The hidden salesperson and the inspirational sales process.

The hidden salesperson and the inspirational sales process.

Let’s see how the sales process evolved over time. 


Until not long ago, selling was a very well-articulated process in which someone acted as a salesperson. That someone was often associated with insistence, aggression, or how he wanted to persuade you to buy products that you didn't need. To collect the commission. On the other hand, the majority perception about sales people was that they know how to be charming and have a native penchant for convincing people. Basically, you either love sales and you are born for it, or you don’t.

I invite you to think that the scenario above exists in a world where there is no Instagram and Whatsapp, the internet is barely taking the first steps towards widespread use and online stores have 1% of today's market share. Yes, more than two decades ago this was a reality. 

Basically, the buyer had far fewer sources of information and opportunities to check what a salesperson was saying. In the seller-customer relationship, often the power was with the seller who found out your needs and proposed a solution. If you didn't like the way he behaved or you didn't think he was honest, you couldn't leave a negative review and maybe you had to go to the other side of town to find a similar product or service.

Today things are completely different. The buyer has so many options, online prices comparators, detailed and interactive product descriptions, YouTube video tutorials on their use, the opportunity to post on social media and spread the word if they liked something or not.

So somehow the balance of power has changed. Buyers are more informed, more educated and now they have more resources available every day. I often know in advance to meet with the sales representative what they need, the price, and the options of the products/services. Now my question is, are salespeople on the verge of extinction?

Who are the hidden sellers?

I would rather say that the role of salesman evolves with society and technology. Many of the sales agents who knocked on the doors of block stairs after the Revolution, with all sorts of products, after the American model, or the advisers who sat on the chair in a clothing store and how you came in were asking if they could help you with. Or something similar. Then they would follow you to the test booth and tell you what outfit suits you best. But there are other forms of sales, more subtle and with an equally great influence on others.


At first, sales roles began to take on different names. In the Sales Agent chain, the function changed to Relationship Manager, Account Manager, Client Advisory, etc. I mean, not only do I sell something, but I'm a partner, I advise you and selling is more than a transaction, it's a relationship. Then, with the technological progress of recent years, hidden sellers appeared. I mean people who make sales without working in sales and often without realizing that they are making sales.

Doesn't this means that someone spends most of their time convincing, influencing, and motivating others to take action in some way? What do you think about teachers who want to inspire their students to study and develop their intellect? Colleagues who make a business case to persuade managers to give them a budget? Or what about recruits who want to convince the right candidates to accept a job offer? Entrepreneurs who want to inspire their team members with their vision to influence them to stay with the company? Or the doctors who want to convince the patient that he will do well if he follows the treatment? Are all these people hidden sellers?

I say yes and tend to believe that sales are evolving in the direction we inspire people to make a choice, rather than reading a script, memorizing, memorizing the need, and then presenting the product. Today, most of the time, the client knows what he needs. Do a Google search and find out what product or service you need and how much it costs. Furthermore, you, as a salesperson, can identify what problems your product can solve, sometimes other than the ones the customer thought of, and you can inspire him to choose your solution/option.

Daniel Pink published a study in his book Selling is Human in which he discovers that, on average, people spend about 40% of their working time doing things that we would normally attribute to a salesperson. So, you might as well be a hidden salesman.

Aware of this, we can train these skills. The phrase "inspire others" may not be as tangible as "memorizing a sales script by heart." Moreover, like many of the skills needed in the new sales paradigm, he does not have a clear recipe. We cannot "delete" a dissatisfied customer or make a formula to conclude any potential contract. However, we can apply a set of tools that give us greater chances of success. This is what we do, for example, in a different Sales Course. We train those skills that are not developed in school and apply the latest tools and discoveries in behavioral psychology.

I want to end the article with a real story that emphasizes how important perception is when we want to inspire others. People make decisions rather emotionally, and the new skills we need in sales are related to this. Rooser Reeves, an American advertising director, was returning to the office during a lunch break with a colleague. They met at one point with a man begging with a handwritten sign on a cardboard sign: "I'm Blind." Next to him, the man had a donation glass that contained only a few coins. Reeves told his colleague that he knew why the man did not receive money from passers-by and bet with him that he could change the situation by adding three words to the sign. The colleague accepted the bet, so Reeves explained to the man what he wanted to do to help him collect more donations. He received permission, took a marker, and added three words to the sign: "It's spring and I'm blind." Almost immediately a few people stopped and dropped the coins into the donation glass. Soon the coins spilled out of the glass and more and more passers-by contributed to help the blind beggar.

Whether you are a salesperson by the nature of your job or a hidden salesperson, ask yourself, "How do I inspire people around me to choose me and opt for the solutions I offer?" Let's train together for a different Sales Course.

Articole similare

Dr. Taibi Kahler, founder of PCM®

Find out the story of Dr. Taibi Kahler in a well documented article and discover how he created PCM® methology and collaborated with NASA.

Find out more
Organizational culture. How can it help you?

Find out the story of Dr. Taibi Kahler in a well documented article and discover how he created PCM® methology and collaborated with NASA.

Find out more
Facebook LinkedIn Instagram Twitter
Programe de dezvoltare organizațională și soluții inovatoare care te ajută să câștigi timp, bani și înțelepciune.
Strada Popa Nan, nr. 171, Bucuresti
0745 755 484
  1. The hidden salesperson and the inspirational sales process.