The Sales/Non-Sales Perspective
Being in sales means that you are part of an exclusive club and a lifetime member at that. Salesmen think differently. They act differently. Some people understand that because they've lived it and others don't because they haven’t. Whenever someone calls me to complain, "I just don't understand my salespeople,” I always ask if they were ever in sales themselves and then proceed with my comments accordingly. Not all management-types are non-salespeople, but those who are can react harshly with their salespeople. Perhaps these two opposites work to balance off the universe:
- A sales rep sees the company “Falling down without me.” Management sees the sales rep as arrogant, but it is that same self-importance that helps to make the sales rep successful.
- A sales rep is fiercely independent. Management sees that as a problem, but it is that lone wolf mentality that helps to make the sales rep successful.
- A sales rep overstates expectations. Management sees that as annoying, but it is that optimism that helps to make the sales rep successful.
- A sales rep circumvents the system. Management sees that as a challenge, but it is that same creative nature that helps to make the sales rep successful.
- A sales rep detests details and administrative requirements, such as filling out the CRM on a regular basis and procrastinates, even ignores. Management sees this as defiant, but it is the same hunter mentality that helps to make the sales rep successful.
It's not hard to figure out where I fall in this sales/non-sales conversation. I am more part of the problem that I am the solution. The key to getting away with it is to sell something. The more you sell, the more — um — colorful you are allowed to be. Without that, a sales rep is arrogant and a problem and annoying and a challenge and defiant…
And quickly unemployed.
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Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.