Not too long ago after watching “Wolf of Wall Street”, I had a debate with someone who said that a sales professional just has to be talented at spouting rubbish and they make loads of money.
Well, if you based it off that movie, sure. That is just about right. But we know, for a fact that this job requires more than the skills to spout rubbish.
We have to be resourceful to do lead generation and overcome fear of cold calling. That is just the beginning. We do many presentations in one lifetime and we negotiate countless agreements before the close. The money is good but definitely don’t come easy.
Kofi Annan, once said “ Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family“.
To be a sales professional, you must have knowledge. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the rest of the world who are not sales professionals are stupid.
There are many types of knowledge and I am not referring to explicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge exists in libraries and documents. We learn most of this knowledge from school. In today’s globalization, explicit knowledge is easily accessible from my best friend, Google. This is the kind of knowledge that everyone has access to.
But for a sales professionals, the knowledge that makes us unique is tacit knowledge. A type of knowledge that is relatively new. It was only discovered in the 1950s. From the word tacit itself, it refers to something unspoken. It is the kind of knowledge that is difficult to transfer by just reading, writing or even memorizing it.
Some examples of tacit knowledge; intuitive and communication skills. You cannot teach a person to do a presentation over night and be a sales professional but one can be nurtured to be a sales professional through socialization, experience and mentoring.
Therefore, a sale professional is equipped with both sets of knowledge allowing them to have information and communicate the information across to prospect in a manner that appeals to them, which is the premise of progress.
While that debunk the myth of all a sales professional needs to do is spout rubbish, I also see sales professionals, good sales professionals and excellent sales professionals in one firm selling the same product or service.
Let’s exclude all other variables such drive, enthusiasm and motivation.They are all sales professionals, with similar tacit and explicit knowledge. So what will be the differentiating factor?
I will leave you with an image I saw to ponder over it.