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The first clear examples of salesmen, in the sense we think of today, would be in the nineteenth century
across much of Europe. At this time, pedlar men and women would travel around different areas selling
their goods. These goods could be anything from fresh fruit and vegetables to leather goods and woven
baskets. This is quite possibly the earliest example of cold calling and door to door sales.

These traveling sales people were often reliant upon their ability to sell a large quantity of items and a
large variety of goods in order to make enough money for food and shelter. Haggling/bartering was
common place in this type of sales and often people would exchange their goods rather than pay

Moving on from this, the first examples of a more organized and recognized sales movement was in the
USA during the early twentieth century. This developed due to a number of factors including a more
stable economy, the introduction of credit as well as a new set of laws to protect buyers and sellers in
the market place.

During this time there were many hundreds of large companies which developed in the USA which
focused highly on selling. The economic situation and the newly imposed laws prompted this
development and the huge growth of such companies continued through the coming years. Moving on
to more recent developments, we have the actual recognition of the salesman as a very difficult and
specific role. A good salesman is worth their weight in gold and companies will pay top salaries to their
top sellers. There are many courses in sales now and big companies will send their employees on such
sales courses to ensure they maximize their ability.


A. PROFESSION - A profession is something a little more than a job, it is a career for someone
that wants to be part of society, who becomes competent in their chosen sector through
training; maintains their skills through continuing professional development (CPD); and commits
to behaving ethically, to protect the interests of the public.

B. PROFESSIONAL - Person formally certified by a professional body of belonging to a specific

profession by virtue of having completed a required course of studies and/or practice. And
whose competence can usually be measured against an established set of standards.

C. SALESMAN - An individual who sells goods and services to other entities. The successfulness of a
salesperson is usually measured by the amount of sales he or she is able to make during a given
period and how good that person is in persuading individuals to make a purchase.

D. SALESMANSHIP - Practice of investigating and satisfying customer needs through a process that
is efficient, fair, sincere, mutually beneficial, and aimed at long-term productive relationship.
E. PROFESSIONAL SALESMANSHIP – It is a seller initiated effort that provides prospective buyers
with information and motivates or persuades them to make favorable buying decisions
concerning the seller's products or services.



A good salesperson needs to satisfy a client’s needs. The only way to find out what those are is by
listening to what each prospect is saying. The best salespeople aren’t always talking.


A good salesperson knows how to feel what their customers feel. By getting inside a prospect’s skin,
they know just how to sell a product or service. Empathy is a great way to anticipate what a customer


These folks also have a need to sell that goes beyond the money. They have personal needs only a sale
can help them with. In short, their egos need to be fed with good sales numbers.


Salespeople who succeed enjoy measuring their skills against their peers. In a word, they’re competitive.
They don’t just want to get better at what they do. They want to be better than everyone else.


Good salespeople love to network. They get involved in their community and have many different
business relationships. Networking is not so much a part of the job to them but the way they like to
spend their time.


Believing in the product or service they are selling is essential. That comes across as a confidence that’s
infectious and makes customers want to buy more.


A successful salesperson is always motivated. They are always ready to make a sale at any given
moment and continually looking for possibilities.


Top earners know how to bounce back from a dry spell. They don’t get discouraged when the sales
numbers are down. Rather, they look for innovative ways to turn things around.

An outstanding salesperson knows how to juggle deals they are trying to close with promising leads.
They can even respond to queries through emails and on the phone at the same time. Great
multitaskers make excellent additions to any sales team.


The folks that are best at selling stuff are also honest. They know that shady deals lead to burned
bridges that can multiply and cost a lot more than one client.


Being curious with the clients and the product is only the start. The best of these folks are also on the
lookout for changes in the industry and what’s offered by the competition.


An outstanding sales representative can go with the flow. Adapting to the client’s schedule and
preferences can make all the difference.


There’s no way around having excellent verbal skills if you’re trying to sell people goods and services.
People who excel here know how to stay away from jargon and hard to understand concepts.


Without being rude or pushy, good salespeople know how to get the job done. They know many people
face the most challenging obstacle just before they reach their goal. They know how to work through
slumping sales numbers.


When a sales representative loves their company, it shows in their pitch. That’s why the most successful
salespeople are the best cheerleaders for their small businesses at the same time.


Sales is hard work. The people who really succeed don’t wait for customers to come to them.
Prospecting takes up a lot of their time.


Sales representatives that position themselves at the top stay in touch with their clients. They send
birthday, anniversary and thank you cards. It’s all about looking for new ways to stay in a client’s mind.


The real superstars in this line of work understand that selling isn’t just about price. They know how to
use a value proposition to full advantage.

Setting goals and achieving them is important in every small business. That’s especially true for the
quotas that salespeople work towards.


Charming sales representatives create a good first impressions and open the door to sales. Working on
your diction and having a groomed appearance makes a big difference.


Salespeople who can think on their feet and fit in with changing situations are worth their weight in
gold. Having a strong imagination is a valuable characteristic.


Some clients need a little more handling than others to close a sale. A good sales representative knows
this and takes all the time needed.


Taking matters into their own hands is the mark of the real pro here. If there’s a product or services that
needs to be sold, they can find a way.


Being self-motivated and working on a commission make the best salespeople really good at working on
their own.


Finally, the best salespeople know they need to go above and beyond to be successful. They like to set
the bar high and are continually try to meet new goals.




Traditional sales reps spent their days locked behind computer screens, cold calling prospects. Today,
the average cold-call-to-appointment success rate is less than 3%.


A traditional salesperson spent 21% of their time – 10.7 hours a week – on manual and administrative
tasks like filing paperwork, updating spreadsheets, and attending meetings.

Rather than utilize data, many reps relied too heavily on relationships, didn’t recognize changing
consumer patterns, and stayed within their traditional target markets.


A salesperson used to serve as an essential source of information for customers. Now buyers go through
nearly 60% of the sales process before engaging a rep.



Instant, on-the-go access to information and intelligence improves sales rep productivity. Companies
with mobile access to marketing content achieve 29% better lead conversion rates than those that do


Automation of administrative tasks gives reps the room to focus on finding, nurturing, and closing the
right sales opportunities.


Apps that harness automated adaptive modeling, machine learning, and real-time interaction
management give reps the real-time insight to focus on the deals with the greatest likelihood to close
and the next-best-action intelligence to close deals faster, for more money, in less time.


Today’s buyers have access to a wealth of information. It’s the rep’s role to cut through the noise,
deliver new insights, and help buyers navigate the alternatives based on their understanding of
customers as individuals.


1. The fun factor: This is a huge one for me. How many of you can honestly say you have fun at
work? Salespeople usually can. The environment is tense but very vibrant and diverse. There’s
nothing like the thrill of a deal that’s close to closing, or the deep satisfaction of bringing in a
huge one. It’s a kick, and it’s a good one at that.
Sales is a constant challenge, and there’s nothing like meeting a challenge. Furthermore, as a
salesperson, you’re an expert, and your job is to help people. I can think of no greater joy than
doing that every day.

2. Recognition: Since you’re solely responsible for a patch, and are essentially an entrepreneur,
your successes are truly yours. This is a great feeling in and of itself, and is heightened by your
company’s recognition of your hard work. You’re fully accountable for your patch, and if you’re
doing a good job of it, you will be recognized, whether it’s with rewards, promotions, or public
appreciation. It’s a nice feeling, and one that salespeople strive for.
3. Freedom: Sales is ultimately about what you bring to the table. This doesn’t only mean your
skills and qualifications – it means your approach. You’re free to do what you want in your
patch; you have a great freedom to experiment and do things your way.
In addition, if you show you’re professional, responsible, and perform well, you’ll be given an
even greater degree of freedom. It isn’t uncommon for salespeople to take an hour or two to
run errands, or leave early to pick up your kids. As long as you’re doing well, you will have little
trouble with this in most workplaces (there are, of course, exceptions).

4. Reward: Most salespeople (surprisingly) aren’t in it for the money. Somewhat unsurprisingly,
though, they don’t complain when it does come in. Sales is very entrepreneurial, and one of the
aspects of that is that you get out what you put in. If you work smart and you work hard, you
will be amply rewarded.

5. Job Security: Sales is one of the more secure jobs in any company, and will continue to be so for
some time. The world is heading towards automation of many things, but human relationships
isn’t on that list yet, and probably won’t be for a few years yet. That’s the big picture.
The smaller picture is that as a salesperson, you drive revenue for the company. In times of
difficulty or economic downturn, you’re unlikely to be downsized, since you bring in the money.
If you are, it’s probably because the company’s folding, and is letting everybody go.
Another point to consider is that the sales skills you develop are largely transferable. Once
you’re able to sell well, you’ll be able to sell anything. You may need to get up to speed on a few
things, but once the principles are there, you’ll have little trouble fitting them around a new
product or service.

1. Image: Sales suffers from somewhat of an image problem, and most people will be able to tell
you about the disadvantages, in their mind, of working in sales. At least, they think those are the
disadvantages, and they seem to be gleaned from movies or their experience with
telemarketers. There is, of course, a kernel of truth in all of them, and when you work in sales
you often have to confront this issue.
The salespeople I’ve met throughout my career generally don’t fit the profile you see in the
movies, though, as usual, there are exceptions. They tend to be thoughtful people who are good
communicators with an interest in achieving. This cultural image, sadly, tarnishes all
salespeople, not only those exceptions.

2. Stress: Sales, if done right, is a stressful endeavor. You’ll be expected to put very much in,
though you can also expect the rewards to be worthwhile. You’ll have plenty of pressure from
all sides; your boss, your colleagues, and your prospects will all want something from you at all
times. Add to this the targets, the unpredictability of your prospects or clients, holiday seasons,
and the market, and you have a great recipe for quite a stressful job.

3. Independence: If you’re looking for a high degree of independence, you’ve definitely found it
here. In sales, you’re functionally running your own small business, and are as responsible as an
entrepreneur is. This is liberating for some, but can be extremely difficult for others.
Not only that, you’re also responsible for your relationships, your revenue, and most other
aspects of your territory (marketing is usually separate, as is support). If you’re really putting the
effort in, work is never done. There’s paperwork, planning, and organizing to do, all of which is
your responsibility.

4. Time: From the prior point you can see a salesperson’s job is never done. You will find your tasks
increase in volume as you go along, and there’s always something more to do. It’s not
uncommon to find high performers working till late, then going home and working some more.
It’s an all-consuming job precisely because the responsibility is very high and it rests upon your

5. Pay: Believe it or not, this can be one of the main disadvantages of sales while at the same time
being an advantage. Sales pay is variable and is usually commission-based. This means you only
get paid as well as you perform. If you have a good month, that’s great, but if you’re having a
not-so-good or a downright miserable one, you can expect it to be reflected in your next
The bad part of it is that it may not even be your doing. The market may be suffering, it may be
holiday season, or the deal you were working on slipped to the next month; it doesn’t matter.
The patch is your responsibility, and you’re paid based on how it performs.