So what makes me qualified to write this blog or to offer advice? There are a ‘gazillion’ salespeople in this country and almost as many people offering advice or writing blogs so what makes me different? Why should you take advice from me? Why am I doing this?
Let’s start with the latter first. I’m doing this because I care. Yea I know a lot of people say that, but very few truly do. The only way I can prove this to you, is through my words. I promise you will see my passion, my caring and my love for salespeople.
I have trained, managed and consulted sales teams for over 30 years. I have been very fortunate in my life to own businesses and to be financially secure. However I am most proud to say I am a salesperson at heart. It is my first true love. I love it so much that most of my companies’ clients through Empowered Mastery are salespeople.
I know what it takes and what it’s like to succeed; to be one of the top salespeople in a company and all the accolades that go with it. But more importantly I also know what it’s like to fail; to be fired and to lose confidence. I venture to say I have experienced all the highs and lows in my 30 + years’ experience. I truly believe we learn more from our failures then we do from our successes.
How did I get started?
I graduated college in 1982 without a job or any idea what I wanted to do. I saw an ad in a paper (yes back then that was the only place you could look for a job). The ad promised a rewarding career, unlimited income, be your own boss and more importantly, no experience necessary. It was for a financial services company
I went on 3 interviews and was hired. I was 21 years old and ecstatic. I later found out if you could walk, speak English and had a college degree they’d hire you.
My Sales Indoctrination
When I got my NASD license, my sales manager handed me a yellow covered binder with several empty pages. I was told I couldn’t go home until I filled up the pages with 100 people I could call. Being young, naïve but extremely ‘motivated’ I not only completed that assignment but also followed every task my sales manager gave me. I was like ‘Pavlov’s dogs’; I soaked up everything.
I found I had this innate ability with people, I loved the ‘game’, I loved the excitement. When I made a sale it was a natural high. My first year, I was in the top 100 salespeople nationwide. Everyone knew me, I was the rising can’t miss star. I was running sales meetings, created sales presentations and even knew the national VP personally. The next year I got promoted and became the youngest district manager (23 yrs. old) in the company’s history. I managed 50 salespeople from ages 22 – 50. I was full of confidence and bravado like Bud Fox in the movie Wall Street.
Six months later I was fired. It turns out I couldn’t manage or ‘motivate’ a team to produce like I did. I mean at 23 I should have been able to manage salespeople almost twice my age with 10 – 20 years’ experience right?
Yes such is the life of a salesperson; the emotional roller-coaster of highs and lows. I was on top of the world then just like that; unemployed, broke and depressed; all before I was 24.
Tips from this article
- Sales and Salespeople are my passion and my first true love
- I have experienced all the highs and lows and everything in between
- I have been on every side of sales; young trainee, Sales Manager, Owner and Coach
- Be proud you’re a salesperson
- Do it because you LOVE it