The Changing World of Sales

Written by Posted On Friday, 11 June 2021 00:00
The late orator and patriot, Dr. Kenneth McFarland, used to say that “The salesperson is the gas and oil of the free enterprise system.” I suppose today we would need to extrapolate a bit and say that “The salesperson is the gas, oil, green energy, and solution providers of the free enterprise system!” Still, the salesperson’s role in our society is as important if not more so than ever before. Things have changed dramatically, and the most skilled sales professionals are thoughtful change agents who are intensely focused on delivering the greatest value to each client. Anyone who is trying to sell as they did 20-30 years ago is being left behind.
I coined a phrase that I used in my last book, Standing Out From The Crowd, which I think is sound philosophy: Become known for the problems you solve. The best salespeople out there today focus on that very thing. The degree to which a salesperson thrives today is largely correlated to their problem-solving capabilities. This requires thinking out of the box and being the facilitator of new ideas and solutions, which might be jointly crafted with the customer who is desperately seeking the comfort of a creative solution to his most glaring problem.
The big picture is that just about everybody is now in sales. The problem solver of today’s workforce wants his ideas readily accepted and wants to be articulate in presenting the solution he/she foresees to a given problem. That is sales, even if their business card says they are an engineer, lawyer, or a physician. Most of those people don’t want to be called a salesperson because of the peddler image that prevailed decades ago, but the truth is that we all need to have sales acumen in our quiver to reach success today.
The employment data of the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals a shocking fact: One in nine employed American workers is in sales! And the number is growing. Doesn’t it behoove us all to know the basic and advanced skills of professional selling today?
Are we busy learning the rules of personal engagement? For most buyers in the marketplace, their image of a vendor company is customarily developed through their contact with one person… the sales professional who calls on them. So the role of the salesperson is more sophisticated and critical than ever.
My friend, colleague, and co-author of our book Selling With Style, Dr. Tony Alessandra, says “If two people want to do business together, the details probably won’t get in the way; But, if either of the two does not want to do business with the other, the details will seldom lead to a sale!”
I concur. That is how important building trust is today. I think trust and stress are inversely proportional in business relationships. It has been said that the best way to build trust with prospective customers is to talk about them, not you or your product. That can come later. Let’s develop the engagement skills and emotional intelligence to get inside the head of our prospect, identify with them, carefully define their problem, and develop a solution that makes a real difference!
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Don Hutson

After graduation from the University of Memphis, with a major in Sales and a minor in Real Estate, he was #1 salesman in a national organization. He then established his own training firm and shortly thereafter was in demand as a professional speaker.

Since then Don has addressed over half of the Fortune 500 Companies and is featured in over 100 training films. He is Chairman & CEO of U. S. Learning and makes some 50 speaking appearances per year. Perhaps you have seen him on national television where he has been featured on ABC, PBS, TPN and Fox News.

Don is the author of SELLING VALUE, and co-author of the #1 Best Sellers, THE ONE MINUTE ENTREPRENEUR (with Dr. Ken Blanchard) and THE ONE MINUTE NEGOTIATOR (with Dr. George Lucas). He has also authored or co-authored eleven other books.

Don was elected by his peers to the presidency of the National Speakers Association, and has received its prestigious Cavett Award, as member of the year. He has also been honored with NSA's Speakers Hall of Fame Award, and is a recipient their Master of Influence Award along with such notables as Depok Chopra, Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan. He is also a member of Speakers Roundtable.

He has addressed over 750 Realtor audiences including the National Association of Realtors on multiple occasions, as well as many prominent real estate companies.

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