Posts belonging to Category Sales Strategies for Black Sales People

The Ultimate Sales Professional! Is it You?

I guess you could say that I have “Drank the Kool-Aid”  On this one!  There are just certain skills, attributes, and attitudes that you can have or develop that will put you in the leagues with the best.  Read today and Tuesday, 3/28, to get the rest of the scoop.  There is much to think about here.


Since late November of 2010, we have described many of the traits that a true successful professional would have.  We have outlined the activities and processes that would, over time, make a verifiable difference in this individual’s ability to reach goals, and provide customer satisfaction.

We have discussed personality attributes and skills that make a difference over the last several posts.  Once again it is time to talk about how a sales professional puts these all together and finds success.

Over the next three posts we will revisit these important posts and put these together in an effort to portray that individual who is sought by sales managers and customers alike.

This professional has learned the benefits of mastering relationships, both internal and external, to get the maximum leverage from each personal encounter.  This professional knows the different methods of getting exposure, and how to capitalize on it.  This individual is always prepared.

There will be some references to previous issues of Black Sales Journal, as I want to keep this as concise as possible, yet capitalize on the wealth of information that has been published to date.

Deep Enduring Relationships

There is no area more important in the long run than knowing how to ‘master the relationship’.  It does not matter what your level of intelligence is if you cannot decipher how to ‘work’ your personal relationships to your advantage, and your customers benefit, you will not have maximum effectiveness.

There is an ‘art to the relationship’ that is undeniable.  It cannot be substituted by process, intelligence, or hard work.  You see, the ‘art of the relationship’ is not an inherited trait.  It is something that you hone with every interface.  It can be aided by having a gregarious and engaging personality.

The successful Black sales professional has the ability to form deep and enduring customer relationships (Black Sales Journal 1/13, Deep and Enduring Customer Relationships and Black Sales Journal 1/20, Deep and Enduring Customer Relationships II).  This individual works with the assurance that existing relationships are strong enough to receive ‘preference’ as compared to ‘wanna-be’ sales professionals look to unseat him or her.  In other words, the customer prefers to do business with someone like this professional, and that preference ‘spoils’ the customer.  This is a powerful preference that is enduring, and anchors the relationship.  We all want to work with someone that provides value, and is concerned about our business, and produces results for us.

This ‘preference’ exists not only because of the solid personal and business connection that exists, but also because the professional is effective in providing the customer something of value.  Always strive to always be effective and always show value.

Undying Professionalism

Being effective is a good start, yet by itself it is not enough.  The consummate professional is more than just effective; he or she does those things that exude success.  We talked about this in Black Sales Journal 3/7, Be the Consummate Professional. This individual is:

  • Punctual
  • Empathetic
  • Attentive
  • Knowledgeable
  • Organized
  • Responsive
  • Visionary

Most of these are self explanatory, yet I want to spend a minute on a couple of them:

Responsiveness is ever important.  As stated in Black Sales Journal, Responsiveness – the Objective of the Sales Professional 6/16/2011, responsiveness is in the eyes of the customer.  It is defined by the customers expectations, and includes such important items as:

  • Answers the phone and returns calls promptly
  • Keeps commitments
  • Provides answers to inquiries and questions as soon as possible
  • Stays in touch – communicates
  • Provides requested information promptly

Knowledge will always set you apart.  This knowledge could get you labeled an expert.  This ‘designation’ comes from those people and businesses that have benefited from your knowledge, and make the claim in your behalf.  See a most interesting set of articles in Black Sales Journal 12/20, Your Customer Needs an Expert and Black Sales Journal 6/27, More on Being an Expert – An Edge for the Black Sales Professional.  Expert power is attractive to a customer.

Empathy provides a connection and a serum that convinces the customer you are real.  If you have no empathy for the customer, then why are you calling on them?  How are you going to solve their problem if you don’t have that connection?  Put yourself in you customer’s shoes.  Live their problems and your solutions will come about easier.  Always keep in mind that a customer can tell when you have no empathy as easily as you can tell when a love interest of yours is not interested.

Now for the point that pulls this together:  If you condition yourself to be accomplished at all of these different items, you will havecredibility. Enormous credibility is the product of having deep enduring relationships and being a consummate sales professional.

More to Come….

Armed with what is above you would think that success would be much more probable.  You probably are correct, although what are missing are the activities, habits, and processes that make the person formidable even if some of the personality issues are missing.

We will cover them in the next two information-filled posts.  These are powerful for the Black sales professional.  These items are hard to put together, and even more difficult to master, yet when you do, you have an enormous amount of power and potential.

Next up:  Black Sales Journal 3/28– The Ultimate Sales Professional Pt. II –Sales Professional in Action

We hope you will read it.  If you have comment, write me at

Racial Prejudice, Preference, and Perceptions and Your Customer! A Deep Dive!

The CustoemrThis is, and will remain, an important topic.  No matter whether it is the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or any decade in the 2000s.  Some things will get incrementally better, yet hope that they will change is still an interesting premise.


This post will reinforce the fact that the customer makes choices, and the sales professional must determine the way to interface  and find success.  This post will show clarification of my view on racial perceptions, racial preferences, and racial prejudices. I will also expand on some previous posts as to ways to change increase effectiveness when faced with preferences and prejudice from your prospect or buyer in some of my upcoming posts.   I have dealt with it in earlier posts; yet will impose a more striking angle in the upcoming posts.

The reality is that an understanding of these two items is essential in the day-to-day activities of the Black sales professional.

The 3Ps – Perceptions, Preferences, Prejudices

Racial Prejudice

Perceptions can slowly be changed.  They exist, and come from many sources.  A person’s life experiences, the media, parents, friends, and the knowledge and ignorance of interaction or lack of interaction formperceptions.  When these life experiences are negative, we have negative perceptions that fuel preferences and help substantiate prejudices.

Perceptions are normally wrong based on their application against a group of people based on some input which was either not factual, or was spread across a group of people without warrant. We will talk more about perceptions in an upcoming post, exposing activities that help to give credence to the negative perceptions.

Perceptions are prevalent in all racial and ethnic groups, and we should not criticize perceptions that we disagree with if we are going to carry perceptions of our own which are damaging to other races or ethnic groups.  We all need to fight against this activity.

Racial Preference

Preferences are a different and are powerful.  They are not always meant to be deleterious to a race or ethnic group, yet can have the same effect.   Your customer’s level desire of whom they want to work with is directly related to their relationship comfort.  That does not make it right.   Some of the preferences come from perceptions and some come from prejudice, yet preference is more substantial than those two inputs.  Comfort levels, familiarity, a lack of understanding, and some “lumping” of people into groups based on common elements manifest preference.

As an example, putting all Hispanics or African Americans into respective group on the basis that their ethnic background and “perceived” activities that are similar in nature is a perception which can be damning.  It is not often thought of that way, yet it is true.

Whether it is preference or it is prejudice, the effect is the same; lost opportunities, lack of diversity, locking out of good people of all races and ethnic backgrounds.

Racial Prejudice

Prejudice in life, and what we do from the standpoint of an occupation is wrong.  If we define prejudice as Webster does:

“an irrational attitude of hostility directed against, [in this situation] a group or race”.

It is insidious!

To discriminate because of race, ethnicity, or gender is at the base of everything we should never endorse.  When it comes to sales, it is no different.  It is not manufactured by anything substantive, but is fueled by narrow-mindedness.  I am sure you recognize that if it is wrong for one group, it is wrong for all.

Prejudice changes the landscape.  It cannot necessarily be changed, and any changes may well be short lived.  It robs the Black sales professional of opportunity and in some cases, based on your territory, success, yet exist, and will not be removed from the marketplace in my lifetime.

I will aver in an upcoming post that as sure as we are that prejudice exists, it is much less prevalent than the problems with preference.  This, we need to recognize.  We can change perceptions…we can overcome preference.  Should we spend time trying to solve or sell when prejudice is involved?

Blacks who discriminate against Hispanics or Whites in the sales arena are in the same “boat” as other ethnic groups that discriminate.  Whites who are in positions of power get more attention because of their roles.  The truth is that prejudice whether in a role of power or any role is wrong.

Why is this a Big Deal?

This is a big deal because recognition and tactics are so important for success.  There are tactics to defeat racial preference.  There are tactics to nullify and change negative racial perceptions.  Racial prejudice is different.  It is pervasive and even in situations where you are given the business, a positive relationship does not exist, so the business is potentially borrowed anyway.

There is no situation more gratifying than enjoying your occupation and getting a fair opportunity to perform it to your best ability.  Learning what you can change and what you cannot will conserve energy for redirection to positive tasks, as well as promote growth.

Your comments are welcome.  You can reach me at