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Let’s be honest. Salespeople have a bad rep. They are maligned, ridiculed, avoided. When a salesperson walks toward you, do you run the other way? Many people do.

But is their reputation deserved? Let us look at reality.

You are a businessperson and have discovered a new type of solar panel that eliminates many of the challenges of solar panels currently on the market. Your product is better. It should change the entire industry, and you are excited.

You file your patent and commence manufacturing...and the inventory of product builds and builds and builds. Your inventory increases to the point where your warehouse is bursting at the seams.

Did you forget an important function...selling the product? Appears that you did.

Should you hire an accounting manager? Not much need if you aren’t selling.

Should you hire a shipping manager? Not much need if you aren’t selling any product to ship.

Should you hire an administrative assistant for your customer service department? Not much need if you’re not selling to any customers.

You get the idea. Sales is the engine that drives a company.

Or how about this scenario: You are an expert in the field of quality assurance, Six Sigma and LEAN manufacturing techniques. You decide that many companies need your expertise, so you decide that you will form a consulting firm. You create a corporation. You write some important manuals that will help your potential clients. You are ready to go. What do you do now? You sell.

Whether you are the chief executive of a manufacturing company or a service company, in order for your business to become viable and stay viable, you must sell your product or service.

Every organization needs money to operate, and that is where the dreaded salesperson comes in. Mason Smith, senior vice president of Chessman Career Movers, says, ”Salespeople are heroes. The most important function of your company is the generation of revenue to keep the company doors open, and that is the sales function.”

Further, says Smith, “Everyone sells every day. We sell our ideas. We sell our concepts. We sell ideas to our kids, spouses, families, friends, clients, and customers. We are all salespeople, we just don’t realize it.”

Teachers are often excellent salespeople. Controlling a classroom of 35 kids and keeping them interested involves selling. Instructing your students in your subject requires selling.

A good salesperson should operate as a sales consultant filled with problem-solving product knowledge. Rather than hardsell someone into buying something impractical, a good salesperson asks questions: “What are your needs? What are your problems? What type of solutions are you seeking?”

A good sales consultant then should solve those problems for his customers and clients. Top-notch sales professionals seek long-term relationships with their clients. Businesses understand that keeping the customers you have is just as important as seeking new customers. Repeat sales are vital to a successful organization.

Seeking a new profession? Become a hero, consider sales.

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