The Nobility of Sales

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May 5, 2022
There’s a Sales Warrior Within each of us. I’m here to help you discover and empower the Sales Warrior Within.

I am a passionate and proud salesperson.

My mission these days is that I want you to recognize and realize the Sales Warrior that’s within you.

Once we recognize and embrace the Sales Warrior Within, we empower ourselves with skills and strengths that propel us forward.

Proudly sharing, “I am in sales.” is a giant leap for many, “Andy, I don’t want to be known as a salesperson.” I hear this frequently. There are big-time negative sales stereotypes we face every day that have tarnished the brand of our noble profession.

These negative sales stereotypes hold us back. At the start of every sales training, I ask for a show of hands and ask, “Are you a proud salesperson?”

Maybe 5% of the room, maybe 1 of 20, maybe 5 of 100 raise their hands. Why so few? Because there’s a negative stigma around being a salesperson. I’m passionate about changing this. I want our community of salespeople to be proud of what we do and how we do it. I want you to recognize there’s nobility in sales.

Let’s look at these sales stereotypes. The negative sales stereotypes are all around us. The horsetrader and the snake oil salesperson climb to the top of the list.

Sadly, the snake oil salesperson stereotype has come back in vengeance with the pandemic. People worldwide, leveraging digital media, are pushing treatments, balms, lotions, salves, and other untested clinical, pharmaceutical or off-the-shelf remedies to buy for the treatment of COVID.

Those who are peddling these “solutions” for personal gain are modern-day snake oil salespeople. But unfortunately, this stigma is not helpful for the rest of us salespeople.

Here’s another reason why salespeople face uphill credibility challenges when they reveal they sell. Again, think about your personal life. Maybe the most material and most significant transactions you do with a salesperson are buying a home with a real estate agent and an automobile with a car salesperson.

These transactions are big-dollar moments. You’re putting trust, faith, and money into these acquisitions. But, here’s the challenge, the salespeople you’re working on with these BIG DOLLAR transactions are likely low-skilled, short-tenured, and inexperienced salespeople. This combination of buying BIG DOLLAR items from inexperienced salespeople is a recipe for a bad outcome. Unfortunately, if a lousy result materializes, the salesperson takes the blame, and in many cases, rightfully so.

Of course, when you think about the tenure of real estate people and car salespeople, certainly those who have a long tenure, who’ve been doing it a long time, they’re great. I’ve bought cars and homes from very experienced salespeople, and it was an A+ experience. They know what they’ve been doing. They’ve been selling for a long time and have excellent skills.

However, both car and real estate sales have low barriers to entry. As a result, many salespeople start their sales careers here. Unfortunately, quite a few rotate out in a short amount of time. This dynamic leaves many of us buying homes and cars with low-skilled and junior salespeople. This less-than-excellent experience accelerates the negative sales stereotypes.

Here are two steps you can take to overcome negative sales stereotypes and showcase the nobility in sales.

First, think about the relationships that you have in your personal life. Then, examine the best relationships that you have. It could be as a parent, family member, friend, or significant other, whatever that relationship is… take a look at it. Next, think about what makes that relationship great. Excellent communication, an incredible connection, and cooperation to solve problems together are likely at the core of your best relationships.

Create nobility in sales by taking what’s working well in your personal life and building relationships using those same principles with your customers.

Suppose you can connect well with your customers, do a great job with communication, and cooperate to solve problems together. In that case, you’ll build long-term loyal partnerships.

Take the things you’re doing well in your personal life and move them into your sales career or professional endeavors. This is selling. It’s the same stuff we do every day as we are living.

Second, I want you to put your needs aside when working with customers. Instead, elevate and bring your customers’ needs forward. Become their agent, their partner to solve their problems. Your customers will be ready to help you in return when you do this. When they win, you win too. This is selling.

This mindset, helping your customer first, is why I believe in the nobility of sales. I’m not trying to create personal gains out of selling. Instead, I want to help others grow and become more successful. I want to create exceptional outcomes for others.

Sales Warriors, join me as evangelists for our noble profession. Together, we’ll overcome the negative sales stereotypes one day at a time. We’ll line them up, knock them down, and be all the better.

Good selling, good leading, and good living.

Andy Olen is a sales and leadership trainer and a coach for high-performers. Andy is the author of the sales book The Trilogy of Yes and hosts the podcast The Sales Warrior Within.