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Crushing Negative Stereotypes in Honor of National Salesperson Day

The title of salesman, or salesperson, does not always evoke positive emotions. Often thought of as sleazy, egotistical, and always trying to "close the deal", there are many misconceptions about sales people which affect the way buyers interact with them. Good salespeople, however, are the exact opposite of the defined stereotypes—they are people who make a substantive contribution, but often go unrecognized. We typically don’t consider the skills required of sales personnel or important aspects associated with a successful sale, and only see them as dishonest and/or money-hungry.


Traits of a Good Salesperson

Sales personnel not only need to know the ins and outs of their product offerings but also have a thorough understanding of their customers—sometimes better than they understand themselves—as well as their competitors to ensure they are offering the best possible solution. It is a difficult job, and it is certainly not for everyone, however, those who are committed to providing a superior buying experience should be recognized for their success. The sales team at EMA work with businesses every day to identify their needs and help guide them towards a personalized solution to best help their company achieves their end goals.


EMA Sales Team

This may come as a surprise, but being in sales is not purely a numbers game. Here at EMA fostering long-term customer success is our top priority. This means the sale does not end when money is exchanged, but rather much of our time is focused on fostering lasting relationships.


In honor of National Salesperson Day, we wanted to crush some of the negative stereotypes by interviewing a very important part of our sales team, Director of Sales Operations, Mike Gartland. Having been a part of the sales team at EMA for over 12 years, we thought Mike was a great person to provide some insight on EMA’s customer-centric approach to sales.



1. What has kept you at EMA Design Automation? 


I wouldn’t be able to name just one. This is my 13th year at EMA and I feel extremely fortunate for how much I actually enjoy my job. Strong ethics and the family culture are critical elements to EMA’s success. EMA has always offered the ability for anyone to ‘get out, what they put in'. If someone is motivated and willing to put in their maximum amount of effort, they have the ability to pave their own way and create a very rewarding experience for themselves at EMA.


2. Have you ever encountered negative stereotypes associated with your job title/position? If so how did you handle it? 


Of course! I never looked too fondly at sales people until I became one and realized the role of a salesperson—and the people that inhabit those roles—can vary greatly. I usually try and address the negative stereotypes head-on as I want to understand why that person feels that way.


3. What do you think about the negative stereotypes associated with sales people?


I can see why the stereotypes exist—like everyone, in my day-to-day personal life I encounter not-so-great salespeople on a regular basis and it is pretty easy to spot them. They are ultimately acting on the direction they have been given from their management, and their poor approach is typically resulting from fear of not achieving their sales targets, or some other sales-related metric. That is why I appreciate EMA’s culture and find it unique — achieving sales numbers is absolutely critical, but even more critical is having a successful, referenceable customer. Over the years we have churned through and terminated several sales people who have not embraced the importance of the second item. We are not in the business of supporting Prima Donnas.


4. What makes you a good sales person? 


The ability to listen. Not to just act like I’m listening, but actually listening to what the customer is saying and then adjusting on the fly. Maybe we have a fit, maybe we don’t; but I always walk away feeling like we’ve done right by the customer, whether we make a sale or not.


5. How would your colleagues describe you? 


Well, I may not want to actually know the answer to that, but I would hope that some of the following words might be used as descriptors: leadership by example, motivated, interested, available, respectful, personable, direct, problem solver, and finally, a positive perspective on all situations.


6. Can you describe a successful sale to us? 


I measure a successful sale by that customer/prospect becoming a referenceable point of contact/account. The sale is not a one-time event and it doesn’t end with an order. The customer needs to agree our deliverables match the original vision we mutually defined. This is our goal every time we engage with an opportunity.



National Salesperson Day gives us an opportunity to commemorate the hard work and dedication the members of our sales team put in every day. Thank you to all EMA sales personnel for your constant efforts towards providing the best possible customer experience throughout the sales process. So today, take a moment to thank the sales representative in your life for their hard work and dedication to your company's success. 


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