What’s in a name?
You’re at a dinner party. There are people you don’t know sitting around the table. Eventually the conversation turns to “what do you do for a living?”
“I’m an Advertising Account Executive” you say.
Maybe you shot back with “Marketing Solutions Provider”, “Market Manager”, “Advertising Consultant” or “Business Development Executive”.
Are you uncomfortable with being called Salesperson?
Regardless of the industry these days it’s extremely rare to find anyone who calls themselves a salesperson, yet it is the job so many of us exclusively do – in fact it’s the only thing we do.
Instead we like to use titles like Advertising Executive, Marketing Solutions Provider, Account Executive, Market Manager and Advertising Consultant – the list is endless. Indeed within the advertising sales industry I’m certain we will find more titles for salespeople which exclude the word sales than those that don’t, yet in spite of this what we do is sell isn’t it?
Like any falsehood not calling yourself a salesperson when you really are, will force you to face problems and challenges that never existed in the first place. After all if it’s not quite true, then it’s completely false – in other words it’s a lie.
If your prospect knows you’re a salesperson, and you know you’re salesperson, why do we bother with the charade at all?
Do we have something to hide, or to be ashamed of? Is what you’re doing detrimental to society? Your neighbours or your well-being?
The truth of the matter is if you are ashamed of calling yourself a salesperson you probably ought to go and get a different job.
But it’s not just the advertising industry is it?
When was the last time you were sitting quietly at home minding your own business, the telephone rang and a voice (sure or unsure) was heard to say “Hi, I’m not calling tonight to sell you something I just have a few quick questions?”.
Instantly your mind kicks with in “Yeah, yeah so why are you calling me?” But before you throw your mind back to the last telemarketer you blew off the phone ask yourself the question – aren’t you guilty of the exact same thing?
As an Advertising Consultant haven’t you been guilty of saying something similar?
“Hi Bill I’m not here to sell you any advertising today because I don’t understand what it is you need, and until I understand what it is you need I can’t make any recommendations as to your advertising needs, that makes sense doesn’t it?”
And what’s happening in the mind of your prospect? “Yeah, yeah so why are you here?”
How much trust do you think you’ve built at this point of the conversation? And before you start saying “Yeah but”, how much trust did the last salesperson who used this line on you, develop with you?
Clearly we are lying about who we are, what we want and what we do.
For some this may be an overly strong statement – yet it is true isn’t it?
The question then is why do we feel the need to hide the truth of what we do?
I suspect for most of us at the base of it all is fear. The fear of being hung-up on, the fear of not getting a fair hearing, the fear of being rejected, or the fear of not making a sale. Perhaps it’s the fear of not making a favourable impression at a dinner party.
The truth in selling is that more people are going to say no to you than yes and if you don’t understand this, you shouldn’t be selling. More to the point if you’re trying to hide the fact that your selling then basically each time you are setting yourself up for a fall.
Remember no one enjoys being lied to. Do you think Donald Trump ever walks into a pitch and begins the meeting by saying “I’m not going to try to sell you something today”?
Not a chance. Most successful people come right out with it. They open with something that tells people what they know about a certain situation (research), followed with a statement about how they can answer or fix the problem.
Bring some validity into what you do – be honest about why you’re visiting a prospect – I guarantee you will gain more respect from your prospects, and you will build more respect for yourself.
Don’t hide the fact you’re presenting the benefits of advertising on your medium to someone – embrace it.
Have you ever opened a presentation with “I’m here today to sell you some advertising”?
If you have courage and understand (and believe) in the power of what you have, then using this opening line makes great sense. It won’t guarantee more people will say yes to you, but it will deliver you into an environment of trust and respect.
Let go of the little white lie – it makes no basic communication or human sense.
Honour what it is you do and above all demonstrate that both you and your medium have nothing to hide.
Sell without regret.
Michael Tate: Sales Director International – NRS Media
Michael is an Australian who was based in the US for over 10 years, and now works from Sydney. He has worked for over 25 years with some of the world’s largest TV and radio groups, and has also worked ‘client-side’ for Toyota Australia; coordinating their media schedule.
Michael has advised all types of companies around the world on best effect advertising via over 3500 workshops attended by over 45,000 business owners and managers, generating over $60,000,000 in direct sales advertising revenue.
He is a highly sought after key-note speaker and advertising sales trainer at major industry bodies like the Radio Advertising Bureau, the Texas Broadcasters Association, and the Oregon Association of Broadcasters. He has successfully worked with advertising sales managers, their staff and clients in 12 countries including the USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Norway, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines and Australia.