Sales Person Or Sales Professional?

What is your sales philosophy?  I was talking with Ken, a friend and business associate, yesterday and we had a conversation about the difference between a sales person and a sales professional.  On the surface you may think there is no difference, but the difference is in their philosophy.

A philosophy is a system of beliefs, values, and tenets.  Everyone has a belief system even if you have not taken the time to think about what it is for you.  When it comes to selling, the sales professional’s approach to the marketplace is to assist their prospects to buy versus to sell them something.

What does it mean to assist to buy?  Pretty much everyone has heard the old saying “people hate to be sold, but they love to buy.”  When we think of someone being “sold” something our first thought is they were manipulated or conned into doing something they did not want to do.

A sales professional never cons someone into buying something they don’t need or that  is not in their best interest.   The sales professional does not make a recommendation because it pays the highest commission or helps them win the sales contest.

Conversely, the sales professional provides solutions to their prospects and provides value that helps their prospects achieve the goals that are important to them.  In so doing, the sales professional creates an opportunity to not only service the one prospect, but to obtain referrals to other prospects as well.

The sales professional understands that the long term benefit is in creating value for their prospects.   Having the mindset of putting the prospect’s needs first establishes a foundation for a long term, mutually beneficial relationship that will yield a huge return.

It could be easy to be shortsighted and try to manipulate someone into buying something.   But, in the long run you actually make it harder on yourself when you do that.

The personal benefits of having the sales professional philosophy versus the sales person philosophy are huge.  When I was talking with Ken he mentioned that the sales professional is creating a lifestyle while the sales person is just making money.  The ironic thing is the sales professional out earns the sales person while creating this lifestyle.

The question now for you is: what about your sales philosophy?  Why not write down what your beliefs and values are about the way you sell.  If you are a business owner or sales manager, what is your company’s sales philosophy?  Take the time to examine your sales philosophy and see if it is leading you in the direction you want to go.  Are you a sales person or a sales professional?

Happy Selling

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