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  • Writer's pictureA.C. Shaw

A Different Side to Sales

Have you ever heard the old saying ‘sales is sales, is sales’? Meaning, once you figure out one sales-oriented position, you could easily

mold yourself to fit into another sales role thereafter.

I wholeheartedly believed that this was the reality in which we live; when I entered my sales career, it would take years before I was able to acknowledge the common idiom for what it is: overall nonsense.

No two sales jobs are alike, even within the same industry, as standards and expectations vary from job to job, from dealership to dealership, from manufacturer to manufacturer, and to portray it as anything less complicated, is a true disservice.

I believe that this mindset stems primarily from Tradition. As traditionally, the qualities of a good salesperson have focused on the individual’s people-skills, conversational prowess, and their ability to manipulate the situation and/or the potential client’s perspective. These skills are transferable traits, indeed, and certainly can come in use, but are these the strict qualifications that make for a good salesperson? I would like to think not.

In today’s culture and within our society, I’m not sure there can exist a definite set of characteristics with which one can determine the ability for salesmanship. Like most every profession in the modern world, the ‘function’ of sales is changing in dynamics, and the utility of an eclectic approach is quickly becoming the new ‘norm’. We are heading into a future where the question will no longer be “How will you fit in?”, but rather “How do you stand out?”. Can you bring what makes you the unique, unfiltered, creative individual that you are into our way of doing things? Can you show the customer what makes you (and by extension, the business you represent) different and special, and above all, necessary in achieving their goals?

This, by no means, translates to ‘anyone can work in sales,’ and I want to clarify before you read any further. Though I do believe that, when given the appropriate atmosphere, training, experience, etc., that everyone could work in sales (though, if everyone simply worked in one collective industry, I doubt our general way of life would continue as we are acclimated to expect it) sales should not be considered an ‘everyman job’.

Expect to spend half of your work week or more stuck in front of a computer screen and/or with your cell glued to one ear. Accept the fact that, without taking ample time to perform background research and preparation, any additional work you put into meeting with a potential client is almost certainly wasted. Research is the blueprint, preparation is the building supplies, and communication the foundation; but organization is your construction crew. Organization is what gets the job done, and it is what each client will expect of its salesperson. One discrepancy within any of those categories can compromise an entire situation, and leave it cracked and crumbled. For those of you that have read this paragraph, and hesitate at the thought of these details, sales might not be for you.

...Then again, I have been wrong before. I never thought of myself as a ‘people person,’ because I am an introverted soul. The idea of having to reach out to total strangers was more frightening to me than any research paper or public speaking ever was. In fact, I entered sales and customer service positions in an effort to try and become more comfortable with my surroundings and the people within them. I fumbled my way through awkward conversations and uncomfortable situations, again and again, not ever finding those perfect, secret words and phrases that I had seen other people roll into conversation like veteran bakers sprinkling flour on fresh, raw dough. I never could find my recipe for small-talk, chit-chat, shooting the shit, and what have you. I discovered something though. In each conversation, I found one underlying truth to business, a truth to people… it is the vital ingredient, and I was made for it.

People want to be heard. They want to be listened to, and acknowledged, and they so desperately hope that someone genuinely cares. And I am a man who listens. When it comes to people and their passions, most can create 90% of the conversation themselves. With that approach, almost anyone can succeed at finding the right client to begin building a relationship. It is not only how I operate by programming, but by exploiting my nature of patience and curiosity, I am also creating a dialogue that otherwise might only be shared with a spouse or counselor; because I am interested in people’s dreams, I give them the opportunity to voice them. And that is what Young Professionals Entertainment is: a venue for dreams to be seen, to be heard. We are in the business of bringing your dreams to life.

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