I had a conversation this week with a young lady who has embarked on a career as a sales professional for a fast-growth company. She is a really fantastic individual with high character, and the trajectory of her career is moving quickly and steadily in a very positive arc. Still, she had one of those experiences last week where a prospect disrespected her and made her feel like she was an annoyance and a distraction to his busy day. She was wavering in her confidence, and she was asking philosophical questions about whether she was cut out to be a successful sales professional. Here’s some of what I discussed with her as we worked through why she definitely belongs in this industry.
Great Sales Professionals Create Value! In a world where technology is changing at warp speed, day in and day out, people need help understanding how the new technologies can save them time and money, and how investments in them can create value for their organizations. While technology is changing at an astonishing pace, consider that societal change is also happening at a similar pace. Again, people need help in understanding the changing models in our society as we develop new ways to live and work. Consider the gig economy and the rise of ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, consider the delivery of goods and meals by Amazon and companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats. In a world of change, buyers need salespeople with integrity and character to help them to make the smartest purchases and to ensure that their understanding of their options is influenced so that they can make the best decisions possible under complex and often volatile circumstances. The truth is that good salespeople are valuable because they create a tremendous amount of value for their customers as they share their mastery of their industry or their mastery of their company’s products and services. It’s all about adding value, and sales professionals who realize that they create value for their customers will always be in demand.
Get in Touch with Your Value! Sadly, too frequently, a sales professional won’t really understand how their company’s products or services create value for their prospects and customers. Make time to learn how your company and your products and services impact your prospects and customers positively. Get together with some of your customers and interview them. Find out how you’ve helped them and why they’ve chosen to do business with you. You have saved them time, or money, or you may have simplified something that was previously complex. You may have made something possible that was previously impossible. Whatever your value is, your customers will be able to articulate it for you, and knowing how you create value will help you to realize that you are REALLY helping people in your role as a sales professional. You are absolutely making a positive impact. You are making a difference while making life and work better for your prospects and customers. Go forward, confident that you belong!
After we dialogued a bit about why the world has salespeople and why salespeople are very valuable professionals, my young client felt a lot better about herself and her career choice. She understands now how she creates value for others, and she takes great pride in her ability to do work that is certainly worth getting done. She knows that she will face some rude rejection from time to time, but that doesn’t change the fact that she is a very well-trained and valuable technology professional who has very valuable influence over the purchasing decisions of customers who really need her. What do YOU think? Do you think of sales professionals as an unwelcome interruption, or do you see the value that they can create by excelling at their craft? I’d be interested in hearing what you think about the value of salespeople. Throw your comment into the pool, and we’ll reward you with a pair of book summaries that we’ve written about some of the very best sales books that have been written in the recent past.