Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Where's Our Pride?

I've recently resigned as a Fellow of the two sales institutes of which I am a member.

Why? Because I'm no longer convinced that I can in good conscience remain with them as I am no longer convinced that they are doing what is best for selling.

What are we as sales people - are we sales 'professionals' really? I know that many of us are professionals in specific fields (engineering in my case but medicine, law, art etc) but are we a 'profession'. I'm not convinced we are and I remain to be convinced that there is any serious efforts to move us in that direction by any of the institutes or associations that exist out there. Certainly I'm not convinced that there is much being done about developing leadership skills in selling. Where are the standards, where are the benchmarks of excellence?

So are we trades people? Are we technicians - are there tools that we apply that allow us to sell? Or are we 'craft' persons - is there a dedication to our work, a tradition of knowledge and a pride in shaping our skills to create lasting relationships and conduits of commerce.

I am not convinced that there is much pride in our role as sales people - hence the scramble for other titles ('client relations and account management specialist') - so maybe this is what we first need to address. Pride in who we are and what we do and discard the stereotypes of an older age. A celebration of our work and what we bring to commerce.

There was a time when we were messengers - bringing information that the client needed - but they don't need that anymore - they have Google. So do we become 'non equity partners' in our client's business? People committed to the client's success but without sharing in their profits? Trusted advisers is the new phrase I'm hearing now - but where is 'trust' in the lexicon of those who see the old sterotypes of sales people.

I'm still struggling with it but I think that these are key questions for us to consider as we struggle with our challenges in the market in this time of transition.

No comments:

Post a Comment