The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Business card titles…

As a professional salesman, I can get pretty self-absorbed in the examination of business card titles.  Usually, I’m fixated on the business card titles of prospects.  

However, I’ve noticed when I’m coaching other sales professionals; they don’t get into this topic as enthusiastically as I do.  For instance, when they say they’re working with the CFO, I’ll ask, “Is that the title on her business card or email signature line?”  I typically get a blank stare in return. 

There’s one tendency about “Chief Financial Officers”, or any other “Chief” for that matter: Chiefs have Executive Assistants; middle managers don’t.  In the above example, when I respond to the sales rep’s blank stare by continuing, “Have you identified the CFO’s EA?”  Their blank stare usually continues as well.  It’s then that I can tell they aren’t much into the concept of business card titles.  To them, any old voice on the phone will do I suppose. 

OK, let’s turn towards our prospects.  Does the business card title of the sales rep they work with make a difference in their decisions?  I mean, in the sales profession we have a plethora of preferred business card titles, true? 

Who do you think your prospects prefer: a “Manager” (and are you of the District Manager or Area Manager variety)?  Do you think your prospects ever wonder: exactly who or what you manage anyway; People? Accounts? Areas?  How about being a Business Performance Advisor?  Or a “Consultant”? 

Do the business card tiles of “Systems Engineer” or “Solutions Architect” stimulate buying preference; or blank stares?  I’ve noticed not many sales professionals use the business card title of Soothsayer anymore.  I guess that one fell from grace sometime after the first century: 

It seems to me that no soothsayer should be able to look at another soothsayer without laughing.


Today, in my industry, “Account Executive” is the title of preference; even better, “Senior Account Executive”.  (Implying others are what, “Junior”?)  Have you ever observed how our prospects react to our business card title positioning?  In my experience, outside of Japan, blank stares are the common prospects’ reaction.  I don’t think they are very much into business card titles either. 

So if all the time and energy invested into business card title creativity generates more blank stares than substance, what do our prospects value when sizing up an introduction to their next, new sales rep? 

Well, let’s take fixing our cars for example.  I prefer an experienced auto mechanic over a Solutions Consultant, Area Manager, or Senior Account Executive.  How about you?  Of course, as the “prospect” I don’t really like being so dependent on my auto mechanic to begin with.  They can speak in such complicated and technical terms, yes?  Puts blank stares on my face. 

Although a Do-It-Yourself alternative is not a practical option, I try to participate in the decision-making process.  Unfortunately, it seems the only sense of control I have over repair decisions is whether to have them done now – expensively – or procrastinate and wait to have the repairs done later – even more expensively!  I should heed the advice of our favorite, Unknown Sage who has coached us on auto repair rates for years; 

            Labor Rates    

Regular                                 $ 24.50

If you wait                                 30.00

If you watch                                35.00

If you help                                     50.00

If you laugh                                      75.00                      

BTW – what business card title to do suppose our favorite Unknown Sage carries on his or her business card? 


 Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.



  1. Jenette
    Sep 26, 2012

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

    • Gary
      Sep 27, 2012

      Hi Jenette, Thank you very much for your kind comment – makes my day! I try to write a little ditty each week. Thx, GAP

  2. Sybll
    Sep 27, 2012

    Gary – BRAVO! I laughed hard – do I owe you $75. This brought up fond memories of an exercise with you and our Sales team a long time ago. The team felt that being called Sales Reps did not give them the clout they needed. We settled on Account Managers and I remember no one laughed when I asked if that meant my new title should be VP of Account Managers. I find that most people see thru the titles so I just say “I’m in sales”.

    • Gary
      Oct 02, 2012

      Hi Sybll, Thank you for reading and offering your experiecned perspective. Yes, I fondly remember our times together leading your sales team. Thx, GAP

  3. Marcy
    Sep 29, 2012

    I was just looking for this information for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your site. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list. Normally the top websites are full of garbage.

    • Gary
      Oct 02, 2012

      Thanks Marcy! Hope you continue to find my little ditties. GAP

    • Gary
      Oct 02, 2012

      Thanks for your kind comments. GAP

  4. Judith Ann Mcdermott
    Oct 13, 2012

    I will immediately snatch your rss feed as I can not to find your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please permit me understand in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    • Gary
      Oct 17, 2012

      Hi Judith, Thank you very much for your kind remarks. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and if you would like to subscribe to my book, you can complkete your subscription on my web site. Thx, GAP

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