I recently attended my niece’s preschool graduation and when each child was asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, not one a single kid said “I want to be a salesperson.”
Can you believe it? Well, I can.
Sales has a bad rap
Let’s be honest—sales gets a bad rap. There doesn’t seem to be many people who aspire to be a salesperson these days. But, why is that? The answer likely lies in the fact that sales is usually associated with being pushy or manipulative. It conjures up imagery of greasy haired men wearing plaid or tropical print shirts. It’s when you shop and get sales-puked on.
The perception and stigma that plagues the sales industry affects how customers react to even the most genuine of salespeople (and yes, I assure you, there are plenty of genuine salespeople out there).
What it all really comes down to is perception. I think we need to challenge this perception and expand on today’s definition of sales.
In Daniel Pink’s book, entitled “To Sell Is Human”, Pink redefines the idea of selling as “persuading, influencing and convincing others”. When you look at sales from this vantage point, 90% of the workforce is in sales.
This mean we live in a world filled with salespeople and if you look in the mirror, you may just see one!
Think, for example, about the entrepreneur who has to convince others to invest in his or her company or persuade customers to purchase their products. The employee who is selling his boss on a new administration process. The manager who is motivating and influencing her team to action. Consider even, every parent who is constantly shaping and guiding their child’s behaviour.
So next time a genuine salesperson comes along, please remember that you are in sales too!