It’s amazing how far a person can go with a little persistence and encouragement. George Pastidis, Head of Sales Enablement Programs at Ericsson, and now author of the book, “90 Short Stories for Better Business”, can attest to this.
George has been an avid Linkedin user and would regularly update his blog posts with thought-provoking and insightful information. Through his extensive experience in the sales industry and encouragement from his peers, he began to compile his blog posts in preparation to turn them into his now published book, “90 Short Stories for Better Business”.
During the pandemic, a time when companies and individuals were going through immense and abrupt change, George found that the topics of his blogs began to lean heavily towards learning and development, and training.
Looking back to his youth, George was lucky enough to have not only an understanding mentor but also the opportunity to work in an environment that inspired and enable him to grow his skills and confidence at a young age. And it all started in the Scouts in Greece.
“I don’t think I would do the same job if it wasn’t for the Scouts. It was the Scouts, the first place I started presenting to a big audience. I started to get positive feedback, I reinforce the good skills I had that made me want to speak in public more and more.”
George also developed his passion for training while in the Scouts, having had the opportunity to train Scout leaders.
Part of the art of selling is storytelling
So how does his journey in sales relate to his book “90 Short Stories for Better Business”? Well, just like most stories you hear at a young age, you find a way to relate to them through your experiences. George found an interesting way to share his passion and knowledge in sales through storytelling and making a connection that salespeople would understand. At times, it's easier to understand something when you are able to anchor it to a feeling, memory or something personal.
As a salesperson, being able to sell through storytelling is a valuable skill to have, as it can help to form good relationships between a salesperson and their customers. This can also build upon a salesperson’s positive mindset in regard to being more authentic or client-centric. (Discover the positive behaviours every salesperson needs)
The past can shape your future
In episode 55 of the Sales Transformation Podcast, Philip Squire, CEO at Consalia, shared a memory from his youth with George regarding advice he was given, and an important moment he had with his manager after a turbulent time at the beginning of his career in sales.
“Thought, Feeling, Will… You’re feeling let down, you’re feeling as though you’re not meeting your targets, and he [mentor] said ‘Well where do your feelings come from? Your feelings come from thoughts’. He then moved on to will and said, ‘Where do you think will fits in?’... He was basically arguing the case, do you want to be happy, or do you want to be sad? So, you start off there. Start off with your will, and that will influence your thoughts, and then that will influence your feelings’… And you know these little things stick with you for a long time”.
A developing industry
It's easy today to lose track of your process, and you may often find yourself struggling to keep up with expectations. In this same conversation with Dr Phil, George gives his opinion on the state of sales today.
“Something that I have been upset about, is that people still in 2022, can study marketing, business administration and then specialise in marketing or finance. But sales is not really there. I’m sure that if we really look into some programmes at some universities we might find some sales-relevant programmes. But it must be so limited.”
George goes on to credit the Institute of Sales in Greece and sales leaders from his past such as Andy Hough, founder & Director of the Institute of Sales Professionals, for their tremendous contribution to the sales industry and for giving sales leaders the acknowledgement they deserve.
The Future of Sales
The sales industry has come a long way and has made great strides in the last few years. Perhaps by force due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, sales leaders like George are finding new ways to innovate, evolve and push the sales profession to new heights. Sales and institutes for education still have to come hand in hand in more areas around the world, but until then, we will continue to count on sales leaders like George Pastidis to lead the way and continue to contribute to the sales industry through their experiences and perhaps their stories.
Listen to George Pastidis' featured Sales Transformation Podcast for more details on his journey to becoming a top sales leader here:
Connect with George Pastidis on Linkedin
Order the book on Amazon: “90 Short stories for Better Business” on amazon today