Why has “sales” or “sales person” become cringe worthy words?
I have been in a sales oriented role since I was 16 years old. Actually even longer if you really think about it, and most likely you have too.
You see all of us are in and have been in a sales role. If you have ever attempted to persuade someone in your level of thinking, adopt your idea, or grant you permission; you were selling.
Take for instance when you were a child and you wanted that extra cookie before dinner. You may put on that look with your eyes wide open looking up at your parent and ask for that cookie. You may share with your parent in a way, “the benefits”, of allowing you to have that cookie. Maybe that if they did, you promise to be a better boy or girl. Or you may say, “Just one, please.” Granted that type of “selling” is more self serving.
However, let’s take an example of a Christian Pastor. He strongly believes in what he believes. (And for the record I am also a man of faith) He will share the truth as he knows it from the bible. Part of his passion is to share the good news, and for everyone to join the Creator in heaven and not perish. He strives to share the truth from the bible in a way most may understand in an effort to help his congregation to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and go out and serve and love others.
Now let’s take another example, political beliefs. I know, they say that politics and religion is something most should steer clear of in more professional conversations, as well as with family. However, many have a strong and clear stance on their political beliefs, and they desire for others to believe the same. Some may even go to great lengths to share and strive to convince others. All you have to do is look on social media these days. Maybe this may present another negative connotation to “sales” or a “salesperson” Regardless it is a form of selling as you are seeking to convince others to believe and think the way you do, and often you may think it is the best way of thinking as well.
Whether a fair example of selling or a more self serving example of selling, how did it get more of a negative “wrap” Maybe it was that door to door salesman that focused so hard on selling you, and spoke just of product information trying to convince you to buy without really knowing your needs or wants. Maybe you purchased a “lemon” product and felt you paid too much and the after the transaction, service an follow up was very poor. Maybe you bought something on emotion or at the “spur of the moment” without knowing the features, benefits or limitations of the product or service because the sales person didn’t take his or her time and didn’t value integrity as well you do. Maybe what you purchased was promised by your sales person to do something that it really doesn’t do, or it broke shortly after you purchased it, and there was a no return policy you were not made aware.
The above examples are not an enjoyable experience. And let me tell you, even if a “professional sales representative” provides excellent service and follow up, their customer often may tell a friend or neighbor. However, if a sales representative provides poor service and follow up, a customer will tell a neighborhood.
There is a difference between a self serving sales representative and what I often call a “Sales Professional”, or “Sales Champion” or “Trusted Advisor”, or “Assiduous Recommender” You see, people that work with these type of people, actually enjoy the buying process. They rarely ever feel “sold to”, they experience the benefits and enjoy the process of buying. It’s the “Win/Win” mentality of selling. The “Sales Professional” not only wins by achieving a sale of a product or service they sincerely believe in, the customer wins by enjoying the true features and benefits that make a positive impact on them well above the price of the product or service.
A professional sales person, or what I often term as a “Sales Champion” thinks of his or her client first and foremost. And striving to a be a “Sales Champion” is a great occupation and often very rewarding career to have. They disarm the thought process of the negative aspects that have been given to sales.
Let’s think about it for a moment. We live in a democracy oriented government where capitalism is encouraged. Sales is a necessity in our country. So how do we better remove the negative thought processing of selling or being sold? Again, sales professionals must think like a “Sales Champion”, and a “Trusted Advisor”, or “Assiduous Recommender.”
These very knowledgeable professionals meet with their prospects and clients to truly listen to them. Learn about the history of their client’s business. Understand their obstacles, challenges, goals, objectives and dreams. Often not just professionally, but personally too.
A “Trusted Advisor” or “Sales Champion that we will just call “Assiduous Recommender” asks good questions and listens attentively and empathetically while taking good notes. They do their research, analysis, and make suggestions, provide advice, and make appropriate recommendations that will truly make a positive impact in their customer’s business and personal life.
“Assiduous Recommender’s” make recommendations that can be tracked and measured with an outlined “Road Map” to and of success that will meet the objectives and stay within budget. They know if their client is a success by utilizing their recommendations, they will be a success too. Zig Ziglar once said it very well with a quote something like this” “If you help enough people get what they want or need, your will eventually get what you want or need” It’s about wisely serving your clients, and what you send out, will naturally return.
“Assiduous Recommender’s” understand that time is also money. It is priceless as you cannot buy more time. However, you can and should respect the time of your client as well as your own time. Remember, your time is also valuable. “Assiduous Recommender’s” set proper expectations and are of a high level of integrity and have a high level of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). They propose agendas for every call and every meeting. They explain the process of their product and/or service. They set expectations of the implementation process. They delegate appropriately to their resources and follow up, while keeping their client’s updated and well informed.
To learn more about “Assiduous Recommenders” and how to enjoy the benefits for both yourself and your customers so they enthusiastically enjoy the buying process from you, feel free to reach out to me. Or ask about my latest book, “The Assiduous Recommender”.