To succeed in sales, you have to embrace that you are a salesperson. Anything less than fully embracing the role means that you will produce results that are less than they should be.

If You Don’t Believe

If you don’t believe that you are a salesperson, you won’t make your calls. You won’t spend your time prospecting, and you won’t open new relationships. You will do something less than this.

If you don’t believe that you are a salesperson, you won’t continually pursue your dream clients. You won’t take the long view and nurture them over time. You will believe that they can’t be won because they already have a provider. You’ll give up. You’ll quit.

If you don’t believe that you are salesperson, you will find countless ways to stay busy working on tasks that feel like work, but that don’t require you to actually sell. You will be uncomfortable asking for commitments. You won’t do the work.

If you don’t believe that you are a salesperson, you will identify dozens of excuses as to why you cannot succeed. You will avoid taking responsibility for your results. In your mind, it will be everyone else’s fault. In reality, it will be yours alone.

If you don’t believe that you are a salesperson, you won’t ask your prospective clients the difficult questions. You won’t ask them about investing more to get the results that they need, and you will fear offending them. You won’t believe that you are entitled to capture any of the value that you create. Because you won’t believe you can create that value.

If you don’t believe that you are a salesperson, you will rely on other people, such as marketing, to provide you leads. You will buy the hype that you don’t need a telephone. You will happily take orders, and you will reply to every RFP that you can get your hands on. You will be an order-taker.

If you don’t believe that you are a salesperson, you will never take the actions that salespeople take and that allow them to succeed.

Who Do You See?

Salespeople have evolved over the last four decades to be something more than persuasive peddlers of mostly unwanted goods. We have become business partners, trusted to identify and manage critical outcomes for our clients. We have become the first line in making a difference for others in their business and our own businesses.

No one cares more about ensuring that a company’s clients get the results that were sold and promised than the salesperson that sold them. It’s why we do battle and sell inside our own organizations, and it’s why we are trusted.

If all of the enterprise is a rock band, we are clearly the front men (and front women).

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a salesperson from decades past, manipulating and persuading others to by goods and services that they don’t need? It’s unlikely. Those sales roles have all but disappeared.

When you look in the mirror, do you see a business professional with the business acumen and the situational knowledge to help your clients produce results far better than they could without you?

When you look in the mirror, do you see someone that cares deeply about helping other people solve some of their biggest and most difficult business challenges? Do you see someone that owns outcomes that they promised and who gets results?

When you look in the mirror do you see someone who makes their calls and sells because they know that they can make a difference for others, including their clients and their company?

What do you see when you look in the mirror?


Is it necessary that you embrace the role of sales in order to succeed?

Why do some people refuse to call themselves a salesperson? What does the word connote that they find negative?

What are the activities that are difficult to engage in if you haven’t fully embraced that you are a salesperson?

What does the title of salesperson mean in the 21st Century? What skills, abilities, and attributes does that title command of one that holds it?

What is that salespeople do now? Excepting the few that behave badly, why do the negative stereotypes persist enough that some still refuse to identify themselves as a salesperson?

Sales, 2011
Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
September 26, 2011
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