Always accurately describe what you do if you are in sales.
A very common mistake new salespeople make is trying to pretend they do something else, rather than sell a product or service. It’s possible that they feel that the sales prospect will see them in a better light…or that it’s somehow demeaning to be selling something…but I see it often.
For example, if you sell life insurance, an someone asks you hat you do, do say “I’m in financial consulting”. Why? Because if they ask a few more questions, it will be revealed that you are a salesperson in the life insurance business. And they will wonder why you didn’t just say that you were in the life insurance business.
For the last 35 years I’ve been selling vacuum cleaners…Most of that time, in people’s homes.
People would ask what I did for a living, and I would try to impress them with “I’m in the floor care business” or “I market environmental product and services”. The big problem with this tactic is…there is nothing for them to say “Yes” to. They cannot buy from you, because they don’t know what you do.
So….for the last 30 years or so, I would say “I sell high end vacuum cleaners” when someone would ask “What do you do for a living?’
And you know what? About one in a hundred times I would say that..they would buy a vacuum cleaner from me…because they asked that question when they were thinking about buying a new vacuum cleaner.
Eventually, I changed what I said to “I sell high end vacuum cleaner to people who already have a vacuum cleaner”. Why did I add the second part? Because they would usually say “I already have a vacuum cleaner”..and I wanted to stop hearing it. It also increased the number of people that would then ask me a question about the machine I was selling.
Remember this; In your town..right now..there are between ten and a hundred people that are looking to buy the very thing you sell. And occasionally, you run into these people. But they cannot buy…if they don’t know what you sell.