Traditionally, higher learning institutions in the United States have been resistant to teaching sales. As late as 2007, there were only 44 colleges and universities that had some sort of sales program (major, minor, emphasis or certification). Part of this was due to a commonly held belief that success in sales is a personality trait and not a teachable skill. How often have you heard the phrase “born salesman?” While it’s true – like any other skill – some people are more naturally adept at sales than others, sales are absolutely teachable with a proper curriculum and program.
Thankfully, this outdated view of sales education is changing rapidly. As graduates enter the job market, they are realizing how many opportunities there are in sales and educational leaders are coming around to my thinking and embracing sales education. In 2013, there were 100 colleges and universities with sales programs, a 250% increase in just six years. In the next tally of sales education programs, conducted by DePaul University and set to be released soon, there will be more than 150.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of about what it takes to succeed in sales. Get involved. This is something I tell my students every year. The people who are successful after they leave school are not necessarily the ones with the highest grades; it’s the students who got the most out of the four years at the University. The activities, clubs and organizations you get involved with outside of the classroom are just as important as what you do inside the classroom.
Get practical experience. We tell every student who wants to go into sales that they need to get some practical experience before they leave the University. That experience could come in the form of an internship, getting involved in the Sales Center or getting a job with a company while you are at school. These activities will set you apart as a job candidate and convince prospective employers that you can hit the ground running without extensive training – something that’s extremely important to companies today.
Learn to be a problem solver. Sales are evolving; it’s not just about going in and selling products and services. Today’s sales professional needs to think like a doctor. When you go see a doctor, the first thing they do is start asking questions to figure out what is wrong with you, then give ou the best solution to your problem. That’s what today’s salesperson needs to do for their clients. It’s about building a relationship, asking the right questions and providing solutions.
Be able to handle rejection. In any sales job, you’re going to get rejected far more often than you get a sale. You must learn to deal with rejection and not take it personal.
Customer service is everything. I can’t emphasize enough how important good, responsive customer service is to an effective sales strategy. That’s how you can earn the lifetime customer relationships that are the foundation of your company’s growth.
Take advantage of technology. Here’s one area in which my students are far more advanced than I am. New technologies are developing at a rapid pace and, if utilized correctly, can be a huge advantage in prospecting. A lot of companies have learned effective ways to use their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and website together as a powerful prospecting tool.
Make It A Champion Day!

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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