Perception Is Reality... Are You Being Viewed As Just Another Empty Sales Rep?

larry levine Jul 24, 2023
Perception Is Reality... Are You Being Viewed As Just Another Empty Sales Rep?
"Emptiness is a symptom that you are not living creatively."
Maxwell Maltz

How would you define being empty?

Are you leading a creatively filled sales life?

We will refer to the Collins Online Dictionary for a moment, as we take a peek into their definition of empty.

  • An empty place, vehicle, or container is one that has no people or things in it.
  • An empty gesture, threat, or relationship has no real value or meaning.
  • If you describe a person's life or a period of time as empty, you mean that nothing interesting or valuable happens in it.

Now, let's twist these definitions up a bit, as we make them sales centric...

Are your client relationships in an empty state of mind, would you know?

Are you bringing real value and meaning to your client relationships, would you know?

Are your client relationships filled with interesting and inspirational experiences, would you know?

To quote Arthur Erickson,

"Illusion is needed to disguise the emptiness within."

What may you be disguising? What may you be hiding? May there be an illusion being portrayed?

Are your client relationships filled with love, sincerity, a sense of belonging and community or are your clients viewing these relationships as being shallow, lacking substance and full of disconnect?

How are you presenting yourself to your clients?

How are you being viewed by your clients?

Does the walk match the talk?

What is true and not true?

"We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality."
Iris Murdoch

Allow this quote to sink in for a bit, as we travel back in time to July of 1977. The Grand Illusion was the seventh studio album by American rock band Styx. It entered the American bestsellers on July 30, 1977 at No.123, the first of an epic 127 weeks on the billboard's top charts.

I know there will be some of you singing right along with me...

Welcome to the Grand illusion
Come on in and see what's happening
Pay the price, get your tickets for the show
The stage is set, the band starts playing
Suddenly your heart is pounding
Wishing secretly you were a star
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Click on the album cover to watch the video

I believe, sales professionals deep down inside, do not wish they were a star, they believe they are a star... in the minds of their clients, future clients and out into the community.

They lead with intention. They are congruent with their actions. They carry themselves with confidence. They are the example. There is no illusion.

Sales professionals align their vision and values to earn the respect of their clients. With purposeful intent, they engage in heartfelt activities benefitting all those around them.

Your clients do not crave a grand illusion nor an empty sales rep. Your clients, future clients and community crave a sales professional who is heartfelt, sincere and is fueled with empathy, emotion and excitement.


“Thoughts become perception, perception becomes reality. Alter your thoughts, alter your reality.”
William James

The phrase "perception is reality" is a commonly used expression suggesting people's understanding and interpretation of the world around them. Their biased perceptions can shape their reality, even if those perceptions may not align with objective facts.

How individuals perceive and interpret their experiences can heavily influence their beliefs, attitudes, and actions, regardless of whether those perceptions accurately reflect the objective reality.

Let's put on our sales hat for a moment...

Could all the past unfavorable experiences with salespeople be distorting your client's reality?

I believe "perception is reality" highlights the significance of how our perceptions influence our experiences and understanding of the world.

My friends, this ties directly into how many of your clients view salespeople.

If you desire to change their perception, then change the narrative. Meaning, control how you show up for your clients and future clients.

What you are you doing to build authentic relationships while bringing meaningful value?

What inspirational experiences are you bringing to transform their deeply rooted belief of salespeople?

This is a terrific quote by Linda Humphreys, PhD, a psychologist and life, relationship, and spirituality coach,

“Perception is merely a lens or mindset from which we view people, events, and things.”

Question for all of you... How do you want to be perceived by your clients and future clients?

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“Being a self-leader is to serve as chief, captain, president, or CEO of one’s own life”
Peter Drucker

Sales professionals hold themselves personally accountable and self-manage themselves to a higher degree of standards than all the other empty sales reps.

They are highly effective in opening business conversations as they speak the language of leadership.

With confidence and conviction, they communicate insight and ideas to the hearts and minds of those whom they wish to move to action, their clients and future clients. They keep the conversation simple and do not overly complicate things.

How well are you communicating the language of leadership?

How well are you engaging your clients in business conversation?

"Empty pockets never held anyone back, only empty heads and empty hearts can do that."
Norman Vincent Peale

Are you willing to look inward? Are you willing to unlock your heart to align to the hearts and minds of your clients?

Sales professionals are not viewed as being empty through the lens of their clients, future clients and community.


I firmly believe the words you use and the messaging you use determines how someone views you, connects with you and relates to you.

The sales world is riddled with sales jargon, industry acronyms, phrases, cliches and crapola... all of this may sound impressive to you but how do you think your clients or future clients interpret what you're throwing down?

Are you using the same overused sets of jargon to describe situations as a replacement for just speaking plain old normal language?

Are you relying on industry buzzwords, catch phrases and acronyms to communicate concepts rather than explaining what they truly mean?

Let's just get real... Do you think this makes any of you sound or look smart? I promise you this... It only adds to more confusion as opposed to clarity.

Words matter and you must choose them wisely.

Sales professionals communicate in a way that brings them to life.

When you hide behind catch phrases and buzzwords this will only expose you and then label you as being just another empty sales rep.

These words drive your clients bonkers...

  • Turnkey
  • Streamline
  • Think outside the box
  • Best in class
  • Cutting edge technology
  • Leading edge
  • Revolutionary
  • Wheelhouse

Sales professionals continually master the art of communication. This allows them to converse with their clients in a way that engages, informs, and excites them into business betterment.

Quite frankly, most sales buzzwords do not contribute meaningfully to a sales conversation. In fact, the polar opposite occurs causing many to distrust salespeople or making them feel confused.

Sales professionals exchange buzzwords for power words to create connection and collaboration.

Nothing worse than an uneducated sales rep who recites information off the back of a brochure or acts just like all the other empty sales reps.


Here lies the mirror moment... We all know how hard it is to gain access to the C-suite. When you secure that coveted meeting, it’s mission critical you maximize every minute.

The last thing you want is to have decision makers walk away empty handed, or worse, leaving them confused or none the wiser.

Are you being viewed by executive decision makers as being just another empty sales rep? Would you even know?

Hear me out on this one... Empty sales reps cover up their lack of understanding and experience with sales jargon, all because they think it sounds good. All this does is confuse, alienate and label you.

In George Orwell’s essay, Politics and the English Language.” he shares his opinion on our reliance on “dying metaphors,” “pretentious diction,” “stale similes and idioms,” that have clouded our thinking.

He understood that if we only recite clichéd and meaningless phrases because they sound nice, we’re spared the effort and challenge of not only crafting our thoughts and opinions into fresh language, but confronting what our thoughts and opinions really are.

Simply put, using unclear and cliched sales jargon reflects upon you with unclarity and canned thinking. 

Again, I just have to ask... How do you want to be viewed by your clients?


"Self-worth comes from one thing - thinking that you are worthy."
Wayne Dyer

You must live, walk, talk and breathe as a sales professional.

Do you believe in YOURSELF and your messaging?

Are you carrying yourself with confidence?

An executive appearance, presence and attitude may open some business doors of opportunity, however; without competence those will quickly dissipate.

I would like for all you to stop for a moment and think about this scenario...

What happens in a first meeting, when an executive shares their vision, business initiatives and challenges and all you can contribute to the conversation is a stream of buzzwords, canned pitches and sales jargon?

People, we know this is happening!

What has just been described my friends is an empty sales rep.


Obsessing over labels and perception stops you from being an authentic version of you.

I encourage many of you in sales to remove the mask and become your true self.

You must ditch the facade, buzzwords, and sales jargon.

There are way too many sales reps who believe they are ‘A’ players, but in actuality they are nothing more than ‘C’ players hiding within an empty sales rep.  

If you find yourself being labeled or judged as being empty, stop and then ask yourself...

Is it true?

Is it limiting you?

Take all of this to heart as you control how your clients and future clients view you.

Expensive name brand suits are no substitute for business acumen or business substance.

Fine clothing is not a substitute for brains.

I encourage you to look in the mirror...

  • Are you being sincere with your clients?
  • Are you bringing substance to your clients?
  • Are you engaging in business conversation with your clients?

We can control what we can control, and this is how we carry ourselves. If you want to avoid being labeled as just another empty sales rep, then it is your sole responsibility to do something about it.

Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn.

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