Life is short and selling is downright hard, especially today. I’ve been either a sales professional or leading a sales organization for the better part of 20 years. I won’t lie to you, there are days when it feels like 50 years. It’s on those days that I have to remind myself why I love the sales profession—cracking the code on people.
I have an inherent need to solve puzzles. As a child, I was one of those elementary school kids that spread Elmer’s glue on my hand so I could let it dry and peal it away like dry skin…I spent hours working my Rubix Cube or playing every form of solitaire imaginable. I’ve always psychoanalyzed my dogs (and treated them like royalty). And today I am addicted to Spider solitaire and am fascinated by the way people behave in airports and shopping malls.
No doubt, these things uniquely prepare me for the hardest job in the world—selling. Sales is a never-ending process of seeking answers, peeling back layer after layer, lining things up and caring about this mystery-person’s needs before yours. You have to be tireless and not let the white noise (competition, corporate politics, unanswered calls, etc.) distract you from solving the puzzle.
At the end of the day, that is the key to bringing the right solution to the table, closing the business and making a difference.
Hard economy or not, sales has to be about connecting with people.
I don’t care if you’re a sales rep for a moving company or senior account executive for a consulting firm. If you don’t hook on to an issue that is important to the person you are talking to, then you don’t have a relationship—and you don’t have an opportunity.
It’s a timeless fundamental, and I am amazed how often this still gets missed today.