The Stigma Of A Sales Person

The low opinion of the sales profession bothers me. Why does sales carry a stigma? We all have experiences of being sold something from someone that didn’t work out. On the other hand, we tell stories of where we bought something from someone and it was quite enjoyable.

Olympics Gold Medalist, Gabby Douglas pictured with her own edition of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

I’m fascinated when my conversation partner says ‘he’s got the personality of a salesperson,’ and ‘she is a born salesperson,’ or ‘I’m not a salesperson.’ We all are salespeople and it’s time to get over it.

Some of us are better at sales than others, but that’s not the point. It doesn’t matter what one’s personality is, or how many degrees one has. Many other things matter more. The ones who are better, chose to educate themselves more and worked harder at it. I believe we all can be better.

Some people say, if we just get rid of commissions, then we’d get an honest sales person. The real estate profession is one that comes to mind, right? A few bad apples can really mess things up. Commissions are not the problem, as explained in Baylor research from Vinita Sangtani, Ph.D. and John Andy Wood, Ph.D.

Statements like ‘He is a born salesperson’ couldn’t be further from the truth and this HBR article does a good job of spotlighting deficiencies in the readiness state of our sales profession.

We, the educated business professionals are not so smart in this area because we underestimate its importance every day. We don’t recognize excellence enough in the sales profession.

Our mass media and most web conversations overlook opportunities to recognize the positive impact and inspiration from great sales pros. No wonder the sales profession has a stigma.

Do you remember Lionel Logue in the Academy Award winning movie, The King’s Speech?

Let me read your story of a sales engagement that was poignant in some way.

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