I love the profession of sales. It’s really all I’ve ever done in one form or another. I live it. I’m proud to tell people I’m a professional salesperson. The operative word being professional. But, I have a problem. A problem that’s plaguing our profession and one it’s time we did something about.
For some reason it has become the norm for people to think, “Well, I can’t get any other job, I’ll just go into sales”. And we welcome them with open arms and no training. As my friend, Scott says most sales training today consists of “See Payroll, See HR, See Ya Later”.
Now go sell something.
And we wonder why sales are down? We wonder why people have a negative connotation of salespeople?
If every lawyer you ever met had zero knowledge of the law and what he does, you’d have a pretty low opinion–ok, that’s a bad example.
Hair stylists have to be LICENSED in most states before they can cut hair, yet you want to sell cars? Electronics? Other goods and services? Come on in!
Now, let me say I am in no way blaming the employee or the applicant. I want good people joining our profession. But, I want us to train them. Today all someone needs to be a salesperson is a box of business cards.
That’s like me putting on a white coat and becoming a dentist. TA DA! Open up!
I’m talking to sales managers, CEO’s, Presidents, business owners: we MUST train our people. A prospect who comes in contact with a poorly trained salesperson is better off not having contact with your company at all. At least then they have a neutral feeling instead of a negative one.
Most salespeople I have trained have been so grateful–they want the training. They eat it up. They are sitting there every day with questions they’re afraid to ask because the “old hands” (who aren’t selling anything either) make fun of them or joke about it.
We must professionalize the profession of selling. We must give our salespeople the proper training in the skills it takes to sell, but also in product knowledge, human behavior and general good business principles as well.
I mentioned my friend Scott earlier. He is one of the top automotive sales trainers in the nation and he told me something recently that floored me: The average car salesperson has sold FEWER cars than their customer has bought! What?
Who is going to be better at that process? The buyer or the seller?
Whether you use me or someone else, train your people. Let’s professionalize this profession.