Getting told the same thing differently over and over again is very tiring.

That's why I spent my time listening to over 20 TED talks, all to choose the three best sales TED talks so you wouldn't have to do it!

3 Sales Ted Talks You Need to Watch

What makes them unique is that they aren't just about sales. Instead, they’ll help you dig deeper into what makes the people you need to convert tick.

They're very brief, interesting, and highly informative. You can listen to each of them while you take breaks from calling prospects or responding to your client's emails. It’s like having a bite-size of your favorite snack - except you don't have to worry about calories.

Instead, you're gaining master ninja sales tips!

The Three Best Sales TED Talks

Get Motivated with Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk - The Art of Asking

Some people have spent years perfecting their ability to ask anyone for anything at any time without feeling awkward. Amanda is one of them. After working as a self-employed artist, she learned quite a lot about how to get a positive response by asking properly.

This Sales TED talk will transform the way you interact with your target audience, prospects, and or clients:

“Stop asking "how do we make" people [do X]. Instead, start asking "how do we let" people listen [do X].”

This sales TED talk calls for a mindset shift. Instead of seeing asking as enforcing, we should see it as trusting.

How to Apply this TED Talk to Your Sales Process

The new product your company put out isn't making as many sales as you had imagined it would.

Instead of sitting back with your team meeting after meeting, trying to see what can be done, peel off the thin veil and face your prospect directly. What was it you did that put them off? Why did they feel like you weren’t the right fit?

Ask what. Ask how. Ask why.

This TED talk isn’t really about money. It’s about another important factor in sales - courage. Just imagine the prospects you could turn into loyal customers if you could just ask.

Make that call or send that email today!

2. Familiarity and Surprise with Derek Thompson - The Four-Letter Code to Selling Anything

"To sell something familiar, you have to make it surprising. To sell something surprising, you have to make it familiar."

According to Derek, the four-letter code to sell anything was formed by Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design, who took one look at Manhattan while in a skyscraper elevator after WWI and decided then and there that he was going to use his creative imagination to innovate in America.

And boy, did he do so! Raymond went on to become the 20th-century designer of the Coca-Cola fountain, modern sports cars, the interior of the first NASA spaceship, the Greyhound bus, and the famous egg-shaped sharpener!

His grand theory of popularity, a.k.a the four-letter code, is MAYA: Most Advanced Yet Acceptable.

This space where familiarity and novelty meet in the middle is called HITS: familiar surprises. But how do you balance familiarity and surprise in a way that provokes HITS (a.k.a things people love)?

How to Apply This TED Talk to Your Pitch

In B2B sales, how do you relate with your prospects in a way that makes them fall in love with your brand and offer?

The key is in selling something familiar but making it appear surprising. Or selling something surprising and making it familiar.

Remember Blackberry? Before brands such as iPhone completely changed the game, this Canadian brand was one of the top names in the industry. Although Blackberry couldn't compete, they didn't give up.

Instead, they leveraged their status as a familiar brand. People recognized them for device security, so it was easy for them to move into the security world and become cybersecurity specialists and developers of operating systems used in cars, medical devices, and air traffic controls.

Derek's refreshing take and ability to use historical moments to educate us on a sales positioning formula that will always work make this TED talk more than worthwhile!

3. Keisha Brewer- It's Not Manipulation, It's Strategic Communication

"What you say is just as important as how you say it."

As a sales professional, you've probably been in a situation where you're trying to convince your prospect to purchase a product, but they’re just not buying it.

How can strategic communication strengthen your sales pipeline?

Keisha defines strategic communication as "communicating with purpose while showcasing values to achieve a goal."

When it comes to B2B sales, it can help you evoke specific responses from your target audience. Ultimately, you’ll create mutually beneficial situations.

How to Use Strategic Communication in Sales

So, how do you successfully sell your product to a prospect?

Here's what Keisha suggests:

  • Identify the goal.
  • Know your audience.
  • Communicate the value.
  • Express the need.

This list may look easy or like something you already know (which you probably do), but that's what makes it very important. It's so easy to get too familiar with a thing that you almost forget its value.

Every time a call with a prospect somehow goes off course, and you end up missing instead of making a point, it's probably because you failed to identify the goal.

According to the latest statistics, in the US, 48.4% of the B2B companies that started in 2017 failed by 2022. The most obvious reasons, to Keisha Brewer, have to do with strategic communication. They didn’t understand their audience, communicate the value, or express the need saliently enough.

Get together with your sales team and run a few role-play games to identify what’s missing from the way you communicate with prospects.

Keisha's delivery game is on point, so her words and her wicked sense of humor really make for a fun and insightful time. Let’s face it: being in B2B isn’t easy, so a good laugh now and then is good for the soul!

Best Sales TED Talks: Personal Note

I hope you enjoy these videos and learn a thing or two from this post on how to better interact with other people; not just your prospects and clients, but your friends and your favorite barista, too!

And remember: being a sales professional isn’t just about sending more cold emails (although awesome icebreakers can help). It’s about understanding the psychology behind the sale.

Grab some popcorn and get to watching! (Or, if you prefer reading, check out the best B2B sales books for 2024.)