SALES! When people hear it they get happy, assuming their overpriced commodities just got discounted to something realistic. But when the word is used in association with a salesperson, a sales department, or the phrase “I’m in Sales”, people tend to run for the hills like Godzilla showed up in a polyester suit and leather briefcase.
And if they’re not running for the hills, they’re busy imagining a sleazy guy with greasy hair trying to demo a vacuum or sell you the benefits of AMWAY. The best comparison by far is with car sales, or better yet, the used car salesman.
Some people denigrate the used car salesman to the lowest form of human life, right next to lawyers and big bank executives. Greedy, money grabbing, and anything-for-a-win forms of single-celled slime. Why is this? Why is being in sales perceived so poorly? It’s not 1930s anymore people, it’s time to grow up.
The True Meaning of …….. Sales
I have worked in various sale roles for the last decade and I have never ripped off any of my customers. Is this because I’m the best Salesperson ever? Maybe, but not likely. The truth is, a sales person’s job isn’t to sell, it’s to help you. That’s it. Think of the coin phrase you hear every time you walk into a store, “How can I help you?” That is all I have ever done in my sales career, help people get things they need to succeed or feel better.
The truth is that people dislike the term sales because they hate to be sold. But as the old saying goes, people love to buy.
Let me articulate my point. Pre-Future Shop buy out by Best Buy, many people would tell me to avoid Future Shop because of its commission-based sales teams and go to Best Buy where people don’t bug you. I prefer the opposite. I would go to Future Shop where I could always rely on the help rather than getting ignored by a bunch of lazy teenagers who are too busy playing Angry Birds on their iPhones.
A commission-based salesperson is motivated to serve you and has a much higher product knowledge so they can help you buy the best product, rather than the one that just looks shiny. And guess what? Do that, and you’ll go back again!
Psst . . . sometimes you can get unadvertised deals with people in commission sales, too.
Our lives revolve around products and services that sustain and comfort us. Everything you own had someone in sales make it happen. Even if you didn’t buy directly from a salesperson in the retail store, that retail store had someone from a sales team sell that product to the store.
Give Sales Some Respect
Never ever call a person in sales a “salesman” or a “saleswoman”. No, no, no. Not unless you want a salesperson to freak out. Over my sales career I have worked in retail, multinational industrial companies and now digital marketing services and I have never had sales in the title. Instead, salespeople go by: Client Service Representative, Business Development Director, Area Territory Manager, and all the Account Manager/Director/Executive with all the Seniors and Juniors in front.
The sales team is the most important part of any company. Simply put, without them the company would have no revenue and fail. Yet, in the hierarchy of public perception, they are the bottom feeders of the whole corporation.
Let’s stop the word-association shaming of “sales” and “person” and view them for who they represent: highly skilled and respectable people who are consequential to all commerce that happens.
Or, if anything, at least give the salesperson at the next electronic shop you visit a break.