Can Minorities Succeed in Sales Careers? Absolutely!
I’ve hesitated writing about a topic like this for almost 5 years since I started 321 Biz Dev LLC.
It’s a very sensitive subject for most people…people who are minorities in the sales industry and prospects who may be clients of minority salespeople. This post may surprise many of you too because my definition may be a little different than what most people expect.
The sales industry is not for everyone, but as a contradiction, anyone can learn how to sell. Selling is a way of earning a living that is totally different than showing up on a 9-5 job to perform tasks for a paycheck.
As a former F500 employee sales manager, the way I’ve always looked at selling as the activity generating paychecks for everyone in the company. That’s right. If you work at any private sector job (not a government job) getting a paycheck, it’s the sales revenue (new business, keeping current clients) that allows non-sales employees to take home a paycheck.
For independent white-collar small business owners like attorneys, cpas, dentists, plastic surgeons, insurance brokers and real estate brokers, another hurdle comes into play besides the obstacles preventing most white-collar small business owners for maximizing productivity and maximizing performance.
The reasons why I started 321 Biz Dev LLC 5 years ago was because we saw businesses fail as a result of not having sales systems and good business development plans.
Then, you add the minority angle to the reasons why many small businesses fail…this further impedes the road to success. What minority angle, Rick?
The question to ask is who is a minority in the sales industry?
But the bigger question is what challenges do minorities face when selling?
Let me communicate about a few of the challenges in question form:
Can the minority succeed in sales? This is the ultimate question. When the minority begins his or her business, will revenues exceed expenses to result in a profit? How about will revenue be generated at all? Yes, the minority will definitely have expenses. Expenses tend not to discriminate. Can a minority even succeed in a company where the minority is not meeting with the end customers? Let’s see who is paying attention. Every business along the supply chain is a either a buyer or a supplier…a client or a salesperson. So the minority should be able to fit in somewhere in this supply chain starting at a manufacturer or a distributor, all the way to end client.
What skill set is the minority missing which makes him or her more likely to fail in the sales industry more so than someone who is not a minority? Okay now. This conversation about the definition of minority is beginning to get a little tricky now. My question implies minorities are missing a certain skill set…and to acquire this missing skill set will fix the challenge minorities face in the sales industry? Is this what White Collar Sales Pros listeners just heard? To acquire a skill set means what? Does adding a skill set mean going to a motivational seminar or reading a book or watching sales training on YouTube? How will the minority know he or she has acquired the skill set? I would say the best way for the minority to test if he or she has mastered the skill set is to put knowledge into action and see if he or she can generate revenue.
Who is the end client? Are all end clients non-minorities? For a salesperson to be a minority assumes the end client is not a minority? But what if the end client is a minority too? Can the minority salesperson make the claim that being a minority in sales is the reason he or she cannot succeed when the end client is also a minority
And what makes the non-minority client not a minority?
Now, we are getting somewhere with this topic.
Now, let’s define who is a minority in the sales industry.
The historical definition of a minority in the USA is someone who is not Caucasian. A minority would be considered someone who is black, Asian, Hispanic, Arab…which are lots of people in our American society who are considered minorities.
There is clearly something wrong with the definition of a minority and more importantly why minorities might have difficulty in the sales industry.
Here are some the reasons why a person who is failing in sales and a minority cannot claim the minority status is the reason for failure.
Minorities can sell to other minorities. Then, who is the minority in this scenario?
There are not enough Caucasians to sell to everyone. Have you ever purchased a product or service from a minority? Like a home? A car? Dental treatment? Legal services? An insurance product? Car services? Purchased an electronics item from a retail store when a minority helped you find the right product at the right price?
Two part question: As a minority, have you ever outright refused to do business with another minority salesperson a) because the salesperson was a minority? Or b) because the minority salesperson showed poor people skills during dialogue about the product or service?
I can go on and on about this minority thing.
There are way more combinations to negate selling as a minority is a problem than I can prove selling as a minority is a hindrance.
Let me clear up my last statement. Selling as a minority is not the problem because sales in the USA are done every day by minorities to minorities and minorities to non-minorities.
Here are the different variations of what could be considered a minority salesperson:
And a non-minority is not always a Caucasian person. A minority could be a woman selling a product or service typically sold by men.
A minority could be a man selling a product or service typically sold by a woman.
A minority could be a man selling a product or service where the buyer would prefer a woman.
A minority could be a woman selling a product or service where the buyer would prefer a man.
A minority could be a person where English is not the primary language selling to someone whose primary language is English.
A minority could be a person where English is the primary language selling to someone whose primary language is not English.
A minority could be a Caucasian person with less perceived education than a Caucasian person with perceived higher education.
A minority could be a Caucasian person with a Southern accent trying to sell to Caucasian person with a NY accent.
A minority could be a Caucasian person with a NY accent try to sell to a Caucasian person with a Southern accent.
Now here is where I will define the 321 definition of a minority: a minority is someone selling a big ticket, high price product or service and does not have the skill set to succeed.
The point I’m making here is IF the salesperson is not using a sales system, he or she is a minority to other salespeople who use a sales system.
I’m here to tell salespeople that they can eliminate all chances of failing based on the presumption of minority status by using a sales system. As I just mentioned over the last few minutes, there are far too many diverse groups of people buying from minority-type scenarios I described above.
How does a sales system help diffuse this cloud that minority salespeople have difficulty selling?
Using a sales system, preferably the 321 sales system, creates little successes along the sales phases. Here’s how:
The 321 system trains every white-collar business owner or salesperson how to make contact. During the contact phase, if the contact does not respond to simple dialogue from the minority salesperson, the minority salesperson moves on. The mental safety net for the minority salesperson is not knowing or caring honestly if the contact did not want to establish dialogue with you because of race, gender, language, country of origin, etc. Maybe the person just didn’t want to establish contact. The minority salesperson didn’t take the loss by trying to start a conversation either face-to-face or over the telephone. The minority salesperson’s feelings did not get hurt. The contact never got a chance to say “I’m not buying because you’re black, white, a woman, a man, language, or country of origin.
The 321 system trains every white-collar business owners or salesperson how to prospect. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT what I’m about to say. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION. If the contact participates in a dialogue with a minority salesperson, the minority salesperson CAN NO LONGER say being a minority salesperson is an issue. People who have issues with minority salespeople do not participate in dialogue for the salesperson to determine if the person is a qualified prospect. So it is safe to say that everything moving forward determining if the contact buys or not WILL NOT BE based on the salesperson’s minority status (race, gender, language, country of origin). Moving forward will be based on skill set and whether the minority salesperson uses a sales system or not using a sales system. If no sales system is used and the contact does not become a prospect…and the contact is qualified to be a prospect....the minority salesperson cannot claim that the minority status is the reason for failure.
The 321 sales system trains every white-collar business owner or salesperson how to use a sales system to professionally close at the appointment. Now I don’t have time to define how “professionally close” is defined in this limited time. But I will say the 321 sales system has a closing system where salespeople, both minority and non-minority salespeople, will achieve an 80% closing probability. The interesting thing is the appointment phase is where many salespeople, both minority and non-minority salespeople, see failure. The minority salesperson will mark failure because of their minority status (race, gender, ethnicity, age, country of origin). The non-minority salesperson will just count the failure as part of the “numbers game” and keep it moving. Both failures are a result of not using a sales system.
The reason why I wanted to share this information on the White-Collar Sales Pros show is as the CEO offering sales system and business development services, I am a minority based on the historical definition of what a minority is…person of color. But I cannot let this minority label hold back my progress…and the label has not ever stopped me from succeeding over the last 20+ years.
In my business, most of my potential clients are non-minorities in the historical definition. But before I created the 321 sales system, I was failing with minority and non-minority prospects. Once I began using a sales system, I was able to be more effective with every minority and non-minority contact.
I want minority and non-minority listeners to know it’s not your race, gender, ethnicity, language, or country of origin. Your success is dependent upon how contacts and prospects view the interaction between you and them. If your interaction makes contacts and prospects feel good about you, then you are more likely to add clients regardless of your minority or non-minority status.
If you are a white-collar small business owner, and today’s post addresses a concern or situation that you are going through right now, please do not hesitate to call me at (833) 321-3212 or internationally using WhatsApp at +1 406-402-6400 to see if 321 Biz Dev LLC can help you find a winning solution.
We recommend small business owners looking for solutions, visit our website at 321bizdev.com and click the SERVICES tab to complete a survey/questionnaire to be begin the consultative process.
Thanks for reading this post. Make it a great day!