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by Phil Stubbs | @PhilStubbs14 | LinkedIn

Back in 2005 a month before Liverpool came back from 3-0 down to AC Milan to win the Champions League, I was managing a local reserve team. We found ourselves 3-0 at half time in a cup match and as we sat in the changing room, having a half time cup of tea – I looked round at the players. There weren’t lots of blank, resigned faces looking back at me and a look of frustration – just what I need to see. I gave them a rallying team talk before they went back out and with five minutes of the second half left we had turned the game round and were winning 4-3. Through injury I had to make a final substitution and I was named as third sub. On I trotted thinking I was just making a short cameo role as we saw out the game – damn! The other team equalised in the dying seconds.

Extra time didn’t produce a winner so it went to penalties, one by one, both sides were slotting home their penalties and at 8-8 our opponents missed. So, we had the chance to win the cup tie and it was my turn – I picked up the ball, walked over to one of my younger players that hadn’t yet taken a penalty and said “No point me taking this, I’ve had my career – this is your moment. Go win us the game”. He did and was the talk of the clubhouse that night.

I come across many self-proclaimed sales trainers and so-called social experts that I think, had they been in the same position as me – they would have taken the deciding penalty and if successful, told everyone how great they were. If they had missed they would’ve blamed the remaining players that hadn’t ‘stepped up’.

There is far too much ‘self-loving’ going on for my liking. It’s ‘look at me, I’m amazing, I’m the best sales trainer there is – I know everything’. In the pre-internet era (yes, there was such a time) whenever we had a sales trainer preaching to us we would all think ‘failed salesman’. We assumed they had once been in sales but through lack of success had resorted to training. Fair play, at least we had some respect for them – they had actually sold something.

Fast forward to our online enriched existence – I’m seeing sales trainers that haven’t even had a sales job! I saw a profile recently on LinkedIn and the person had crammed their hero image (that’s the banner that sits behind your photo) with lots of ‘look at me, look at what I’ve won’ and ‘I’m number 1 at xyz’ I scrolled down to their experience – one job! And that job? Being a sales trainer.

How on earth can someone have pedigree if they fail to add details of their career on LinkedIn? I immediately click away from profile like that and go and look at pictures of cats or what someone had for lunch. Far more interesting. The same can be said for many social selling experts – terrible profiles, no social presence and not a twitter account in sight.

If you have a requirement to get some help with sales and social – make sure the person you choose isn’t from the ‘I love me’ brigade.

The trainer I mentioned obviously gets away with it otherwise they would have to say they were number 2.

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