Is Sales Profession an Oxymoron?

If you are in Sales, you have probably heard these before:

Q: "How can you tell a sales person is lying?"

A: "His lips are moving."

Q: "Why do lawyers like sales people?"

A: "They give them someone to look down on."

Sadly, the term sales professional is often seen as an oxymoron, in much the same manner as plastic silverware, accurate forecast, or affordable housing in the metro DC area.

In the interest of complete candor, many of our predecessors, and some of our contemporaries, have earned this less than stellar reputation for our profession. You know who you are, especially if you just felt the urge to stop reading. In the interest of fairness though, every profession has its bad apples. Would you want to face the IRS backed with Enron's accountants? Or how about looking up at your surgeon to see that he is one of those weight loss infomercial doctors? An entire profession should not be judged by the behavior of a small minority.

The next time you meet a sales person, ask them about their thoughts on the "Ethics Triad." The Ethics Triad is something that all professionals should have, and the salesperson is no exception. True sales professionals subscribe either consciously or unconsciously to the Ethics Triad - rooted in the trio of questions of "is it legal?" "is it moral?" "is it ethical?"

Is it legal? Are the actions you are considering, or the recommendation you are making conform to the laws of your community, your country, and the policies of your firm? If there is some question in your mind, then you owe it to yourself, your firm, and your customers to review what you are doing with senior management or legal council.

Is it moral? Is what you are doing fair to all parties involved? It is said that a person's character is measured by what they do when nobody is looking. In the harsh light of day, are you pursuing a course of action that you would be proud to have broadcast on the evening news in your hometown?

Is it ethical? The ethics of the medical profession are rooted in three simple, yet powerful words: do no harm. The ethics of the sales profession can be rooted in three equally simple, and powerful words: serve your customer. The true sales professionals seek to achieve his goals, through helping his customers achieve their goals. By subordinating his wants to the needs of the customer, the sales professional demonstrates his commitment to service, and inoculates himself against the twin demons of temptation and greed.

The most precious asset of the sales professional is his or her reputation in the marketplace. By focusing on your customer, keeping the ethics triad in mind, and building a relationship with your client, you will earn a reputation for being trustworthy, honesty, integrity, and a commitment to service. These are the pillars upon which your professional reputation rests-think about it.

Brian is the Chairman and Founder of the the United Professional Sales Association (UPSA). UPSA is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC that has addressed the concerns and challenges of individual sales professionals. Brian has authored the world's first universal selling standards and open-source selling framework for free distribution. This 'Compendium of Professional Selling' containing the commonly accepted and universally functional knowledge that all sales professionals possess. The open-source selling standards have been downloaded in 16 countries by over 300 people. Over 30 people have made contributions.

Because UPSA is not owned by one person or any company, it is a member organization and guardian of the global standard of entry into the sales profession.

Find out about the membership organization and understand the processes and framework of professional selling at the UPSA Website at http://www.upsa-intl.org. Find out more about Brian at: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert_bio=Brian _Lambert

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