There is a common misconception around just what is the “world’s oldest profession.” Well, regardless of the product or service that was being provided, a sale had to have happened for it to be a profession. Everyone in the business of exchanging value for currency, owes it to themselves to understand and master the art and profession of Selling.

According to the dictionary, a Sale is “the exchange of currency, as the price of a good or a service.”   and Sales is “all activity related to selling.” The Association of Talent Development (ATD) defines Professional Selling as: “The holistic business system required to effectively develop, manage, enable and execute a mutually-beneficial, interpersonal exchange of goods and/or services for equitable value.”

Wow, what a mouthful. But, that’s what we’re all here for, right? Sales! Professional selling, and its role in our success, is our common denominator. Confucious said… “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Professional Sales is that kind of “job.” When it comes to funding the life we have, the life we want, and the success we’ve defined – few careers offer the kind of opportunities that sales and entrepreneurship do.

For the fortunate people that are in the business of business-to-business sales, once we’ve DEFINED our dreams, it is absolutely within our power to make them come about with intellect, work ethic, our efficiency and effectiveness, and a commitment to excellence at our chosen craft.

People generally get into Sales for one of 3 reasons:

It’s a strategic starting point before getting into management and great training ground for a future in business.

They have a “Gift” and recognize the power to turn it into a great living, representing great products and companies.

Necessity – like in becoming an Entrepreneur or business leader… or, maybe because they needed a job and Sales was hiring. Two very different perspectives; but both are in Sales because they need to be.

If you are in Business, you are in Sales and if you are in Sales, you are in Business. That’s just how it works. CEO, Sales Leader, Sales Rep, or Entrepreneur, it is essential to understand the foundations of both sales and business before you can hope to fulfill your ambitions of success in either. As a professional salesperson, you are among those who feed the engine that turns the wheels of our society. Virtually nothing happens in our civilization until something is sold to somebody. Not to mention that the income and resulting taxes from successful business transactions funds our society’s very way of life.

Regardless of their product or service, most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders understand that their success or failure is squarely in their own hands and that, no matter how good they are at what they do, there is no business without revenue and there is no revenue without being able to effectively sell their wares. The most successful Entrepreneurs and Sales Professionals understand that the real value from their efforts comes when they build quantifiable equity through a loyal, satisfied and growing customer base.

The moral of this story? Sales is not just a job, it is a profession; live it as such. Learn, grow, develop, improve at it! In this profession, you can and must always be improving. There are so many niches and nuances in becoming great at sales; just as there are innumerable tools and esteemed advice available to help in doing so. There is simply no excuse for doing anything less than everything you can to get better at it.   As a “Knowledge Consultant”, your skills and abilities can be the differentiating factor in getting the sale (or not), so it’s essential that you continue to hone your craft and become your absolute best at it. Remember that, in this profession, getting better at it generally equates to increased income.

Most importantly, Entrepreneur, Sales person or Sales Leader, know that we are among those practicing the world’s very oldest profession; and we are fortunate to have the very best “job” on the planet.