The Job Title Trap

Actual card business cards are still around. Flourishing, maybe.

Even if you don’t partake, the issue of what to say next to your name continues to vex.

Job titles evolve at an astonishing rate. Flocks of the dodo lose out to marauding colonising beasts.

Almost two decades ago, I myself wrestled with this knotty one.

I had for some years preferred no title whatsoever. So stuck to my principle.

I mean, come on. What prospect really wants to see a card with “FOUNDER” emblazoned across it?

Which is one way in which the above cartoon is accurate. The given title hardly ever reveals the true way you “spend your time“.

They’re also right to suggest the hashtag, #entrepreneurfail. So how do we avoid the dreaded #salesfail?

There are many quirky ways of handling this.

I’m reminded of the insurance salesman who changed the frame. He called himself Insurance Buyer. When the inevitable query came, he explained that he bought policies on behalf of clients. And he cleaned up.

Then there’s the less impressive. Most famously perhaps being Mark Zuckerberg’s early “I’m CEO, Bitch.“, above his – all lowercase – name.

Sadly, many of us may have to contend with corporate mandated job titles.

Yet Sales Representative just doesn’t cut it for me. Nor Sales Manager or any such ego stroking greasy pole addition.

Best to have it left out. Keep it blank. Most HQ’s will accede to that.

But what you then say to prospects, well, that’s a whole different story.

Business buyers are not renowned for displaying their charming personality upon first meet. So the cocky and glib are best left aside.

Yet you can still express yourself. Place your endeavours inside the realms of the problem you hunt out and resolve along with the happy ending you enable and you can be on to a winner. So long as you don’t come across as that ‘monkey’.

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