Sales is not for the faint of heart — anybody who’s ever worked in the profession understands that. But the majority of the public has never worked in sales, and typically forms their opinions from portrayals of salespeople in movies and TV shows, and, occasionally, from some of the bad experiences they or their friends might have had during the buying process.
On the other hand, sales has changed immensely over the past few decades, and the days of the fly-by-night salesperson are long gone, as there’s been an shift toward the professional consultant, brought on by the proliferation of technology, and the transparency that the internet has created — all in favor of the average consumer, and to the detriment of the (nearly extinct) sleazy sales rep.
But there are still a few things the general public gets wrong about sales reps, which is frustrating for the overwhelming majority of us looking to reframe the conversation. And while the perception of sales reps won’t change overnight, there are a handful of unspoken things that sales reps would love to be able to tell the general public.
Here are five sales secrets salespeople wish the general public to knew:
1. We’re not all dishonest
The overwhelming majority of sales reps are hard-working people just like you and me, trying to make a living for their families. Lying has no place in the modern sales workplace, and with very few exceptions, a sales rep who gets caught lying to a prospect is likely be fired on the spot. Honesty and integrity are taken seriously by sales leaders and sales reps, and the days of the fast-talking lying salesman are in the past.
2. We usually don’t have much control over pricing
Despite what many people believe, sales reps have very little control over the pricing of the products they sell. Management sets pricing, and, on occasion, might give sales reps some flexibility in order to make deals happen. That being said, any flexibility or available discounts are likely to be limited, and without the consent of sales leadership, a sales rep doesn’t have the ability to offer steep concessions on their own.
3. We consider ourselves professionals
There’s nothing unusual about sales as an occupation. It just happens to be one that gets a bad rep. But we are experts in a professional role, and it can be frustrating when others don’t see us that same way. Sure, there isn’t any specialized advanced degree for sales aside from possibly an MBA, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t take skills, knowledge, and years of commitment to become adept at the profession. If you have any doubt, just take a look at the pay scale and high demand for competent sales reps and leaders.
4. We’re usually under a lot of pressure
One thing that many people don’t realize is just how much pressure the average sales rep is under on a regular basis. There is pressure to hit quota, pressure from prospects, pressure from management, and pressure to juggle multiple competing responsibilities at once. It’s not a profession for the faint of heart, which is part of the reason why it has such high turnover. But the next time you want to take a salesperson to task, try to remember that they’re probably getting pressure from all sides.
5. We truly want to help you
This, perhaps above all else, is the one thing sales reps wish the general public understood. At the end of the day, salespeople want their prospects and customers to be happy. We want them to be happy, and we want them to be happy with us. Salespeople are people people, and we don’t want anyone to walk away feeling like they’ve had bad service, or that they’ve been convinced to buy something they don’t really need. The core at the heart of sales is figuring out how we can best help people. So the next time you’re dealing with a sales rep, try to remember that they’re most likely looking for ways to make you happy.
Salespeople deserve to be happy, too. That’s why we created Dooly — to eliminate the soul-sucking work you hate and recover your selling time, commission checks, and sanity with a workspace that guides you through deals with smart note templates, AI-triggered battlecards, and 1-click pipeline updates. Try Dooly free.
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