By John Tucker
1st Capital Loans LLC
There's a certain stigma about us sales professionals: we, collectively, have a bad reputation for high pressure sales tactics, lying, and unethical practices that prioritize our sales numbers, quotas and commissions, while neglecting to address our clients' needs, care and cures.
This has created a ton of backlash with more and more prospective clients banning access to salespeople across the board. It has also led to increasing regulations based on complaints from prospects who have been harmed in some fashion by bad practices.
To make this worse, too many sales professionals idolize characters from finance-related feature films who promulgate the same level of high-pressure and unethical sales practices. They even repeat some of the quotes and mantras from the famous characters. For example:
Could there be a better way to achieve sales quotas and make great commissions? Can we thrive as MLSs without employing high-pressure sales tactics, unethical practices and other ineffective means of building client trust? Do we have better role models out there?
As sales professionals, we have to pick new role models. We have to leave behind some of the characters from such movies as Wall Street (1987), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Boiler Room (2000), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and other similar films, and adapt a new hero to model our behavior after. My recommendation for our new hero is The Doctor. Consider the following:
Ideally, doctors are not trying to pressure a patient into tests, prescriptions or visits that are neither needed nor warranted just because a new quota of some kind was created. Doctors are simply trying to stop either a present-day pain, or to prevent a disease from growing, spreading and creating future pain. Both of these objectives are based solely on the needs of the client.
When I visit my doctor for an illness, I'm usually given documentation that includes the following:
As a sales professional, emulate The Doctor. Here's one possible scenario:
You might have found out about the merchant's situation through a referral, because the merchant responded to one of your ads, because the merchant called you randomly, or because of various forms of research you have done on that merchant in particular. It should not be a contrived situation forced upon you by your sales manager based solely on a quota that needs to be hit. It should be totally based on the present situation of the merchant.
The real money in sales is made in the ongoing relationship with the client, a relationship that spans two, three, five and maybe even 10 or more years. You will make more money and have more career longevity if you follow The Doctor's approach, rather than that of the high pressure sales characters from the major Hollywood classics cited in this article.
Be sure to tune in to the next edition of Street SmartsSM here in The Green Sheet, where I will continue the discussion of rebranding the MLS, a topic that has been central to my focus as this column's author.
John Tucker is Managing Member of 1st Capital Loans LLC, as well as an M.B.A. graduate and holder of three bachelor's degrees in accounting, business management and journalism. Tucker also has over nine years of professional experience in commercial finance and business development. You can contact him by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 586-480-2140.
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