– How Do You And Others Feel About A Career In Sales –
“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the
salesman – not the attitude of the prospect.”
~W. Clement Stone
– Societal and Corporate Perception –
For centuries there has been a societal and even corporate attitude of shame associated with those in sales. People who dare to sell are often viewed as greedy opportunists, looking for any means by which to take the money of others, for the sole purpose of enriching themselves.
This is often reflected in the corporate culture as well. People in the sales department are many times considered a necessary evil by management, and a group of greedy employees who are vastly overpaid don’t and do any “real work” by members of other departments.
However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a team of Sales Professionals, in any organization, are doing more than their share of the heavy lifting.
Unfortunately, this attitude of shame permeates not only societal and corporate culture, but has crept into the selling culture itself. It is easy to allow yourself to get caught up in the false narratives regarding the field of sales. You must take the necessary measures, in order, to keep reminding yourself that you are a part of one of the best (yet difficult), honorable careers in society today.
Consider the title’s you see on business cards, and in the way HR defines new sales positions. Note how both go out of their way to avoid the “S” word.
You see job titles such as – Account Executive, Account Manager, Associate and many more, when in fact all of them are in sales. Why are Sales Professionals so ashamed to state their true job title?
Do they feel we will be looked down upon? Is that why they go to great lengths to escape the reality of what they do? You may call it whatever you want, but the fact is, you are in sales and should be extremely proud to say so.
– Sales Person vs Sales Professional –
It is important to understand that there are two very different classes in the sales arena, There are “sales people” and there are “Sales Professionals.” The sales person, like the carpetbaggers of the reconstruction era, has only their self in mind. The modern day carpetbaggers have little or no credible sales training, are looking opportunities to make a quick buck and move on. Some companies, unfortunately, train their employees this practice, even they most would deny it if asked.
Unlike the “Sales Person”, the attitude and motivation of a true “Sales Professional” is the prosperity and comfort of their clients. Selling Professionally means establishing a long-term, trust relationships with “Clients”, rather than short one-off sales to “Customers”. While the “sales person” neither knows or even cares about their customers, the sales professional understands that without relationship and trust there can be no long term success.
Companies who do not invest in continuing and ongoing sales training for their team will automatically find they have a team of modern day carpetbaggers.
However, the person who considers their self to be a Professional, but doesn’t invest in training outside what their employer provides, is also in the danger zone as well. If you are not willing to invest in improving yourself, why would anyone else be interested. The Sales Professional should be consistently reading, attending conferences and taking online classes as an investment in their future. Nearly every profession and many nonprofessional positions require updated skills training and continuing education. Why would sales be any different?
If you want to grow; if you want to be a professional, you MUST continue your education constantly. Companies and Sales Pro’s alike should understand and do this without question.
– Selling is Not a Job It’s a Profession –
Professional Sales is not something that just anyone can walk off the street and do, as many may think. To become a true Sales Professional requires training, experience and a heart for people.
Just as in any Profession, the true Sales Professional continues to train and learn how to improve their skill set. They are always looking for new and better ways to more effectively and efficiently serve their clients.
– Hiring the Wrong People –
When companies hire sales people, based on their technical or product knowledge it’s a nightmare for the Professional Sales Manager. It’s much more difficult, and expensive, to train a product expert to become a Sales Professional, that teaching a Sales Professional products or services.
If companies paid for performance rather than time, they would achieve greater revenue through reduce absenteeism, turnover and customer complaints. Two of the top reasons people leave companies is the lack of recognition and respect. To make this work, companies must hire quality team members and commit to ongoing sales training.
– The Value of True Sales Professionals –
Sales is the first section of an income statement for a reason. Without sales, there is no money, without money there is not company, therefore, the sales team at any company is the most important team in the organization.
Every sector of our economy depends on YOU doing your job. If you don’t sell, everyone from the shipping/receiving dock to the executive suite is out of work.
Sales Professionals understand more than most, that satisfied long-term clients are the life blood of any company. They go the extra mile to insure their clients get the best possible solution at a reasonable price, and always strive to provide more value than is expected.
Commissioned Sales Professionals, in a properly structured company, are the only group in an entire business who contribute only to profit and nothing to cost. Every dollar invested in the sales team is offset many times over by the profit they generate.
– The Importance of Attitude in Sales –
If you buy into the negative rhetoric regarding the profession of selling, you are doomed. You cannot survive, if you believe yourself to be anything less than vital to your client’s success and happiness. The driving force behind this feeling is your attitude toward your profession. Your prospects, and what clients you manage to get, will intuitively know how you feel about what you do and the products and services you offer. Regardless of how hard one may try to hide their feelings, true emotion always leaks out. It shows in your body language and in your voice.
There is a very visible code of nonverbal behavior that leaks out when someone who doesn’t believe in themselves, what they do, or the company, product or service they represent. This behavior creates an incongruence between what you are saying with your words and what your nonverbal communication is telling them.
– Powerfully and Confidently Presenting Your Message –
Since the prospects and clients with whom you deal are not likely trained in accurately reading and understanding nonverbal communication, it is very possible for you to put off signals that can be badly misread. For example, your prospect may subconsciously associate the nonverbal signals your are sending as a lack of confidence or dishonesty in or about your products and services, when in fact, the problem is not product or service quality, but rather a lack of confidence in yourself or your presentation. This leaves your prospect in a state of mental friction because what they are consciously seeing and hearing is out of sync with what they are subconsciously seeing and hearing. The result of most of these exchanges will be failure because when the conscious and the subconscious conflict, the subconscious wins almost every time.
If you learn how to read the nonverbal communication of others you will gain insight into the true feelings of the other person. You can recognize hidden emotions that the other person is trying to conceal. This is powerful because it then allows you to discover the source of those emotions and hopefully bring out the truth as to how they feel and how to reconcile or relieve those emotions that could hinder them from making the decision that is best and right for them.
Knowing how to utilize powerfully positive nonverbal communication makes it easier for people to like and trust you. When you display proper nonverbal communication that is consistent with your verbal message you instantly become more credible, powerful, trustworthy and charismatic in your presentation.
Most importantly, be sure that what you DON’T say (nonverbal communication) is congruent with what you DO say. When you do this you reduce mental friction in the prospect and allow your message to easily flow directly into the emotional centers of their brain, where almost all decisions are made.
– In Summary –
As you go out into the world today, wear the badge of Sales Professional proudly, let people know that you are a Sales Professional and proud to be so. Remember, the best most lucrative investment you can make it to invest in yourself, continuously seeking out new ways to improve. If you work for someone else encourage them to invest in you and your fellow professionals. It’s an added bonus if they do,but if not, do it yourself because ultimately no one is responsible for your success other than you.
“Be Great…Because Nothing Else Pays!”
~ Grant Cardone
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