RYP is bringing back an old tradition of blog posts, written by RYP Board members, about a topic they are passionate about and that’s relevant to young professionals. The RYP Board is an entirely volunteer team of over 20 members that brainstorm behind the scenes on how to make all things RYP new, relevant, and exciting. I am very proud to be one of them and hope you will enjoy getting to know a little better, the folks that make RYP what it is.
So, let’s get down to business. As you may guess from the cartoon above, the focus of this blog is on the value of a great salesperson. I consider myself (among many things) a salesperson, and what I stumble across quite often in my line of work is a mentality much like in the cartoon. And it frustrates me because I see so many people missing opportunities.
I can understand that sales is a dirty word for some people. There tends to be a knee jerk negative reaction that comes along with the word “sales” or “salesperson”. In the past, when I walked into a store and the salesperson came over to help me, I used to dodge them like Frogger in traffic. I didn’t want to be talked into something I didn’t want or sold more than what I needed. I just wanted to figure it out on my own. But the problem with that (or should I say the opportunity I failed to grasp) is that a great salesperson can help you get the information you need so that you can make an informed decision. And they can do this quicker, more accurately, and less expensively than someone who is a ‘Jack of all trades’ (which of course means they are a master of no trades).
It’s not a bad thing to know a little about everything, but at some point it will cost you big time trying to be an expert at everything. I cannot understate the countless hours, headaches, and mistakes a champion of their industry can save you. So much more can be accomplished when you focus on your strengths and partner with others you trust who can focus on their strengths. It frees up your time to focus on what you do best. Everybody wins.
A big hang up for people is knowing if you are working with a salesperson of high integrity. And this is an important question. There will always be low integrity people out there trying to make a quick profit at someone else’s expense. But the good news is, that sort of business model is unsustainable and those types of people will never last in the long run. If you spend the proper amount of time with someone, trust your gut and I think you will find it pretty easy to tell if you are dealing with someone of high integrity or not.
Now part of being a great salesperson is being positive, approachable, and highlighting the benefits of things. And this is a skill I think is highly valuable in a world that insists on always pointing out the negative in everything. Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting that you ignore the negative. You have to address the negative. But your outlook on life is the result of the things that you feed your mind with. Negative in, negative out. And if you have a scarce and fragile mindset about the world around you, you may very easily fail to see the abundant opportunities lying right in front of you, waiting to be discovered. So do your psyche a favor and try to be more like a salesperson. Spend the majority of your efforts on the positive. And search for positive, encouraging and open minded people. Choose to gracefully exit the gossip.
My hope – and my greatest measure of success – is when I get to open the eyes of a young professional warrior (like our friend in the cartoon above), to the value of embracing true, quality, high integrity salesmanship. The funny thing is, it was me who took forever to get comfortable with the idea of sales. Now when I walk into the store or when I’m trying to get better at something, I go straight to the salesperson. And I’m often pleasantly surprised.