“Everyone lives by selling something.” Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson was one of the best-known and loved writers of the 19th Century. Born in Edinburgh, his works have thrilled and entertained millions for nearly a century and a half; whether toddlers nodding off to peaceful sleep as they listened to A Child’s Garden of Verses, a young boy dreaming of life on the high seas as he read Treasure Island, or someone who gets up to ensure the shutters are latched as they read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Yet his quotation is telling. It summarises, in a few eloquent words, what everyone in the sales profession realises: everyone lives by selling something. But here’s the real question: is selling about making a living, or making a life?
The true professional understands in a very personal way that the difference between a true professional and a “wannabe” professional lies not only in what they do, but in WHY and HOW they do it. The true professional in sales works to extend her product/service knowledge well beyond what it is or does, and deeply into what it can do for the customer. Why? Because they see themselves as an integral part of their customer’s success. They motivate themselves to see things as their customer does, and provide solutions that help the customer win – and in the process, they win too.
HOW the true sales professional operates is an essential differentiator from people who sell to “make a living.” They operate on a higher code of conduct, do business with integrity and ethics, and take pride in their role and position within their company and the larger sales profession in general. They understand and appreciate being in a profession that places no limits on their ability to achieve. They pursue opportunities to develop their skills to even higher levels, because they know true mastery of the selling profession transcends making a living – and helps them make a life.
And if you are new to the sales profession, or struggling to find your bearings, remember this other Stevenson quote: “The saints are sinners who keep on trying.”
Dan Moore, President of Southwestern (SBR Consulting’s parent company)
Over the next 21 days practice being a true professional by seeing things from your customer’s perspective. Start seeing yourself as part of their success, until it becomes a Successful Habit.