Today I want to talk about some common myths about sales and world of professional selling. There seems to be a lot of misinformation, myths and misunderstandings about professional salespeople and what we do for a living. Now, I want to emphasize professional salesperson because I think there is a huge difference between a salesperson and a professional salesperson.
Some of these myths may be applicable to an average salesperson, but they certainly don’t apply to a professional salesperson.
You’re a born salesman: Totally incorrect. Everything a professional salesperson does is a learned skill and it’s a skillset they have to keep learning, growing and honing throughout their entire career. It’s just like any other profession where you have to have continuing education and get better at what you do. There are new techniques, new strategies and new ways of communicating with prospects, buyers and customers a professional has to constantly be keeping pace with. There is always something new to learn and the professional salesperson is always learning. They understand nobody is born a salesman.
You have to lie to people: This could not be farther from the truth. In fact, a professional salesperson would never come close to lying to a prospect. It’s based on integrity and your own moral compass. Professional salespeople go into each relationship with their integrity intact and would never do anything to jeopardize their reputation and relationship with a prospect or customer.
You talk people into buying something they don’t want: Again, completely false. Nobody can talk you into buying something you don’t want. I really don’t believe that’s possible even with the most-high pressure, underhanded tactics. The key for a professional salesperson is to find someone’s need, convert it to a want and help them get what they want. I’ve used the example of my heart surgery many times, but I had the need for months and maybe years before I “bought”. It was only after it was shown to me and I wanted it that I went through with it. The surgery was in excess of $100,000 (my insurance covered it), but I didn’t do it until I wanted it no matter how long I needed it. I was thrilled there was someone who showed me my need. That’s what a professional salesperson does: find a need a customer has, convert it to a want and help them get it.
All salespeople are rich: I wish this one were true. Sadly a lot of salespeople never reach their true potential because they don’t keep learning and growing. They don’t continually hone their skills because they stop learning the moment they get the job. It’s one of the biggest frustrations I face in my sales training. I see people with so much potential fall short of their own abilities.
Sales is an easy job: I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that. I could’ve retired many, many years ago. Zig Ziglar once said sales is the easiest job in the world if you work hard and the hardest job in the world if you try to take it easy. Professional salespeople work hard all the time. Do they get to enjoy some of the fruits of their labor? Absolutely, but it’s because of the hard work they put in. The work they put in to develop themselves, their product, their knowledge and most of all help their customers develop their business and fulfill their needs and wants. It’s not an easy job. A lot of people get into sales thinking that they can sit back and the money start rolling in. That’s a long way from the truth. It takes dedication and a lot of work to reach the top of this profession.