It’s interesting to me how many of us are addicted to buying stuff; love it, enjoy it, plan for it, celebrate and brag about the goods and services we buy. Yet, in the same breath, so many of us hold the sales person in such disdain. Great sales people are necessary for the success of your business and mine.
Accept my notion for the moment, that many of you would rather have all your teeth pulled than have a career in Sales. I can think of a couple of reasons why this is: imbalance of power and jealousy.
Imbalance of Power – I get to Eat Your Lunch
Any time you deal with someone who has more knowledge and skill than you in a certain area, a lawyer, your car mechanic or yes a professional sales person, it can leave you feeling vulnerable. Sales folks specifically have the power to persuade you to do something that is not potentially in your best interest, like buying that cute little Time Share.
I’m not Jealous…really I’m not
Sales people who are good at what they do usually make more money than Doctors or Judges, definitely more than Teachers. For someone not in business, this thought can make them curl up their lips and go green with envy. Let’s face it, the distribution of life’s spoils tend to favour celebrities, pro athletes and sales people, go figure.
But crapping on sales people is bad Karma and let me tell you why…
Without someone taking initiative in business development, whether it’s within a sales organization or a CEO fundraising for a not for profit agency, all subsequent activity catalyzes off of a sale. Hold your nose, yes its true. Without a sale in place, the technical and administrative types that chortle on about evil sales types would be looking for their lunch at food banks.
The reason we are skeptical of sales folk is, on occasion, they abuse their power, manipulating people to do things they don’t want to do, or deeply offending prospective customers in an attempt to get them to buy. Brutal…We all have these stories we carry around to support this position around sales folks.
Why does the sales process go sideways? There are a few reasons:
- People getting saddled with selling a crappy product
- Folks lacking the tools needed to conduct business development in an ethical and effective manner
Sociopaths are self-explanatory (yuck). Folks who are saddled with a weak product offering to sell often suffer over ethical considerations and then leave the profession. But most people simply lack the key tools to succeed in business development. The key skill is simply how to ask a good question. You see, the best sales people in the world, no matter what profession, have the ability to ask great questions and to analyze and assess situations for their true nature. Most good sales people are quiet, analytical and reflective by nature.
Great sales people do not pursue the sale, they pursue the truth…