Sales vs. Consulting: Moving Away from Stigma and Toward Mutual Prosperity

10 Feb 2015 Bryan Shaw


A few months back, my boss tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I’d be willing to help find a new salesperson to join STS Technical Services’ team. Shortly after agreeing to undertake this recruiting project, I soon realized that finding a well-rounded, motivated sales leader was a lot harder than I had originally anticipated.

Given the difficulties I was facing, which equated to one not-so-qualified candidate after the other, I began scouring the Internet in an effort to better understand my plight and to see if I was the only one experiencing, what I like to call, “searching for salespeople setbacks.”

When conducting my research online, I stumbled across a recent article in The Wall Street Journal that led me to believe I wasn’t the only one struggling to find quality sales personnel. The article highlighted the fact that numerous companies across the U.S. were having a hard time filling vacant sales positions with top-tier talent. After reading the piece in its entirety, I began to conclude that there must be a shortage of quality salespeople, right?

After months of recruiting for this position with no end in sight, I started to ask myself, “Why is it so hard to find motivated people who want to pursue a career in sales?”  My initial research led me to conclude that I wasn’t alone in this struggle, but I needed to prove to myself that there was, indeed, a sales-talent shortage. After countless hours filled with reading as many articles as I could get my hands on, I began to surmise that salespeople have created a bad image for themselves, and youthful generations aren’t flocking to pursue a career in sales because of that image.

When it comes to selling, no matter the industry, research suggest that many sales professionals are pushing products and services with only one end-goal in mind, which is to fatten their wallets.

To me, and maybe this is why I’m struggling to find the right candidate, great salespeople are astute problem solvers, excellent listeners and often subject-matter experts. They are regularly sought out by customers and coworkers alike for guidance and advice about the betterment of the business. Great salespeople aren’t pushing their products or services with a one-track, money-making mindset. Instead, they ask intelligent questions in an effort to understand client issues while helping to create a road map aimed at solving those issues. In short, great salespeople act in the client’s best interest rather than focus solely on getting the commission.

So as I continue my search to find a great salesperson to join our ranks, I’ve decided to take a different approach in my recruiting efforts by attempting to find someone who is more interested in being a consultant first and a salesperson second. Moving forward, I strongly believe that this mindset will attract the type of person that we at STS Technical Services value, a person who is committed to the betterment of our brand while going above and beyond to help its customers.

If you’re interested in learning more about available sales position I’m trying to fill, shoot me an email and I’d be happy to tell you all about it.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.