Death of the “Salesman”

by Marcus Sheridan

Do you know who you are?

Do you know who you are?

It’s only appropriate that I commence this dream of mine(TheSalesLion) discussing a subject that I feel has had a tremendous negative impact on the business of selling for the past 20 years or so.

For all the wonderful techniques Tom Hopkins introduced to the sales profession in the 1980′s, maybe the one that is still having the most impact in the 2000′s is his use of the word “sell” or “sales”. You see, Hopkins taught that a professional sales person should, instead of mentioning such phrases, use such words as “consultant”, “assistant”, etc. Now don’t get me wrong here. Hopkins was special. He was a sales pioneer in many ways. But when I look at the self-identities of sales professionals today, I see many individuals who don’t identify themselves as ‘salesman’ or ‘saleswoman’. Think about it for a second. What do business cards of sales-persons say these days?

Jeff Jones- Consultant

Jeff Jones- Product Assistant

Jeff Jones- Customer Service

What??? Does anyone else see a problem with this? What has happened is that we now have a society of product helpers and consultants but we have no sales people. In fact, many supposed ‘professionals’ view the world ‘sell’ or ‘salesperson’ in a negative light. Such a case of mistaken identity only hurts a professional’s ability to do his job- SELL. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re something you’re not. Don’t be embarrassed for what you are. To be great at sales, you must embrace everything about sales. Including the word and title. In fact, if I could have my wish for sales professionals, it would be that everyone, when staring in the mirror before a sales call, had this type of self-talk:

“I am a salesperson. I’m great at what I do. I like selling and my customers like knowing that such is my goal. I take my art seriously and therefore my clients know that they are dealing with a professional who wants their business.”

This is also why every business card for a person in the sales industry should read something like:

Jeff Jones: Sales Professional (Heck, it’d be even cooler if it said Jeff Jones- Sales Lion, but I’ll be content with professional;-)

Such is how Jeff must veiw himself and such is how others must also see Jeff. So if this means you need to throw away those brand new business cards you just got in the mail, then so be it. The time is now that we all embrace the phrase ‘salesman’ once again and understand its worth to our financial success and happiness.

And as Jane Roberts said: ~ Identity may be termed as action which is conscious of itself. ~

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