This morning’s presentation by Rick Carlton of the CEB (Corporate Executive Board) was truly excellent and well worth the time spent. His presentation, on “Challenger Selling” has the group still talking half an hour after he left the room. The premise of the presentation turns traditional sales thinking on it’s head. For decades now, most of us have based our sales philosophy on “relationship selling” and the idea that clients buy from people they like, and we have confused that with the salesperson being likeable. But an enormous amount of well-presented market research shows that we failed to really probe for why those salespeople are liked – and that the salespeople who challenge the client’s thinking are the long-term winners. It really bore out what a lot of us think about sales in the Rental and Staging portion of the industry. Its a long concept to go into, but I was fortunate enough to get Rick to agree to be an upcoming guest on “The Week” – so watch for it. And in the meantime, let me highly recommend their book, “The Challenger Sale”, which a number of us in the room immediately downloaded to our ipads and Kindles.