Beggar, Salesperson and the Sales Consultant

I travelled over 30,000 kilometres between March and April, 2023, commuting between London and Lagos to contribute to a variety of impactful projects. I had the privilege of facilitating the “Selling Luxury Products to High Net Worth Individuals” programme for Polo Luxury Nigeria Limited, conducting the “Sales and Negotiation Skills” training for the Sales Academy of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, and leading the “Effective Selling Skills” program for Zenith Insurance NG staff transitioning into sales roles.

During these engaging sessions, my primary focus was to elucidate the distinctions between the roles of a beggar, salesperson, and consultant within the realm of business development and revenue generation. Here are my thoughts:

Beggar: In the selling domain, a beggar relies on desperate tactics to gain market share. They appeal to the base emotions of prospects and customers, resorting to phrases such as “Please, my job is on the line if I don’t meet my target this quarter,” “We worship in the same place,” “I am pregnant,” “Sir, I can do anything you want me to, as long as you buy,” and so on.

Salesperson: The conventional salesperson adopts an approach of “the violent taketh it by force.” They aggressively push their products and services without much consideration for the needs of the prospect or customer. The mindset revolves around “aggressive marketing,” where the product is presented as a fixed entity that must be sold, with the primary goal being to meet targets. Any issues that arise are dealt with afterwards. Buyer remorse is a constant in this type of engagement.

Sales Advisor/Consultant: Business development professionals in this category prioritise the needs of the target market to determine the products or services they offer. The pricing strategy is influenced by the value that prospects and customers can derive from their offerings, with an emphasis on cost-effectiveness rather than mere cheapness. When selecting the physical and virtual platforms for product acquisition, they take into account the comfort and convenience of the prospect. Most importantly, their engagement revolves around the short and long-term value the prospect will derive, rather than a desperate drive to meet revenue targets.

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