Business Development Enters the Technical Expert’s Turf

Alice Wheaton, MA

Sales may not be what you were hired to do. But more and more, employers want their technical experts to broaden their horizons into promotion and marketing.

Increasingly, technical experts are being required to wear more hats. In addition to qualifying technically for their field, they are often expected to recognize opportunities for business development.

Some feel that this is selling, and completely out of their job description In fact, today most of us need to promote and grow the market for services or products we offer.

Technical experts, like other members of the business world, need skills for positive persuasion, for identifying and clarifying clients’ needs and for identifying the appropriate solutions.

Alice Wheaton, MA, has been providing sales-related training around the world to engineers, geoscientists and other technical experts in various industries such as robotics, automation, instrumentation, oil and gas technology, and software development.

She has written four books, one of which has been translated into three other languages. Her next book, due to be published early 2005, is titled Selling Skills for the Technical Expert. Also watch for an upcoming title: Cold Calling Strategies for Chickens, Cowards and the Faint-of-Heart. Alice’s use of humour helps lighten up a subject that makes some of us very nervous.

Since 1989, Ms. Wheaton has worked with corporations throughout North America, the Pacific Rim and Europe. She provides the knowledge and skills that help these corporations create new opportunities and close more sales. She is often booked a year in advance and booked for return engagements.

Ms. Wheaton is an inspirational, motivating and humorous presenter. Members of her audiences leave with specific tools that help them move to a higher level of performance. Her programs and presentation skills are consistently rated in the top five percentile.

She combines her constant quest for education with street smarts gained from 25 years of being a top performer in several industries. With an undergraduate degree and some work experience, she began her business career as the first woman on her team at Xerox Canada and within the first year, she earned the award salesperson of the year.

Ms. Wheaton subsequently earned her master’s degree in curriculum development and instruction, which provides a vital foundation for her customization of training programs and presentation.

She will be presenting at the APEGGA Professional Development Day in September in both Edmonton and Calgary. Her topics will be selling and influencing skills.

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