In my career spanning over almost 18 years, both as business executive as well as sales trainer, , I have met thousands of people working in the sales departments. One common denominator of all sales people who cannot meet let alone exceed their sales targets is the lack of pride in the profession of selling. They are tied to selling because they are unable to ‘sell’ themselves to some other jobs. When this lack of pride in the profession of selling, that is the first noblest profession in the world, persists over a long period of time, it becomes a disease which I call “Sales Pride Deficiency Syndrome”. If any of the following symptoms are visible in your team members, rush for immediate therapy. The disease is contagious and if not treated immediately will affect other team members.

  1. He or she avoids and abhors the word ‘salesman’ or ‘sales girl’ or ‘salesperson’ when being referred to in meetings and discussions. If a boy selling credit cards in the bank prefers himself being called as banker rather than as salesman, he is suffering from Sales Pride Deficiency Syndrome. I have met top bankers, they claim they are salesmen first, bankers later.
  2. He or she will twist her introduction in social circles making every effort to get associated with marketing department. You will find this trend more among medical sales representatives or insurance sales agents. I have observed that many medical reps will introduce themselves as marketing people. On fifth or sixth probing question, you will come to know that the man is a medical rep.
  3. He or she will hate carrying symbols or gadgets of sales profession like bag, diary, brochures etc. I have met many medical representatives who feel insulted and burnt when they carry with themselves detailing bag that is the hallmark of pharmaceutical profession. A doctor loves his/her white coat and stethoscope around neck. A soldier loves his gun. Why a salesperson will hate the symbols of his/her profession is a clear reflection of some deep malaise.
  4. Such sales people will spend more time and energy in coining excuses of not meeting sales targets rather than spending time on finding and exploring creative ways of making a sale. In my sales training sessions, I ask the participants to list down all the excuses that sales people use to not meet the targets. I come across some time very ridiculous excuses like ‘tyre got flat’ or ‘traffic was jammed’ etc.
  5. When a salesperson’s focus is on fixed salary rather than on incentives or sales commissions, he/she is not enjoying the profession of selling. Salespeople are the highest earners in the world. There is no upper cap on the earnings when one is really enjoying the profession. I know many insurance sales agents who earn more than their department heads under commissions.

If Sales Pride Deficiency Syndrome is diagnosed, an immediate sales training intervention is required to break the patterns of low productivity.

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