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In the Shoes of a Genuine Sales Professional

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

As a painting contractor, have you ever posed this question to yourself, "Am I a bona fide sales professional?" If your business practices were to be put on trial in a court of law, would there be sufficient evidence to convince a jury of your peers that you are indeed a true sales professional? This thought-provoking question forms the backbone of our deep dive today into the world of painting contractors, and more specifically, into their role as sales professionals. We aim to scrutinize the indicators that might serve as a testament to your sales acumen. So buckle up and join us on this enlightening journey to determine whether you are genuinely a sales pro in the painting contractor realm.

Entering the Arena: Stepping into the Role of a Sales Professional

When you embark on your journey as a painting contractor, and as the ink dries on the fresh homemade business cards, it is not just a business you're launching. It's a commitment to embrace the challenging role of a business owner and a sales professional. You have voluntarily signed up for this role, although you might not be fully cognizant of this at the time. From hanging your shingle to placing that magnetic sign on your truck and opening a business account, you've committed to a journey that demands an unflinching focus on sales.

Why? Simply because without sales, you do not have a business. As such, the commitment to consistently refine your skills as a salesperson is paramount. Without this commitment, the question arises whether you are truly serious about your business's success. Therefore, before we delve deeper into this journey, let's take a moment to draw parallels from a Hollywood blockbuster, the movie "300," which, in its essence, beautifully captures the essence of dedication to a profession.

The Spartans: A Lesson in Dedication and Commitment

Remember the scene where King Leonidas, leading his Spartan warriors, encounters Athenians en route to the battlefield? The difference between the two armies is stark and informative. While the Spartans are warriors through and through, the Athenians are a ragtag group of farmers, potters, and various other professions. This significant disparity underlines the importance of dedication to one's chosen profession, just like the Spartans committed to their craft of being warriors.

The question that should echo in the minds of contractors is this: "What is your profession?" Are you primarily a painting contractor, or are you also a dedicated sales professional? Like the Spartan warriors who were bred to fight, a true sales professional commits themselves to the craft, devoting every waking moment to mastering it. Therefore, the question remains - are you a true sales professional or just a painter playing a salesperson's role?

The True Sales Professional: Understanding the Indicators

Being a sales professional isn't about superficially embracing the title; it's about embodying the role and continuously striving to improve. If you're reading this, you likely have a burning desire to enhance your sales skills and grow as a professional. However, you may not be fully aware of the necessary steps or the right attitude required to be a successful sales professional. You certainly don't want to be the Athenian in the story who can't proudly claim the title of a warrior.

Let's now unravel the key indicators of being a true sales professional.

Indicator 1: Setting Clear Targets

The most pronounced hallmark of a real sales professional is their ability to set clear targets. Being well-informed about your sales data, knowing your monthly, quarterly, and annual break-even revenue figures, and understanding your sales goals are critical. These goals aren't limited to revenue generation but extend to targeted job sizes, leads that need to be generated, and the actual sales that must be made based on job size and closing rate.

Moreover, a true sales professional keeps score daily. They track every lead they pursued, every successful sale they made, and every signed contract and deposit they secured. If you aren't currently taking deposits, consider changing your approach. One of the most attractive aspects of trades is the ability to grow your business using other people's money, or "OPM." Keeping track of daily progress and collecting deposits form the basis of this first indicator.

Indicator 2: Regular Sales Training

A genuine sales professional recognizes the immense value of regular sales training. A common mistake many businesses make is to pull their salesperson out of training once they believe they've had enough. The problem with this mindset is that it breeds complacency and creates what we refer to as "lagging failure."

Even high performers would begin to see a decline in performance if they started scaling back their training routine. However, the consequences of these reductions often don't manifest immediately, creating a deceptive sense of continued success. This deceptive delay between the decision to stop training and the eventual decline in performance is the essence of lagging failure. Regular sales training, on the other hand, can help you avoid this pitfall and continue to excel in your role.

Indicator 3: Self-evaluation and Debriefing

In addition to training, true sales professionals understand the importance of self-evaluation and debriefing. Drawing on the sports analogy once more, just as an athlete would analyze their game performance and review game films, a sales professional should evaluate their sales calls.

Commit to Being a Sales Pro

While many individuals don the title of a "salesperson," not all provide the evidence that supports this claim. As a painting contractor, I urge you to commit to becoming a total sales pro. The rewards are immense – a transformation in the way you view your time, a considerable improvement in your financial situation, and positive changes in your relationships.

Sales is a noble profession that transcends the bounds of business. It permeates every aspect of our lives, from our interactions with our kids and spouses to our neighbors. We are always selling something, be it our ideas, products, or services.

It's time to plant your flag and proudly claim the title of a true sales professional. Take the plunge and embrace the transformation that being a genuine sales professional brings – it's a game-changer.

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