It's a Harsh Reality - We are all in Sales

Nick Harshbarger

Published On: April 20, 2015

Categories: Career 0

One of the most difficult things about blogging is posting regularly. As part of the #SQLNewBlogger challenge, I have committed to posting weekly. Well, that didn't get done last week, so this week I will be posting twice.

Do you feel a bit slimy when someone introduces themselves as a "Salesperson?" You shouldn't, because we are all salespeople, to one degree or another. Whether you are self-employed or work for a large company, we all represent ideas, approaches or projects to those that either have a different opinion or have a need to be informed.

Since I started in the sales profession in 1988, there have been times where I get "that look" when I answer the question of what I do for a living. Then the person usually replies, "I could never be in Sales; I'm not very good at that."

What is a salesperson?

According to Tom Peters, an American writer on business management practices and best known for In Search of Excellence, "when you interact with anyone outside your organization, you are in sales and you should think of yourself as an ambassador". I would even go as far to say, we sell internal to our company, teams, and even in our personal lives. Almost any time we ask someone to consider an alternative point of view, we are selling.

The good news: Selling has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Every year, the number of people using Google and other search engines to find information about products, services and answers to business critical questions, continues to increase world-wide.

To be effective in today's environment, the sales process needs to be collaborative and helpful to "the client." Selling isn't the manipulative act of tricking someone into doing what you want them to do, but rather the skill of connecting with another person regarding their needs and desires, and then bringing that meeting of minds to a mutually agreeable and beneficial resolution. We become "tour guides" for our companies, products, and ideas, pointing out the value our approaches have to solving a problem.

Engage me

The key to selling anything in today's professional environment is how we communicate with others. The SQL Server community is one of the strongest at conveying ideas and educating others on best practices and approaches to issues. It is a vibrant and prolific community of blog posts, forum conversations, technical presentations, and books on "How To DIY." So the next time you hear someone say, "I'm in Sales," you can respond, "Aren't we all?"

See you later this week. Until next time… Live your own Harsh Reality, and I'll live mine.

Nick (@nicharsh) is the Senior Vice President of Cloud Alliances for SentryOne and is responsible for leading the SentryOne relationships with Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and other cloud providers. Prior to joining SentryOne, Nick was Vice President of National & Strategic Accounts for Dictaphone - Healthcare Division. Previous experience includes sales management positions with Computer Associates, NEC Computer USA, Tegra Varityper, and Heath/Zenith Computer Systems. Nick holds a BA degree in Economics from University of Dayton in Dayton, OH.