NEXT023 What Do You Think of When You Hear “Salesperson?”

Posted on : 07-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Career Stuff, Communication

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What comes to my mind immediately when I hear salesperson is  straight  out of a 60’s sitcom TV land where the salesperson is a cross between one of Samantha Stevens’ relatives and right  out of a Maytag storefront from Mayberry RFD. They’re someone who is wearing some form of all over checkers, snapping their fingers and popping their gum.  They have  slicked back hair in some style or fashion to give the overall feeling of a schlemiel and whose main objective  in life is to get the most out of you that they can for whatever product or service they are selling.  These characteristics have been baked in mind over many decades!

Fast forward to the end of the 90’s and the 2000’s when I found myself recruiting technical architects, developers, project managers from all across the globe.  Imagine my surprise when I learned from one of the consultants we’d hired that from their perspective  recruiters a.k.a. head hunters were as close to used car salesman as they could get.  That’s not how I saw myself at all and I spent a decade helping to create a team of recruiters who earned the reputation as someone who cared about the people who we worked for (our company, the consultants as well as the clients) and that we were looking out for their best interests—not just our own.

I left my tenure as a technical recruiter to pursue my calling as a Professional Life Coach. Along the way I’ve been writing and blogging as well as producing, writing, and hosting a web-based internet show (Hope42Day).  During these past few years I’ve heard many things from friends and family as they try to pin down what it is a do and how I do it well from “Lynn you’re a great writer, you’re a great interviewer to you’re great at inspiring people’. The one aspect/skill that has come up time and time again whether it’s by professional assessments or personal opinions is that I’m a great salesperson.

WHAT?  Me?! But I don’t even slick back my hair and I don’t own anything checkered how could this be?!

You may have heard over the course of your life that the Divine/God/Higher Power/Energy that flows all around us has a great sense of humor.  I seem to attract this into my life so naturally falling into the opportunity to sell a product for a good friend is of special hilarity I’m sure!   I so love the lighting fixtures that my friend sells and believe in the hard effort that she has put into creating this product that I naturally have found myself talking about it in an enthusiastic way to anyone who will give me the time.  It wasn’t until I told my friend about a conversation that  I had with the store owner of a very upscale furniture/design place that she offered to pay me commission for any connections that end up as sales for her product.  Being the networker that I am, I immediately set up a meeting with the decision makers of a company who I just know could use her product.  Next week I’m meeting with my friend and her team to learn even more about her product and where I can make presentations about it.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am a Life/Executive Coach first, blogger and interviewer second and somewhere in and out of these I am informing people about my friend’s products.

Okay, I’m a salesperson.  And I’m having to get over my own bias of what a shyster that a salesperson can be to realize that is not who I am.  Slowly I’m recalling some of the true salespeople I’ve known in my life, whose career was 100% sales and I’m realizing that I’ve actually known some really good, kind, honest people who happened to sell a product or service—I just hadn’t thought of them as being a salesperson.  I thought of them as being more a relater of important information for me to make the best decision.

So if we run into each other out on the streets when you’re with a friend, you may introduce me as someone who is a Coach, Writer and Broadcaster. You can also tell them that I’m very enthusiastic about a lighting product that I can tell them more about if they’re interested but please, please, please don’t call me a salesperson!!