I’ve been inspired to write but too busy. Really. And busy has been a lot of fun. With Facebook and Linkedin, users are now able to quantify their networks and (SPOILER ALERT – avert your eyes for a self aggrandizing moment) mine is pretty extensive. I know a lot of people. (True story – I once had a song written about me called “Bragger USA” – of course it was it was over thirty years ago in the 4th grade but it humbled me and I’ve been low key ever since, until this piece. I swear.) Most of my busy has been engaging friends and acquaintances that up until now I’d only been able to either invite or accept an invite, and then have the once back and forth, two-liner each way, frivolous “How have you been (for the last 25 years)?” conversation.
Last Wednesday I met an old chum from elementary school/hebrew school, y’know from around the block, in the hood. Yeah. Forest Hills. You lookin’ at me?!? It was real nice to catch up – I hadn’t remembered but apparently I helped him out a couple of years ago by putting him back in touch with a mutual friend from our past, a contact in my network. We were at Bouchon Bakery – had some coffees, he had a macaroon and I had a fuggedaboutit (seriously… it’s a chocolate covered rice crispy treat with caramel and sea salt. Oy.) We got to talking about our career paths and how I ended up unemployed. Our conversation gravitated to sales people. Not like we were comparing our Wall Street fantasy teams but more like the concept of a sales person. He was trying to get a bead on what type of a sales person I am.
“I’m a consultative sales person. I develop rapport, gain my client’s trust, understand their business thoroughly and sell them product/services to enhance their business. Not a sales person that sells ice to an eskimo, or ketchup popsicles to women wearing white gloves.”
I take issue with these idioms. Yes, we all get the concept: you have an innate ability to sell anything to anyone and that makes you a great salesperson. However, the keeper of the book of idioms needs to consider getting rid of these two because the reality of a great sales person is the polar opposite: thoroughly understanding your client’s business, having them like and trust you, and selling them something they need – something they don’t have or understand – so they can be better. Certainly eskimos don’t need ice and women in white gloves shouldn’t consider ketchup popsicles which, in and of itself, is a stomach turning concept. I guess the point is, if prospective employers are looking for ice sales people on the eskimo account, or ketchup popsicle sales people at a debutante ball, count me out. I care. I’m honest and I have integrity and that’s what I’m going to bring to my next opportunity. And bring it hard. World… it’s on!