but walking the walk is their stumbling block and Achilles heel. However, the chairman’s example of “a dirty dog” regarding EDP leadership seems appropriate. Except our “dogs can’t hunt,” as a magistrate previously stated in public forum.

If Danville’s new motto is “Historically Bold,” should the EDP’s motto reference its example of leadership, perhaps the EDP chairman’s own words of “Golly Gee Batman?”

Randy Gip Graham

Danville