Has Professional Selling Undergone A Personality Bypass?


If you are a regular visitor here, you will know that for sometime I have been increasingly alarmed at the apparent “greyness” within the selling environment.

For greyness, you can also read blandness; or stereotype; or unoriginal; or if there were such a word “samey”.

The assumption made by so many young salesmen and women is that every customer is the same and every sale is the same – which of course, simply is not true – and if it were, logic defines that we wouldn’t need those salesmen and women, we could just have the entire sales process handled online by “order takers”.

Along with all this greyness and blandness and “sameyness” I have noticed something else – individual personality has also all but disappeared, to be replaced by an almost robotic- like seriousness.

What happened to warmth? What happened to enthusiasm? What happened to humor?

Let’s just pick up on that last one, humor. I challenge you to find the vaguest hint of humor amongst the plethora of blog posts made today; or the articles re-published anywhere; or in the whitepapers– you will not (in fact you could be forgiven for thinking that you have seen more life in a soluable aspirin) why?

Is it because times have been tough – and actually remain so in many sectors – and we think it is inappropriate to enjoy ourselves? Is it because these days we spend more time communicating with our PC than we do with real human beings and we have lost the art? Or is it now considered uncool to be amusing?

Whatever it is, I am deeply concerned.

You’ve probably heard me say it many times before, but it really is true – people buy people first, and solutions/products/services second.

In most market sectors, product uniqueness is now rare – it never lasted for very long anyway; international barriers have disappeared, almost overnight; thanks to the internet, buyers have never been so well informed and had so many choices.

So in this world that I have just described, where the playing field has never been more level, what is the one distinguishing factor that sellers can use to differentiate themselves – and no, it isn’t Sales 2.0 tools – it is of course, our personality, our personal skills, our unique character.

Let’s be clear, nobody is going to buy from you just because they like you, but given the choice between two sellers, with the same solution, at the same price, with the same features/benefits/value, you know who they will pick every time.

This then is my next tip for improving yourself in 2013 – don’t be afraid to be yourself.

A word that I love is “Salespersonability” – I did not just make that up – in fact I read it somewhere years ago, but it accurately sums up what I have been talking about. It means combining ability with personality.

And you know, the most successful people in the business world have it – just think about that for a moment.


News: Just posted an excellent interview – that’s the quality of the conversation, not my interviewing skills – with David Yesford of Wilson Learning, which you can catch over at Top Sales World today.

Do look out for a great guest post over the w/e. Me? I am planning the launch of Top Sales Radio on February 14th – love the date! Back on Monday – bon w/e a tous – JF



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