Suppose you meet up with a group of friends and associates and get chatting. You get introduced to some people and get talking. Invariably in social situations the discussion will get around to what you do for a living.
With great gusto, you will hear over-emphasizes and exaggerated descriptions of people’s jobs and how important they are, which is natural. When you step up and mention that you are a sales person however, you are confronted with blank awkward stares. Perhaps someone will say, “that’s nice” with a blatant attempt at moving the conversation forward or at least if someone does express interest, it is usually commiserating or enquiringly condescending. Sometimes, a sales person will pre-empt this by apologizing beforehand with a quirky comment like “yeah, I’m a sales person… yeah I know but somebody’s got to do it. The pays good though, etc”.
Whatever your situation, the fact of the matter is that you are going to have to deal with some negativity to the job you do. As a sales person you will encounter hostility and may be looked down on for doing the job that you do, or as a manager, you will have people that work for you who feel the pressures of being associated with a negatively assessed job. How do you deal with this in the most positive way possible?
Just imagine that sales didn’t exist for one moment and that people didn’t have any outside influence on their buying habits. I know that some people would be applauding this very thing, but what would it really be like? Certainly, there would be no second-hand car salesman or door-to-door salesman trying to sell you something that you didn’t want and wouldn’t work anyway. Nor would you get people stopping you in the street asking if you donated to charity and trying to sign you up for a cause you have never heard of. There would also be eradication of automated phone calls at inconvenient times with taped messages offering you holidays or timeshares. This veritable utopia would be the biggest vote winner for any politician who promised such a thing.
That is not the only thing that would be lost. Every company web site would be gone, every social bookmarking site, there would be no healthcare as we know it as the pharmaceutical companies would starve from lack of competition. There would be no interviews for jobs nor would there be information on local amenities or services. Government and local authorities would stop publishing and promoting themselves and so there would be a lack of social reform and development. Advertising would disappear and so there would not be any awareness in choice and so prices from everything from food to travel would be exorbitantly high. Democracy itself would not exist as elections are all based on selling.
Sales is an integral part of every aspect of life from basing decisions on who to vote for or who to hire or where to shop, because in essence sales is just the imparting of knowledge to the consumer in order to qualify and base decisions upon. When you go for an interview, you sell yourself to the employer. When the next election comes around, the candidates sell their ideas and personality so that you can base your decisions on your opinions of them.
In being a sales person you are offering knowledge and help in making decisions. You could say everybody is a sales person. We are liked or disliked depending on the image we project. Without sales people, the world would be a different place. What other system could you employ if you wanted something if sales didn’t exist?
By John Hester