My father was in sales all of his professional life. He is now comfortably retired with my mother and enjoying all the benefits that brings. Following in his selling footsteps I would be remiss if I did not attempt to glean whatever wisdom I could from a man who clearly had a successful career in sales. Over the years he has told me a number of things and in today’s post I’d like to highlight just one of them. This will be a first in a series I have entitled ~Fatherly Wisdom
He would often tell me, “Son, there are two kinds of salesmen in the world. Those who are humble and those who are about to be.” As I’ve gotten older and spent more time in this field the truth of these words have never been more relevant. I’ve met my share of young, brash and cavalier salesmen and women who have taken one too many motivational sales classes. You know the type. They show up slightly overdressed with their hair slightly too perfect wearing too much cologne or perfume and they are convinced that just their presence alone will result in a “YES” from the customer. Why? Because some overly enthusiastic sales guru filled his or her head with notions of quick success and even quicker money. They aren’t there to promote their customer. In truth, deep down, they are there to promote themselves. After a while this person is humbled and forced to admit something isn’t working. Most of the time this results in a change of career instead of a change of attitude.
Sales isn’t about convincing someone to purchase something they may or may not need. Even if you are lucky enough to do this, you usually will only get to do it once. The American consumer is smart and they know a cheesy sales pitch when they hear one. To me, sales is about having mutual goals and then helping each other reach those goals. If I help my customers succeed they will make a profit and, in turn, will reward me for helping in that success. We both must win. I have turned down dozens of opportunities over my 10 years in this position not because they wouldn’t have benefited me, but because they would have benefited ONLY me.
I don’t want a one time customer. I want a lifetime client. If it’s not good for you, it’s not good for me. Albert Einstein once said, “Try not to become a man of success. Rather, become a man of value.” That is my goal both personally and professionally. A man or woman of value will inevitably find success. A man or woman seeking success alone without value will find neither.
~Authored by Jason Brooks