The words “sales” and “philosophy” don’t really sound like they work together in any kind of a normal sentence.  If you are in sales, however, it might just make all of the difference in the world for you if you can see how they do.

A few years ago, I was having a – well – philosophical conversation about how to describe my work.  As we really dug into it, I realized that in many ways, I consider myself to be a bit of a “sales philosopher”.  When I shared this idea with more people, however, I usually got either funny looks, or spoken admonitions.

“Who wants or needs a sales philosopher, and what is sales philosophy anyways?!?”

OK – I’ll take the bait – let’s answer that.  Here is an example of sales philosophy and philosophy-less sales, and why it matters.

Let’s say that a salesperson sees his job in a very literal way, such as:

“my job is to sell stuff to people”

Now that is absolutely true, it is the core definition of a salespersons job to sell stuff to people.  This is not inaccurate.  But let’s compare that to a more philosophy driven perspective, such as:

“my job is to help people make a good buying decision about the kinds of products (or services) that I am selling”.

So what happens from within these different perspectives?

It is easy to imagine that the first perspective – the one about selling lots of stuff to people – can lead a person to do what it takes to get the job done – which may or may not have a high level of integrity, good feelings on either side of the buying and selling equation, and it could go either way for referrals and repeat business.  A salesperson who shoves something down your throat is probably not someone you would go back to or tell a friend about.

On the other hand, most salespeople spend more time with their products and services than most of their customers, and are more familiar with the issues around using their products and services.  As such, when a salesperson takes the second approach – to help the customer make a good buying decision, then the same thing gets done – a sale – but in a different way.

A salesperson taking the more helpful approach is going to be more likely to:

  • Work to learn his business, products and offers so that he can be of maximum assistance to the prospect
  • Work to understand the needs of the prospect
  • Listen to the concerns of the prospect
  • Make sure to suggest an appropriate solution, after learning well what that means
  • Etc.

Who would you rather buy from?

Who would you go back to?

Who would you tell your friends about?

Thinking about sales in terms of “just selling stuff” only works up to a point.  You might get the job done sometimes, but is this really the best way to serve your customers, feel good about your work and set yourself up for ongoing success?

Probably not!

However, when a salesperson operates from a deep, personal philosophy about how and why to do the job of sales, then the right behaviors tend to happen before, during and after the sale.  In today’s tough and competitive markets, this kind of edge will not only help our sales philosopher win more sales, but will help him feel good about the job of doing so as well.



Hi, I’m David Masover. With nearly three decades of B2B sales experience, I work as a private practice Sales Force Development Consultant. I help company leaders understand the root causes of sales issues that keep revenue from growing as fast as it could, and to fix those problems through work with reps, managers, systems, processes, strategies, and tools. You can learn more about me and my work and/or get in touch with me here at my web site or on LinkedIn at