Advocate or Salesman?

salesguyIf you have ever been around me for a short while, you will quickly learn I hate the word salesman.

In fact, I hate all aspects of it.  Sales, Salesman, Salesperson, Salesrep etc.

My hatred for the word is not because of the people who make an incredible living doing it.  I am one of those people.  My hatred of the word comes from the fact that I believe it truly minimizes what many of us do for a living.  We are not just “salespeople”.

If you have ever walked into a high stakes meeting and been in front of an assistant when they called back and said “Mr. Bob, there is a salesman here to see you” you understand exactly where I am coming from.

Many of us offer services or products that are very complex in nature, require a long cycle to close, and many meetings to insure that a mutual benefit is met not only to the client but to the organization as well.  We have to completely immerse ourselves with passion about what we do while at the same time become passionate about those we serve.

This is not sales.  This is advocacy.

You may right now be thinking “Well, duh Joseph.  Same thing!”

No.  No its not.

Advocates work with a deep and detailed solution.  Salespeople are transactional.

Advocates imbed themselves into their clients to understand their business.  Salespeople skim the surface to close the deal.

Advocates revisit the solutions over and over throughout the lifecycle of the relationship and look to better the solutions continually.  Salespeople look only for new business.

Advocates believe in what they offer and make it part of their life and see it as an honor to be part of a company.  Salespeople have a job.

Two questions today to consider as you approach your workplace today.

Are you an advocate or a salesperson?

If you are an advocate, do you live with a passion for what you do to the point where people see you as something greater than a salesperson?

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