Why Professional Selling is such a Noble Task

December 19, 2016


People who help other people are expert at uncovering their needs, desires, and aspirations. When there is a strong match-up between expressed needs and an offered solution, product, or offering, a powerful transaction takes place. Professional selling is all about needs-satisfaction. The old stereotype of selling as coercion, strong-arming, or manipulation is very far from the noble skill of professional selling which is sustainable and rewarding. Professional selling is a profoundly valuable leadership skill, which can be applied to all sorts of human interactions such as building relationships, creating friendships, mentoring and counseling, and supporting others. When applied to other human interactions, many of the key professional selling skills can be life changing, and transformative for the customer or stakehoilder.

  • Active listening - listening can be superficial and thin, when the main objective is to get to our self-centered desire to make our own point and make it quickly. Active listening, on the other hand, is intensely "other-centered". It is all about applying interest and compassion to the process of learning what the other person is saying and what the other person needs. Active listening is centered on serving the needs of the other person. In the commercial realm, when this happens there is a fit between what the person needs and what your product or service delivers. Commercially, this results in a sale, revenue, and profit. In the realm of human relationships it results in alignment of purpose and will.
  • Empathy - active listening leads to a powerful intersection of need and solution. Empathy means that there is common ground and understanding, and a mutual sense of value. When a customer buys the car that he wants and he has a high degree of satisfaction with the model, style, color, and gadgetry it is because the professional salesperson has been empathetic to what needs and desires they have uncovered from the customer. Empathy is no less powerful in human relationships. We get along and we support each other when we know each others needs and values. When there is empathy, there is a powerful intersection of human need and friendship.
  • Handling attitudes of skepticism, indifference, misunderstanding, and perceived drawbacks - every professional salesperson is confronted with objections and he knows how to handle them. In fact, such objections are more often seen as opportunities to uncover additional needs and desires, rather than being seen as obstacles. Being adept at this skill helps the professional sales person to most effectively match features and benefits of a product or offering to the customer. Human interactions also often involve handling these attitudes. This is one of the reasons why trained selling professionals can offer a noble gift to the world.

The Bible has much to say about listening and noble tasks.

 The wise writer of Proverbs (likely Solomon) in the Bible states that "To answer before listening— that is folly and shame" (Prov.18:13). 

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians stated that "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" (Phil. 4:8).

I would suggest that successful businesses harness the best in their salespeople and elevate the task and skill to the highest level of respect and development. I also believe that within the church, the noble skills of active listening, empathy, and handling human attitudes are central to our missional and evangelistic task. Jesus embraced these skills in His everyday walk in His ministry. So should we missional people........... who want to build God's church.


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 Copyright © 2017 Rev. Michael F. Dell, Footpath Leadership, All rights reserved.