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Salesperson…Are you Entrepreneur first or Employee?

By Percy Chong, 30th April 2015

Salespersons are in a class of its own. They need to be recognised and conditioned differently from other employees within the organisation.

ASG feels that all salesperson needs to be entrepreneur first (ie. in spirit and desire) and the organisation also needs to support and condition these entrepreneurial mindset, by including in their job description/position, to propagate and nurture its development. Our general observation is that the employee mindset would only inhibit and hold the salesperson back from achieving sales greatness.

And only with the entrepreneur mindset and culture correctly aligned, will the foundation of the sales department be in place to provide for dynamic growth and consistent rewards. The creation of an entrepreneur sales culture will set the identity and attitudes of all the salesperson as well as gravitate them towards seeking results. It may also promote a healthy disdain towards mediocrity and general abhorrence for safety nets. All of which are the “kryptonites” for any productive salesperson.

With the salesperson’s primary identity fixed. It would be almost “business as usual” for them; to ease into their secondary role as employees in the observance of the organisation’s other duties and protocols. And most organisations never had any problem in this area as most would have well established HR protocols in place.  

So, why do we hold such a radical views about the entrepreneur versus employee identity for salespersons?

The sales role requires the salesperson to constantly be out with the elements. High stress environment, “unreasonable” prospects/clients, low base pay with only high commission on sales conversion, constantly running after the sales targets that gets reset (back to zero) every quarter/year and always trying to sniff out the next sale. And the list goes on…

There is little or no room for mediocrity. Every new day is an opportunity to either “hunt” successfully or go home “hungry”. The stakes are high and only those with the right mentality (ie. entrepreneur mindset) have a good chance of making it.

Staffs that are wired as employees (ie. mindset) with three square meals provided for, will never been able to experience, or even handle such extreme hunger and intense desire, just to bring in the sale. Therefore, salespersons’ who are employee in mentality rarely perform well. They are usually accustomed to delivering only the basic requirements and little more.

And the fact that most “employees” are only willing to stay within their safety nets with fixed salary, is often an indication of wrong job fit (for the sales position) in the first place.

There are also many examples of successful salespersons that have gone on to start their own business and becoming their own boss. They are testament to the entrepreneur spirit that is integral to the success of any salesperson as well as business owners. The only challenge with working with them, is keeping them within the organisation long enough. It’s never easy to tame an entrepreneur’s heart with employment. But that’s a separate topic to be discussed another time.

So seek not a sales employee, but an entrepreneur first for the organisation’s sales success.

Article contributed by Percy Chong (through Asian Sales Guru)
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