A few weeks ago, I received some sad news. My great aunt passed away at the age of 104, that's right, 104! Imagine the things she has witnessed.
Our most recent presidential election was the 26th in her lifetime, elections that have produced 16 different presidents beginning with Herbert Hoover.
She survived two global pandemics.
She saw the beginning and end of prohibition (not to mention the rise and fall of Al Capone).
Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic when she was 11.
She was born at the onset of World War I and was 29 when WWII ended.
A huge Detroit Tigers baseball fan, she saw Ty Cobb play against Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
She witnessed the invention of television, the birth of air and space travel, the computer, the internet, and countless other technological and commercial advances that changed the course of history.
The list goes on and on.
As I reflect on what she has lived through, I couldn’t help but think about how business and, specifically, the selling profession has evolved over the years, especially this year.
In our sales training sessions, we parallel Darwin’s 1859 Theory of Evolution with business and salespeople. Darwin describes a world in which
"Organisms must continue to grow in a profitable direction and develop new skills and traits or perish, …a world in which the surrounding conditions for life can, suddenly and drastically, improve or take a turn for the worse.”
If we substitute the words “organisms” with "businesses" or "salespeople" and “life” with “selling," his message could not be more accurate than what we as salespeople face today.
How can we adapt to the changing times and ensure we as businesses and salespeople survive in this latest evolution period?