If – like me – you have spent any time selling products or services – then sometimes, just sometimes – you see someone roll their eyes, or maybe look down their nose at you – when you say you are in 'Sales.'
They are stereotypically judging you because of a negative experience that they would have received from a sales person, a telemarketing company and everything else that gets jumped in to the term 'Sales'.
But, let's face it – we all work in Sales. Whether you are on reception, delivering, driving, picking, packing, accounts, HR, payroll – you are all selling. You are selling yourself, the company, the brand and your values.
Herein lies the problem – we all need to start to put Sales in a positive light – by doing things RIGHT;
- Be truthful.
- Be respectful.
- Be professional.
- Be friendly.
- Listen to needs.
- Provide a solution.
- Deliver on time.
- Build a relationship, always follow up.
And let's start changing opinions – one person at a time...
There is NOTHING wrong with being a Salesperson.
I have been a hired gun nearly all of my working life. Selling for businesses that I represent and being rewarded richly for that service.
My style of selling has always been in building trusted, long standing and mutually beneficial relationships with clients, introducers and partners – in a relaxed manner and – whilst building my own personal brand along the way – doing the very best job I could do for my employer.
So, I know the problem with Sales as an industry isn't with me.
And I am sure that you – our lovely readers or listeners – are not responsible for giving Sales a bad name.
But – I can guarantee – we all know people that do.
I know you are thinking of someone now –that person who went in heavy on their pitch, or tried to force your hand with underhand tactics or just would not get the hint that you are JUST NOT INTERESTED!
The problem we have – is not us – the people who have had experience of good and bad sales people and can tell the difference and choose wisely.
The problem we have is that students now leaving education and in to careers – do not consider Sales as a viable option.
This is in a large part due to the bad name of Sales, given by the noticeable few – but also due to the rise of people aspiring to what they deem as more.
However, I would argue that a decent Sales career in a reputable organisation (and why would you sell for a product or business you didn't believe in?) has fantastic opportunities within that –both financially and in terms of personal development – plus in times of difficulty, the (decent) sales person is hardly ever the first to go!
By following a career in Sales you will learn how to develop better relationships, that offer mutual value and learn how to connect with people from all walks of life and at all levels of a business or organisation. You will also grow your own personal profile and build your own unique transferrable network of people so that one day – you may decide to take the leap and do your own thing.
I have made it a focus to begin speaking engagements to Year 11 students at schools to engage them on what a decent Sales career can look like and I encourage you – the people that fly the flag for respected sales professionals – to join me on my crusade
I refuse to let the bad few destroy an industry that has given me every opportunity in life.
So, this month, I encourage you – even beg you – to do the right things when selling – you will not only be positively increasing your reputation - but also the reputation of your business, your products, your services and your industry.
Go on – fly the flag and say it proud My name is......... and I work in Sales! :)
Have a fantastic month ahead & I look forward to catching you again next month!
As always – please feel free to share your experiences, questions and feedback on Twitter - @NickElston_ = I will be always delighted to hear from you.
Nick Elston, Signable.