Sales Insight 101

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Sales as a profession.

Sales is a profession. According to S. Anthony Iannarino, a successful speaker, strategist, tactician, and sales leader who also is the author of thesalesblog.com, theonlysalesguide.com and thelostartofclosing.com. He defines sales as a profession, not as a trade which is often referred by people to distinguish it from a profession.

On his blog, he stated that trade is “a skilled job, typically requiring manual skills and special training.” Which both a carpenter and a brain surgeon actually do.

On the other hand, the definition of profession is “a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification.” He explained that the formal qualification part is what a lot of people believe is missing in sales.

Some people believe that the lack of a university degree, or some other certification, disqualifies certain work from being a profession.

Law students take years before becoming eligible to take the bar exam and be formally qualified to train. Since the law is your profession why there are plenty of awful lawyers who are trained and certified?

Same goes for doctors, there are ample of terrible doctors who compensate many excellent doctors practicing. It’s appealing that both lawyers and doctors are ‘practicing” their “professions”. According to him, they may be “professionals” but their work isn’t.

Why are there “professional comedians” and “professional football players” and “professional writers” and “professional musicians,” none of whom have any formal certification? It’s because it’s difficult to teach what a comedian, writer, or athlete does.

He added, “Like these human endeavors, a lot of what salespeople do is difficult to quantify. Like all the professions listed above, the training and formal certification say nothing about the skills or abilities of the individual practicing the profession.

Whether you are a professional or not has nothing to do with your University education or your formal certification. It has everything to do with how you approach your work, your intentions, and your willingness to give yourself over to your craft.

Sales is a profession if you treat it like it is. If you treat it like something less, it will be that for you too.

So what about you, if sales isn’t a profession, what is it?