Traditional conferences and lectures geared towards sales focus too much on personal motivation and not enough on strategy. Many sales departments are still following the motivation paradigm, and this often results in overconfident salespeople who ignore the finer points of modern selling. The consumer mindset has changed in recent years; sales managers whose strategy is centered purely on applying various degrees of pressure will not succeed in the current marketplace. Here are three TED talks that sales representatives should watch in order to understand the current business climate and its opportunities:

Language and Thought Processes by Lera Boroditsky

All sales professionals know that they work in a field that demands effective communications, but not all of them are aware of the sheer power of spoken language. Lera Boroditsky is a researcher in the field of cognitive science, and her TED talk on the way language becomes a tool of persuasion can help sales representatives understand why their pitches are not making their intended impact. An important takeaway from this TED lecture is the concept of language as an organism that can be honed to achieve sales goals.

Ernesto Sirolli and the Art of Listening

The best way to help prospective buyers is by listening to what they have to say. Salespeople who fail to consciously listen are missing out on many opportunities; moreover, they are not finding out the needs of their target audiences. Ernesto Sirolli has been providing strategic advice to global corporations for decades, and his seminal 2012 TED talk on the subtle practice of conscious listening has been viewed more than three million times. For many sales managers who are familiar with Sirolli’s philosophy, the best selling strategy consists of enticing prospects with marketing materials that explain how their needs and opinions are being evaluated.

Rachel Botsman: Trust and Technology

All sales transactions require a certain level of trust. Real estate agents, for example, understand that it is their job to make sure that all parties who sit at a closing table will need to trust each other before the transaction can be completed. The problem with trust in the 21st century is that it is highly dependent on technology, an aspect of modern life that not all consumers trust. Rachel Botsman explains how the perception of trust, which is ultimately more of a choice than a rationalization, is changing through technology.