Stop Selling and Start Teaching!

Why your business won’t grow in 2023

Professor Schwartz
9 min readFeb 23, 2023

What if I could teach you five things that have the power to persuade other people to do what you want them to do? Like buy your products and services. No, these aren’t Jedi mind tricks, but the fundamentals of sales skills.

Get a pen and paper — and get ready to take some notes because you’re going to back to the classroom to learn how to boost your sales in 2023.

Who needs to read this article? If you own a business, run a sales department, or want to become an entrepreneur — then you need to pay close attention.

The great thing abut Medium is that it allows you to “highlight” sections, so you can come back to them as reference points. I expect you to highlight a lot in this article.

So where do we begin?

Let’s talk about Apple. Why are there long lines wrapped around their retail stores every single time they launch a new product? Do you want to know their secret to getting attention and building demand for their products?

Stop Selling and Start Teaching

In order to unlock the Apple secret — we need to take a few steps back. What does every salesperson need before they make a sale? The answer is a sales “pitch.”

Let’s look at Apple’s sales pitch together. What are they selling you? Are they selling anything at all or are they teaching you? If you’ve never analzyed an Apple ad campaign, the first thing you realize is that Apple doesn’t sell its products. In some of their ad campaigns, they don’t sell anything at all.

In their famous “Think Different” ad campaign — they didn’t even talk about Apple products.

How can you replicate what Apple does and use it in your business?

What you need to learn is how to develop a better sales pitch. And in order to do that, you need to stop “selling” and start teaching.

But before we can dive deeper into that topic, there are three facts you need to know about me:

  • One, you need to know that I was one of the first school superintendents in America to adopt a 21st century skills curriculum for the K12 district I ran in NJ.
  • Second, I am a 21st century skills expert and a recognized expert in the field of education.
  • Three, I was invited to give expert testimony by the NJ Joint Legislative Committee on the Public Schools in 2017 to answer this question, “how do we fix our schools?” And then I was invited to speak in 2020 at the “Teachers for Good Trouble” virtual summit.

The reason you need to know those three facts is because one of my biggest issues with our current school system is that when you graduated from high school or college, you graduated with a false sense of knowledge.

In other words, our schools created a lot of work for you to do and because you did a lot of studying, homework and tests — you think you know a lot.

Here’s my point — do you know why your sales are flat or down in 2023? There are two reasons why your sales are flat in 2023.

Reason #1

You think you know your customer. The problem with graduating people from high school and college with a false sense of knowledge is that you carry that “assumption” with you into real life. If you want to boost your sales — you need to stop relying on what you THINK you know and start listening to your customers and audience.

Are you doing that?

Reason #2

The second reason your sales are flat is because you and your sales team do not know the fundamentals of sales. And it’s not your fault.

As an expert educator, it baffles me why we don’t teach 21st century sales skills in school. Since that’s where the professional teachers are located. Can you imagine how much more successful you could be if you learned 21st century sales skills in high school or college?

How to Boost Sales in 2023?

So far, we have analyzed Apple’s ad campaigns and you have learned you need a better sales pitch. You also learned that you and your sales team should learn the fundamentals of sales skills.

Get your pen and paper because that’s what we are going to go over right now. That’s right, you are going to learn the Five Pillars of 21st Century Sales Skills right now.

The Five Pillars of Sales

  • Pillar One — “The Pitch”
  • Pillar Two — The Lead
  • Pillar Three — The Obstacle
  • Pillar Four — The Offer
  • Pillar Five — The Close

If you notice the first pillar is the sales pitch. That’s because what you decide to communicate to your target customer will determine if they want to buy your product or service. If you choose to communicate the wrong information or in the wrong way — they will not be interested.

And being rejected by your potential customer isn’t a soft “maybe,” it’s more like a cold shoulder no.

If you want to boost sales in 2023 — you cannot afford to have a bad sales pitch.

I became a consultant in 2020, after spending 20 years inside the K12 system. The reason you need to know that is because most businesses never consider an educator as someone that could help them improve their business.

But you know three facts about me: 1) I adopted a 21st century skills curriculum 2) I am a 21st century skills expert 3) I’m a recognized expert in education.

That means I’m not like every other teacher or educator you ever met before. And first impressions are everything. When a business contacts me — they are shocked at how much they learn about their own business in our first meeting.

That’s because I give them a Business Check-Up using the five 21st century skills. And in that meeting, I ask to hear their “sales pitch.”

I want to know what the business is saying to their core customer. After I hear the pitch — I ask several key questions. I don’t need to know who your target audience is, that’s the point. You and your business need to know who your target audience is. So when I ask these key questions, what I’m doing is finding out how much you know about your customers.

How well do you listen to them? Are you meeting their needs? And do they want to buy from you?

What’s been the most interesting lesson from being a consultant is that I have seen that most businesses ignore their customers. It’s been eye-opening for a lot of CEOs and business owners to hear that they have been taking their repeat customers for granted. And that’s why it’s been so challenging to boost sales and also to attract new customers.

Best-selling author Seth Godin, wrote “Meatball Marketing” in XXX and in that book he talks about creating “word of mouth” sales for your company. Your best sales people are your current customers.

That’s how Apple gets lines out the door when they launch a new product.

All Apple needs to do is let their customers know something new is coming — and their target audience does the rest for them.

Consultants or Seminars?

There are only two ways for a business to grow and make itself more profitable in the future. You have to hire a consultant or you need to send your team to a seminar.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, a consultant can help your business tackle the unique challenges your business faces, but it can also be very expensive.

Or you can send your team to a seminar, which is a lot less expensive, but less customizable.

But what if you could combine the two?

What if there was a seminar that was customizable?

The Young Entrepreneur Summer Program

This summer Leaf Academy will be running the 1st Annual Young Entrepreneur Program. (July 10 — July 31, 2023)

This will be a four week seminar that business owners can sign up for or sign up their teams to attend. People that sign up will take 20 hybrid classes (“LIVE” and pre-recorded) and learn the fundamentals of 21st century skills, such as leadership, team building, problem solving, sales and communications skills.

Here’s a sneak preview of the 4-week program:

  • Week One — 21st century leadership/team building skills
  • Week Two — 21st century problem solving skills
  • Week Three — 21st century sales/communications skills
  • Week Four — Launch Week!

That means, you and your sales team will learn the Five Pillars of Sales during Week 3 of this summer program.

The reason that CEOs and business owners are looking closely at this summer program for their teams is that it gives businesses the overall development they want for their people, with the customization they get from hiring a consultant.

Here’s How the Summer Program Works

When you sign up, the first assignment is to fill out a “Big Idea” form. What this form asks is what is the “big idea” you want to work on during the summer program.

For a CEO or business owner — they can send their team into the summer program with a targeted focus. In the form, you can request to work with specific people — so CEO’s can keep their team together and learn the fundamentals of leadership, team building and problem solving skills together.

How much would you pay for a team building retreat?

But this summer program will be focused on working on your project. If you’re a CEO or a business owner concerned about boosting sales — you can sign your team up to solve that issue for your specific business.

That’s because learning the fundamentals of 21st century skills means you are learning how to apply these skills into your real world situation. There’s an old saying that says, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” This summer program will teach you how to fish.

Can you imagine sending your team into this summer program to work on one “big idea” or project, but having them come out 4-weeks later with the skills to solve any problem your company faces? If you’re the CEO of a large company — you can send multiple teams into the program to help them learn how to work better together.

That’s because during Week One — they will learn the Five Stages of Team Building.

Too Good to Be True

Typically when something is too good to be true, it certainly isn’t. That’s why you needed to know the 3 facts about me upfront. You already know that I’m a recognized expert. You already know that I am a 21st century skills expert.

What you don’t know is that when I adopted a 21st century skills curriculum for the K12 district I ran in NJ — the establishment thought I was crazy. And you won’t believe why?

There is an unspoken truth in education — that the curriculum schools use was written by GOD!

Yes, it’s true. School boards, superintendents and principals do not want to tinker with the curriculum because they all believe the curriculum is “untouchable.”

The truth is the curriculum was not written by GOD — therefore I changed it. End of story. I have been teaching 21st century skills for over a decade and it’s taken that long for a lot of school districts to take that risk and start to adopt more and more 21st century skills. (They are still afraid of the wrath of god).

But you’re a business person — you don’t believe in fairy tales and ghosts. You’re more level headed and know that your business depends on the skills of your team.

That’s why CEOs and business owners are not only considering signing up themselves for this Summer Program — but looking at sending their teams to work together this summer — with a specific project in mind.

That’s how you combine the value of a seminar with the power of customization.

Want to Learn More??

I know I’ve piqued your interest and you want to learn more. All of your questions will be answered on this page:

To recap, the Young Entrepreneur Program runs from July 10 — July 31, 2023. Participants will spend 4 weeks learning the fundamentals of all five 21st century skills in 20 hybrid classes.

After students learn the five 21st century skills in Weeks 1, 2 and 3 — they will apply their newfound knowledge into Launching their idea in Week 4. This is where you get to test out your new skills. You get to see what works and what doesn’t work.

There is no other business program that helps teams of people grow their skills together. There is no other business program that gives the value of a seminar with the power of customization.

Hope to see you this summer!!



Professor Schwartz

Helping people overcome obstacles in life, so they can build their wealth and empire | Performance Coach | Author | Speaker