A Professional Salesperson or Something Else?

I was facilitating/leading a meeting of salespeople and managers a few years ago and during the introductory phase of the meeting, I commented—in passing—that I had more than 25-years experience in sales. One of the participants who I’ve had maybe 6 or 8 conversations with in my life blurted out, “I could tell because you’re a bull sh—er.”

Stunned silence.

Very seldom am I at a loss for words but in this case I was. Not only was the comment unprofessional and disrespectful, but it was just very awkwardly out of place. I truly felt bad for the person that said it because I could tell by everyone’s reaction they were embarrassed FOR him.

It was just strange.

Fast forward throughout the meeting and he keeps trying to “lighten” the comment by saying it was taken out of context (it was one sentence, there was no context) and at one time even admitting that he considered it a “compliment” and he himself was a bull sh—er.

Well, I’m not. And I had to stop him and let him know that I don’t consider it a compliment. In fact, to me, it’s just the opposite. I consider myself a professional—and that’s far from a BSer.

The really sad part was this guy had two young, impressionable salespeople that report to him in the meeting. I can only hope someone gets to them and lets them know not to follow that lead.

So for all those that think that term is acceptable or even a compliment, let me give you what I believe are the differences:

A professional salesperson exudes an air of confidence
A BSer exudes an air of arrogance
A professional salesperson tends to lean toward the positive
A BSer is usually always negative
A professional salesperson continues to learn and perfect their craft
A BSer tends to be a know-it-all
A professional salesperson provides products and services that benefit their customers
A BSer doesn’t care about the customer’s needs
A professional salesperson has walked away from situations where they couldn’t solve a customer’s problem
A BSer forces the square peg into the round hole and only cares about making the sale
A professional salesperson builds a career on satisfied, happy customers
A BSer usually has to keep moving so as not to run into someone they sold before
A professional salesperson is a problem solver
A BSer is a problem finder
A professional salesperson has people that want to be around them
A BSer tends to drive people away
A professional salesperson knows how to conduct themselves in the presence of others
A BSer—not so much

I am a professional salesperson. I’m proud of it and I’m happy to help—in some small way—advance the profession in the eyes of others.

Remember just because someone is fluent enough to carry on a conversation and speak publicly, professionally and exhibits the so-called “gift of gab”, that doesn’t make them a bull sh—er. In fact, if you think about it the person that can’t do those things generally has to rely on BS.