Listening to a successful small business person being interviewed a few weeks ago, I was struck by a comment he made about his success.
He was asked if he saw himself as a salesperson. His response was, “No, that’s the last thing I would want to be, I don’t sell at all. What I do is help people with their problems.”
Do you understand what he’s saying? He’s saying he is a salesperson, but he can’t connect himself to the profession due to his preconceived notions as to what salespeople do.
I would say this is exactly what every salesperson needs to be doing — helping people with their problems.
This is why I also believe there is a huge connection between sales and leadership. The role of a salesperson is to lead their customer to a better outcome.
Challenge we have in the sales community is how many people see the sales profession. Too many people still have the image of sales as being comprised of people who have as their only objective to sell stuff that people don’t need at an exorbitant price.
It would be hard to believe anything you or I could do would significantly alter the global perception of sales. I believe, though, the Internet is doing a great job of killing the perception. The Internet is doing it by taking the sales process for many items out of the hands of salespeople and putting it into the customer’s hands.
The salesperson who attempted to make a killing living off of unknowing customers is going away, thanks to the Internet.
Customers have the ability to buy virtually anything they want directly from the web and if they don’t buy it from the web, they can at least become intelligent about what they are considering buying.
On the one hand, I salute the small business person I wrote about at the start of this post. He’s spot-on — his job IS to help people solve their problems. Clearly, this is without a doubt the way all of us should view ourselves.
What I don’t agree with is his broad swipe at the sales profession.
The best thing for all of us who believe the sales profession is a calling is to hope the web can wipe out the marketplace for any salesperson who thinks they can make money exploiting customers.
Copyright 2015, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.