The “S” Word.
“I don’t want to come off as ‘sales-y.’”
How many of you sales pros out there have either thought this, even said it out loud? How many who are not a sales professional have thought of sales(wo)men as shifty? Untrustworthy? Dare I say it: sleazy? Oh, and all of you small business owners and entrepreneurs, I’m calling you out too; sales is an important requirement for a healthy business.
This must end here. Now.
So, this blog is really for all of us, and mostly for those of us who are sales professionals. A profession (my choice of descriptor) that is truly one of the most amazing, creative, capitalist (still a great word to say out loud!), and honorable choices to make as a career. By far, a profession that exudes freedom! Freedom from the shackles of the same paycheck, freedom from an office environment (where applicable), freedom of choice, freedom of relevance, freedom to contribute, freedom to explore any business that exists including your own if you choose to run the whole show. Freedom to make as much of yourself as you want.
So what happened to the word sales? I see so many of us running from this completely efficient label. “I’m not a salesperson, I’m a solutions provider.” Barf. Yes, you provide solutions that move others forward, that is one part. However, there is a transaction, a sale involved in that solution. A negotiation takes place. Agreements between human beings are formed. And is it really a solution if it hasn’t been contracted for, acquired, actually sold? It reminds me of the cliched brain teaser, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Let’s get into this a little deeper. It’s on you. Me. Us as (sales) professionals to make this shift to show that the sales profession is indeed the honorable one that we know it is. Sure, there are bad actors within all professions. Just ask an attorney, physician, accountant, teacher, journalist, even your priest. Plenty of jokes available here and we’ll just let them lie. Remember all those that began with “There was this traveling salesman…”. We can be the agents of change to earn the trust and respect our SIC deserves.
My coach has been challenging me to rewrite my value promise. Some of you out there call it an Elevator Pitch. I like her term, value promise, better. Elevators travel down. Not a good direction for humans. Part of my journey has been to conduct a series of market research interviews with the demographics I serve. What an amazing and eye-opening experience. These words come from that journey: relevance, mobility, clarity, success, wealth, recognition. Wow, just typing them here gets me fired up. And here’s the secret…these came from our youngest, least experienced brethren; you call them millennials and Gen Zs. I call them Emerging Sales Professionals. They see the value of us and them. Somewhere along the way many of us have lost ours.
This recalibration starts with Trust. We must commit ourselves to our prospects and clients agenda first. Over the next few months I’m going to be publishing blogs and videos on this movement. A movement to be proud, honorable, trustworthy brand advocates of the sales profession. Are you ready to join me? Let me hear your story of sales professional greatness.
“I guide emerging sales professionals to build trust, become more relevant, and surpass their competitors, thereby creating the ultimate personal, professional, and financial success for them and their businesses.” What could your next version of you, the emerging sales professional, be like if your approach was to focus on another’s agenda first? Here’s a link to start creating that discussion right now!
Be big. Be cool. Be hippo.
Ready to get started?