Critical thinking is what you were developing in school.  And YOU thought you were merely studying math, or history, or literature! Simply put, critical thinking is being able to figure things out.

Or, as the Foundation for Critical Thinking says, it is “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”

Critical thinking is a practical matter

Critical thinking is a threshold skill for jobs today. However, many employers say it is missing in new college graduates. According to a survey by PayScale, 60% of managers claim the new graduates taking jobs in their organizations don’t have the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they need for the job.

These skills are also necessary when charting a course for a successful future. Anticipating what lies ahead requires critical thinking.  Daniel Decker, President of Higher Level Group, says the ability to look ahead and predict an outcome means understanding the relationship between cause and effect. Then, it’s knowing how to use this knowledge to think things through and decide upon a course of action.

Forget your C average, it doesn’t define you

A previous article on this blog noted that research has found that receiving good grades in school doesn’t necessarily predict success in sales. Nor does a college education.

Executive Coach Robert Chen recommends “learn sales” as one of 10 Great Tips for Success in Life and Business. Chen writes: “Sales is nothing more than persuading someone of something. When you are looking to get a date, you are selling. When you are interviewing for a job, you are selling. When you are trying to persuade your spouse or kids to go to Europe for your family vacation, you are selling. In a professional setting, sales is paramount and the lifeline for any business. If you want to get the most out of life and business, learn the skills for effective selling.”

Learn sales, build your thinking muscle

So, breathe a big sigh of relief if you simply have an average ability for critical thinking, a/k/a, figuring things out. A successful future can be yours.

The Virtanza course teaches a consultative approach to sales. This approach mirrors the critical thinking process and strengthens the ability to do it. The Virtanza process:

  • Pre-sales call planning and research: Know as much as possible about the prospective customer. (Gather information)
  • Needs assessment: Understand the customer’s challenges and objectives. This leads to a proposed plan and a sales agreement. (Analyze and synthesize)
  • Develop a proposal to address the customer’s challenges and needs. Describe a clear return on investment. (Conceptualize)
  • ROI: Negotiate, close, and execute, creating an ongoing win/win for salesperson and customer. (Act)

That’s just a taste. The Virtanza program includes a five-week series of interactive, instructor-led sales certification webinars. In addition, students receive three weeks of career coaching and job placement assistance. Virtanza team members assist graduates in launching new careers. Graduates receive coaching and advice as they actively search for sales roles targeted to their strengths.

Virtanza is also available for college students as a two-hour college credit course. The course is available to colleges as a result of an evaluation and recommendation for college credit by The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®). The recommendation is specific to the lower-division baccalaureate/associate degree category in business communications, sales, or marketing.

Click here to visit the Virtanza website for additional course details

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