These titles could all potentially describe the same position. The same responsibilities, the same place in the hierarchy.
So considering that, is your title important? Should we give weight to a title?
Yes and no…
How’s that for a non-answer? Unfortunately its as good as I can do since it depends on the situation.
Let’s go over a couple of examples. Both of which I am sure you’ve come across at some point in your career as a sales person.
Have you ever been in a situation where you are dealing with a customer who doesn’t like what you have to say, so you’re boss joins the conversation. Your boss says the exact same thing as you and the customer is OK with it.
Sound familiar? This is an instance where title does matter. Often customers, especially disgruntle ones, need to hear the message from a higher authority. No it does not make the information more right nor does it change the information.
But from the customer’s perspective, hearing it from your boss gives greater weight to the information.
Many times this is simply a matter of trust. Something I work hard to develop the moment I start talking with a customer or prospect.
Another example may be familiar when job hunting. When I was last looking for a job I often came across the title of “Sales Manager”. More often than not it was for a smaller company or a smaller territory then normally seen.
In my experience a Sales Manager is a management position. However, based on the description and job responsibilities, this was clearly an outside sales / business development position. There would be no direct reports and as such the position as described was an individual contributor role.
Definitely not what I would consider a Sales Manager. In this case title didn’t much matter. The title Sales Manager was used interchangeably with Sales Associate or Account Executive.
Don’t Focus On Title
Although I would love to have the title of VP of Sales, if my responsibilities were more in line with the title of Account Executive I could very well give the wrong impression to those I come in contact with.
Title Inflation as I call it.
In my opinion its as if a title is being used to make someone sound more important than they really are. And as I’ve referenced previously:
“Power is like being a woman, if you have to tell people you are, then you aren’t” ~ Margaret Thatcher
Let your actions and knowledge speak for your title. Build trust and it won’t matter if you are a junior titled sales person or the VP of Sales. They will trust that what you tell them is true.
What do you think? Should we care about titles?
Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net