Why is it that sales people get such a bad reputation? Have we ever stopped to think what it is about the sales role that causes such animosity? Because in reality, we are all, in one way or another, a sales person.

We all know someone in sales. Our brother, sister, parent, child, neighbour, in-law etc. Someone, somewhere, that you know, makes a living by selling something. In fact, I’m willing to bet you sell almost every day of your life. Let me illustrate.

Do you at your job have a meeting or are working on a project and need to convince a co-worker or supervisor about your point of view? Selling.

We sell every day of our lives.
Or maybe you and your spouse are discussing something, working on making a decision. You think you’re right and you’re working hard on making your point the winner. That’s selling!

We all sell every day of our lives. You can use whatever term you want, negotiating, discussing, arguing, persuading. It’s all just selling.

Want your kids to miraculously get dressed and out the door on time and you’re sweetening the pot for them to make it happen with future promises? Selling. (Also probable the damn hardest sale you’ll ever make!)

Admittedly there are sales people who have used deception and disreputable tactics. But there are leaders of all types who have done the same. It’s unfortunate to paint with such a broad brush.

When did profit become a bad word?
Most of us are decent, honest people making a living. Remember, the true sales person is paid on the profit made from the widget they sold. Asking for a discount? That’s taking money out of their pocket.

And besides, when did profit become a bad word? The sales person is supposed to help you find the product that best fits your needs and wants. And to work to negotiate a price that is acceptable to the business that employs him.

You know the price going into the transaction. Pretty much nothing out there has an unlisted price. It shouldn’t be a surprise. And you should know if it’s in your budget before you get there. What’s wrong with asking for the price that is listed?

Their boss, the sales manager, is responsible for the overall department profitability. They aren’t bad people if they don’t accept your offer. You don’t have to accept their counter!

They are bad people if they promise something they can’t deliver. Or if they try to sneak something into the deal after the fact. But trying to make a living by selling something for as close to the listed price as possible? Doesn’t seem that unreasonable, does it?

Imagine for a moment a life without sales? I think it happened… circa what is now Russia from roughly 1918 to 1991? Nothing would get done. Nothing.

The world revolves around the act of selling. Something, anything, everything. Politicians sell. Your doctor sells when they make recommendations. Same with your dentist. Or lawyer. Or the employee in the drive thru asking if you want to add a donut for fifty cents.

We should all be thankful for the sales people of the world
No matter your job, it wouldn’t exist if someone wasn’t selling something either down or upstream of your position. The money to pay your wage comes from someone either selling a product, a service or time.

We should all be thankful for the sales people of the world. They may not save lives directly, but they are what underpins the economic structure that we all sit on.

Ok let’s bring it out of the macro. To bring it back to the micro, the sales person at your local dealerships success allows that dealer to help sustain 50+ families that are employed there.

It pays for the donations to your kids hockey league. Gives food to food banks. Helps the cancer centre. Gives meaningful employment and opportunity to generations of people.

Not bad ,is it, for a ‘simple sales person.’ We may not be saving the world exactly, but we sure do help make it go round. And I bet if you thought more like a sales person, you’d win more of those discussions at home with your spouse or at work with your team.

Love your sales person. They are just doing their job. They want to make a good living too, so they can afford to buy things off other sales people. Who in turn can buy things off other sales people, and you can see how this keeps going.

Maybe even eventually they’ll buy something that your company provides. And that helps keep your income flowing.

Sales, the lifeblood of any business and economy. Love your sales person. They really do want to love you too.