It seems like today, everyone is calling themselves a professional—whether they are competent in their job or not. There are the titles of “Professional Marketing Ninja,” “Professional Social Media Rock Star,” and the (perhaps more common) title of “Professional Sales Executive”. But are these considered “real” professionals? For that matter, what does a real professional look like?
I believe professionalism is more than being dressed for success or saying the right things.
To be truly professional is about being prepared to compete and win by having a plan along with a course of action.
To determine whether you are prepared, we at K.Coaching suggest asking yourself the following questions:
1. Am I using my strengths? As you prepare to compete, you want to play from a position of strength. Knowing what your strengths are isn’t arrogance—it’s having confidence in what you can offer your client.
2. Am I truly aware of what my competition is doing? Decide what they are not doing—or not doing well—so you can do it (and do it better). Understand how you can differentiate from them and prepare your approach to go after them intentionally and aggressively, yet professionally.
3. Have I analyzed my current business trends? This is above and beyond running reports, but rather looking at trends by market segments, product categories, and time-frames. Establish your immediate plan of action based on data trends and decide what activities are going to have the greatest impact on business growth.
4. Do I understand my customer’s business? What are their business objectives and challenges? Then be strategic in your approach and sales process to address their needs. How can you impact their business in a positive way?
A true professional is always prepared. Begin with understanding yourself, your business, and your customers. Then you can create your plan and put it into action.
Krista Moore, president of K.Coaching, Inc., an executive coaching and consulting practice that helps hundreds of companies maximize their full potential through enhancing their sales strategies, sales processes and sales leadership.