I don’t “sell”

Every now and then I come across professionals who say things to me like:


“I’m not in sales.”

“I’m not a salesperson.” 

“Selling leaves me cold”


When I ask about their roles, it turns out that while they’re “not in sales”, they’re responsible for :

bringing in new projects, or

building relationships with organisations who issue tenders or

identifying donors or partners or

achieving a certain $value of clients in order to qualify/maintain partner ranking…


So, yes they’re in sales; they just define what they do differently. 

They’re not alone either. 


There are loads of people in professional services firms: lawyers, engineers, surgeons, accountants, project managers….who think “sales” is transactional, requires little skill or experience and belongs more in real estate, cars, retail than in their neck of the business world.  And frankly, their role requires good relationships, lots of skill and experience and isn’t remotely like real estate, car sales or retail.  Different.

It’s a limited view, but it’s not uncommon. 

Let me be clear: if you’re responsible for delivering revenue of any kind and the success of your role depends upon generating fees, membership, partners…for adding clients to your firm’s cache… then I’m sorry you’re in ahem (clearing my throat)…um sales.

But I get it.


Sales has had a bad rap for as long as I can remember.  I’ve written blogs about how no one has the word sales in their titles anymore; everyone is an account manager, a business executive, an account executive, a partnerships manager, a business development manager, a new business team leader, a client services  It’s definitely a “thing”.

Here’s why thinking this way about selling could be a problem for you though… You’re more than likely missing out on a ton of potential additional revenue because you don’t want to be seen in the way you think a sales person behaves: pushy, oily, deceptive.

And I’d say to you: absolutely – please don’t behave like that!  But I’d also like to add, that great salespeople don’t behave like that.  The best salespeople I know, regardless of the length of sales cycle, buying cycle, industry, market, economy or price are better at:


listening than talking,

connecting than bombarding,

thinking about their approach before executing and

genuinely wanting to improve the lives of their customers through their product/service.


Most of these people have honed their craft, deepened their skillset and execute well on their plans.  They’re congruous and develop trust quickly because that’s who they are everywhere.  This is how I associate with sales and selling.  It’s why I love it so much.

2021 will require each of us to be more flexible and have more in our toolkit than we needed in 2019 for example.  Is it possible that now is the time to grow not just your perception of sales and selling, but your capability? Even if your title  doesn’t have the word sales in it?  Is it possible to even be proud to be a great salesperson?  How could that change 2021 for you, for your clients and for your organization?



View our other posts

Energy flows where intention goes

I’m not one for denying reality.    When it comes to a healthy emotional and mental outlook, accepting reality is a key component.  And as I write this, Victorian small business, in particular, has been assaulted with another lockdown on a weekend that many in...

The Year of Recovery

2020…COVID.  Lockdowns…   Sorry, I don’t mean to be triggering…! But around April last year organisations pretty quickly realised that in such an “unprecendented” year it would be unfair to expect their sales teams to achieve original sales targets.  In fact,...

If you think there’s more, there probably is…

What a revelation!? If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably allowed yourself at times to entertain the notion that there is more possibility for you….even if you don’t know right now how to access it.  More roles, more revenue, more market share, more customers,...

Pressure reveals mindset

Getting back into a rhythm of market contact this year is going to be interesting to say the least.    In some sectors of the market, in person meetings are still rare indeed.  In others, market contact is all about being respectful of time which seems to be even...

I don’t “sell”

Every now and then I come across professionals who say things to me like:   “I’m not in sales.” “I’m not a salesperson.”  “Selling leaves me cold”   When I ask about their roles, it turns out that while they’re “not in sales”, they’re responsible for :...

Entitlement vs gratitude

I heard a story the other day that I found troublesome but not uncommon.    And it’s something that will absolutely separate those who will be ready willing and able to make the most of 2021 and those who won’t be. The first story was that of an employee who was...

Making the shift from Knowing, Doing to Being

I’m not interested in what you know, how long you’ve known it for or even how much you know.  I am happy that you know it.    Experience shows me though that it’s not knowledge that changes things, it’s the application of that knowledge.  We can know a lot of...

Choose Enthusiasm

Joy!….What is it good for….absolutely everything!  Say it again!   Customer service people, sales people, leaders of people….those of us who work with others to achieve an outcome understands the power of enthusiasm.  Of bringing joy to a situation.  It’s...

Are you successful in spite of yourself?

Success.  Achievement.  Getting results.   In sales and in sales leadership, there’s a measure of success: improvement in sales, improvement in margin, increase in average transaction value, reduction in sales cycles…So when targets across these measures are...

2021 Starts Now

Victorian sales teams: if you’re waiting for the end of lockdown until you can get back out there in person to see your prospects and customers, stop waiting!  The time was 2 months ago.  Act now.   I say this because it’s like we’ve been wading through treacle...