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In sales, today’s educated buyers know the difference between real butter and an imitation.


Funny, how many business professionals say they are a good salesperson, yet in all actuality, they are just in sales. This reminds me of the commercial for “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.”

Good salespeople are butter, not something that tastes and looks like butter. These individuals are not only busy but very focused.

They know their target audience. They work hard to connect with their ideal customers or clients.

Their message is clear, has an impact, and begins to build trust and credibility from the very first encounter.

Those who are just in sales, or the imitators, are busy, but not nearly as focused. Their target audience may end up being anyone with a pulse.

As to their messaging, well that is another sad story. Building trust and credibility may happen.

However, for those just in sales, this takes far more time and wastes many more resources.

Yes, those who are just in sales do make money.  Possibly because they seek easy, quick sales.  I can think of several industries where this seems to be true.

What Makes a Salesperson The Real Deal

A truly professional and good salesperson makes more money because he or she is not afraid of going after larger, more difficult sales.

These individuals are challenged by selling what others have failed to sell.  They understand that trust and credibility take time to develop. So they continually nurture those relationships.

There are other differences between a good salesperson and someone just in sales.

  • Differentiation in all aspects, including sales conversation to the sales approach
  • Knowledge about the ideal target audience, industry, market trends
  • Data respective to his or her own sales numbers
  • Professional ethical behavior, including not talking down their competitors
  • First impressions from dress to speech

After 35 plus years in the industry, I have witnessed far too many who are just in sales.  Fortunately, I have also been able to connect with many who are authentic salespeople, the real deal.

If you are a “good salesperson”, congratulations, and if you are someone just in sales, maybe it is time to up your game or find another role. In sales, today’s educated buyers know the difference between real butter and an imitation.

About the author

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith has over 25 years in sales. Her true joy is selling and…

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