Justin Ricklefs


What if we reoriented the stereotypical sales process?

For all of my career, I’ve been directly involved in the pursuit of new business development.  A hunter, not a gatherer.  As a high school and even college student, going into sales wasn’t part of the road map.  Not to say I had a real road map beyond the latest video game or female crush, but “sales guy” certainly wasn’t atop the list as I began to survey what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

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.

The sales function of a company is the initiator of growth.  Are there still shady sales people?  For sure.  The slick, hard-charging, shark personality like the Wolf of Wall Street will win lots of individual events.  But love wins the marathon.

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.

Follow My Blog to Get the Daily Story

Copyright © 2023 Justin Ricklefs. All Rights Reserved.