Sales and Sales Management Blog

May 4, 2007

Selling as a Profession

Filed under: motivation — Paul McCord @ 9:29 am

Like many of you, I have many roles that I must fill.  I am a sales trainer and coach; I am a sales management consultant; I am a writer and speaker; and I am a salesperson.  As the owner of a sales training and management consulting company, I don’t have the luxury of concentrating on just one function.  And, I’m sure most you don’t either.

But as we look at the various functions we must fill, we must keep in mind what it is that is our primary function.  And no matter what our title—account rep, REALTOR, loan officer, financial planner, producing manager, manager, sales rep, attorney, accountant or whatever, we must be ever mindful that our primary job is selling—keeping the business open and healthy.  We are the production force for our company, whether that company consists of just ourselves or tens of thousands of employees.

Yet, I find that many of the people I work with and speak to want to be anything but salespeople.  They go out of their way to adopt titles that minimize their selling responsibilities.  An examination of their business cards gives no clue as to their primary function.  Speak with them and they never use the words sales, selling or salesperson.  They use euphemisms, they use industry jargon, or they just plain avoid a direct discussion of their role. 

Some, when asked directly, will freely admit that they don’t want to be identified or associated with selling and sales.  They view themselves as professionals in their industry who on occasion must unfortunately act as a salesperson.  But during these most uncomfortable of moments, they still refuse to address their role directly.  They are embarrassed to collect the necessary data to complete an order or have a new client sign a contract. 

Such action is self-defeating.  Without a clear understanding and appreciation for what one’s primary function is, it is difficult to be successful at it.  And very possibly confusing for the client.  The client is well aware that they are in the process of purchasing a product or service.  They know the person in front of them is trying to sell them something.  Yet, when that person gives the impression that they are uncomfortable selling the product or service, what message does that send to the client?

We are participants in an honorable profession, one that has been the backbone of most societies for thousands of years.  We are the ones who feed and clothe the world.  We’re the ones that allow the government to run, who allow the corporations to thrive and to hire all those millions of workers, who allow researchers to find new cures and develop new technologies, and who have allowed the quality of life improvements that have literally changed the way people live.  We are the force that “makes the world go ‘round.”

The next time you feel hesitant about identifying yourself as a sales professional, keep in mind the role you play in the world’s economy.  And keep in mind that your client knows you’re a salesperson whether or not you want to identify yourself as such or not. 

To be effective in your job you must know who you are.  You’re a professional.  You’re the one who allows your family, your neighbor—and that prospect to live the life they live. 

If you’re not comfortable with who you are as a sales professional, why should your prospect be comfortable buying from you?

Advertisements
TrackBack URI

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: