As I was thumbing (or should I say “Indexing”) through some inspirational material for today’s post I found an interesting article from the Harvard Business Review titled “The Most Important Predictor of Sales Success” and author Philip Delves Broughton awakened a question that I feel in the pit of my stomach all too often as a Sales Professional. “Why do people dislike what I do so much?”
We have all had at least one experience with that shady used car salesman or the fast talking door knocker but the reality is, rarely does a day go by that we don’t interact with some type of Sales Person. So why is it that the bad experiences out weigh the positive and neutral experience to enforce a general negative connotation towards Sales Professionals?
I get he hang ups and the not interested, I even get the call me next quarter blow offs and that does not irritate me at all…people don’t know what they don’t know which is one of the primary reasons I started down the Social Media track last year. What really gets me is that when in a public setting, when asked “So Chris, what do you do”…and I respond “I am in Sales” the person finds that polite yet obvious route to another person and there is a disengage.
Sure I could come up with a wonderful cliche on how I am a “Buying Facilitator for IT Research and Advisory Services” but that would take me to the same path of answering the question with “I am in Sales”. I proudly hold to the fact that I truly believe in the concept of Honesty in Sales, I don’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, there is never a bait and switch…with me you get what you see and read.
I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.
But it still brings me to the title of this post…Why are Sales People Despised. I did a Google Search on that question and came up with a very interesting PDF titled Why Customers Hate Sales People, the 7 points that are brought up are not only valid (I have witnessed some of those traits in my own company) but why do have have to live in generalizations. Not all Sales Professionals, in fact if they are truly PROFESSIONAL they would not carry with them any of these traits.
But then looking from the perspective of a Sales Guy…we have people who are pushing for results…and pushing hard. At times (more now than ever) there is great stress at continuous performance gains…and those with lesser morals could succumb to the pressure and take on some of those traits.
I will continue down my path of “VALUE FIRST”, it has kept me in good standing during the last 4 years as I can do not feel guilty about any of my sales that I have ever made because I did not Sell…customers Bought!
If you are in Sales and are reading this:
This above all: to thine own self be true
Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82
If you are not in Sales but do Interact with any Sales Person in the next week…try to cut them some slack…just this once. One never knows, the 5 minutes you give may be the best 5 minutes of your life and a new business relationship and partnership may be on its way to you…especially if that Sales Person is calling you…and 519 is coming up on the call display.
Cheers and happy Friday!
Chris J Powell