To me, especially then, sales invoked some amazing stereotypes in my mind of slicked back hair, lies, manipulation, maybe even cigarettes. Sales sounded quite frankly, sales-y. The thought of having to talk someone into purchasing whatever crappy product or service I was schlepping didn’t sound appealing for obvious reasons.
It wasn’t until my senior year in college, when I met the founder of Learfield Communications Clyde Lear, when I realized that my preconceived definition of sales was stereotypical sure, but definitely not the way it had to be. It took me all of 30 seconds with Clyde to realize that he loved his company, loved his work, loved his team, and loved his clients. Legitimate, emotional, engaging love. It was captivating and contagious. So much so that I begged him on the spot for an internship, for a small glimpse of what his love was all about.
That single encounter set me on a trajectory where I began to realize the fundamental importance of sales. In a free market, nothing happens in our economy until someone sells something.
At its core, selling is a love story. A deliberate process where communication is transparent, trust is built and value is continuously increasing.
We’ll spend some time the next few weeks unpacking some of the specific sales framework I use and that I’ve learned from great, loving leaders over the past decade.
For all of you in or considering a sales role in an organization, I encourage you to keep fine tuning your skills. Your love is needed in the marketplace.