Our Perception of The Sales Professional

Our Perception of The Sales Professional

Sales is one of the oldest professions known to man. Whether you were a farmer selling/trading his crops or a merchant with many offerings. People needed to buy things that they couldn’t provide for themselves. This means people were selling and closing deals well before the invention of the cash register.  

Now let’s fast forward to the present day where business is done a little differently than those days. You can buy pretty much anything you can think of online and have it delivered right to your door.  But consider this, if you bought something today, that means someone in some shape or form had to sell it to you.  Whether directly or indirectly, you bought something and they sold it to you. So why is it that when we think of a salesperson, most of us gravitate towards the negative. We think of telemarketers bothering us at home. Or the TV-style, sleazy used car salesman, or the guy in his mom’s garage in Omaha selling timeshares? The answer is simple and applies to pretty much everything. The few, who ruin it for the many.  

We have all had bad experiences, for example at a restaurant. Does that mean we don’t eat at restaurants anymore? No. We might not eat at a particular restaurant because of our bad experience but we don’t lump in all of the other restaurants because of one bad experience. So why don’t we do the same thing for sales professionals?  Just because you had one bad one doesn’t mean we’re all bad.

I have spent most of my career/life in and surrounded by sales. I pride myself on the fact that I am a sales professional. I have worked my entire career to build my reputation based on honesty, customer relationships, hard word and follow through.  “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it” Warren Buffet

So why is it that when I cold call a prospect, I get the telemarketer treatment? Or when I tell people I am in sales at conferences the interaction suddenly takes a turn. There could be many reasons as to why, but one major takeaway is perception. The perception that I am probably a greedy, sleazy, TV type salesman who will say anything or even give away my first-born child just to make a sale. I assure you that’s not me, or the majority of the sales professionals that I know.

I am proud to call myself a sales professional and I take what I do very seriously.  I hope that this post can help to change your “perception” of the sales professional. If we ever happen to cross paths, I hope that you will give me an opportunity to talk to you about my philosophy, and tell you a bit of my story. I can’t promise that I won’t try to sell you something, it’s in my DNA, but I assure you that my intentions are always good.

~ Mat Houle, Manager of Business Development – StaffStat

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