Selling, a noble profession | Sunday Observer

Selling, a noble profession

Good selling is a noble profession, honourably entrenched with truth, trust, and honesty. The world has recognised the essential role of sales and respects men and women who do this difficult and important job well. Many people around the world believed the old but deserved connotation salespeople were branded with decades ago. Today, this implication is true only with bad and unskilled salesmen. 

Author and international sales expert Patrick Ellis, in his famous book ‘Who Dares Sells’ describes professional selling as a war played out on the business battlefield. According to him, a salesman is a trained marksman who shoots with precision and accuracy in the battle of business competition. Selling is the one game that pays bills, salaries, and keeps the doors open, thus making it everyone’s business. This is an activity in which the person applies his specialised knowledge and skill and goes far beyond the product or the service on offer.  Therefore, companies need sales to survive, and usually reward and pay highly to retain good salespeople.

I had been engaged in selling during my entire career of over forty years. Irrespective of the designation, not only I was proud to announce that ‘I am a salesman’ wherever I went but also received numerous opportunities by way of financial gains and career recognition.

Interacting with customers provided me with a substantial power base in many spheres where I helped others in many ways, regardless of whether a sale was made or not. Therefore, I personally believe that being in sales is always challenging and sometimes strenuous, but it is the most rewarding and the most fulfilling profession in the world.  Let us see why. 

First and foremost, the control you can have during working hours. Unlike many other professions, a salesman, unless working in a retail store, makes his own appointments and makes his own journey plans. Your boss will gladly approve it as long as you produce results during a specified period. Better results come when you work harder, smarter and longer. The freedom of the job of a salesman is universally accepted and widely practised. It is almost like running your own business.

Opportunities

Throughout their career, salesmen enjoy limitless opportunities compared to the vast majority of professions anywhere in the world because every company needs salesmen to generate revenue. Hence, when you become a professional and skilled salesperson and master the art and science of selling, the product or service offered to sell does not become an issue.

All you have to do is to comprehensively study the product that has to be sold. Another advantage is that you can obtain employment in any field of interest by using your selling skills.  

Salespeople engage themselves and interact with a variety of people. A professional salesman never loses contact with a customer even if he or she is unable to close a deal. Imagine the number of contacts you will possess after working for several years. If you manage a customer properly in a sale, the relationship can last decades.

Your continuous communications with various types of customers will give you immense experience and knowledge about human behaviour. On the other hand, day-to-day dialogues with customers will make the job interesting and enjoyable and this diversity will never lead you to boredom.

 Another salient factor in a sales career is unmatched job security. Almost all business entities view their sales team as their greatest asset. Sales team members are well-compensated not because of their individualities but because they bring valuable revenue to the organisation to survive and grow.

Salesmen help pay the salaries of the others including the owners of the organisation by generating income and profits and keep the doors open for the others. Hence, companies protect and retain good salespersons as there is always a scarcity of them everywhere in the world.

A skilled salesman, with a good track record, always has the opportunity to obtain employment elsewhere if he or she so desires. This is a luxury that does not exist in many other professions. 

By being in sales as a professional makes you a better person in the eyes of society. Although the statement may be hard to believe for someone looking from the outside, when salesmen continuously engage in interpersonal relationships with customers, they automatically develop empathy that is one of the most vital factors in the selling profession.

Empathy leads you to understand others better. This is a highly sensitive instrument that can be used in society and earn the respect of fellow peers. A sales team in an establishment carries minimal personal controversies and animosities among each other in comparison to people  in other professions. This is due to the empathy the team develops and the team spirit  they usually contain.  

Salespeople encounter something new all the time. They are more fortunate than many others with careers that may lead to harmful monotony fatigue.

They constantly get involved in different sales situations and different customers. Hence, the job of a salesperson is fresh and never becomes stale. They meet new people, travel to new places, engage in a wide variety of scenarios different from one another. Personally to me, this is fun and I have enjoyed it throughout my career. 

Challenge

A sales career is filled with swift and tangible accomplishments. Unlike many other situations, the results of the effort are clearly defined and it is also measurable. The value they bring to the organisation can be seen instantly. On occasions, quick performance measurement can be a discouraging factor for a salesman as the failures too can be seen instantaneously.

However, professional, skilled and trained salespeople take failures as a challenge. Good salespersons believe in ‘ego drive’ where they keep pursuing a predetermined goal even amidst continuous failures. Ego-driven individuals chase behind victory in an intensely personal manner.  

The good news is that extroverts and introverts as described by Swiss-born psychoanalyst Carl Jung can be successful in the selling profession. This ends the common impression retained for decades that salesmen are talkative, sociable and fun-loving but deceitful people who will clinch a deal by any means.

The era of cigar smoking, joke-telling, and back slapping as in Arthur Miller’s famous stage play ‘Death of a salesman’ is gone.

Both types of personalities can be trained to be successful salespersons.

There is no difference between an introvert whose energies are directed inward and has soft behaviour or an extrovert who is more outward and more assertive. In fact, in my long career with sales teams, I have come across numerous successful members who are suave and soft-spoken.      

If one looks at the newspaper employment opportunities columns or any of the recruitment agency websites, anyone can witness that more vacancies are available for sales related jobs than any other field of work. The reason is that there is heavy scarcity of sales personnel, particularly in field sales.

 As one of the most rewarding professions in the world, any interested youngster will have ample opportunities out in the market with limitless compensation. 

Comments