In this series, we’ve been discussing the finding of meaning within sales. Why is this so important?
The world is in a serious uproar. We know we can never go back to the way things were. From now on it’s an entire different world, with changes on a par to when the Berlin wall was erected. Hopefully, there will be peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, but whatever happens, war has come to a continent on which we never thought there would be war again. It’s a bit frightening when I think that this is happening only 500 miles from my original home in Vienna. There is even a possibility (God forbid) that this conflict could go nuclear. I didn’t necessarily want to get political here, but this is a massive change in society, and through what we do we can address it.
In this critical time, salespeople must find their true meaning even more than before, because they are crucial for peace in society. And Pipeliner aims to refocus, reengineer, and reimagine sales as one of the world’s most important workforces.
The Negative Connotation
As discussed in the last two articles, sales has been labeled with a negative connotation. This has been due to some salespeople’s behavior over the years, and their portrayal in the media.
We compared the sales profession to that of firefighters—no matter where you go in the world, firefighters have a fantastic reputation. Salespeople, on the other hand, do not. Our goal is to bring sales from a negative light into a positive one, similar to firefighters, because they are so crucial.
The Middle Class
But there is a much more broad reason that sales must once again find its true meaning: sales is vital for creating a middle class, which serves to stabilize the economy.
We seem to be having one crisis after another—ISIS, COVID, and now Russia attacking Ukraine. These crises serve to significantly destabilize society. This destabilization breaks down economic protective walls, meaning those of the middle class.
Only middle-class people can afford to buy homes. As firefighters keep homes safe, salespeople keep the society in balance. Wipe out or drastically decrease the middle class, and people can only afford to rent, live in trailer parks, or become homeless as we see in our larger cities.
When the middle class becomes greatly eroded and less influential in society, we’re left with the wealthy on one side, and a majority of unemployed or those in poverty on the other. Such a population can be very easy to manipulate, as Adolf Hitler did with the German Workers’ Party in 1919. We all know how that turned out.
Another reason we’re out to provide real meaning to those in sales is that there is a substantial number of people in sales positions—higher than at any time in the past. 30 percent of the working population leave college or just go straight from high school to sales-related jobs. They’re mainly taking these jobs because they haven’t found any other job they could do, or they’re doing it just to survive. But there are many who are not happy and have no meaning in these positions, and in fact sales has one of the highest turnover rates of any profession—the average salesperson only remains on the job for a year and a half. If they did have meaning, they could perhaps help create a better world.
Network Enforcing Ethics
We discussed in our last article that honest, purpose-driven salespeople can fare better in today’s networked community. Dishonest salespeople, or those who just behave badly, won’t get far, as their reputations will spread near-instantly through the digital world. The reputations of honest, helpful salespeople will also rapidly spread, though, and they will prosper.
There is another interesting factor that the networked society brings about. It brings pressure on salespeople to behave ethically.*
First, they have to be nice in order to sell. If you don’t believe it, just go out and do some shopping. Go out to buy, say, a new grill for barbecuing. The person you talk to at the store will show you the features and do their best to help you. If they don’t, they won’t have a job for long, and word of their behavior will follow them through the network.
Or go to a restaurant. How are you usually treated? They are very pleasant. They ask how your meal was and how you enjoyed your dining experience. If they didn’t act that way, you wouldn’t be back, would you? And where would you report your experience? Through an online review.
The world is more customer-centric than at any time in the past, but is also more at risk than ever before from riots and, now, war. Salespeople have more pressure to be customer-centric from social media and the network.
I have an assumption that this pressure could cause people to change, to become better people. If they weren’t before, under pressure they could become cordial, they become honest, and their traits actually change to those we outlined in the last article: patient, loyal, content, possessing self-control, acting with humility, and the rest. Think about it—if they are dishonest and arrogant and remain that way, they’re not going to do very well as salespeople.
My assumption says that if a salesperson works a whole day being customer-centric and treating people well, they go home and are equally nice to their families and friends. Of course, there will always be exceptions, and I have no study to back it up. Still, given the evidence I’ve personally seen in the sales world—and I’ve seen a great deal—I would hazard to guess that a good percentage of salespeople who spend all day being good to people are the same when they go home.
What kind of broad implication does that have? Not long ago, a study found that it only takes 25 percent of the total population to make a positive change. Therefore, if even 25 percent of salespeople are affected positively in the way we are describing, they will produce better communities, safer environments and a better culture. Isn’t that what we all want?
In bringing meaning back to sales, Pipeliner has one of many answers to the chaos troubling our world today.
A salesperson brings actual value to society. To begin with, they create happy customers. When a person purchases something they really want or need, the salesperson there has produced at least momentary joy.
Sales also produces peace. As we quoted in our first article, French economist and writer Frederic Bastiat said, “When goods do not cross borders, soldiers will.” But when sales and trade prevail, conflict does not exist.
Right there, sales has brought joy and peace. We can see that salespeople engage in the right thing to do—righteousness. And what is that right thing? It is creating a win-to-win for both parties. Not to get religious, but the Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, stated, as an alternative to the Roman Empire, that the structure of a stable society is not built on eating and drinking but on joy, peace and righteousness.
It all boils down to creating an environment where we can all live with each other. This is our vision at Pipeliner—to influence salespeople to become the driving force for building this joyful and peaceful environment.
At Pipeliner, we’re not only providing the best CRM on the market, we’re also engaged in a mission to once again establish a society in which people can live with one another. It’s a mission more important today than anything else, for who wants war? People long to live happily with each other.
If that is not the meaning, then what is?
*As a side note, these kinds of pressures fall on many other professions, too, and cause them to behave in a friendly, customer-centric manner—but why not on politicians?