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Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, bestselling author, sales leader, and entrepreneur. He posts daily sales tips and insights to The Sales Blog.

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Pretending to Be a Salesperson

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You can’t love part of sales. It is all or nothing.

You want to be a salesperson, you just don’t want to have to prospect. You don’t want to interrupt people, and you don’t like bothering them. If you don’t like prospecting, you don’t like selling. Selling requires that you create new opportunities, and prospecting is how you do that work.

You want to a be a salesperson, but you only want to sell something that your prospective clients really want. You only want to sell to people who are already trying to buy what you sell. This belief makes you an order-taker, not a salesperson. There is a lot of talk about salespeople being replaced by technology in the future, and the people in sales who suffer from this belief will be the first to be replaced.

You want to be a salesperson, but you don’t want to have to ask people to make commitments. You want them to tell you they’re ready to take the next step. Selling is conversations about the future, creating a preference for you and your solution, and it is most definitely about gaining commitments. There is no waiting in sales, least of all waiting for your dream client to ask if you are ready for them to buy.

You want to be a salesperson, but you want to communicate with people over email because you am more comfortable when you have time to carefully consider every word, making every communication just right. Email is a necessary but inferior medium when it comes to selling. It doesn’t allow for the kind of communication necessary to sell, including collaboration, building consensus, and resolving concerns. If you want to be a salesperson, you’re going have to engage in more effective mediums.

You want to be a salesperson, but you don’t want to deal with the big issues that prevent your prospective clients from generating the results they need. You don’t want to deal with all their problems. If you don’t like dealing with conflict, you aren’t going to love being a salesperson. Selling comes with a certain amount of healthy conflict. If you don’t want to manage problems, challenges, and conflicts, you aren’t in sales.

You want to be a salesperson, but only if you can do the consulting part without having any responsibility to sell what your company sells. If you want to give your advice without having to deliver results, start an advice column. You never have to sell anyone anything that won’t serve them, but you also don’t need to spend time advising people who can’t or won’t buy what you sell.

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