There are few gaps as wide as reality and the general perception of salesmen. Unfortunately too many sales executives, well intentioned as they might be, contribute to the stereotype of the profession; "Oily sellers of ice to the Eskimos." The well intentioned, but poorly trained representative focuses his/her attention on closing, closing and closing, too often without regard to the real value of his product or services to the person he is cajoling to "sign here."
Consistently great sellers are intimately aware of, and passionate believers in, the unique attributes of their product to a well targeted prospect. They spend all their vocational energy looking for the right people to help, are tenacious about making contact with them and skilled well enough to overcome the inherent distrust of customers to any sales person. In so doing they gain the trust and the open mind of the buyer. They come offering a genuine path to growth, pleasure and satisfaction, and the buyer "sees" it.
I have a friend, a serial entrepreneur, who has a debilitating disease which over the past fifteen years has robbed him of mobility and fine motor coordination. The experience has re-focused his interest in how he earns his living. He still is an entrepreneur and is still interested in the economic rewards of successful business endeavors, but in addition is only interested in creating businesses which help make life "more livable" for disabled people. Because he has always been a media professional, his attentions are now directed at making Internet experience just as efficient for the impaired as for the non-impaired population. Brad serves. He spends very little time focused on selling. He talks to companies about availing themselves of his services so that they can grow their businesses while feeling very good about themselves by providing much needed services to others.
Brad in my view spends his work life in every bit as noble a profession as any doctor, lawyer or fireman.
Read AOL Co-founder Ted Leonsis' book "The Business of Happiness" and learn how to give so much and get so much more in return.
Love Your Work and Work Tirelessly
Communicate Honestly and Fearlessly
SERVE, DON'T SELL!