Beginning a week of sales talk…
The word “professional” is not always a good descriptor of a career.
I know what a professional SHOULD do in most fields. There are probably certifications, licenses, education and other specific requirements. In addition, most professions have installed a code of ethics and reviews boards.
Doctors, lawyers, accountants, pharmacists, opticians and professors, would likely be called professionals. So would professional golfers, NHL players, NBA stars, NFL players and professional bowlers. In the case of sports, it seems the key determinant of the professional label is getting paid to do what you do.
So, I guess, that’s how sales representatives have grabbed the title of professional. But in this career field, the title “professional” is available to anyone with a business card. A uniform certification, license, education or exam, does not exist. The code of ethics for selling isn’t much more rigorous than “do unto others…and get a good lead list.”
But coffee is for closers.
The word “closer” seems to suggest something fishy is going on around here. It’s like the salesperson has DONE something to someone who didn’t want it done to them. The seller closed the deal. I’m not sure how the customer felt about being closed. Did it leave a mark?
To earn the title “professional,” I think sellers need to check the following boxes:
* Advanced product knowledge gained from frequent training experiences
* Customer needs identification training. More than lip service–true sensitivity training to learn proper discovery methods.
* Credibility-training. It’s not easy for young-sellers to learn to under promise and over deliver. It’s much easier to promise the moon and deliver mud.
* Sustainable resource delivery. Professionals follow-up and care about their customers long after the sale.
This list seems so simplistic. Yet, at the moment of truth–it seems unfair to expect these things from someone who wants to sell me something. Maybe that explains why we see such an increase in online BUYING. Consumers want to buy, more than they want to be sold.
A sales professional knows how to pull. Closers push.