Is the word "Sales" on your business card?

Do you have the word -Sales - on your business card?

Build trust with your prospects quickly, make sure they know you are in sales.


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Are you sales representative or something else entirely?

© 2007 David A. Peterson

I get a chuckle out of all of the titles that sales representatives try to place on their business cards and email signatures. Here are a few samples of those titles:

  • Account Manager

  • Product Specialist

  • Senior Consultant

  • Sales Consultant

  • Business Consultant

  • Product Representative

  • Product Specialist

  • Marketing Manager

  • Senior Marketing Specialist

Personally I don’t have a problem with any of the above titles as long as that is exactly what that businessperson is actually doing for a living. 

As a businessperson are you in sales or in something else entirely? Do you not like being in sales? 

Where the misinformation on the titles begins to create a problem is in your opening statement. When you are making that initial phone call and say “Hi this is David Peterson, I’m a Senior Consultant for…” Have you really told the prospect who you are? Are you hiding behind your title so you can trick the gatekeeper into letting you pass?

The title problem escalates into these three different directions:

By not confessing that you really are in sales you fail to build the trust needed to continue the sales process. If you are in phone sales you may only have a few seconds and will need to establish that trust quickly. 

By not confessing to yourself that you are in sales probably means that you have a confidence problem. Do you get scared when the prospect finds out that you are actually trying to sell them something? If you do get scared then that is lack of confidence that you have in yourself.

By not confessing throughout the sales process what your real intentions are then you will have trouble asking for the sale. Your manager will hear weak closing statements like “…well, what do you think?” When your manager confronts you on your lack of closing statements you will try your hardest to defend your closing techniques. You may even go so far as telling him or her that you didn’t want to lose the sale by pressing the prospect.

Let me tell you what your sales manager is thinking: 

Lose the sale! What sale? You haven’t engaged the prospect into the sales process; you have just been talking to the prospect.”

If you can’t put the word “sales” into your business title then you are probably in the wrong profession.

If you are hiding behind Account Manager, or Senior Consultant then you are A: Really not responsible for a sales quota or B: Never hit or just barely hit that sales quota every month.

If you have properly engaged your prospect into your sales process then they know you are trying to sell them something. 

That doesn’t mean that you are hard closer or that you are a bad person. It means that you are in sales and eventually after you know the exact product that will help your prospect you have to actually ask for the sale. If you never really ask for the sale then you are just wasting your time and your prospect’s time.

If you are engaged in the sales process your prospect will appreciate either giving you a “yes” or a “no.” These words with stop or reset the sales process or they will begin the installation process.

These next words are going to make a few non salespeople squeamish so they may want to look away…

If you are engaged in the sales process and your prospect understands that this is a sales call then and only then can you say…

“Joe I have covered all of your issues and shown you our solution for those issues, it is the end of the month, can we get this done today so I can book this order and add it to my monthly sales numbers? Can you help me with that?” 

I bet all of the non-salespeople just got faint reading that last statement. After all that was a bit strong.

It’s not a strong closing statement at all. It is a statement that recognizes that a relationship built on trust and true problem solving will allow you to ask for the sale at any point and any way you feel is appropriate.

You may be an Account Manager that just works with a few 100 customers and takes orders all day long, or you may be a Product Specialist that is there to just handle pre-sales questions; however, if you are responsible for a sales quota then my advice to you is to make sure the prospect you are talking to knows that you are in sales. 

Eventually you are going to have to ask for the sale, that closing statement should not come as a shock to the prospect you have been talking to over the past month. 


David A. Peterson

David A. Peterson

Author of: 

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