The APS supports Pride in campaign for sales diversity
03 July 2018
Posted by: Adam Harding
The Association of Professional Sales (APS) is pleased to support the Pride movement as we campaign for a diverse sales force building standards, trust and education across the sales industry.
The APS believes that sales as a vocation should be open to all, allowing us to celebrate who we are and be successful in business, not in spite of our differences, but because of them.
This week sees the culmination of Pride month with a major festival in London, to be followed next month by celebrations in Brighton and today the government has published an action plan to improve the lives of LGBT People. The 75-point plan, which includes eradicating ‘conversion therapy’ follows the largest national survey of LGBT people in the world.
It is 51 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, and five years since Parliament voted to legalise same-sex marriage but the survey of 108,000 members of the LGBT community still found that more than two-thirds fear holding hands in public because of negative reactions.
The APS is happy to support Pride In London’s three key pledges: the freedom to be safe, healthy and visible.
To make our backing clear, we have incorporated rainbow colours into the APS logo to support Pride month with the words “Proud to support every seller. Proud to professionalise sales.”
APS CEO, Andrew Hough, said: “We believe that sales as a vocation can and should welcome everyone. Our industry should be open to all, allowing salespeople to be confident in who they are, and to be successful.
“We celebrate Pride and support it’s mission to fight for true equality and challenge prejudice.
“If you have pride in being a professional salesperson show the world and help the Association of Professional Sales do more important work on inclusivity and diversity. Join our revolution to build standards and ethics across our industry and encourage others to follow.
“Help us to create a recognised profession, celebrated for its professional pride.”
Samantha Wessels, the co-chair of the APS diversity team said: “Our campaign for diversity is about valuing people for who they are so they feel comfortable in the workplace to be the best they can be.
“I am delighted that the APS has incorporated the rainbow logo to support Pride month with a clear statement that we are proud to support every seller and proud to professionalise sales.
“Diversity drives diversity of thought which leads to innovation and more business value.”
Apart from a moral imperative to do the right thing, supporting a diverse sales force makes business sense. People ‘buy’ people, and because trust is crucial to long-term, sustainable selling, if the seller and the customer share similar values and beliefs, trust follows and so does good, ethical business.
Our research shows that organisations which reflect the diversity of their customers have a much better chance of building businesses that prosper.
The Association of Professional Sales and our partners at EY, the global accountancy and consulting firm, have been researching and developing the economic arguments for inclusivity and diversity in the sales industry.
The white paper, produced with EY, called Performance Leadership – how diverse and inclusive sales teams are seizing competitive advantage – reveals that whilst diversity in gender, orientation, ethnicity and culture are morally right for business, they also provide greater return for companies and shareholders.
Click here to read the research.