Life of a Salesman: Prologue

“Nothing happens until somebody sells something”
Old Norton Adage

Okay, that’s really not a Norton adage. I’m not actually sure that we have any adages that don’t involve the word “Beer” in them. I think I just like sticking the word “Norton” in places that it doesn’t belong. Like the other day a co-worker asked me what I was going to do that weekend and I told her I was going “to get Nortoned up”. She slowly backed away and hasn’t talked to me since. I mean, that was the goal, but still. Not normal behavior.

Anyhoo, anyone who knows me, and actually probably quite a few who don’t, know that I believe in the absolute power of sales. I think that sales is one of the most noble career choices in the world–when chosen for the right reasons. Though, I guess, you could make the argument that any job is pretty noble when you choose it for the right reasons. But my job, for the past 8 or so years, is sales. Its what I do. Not that I’m actually exceptionally good at it or anything, I just happen to think I work really hard at it and am rewarded for hard work. Sorta like a pitcher in baseball, but with less fanfare. And less general hatred of your position, because salespeople are probably the most hated people (career wise) in America behind, maybe, lawyers. Not that I really blame them though, them being the rest of America, because I generally hate salespeople too, albeit for different reasonssd1 than they probably do.

With this general hatred of sales people, a genuine love for the art and science of salesmanship, and the knowledge that (honestly) nothing happens until somebody sells something, I decided to start my newest series “Life of a Salesman.” What is it about? Before I actually sat down (on the metro, natch) and thought about it, I probably would have told it you had something to generally do with how salespeople, you know the multitudes that digest Confessions on a regular basis, a better way to do their job. Again, not because I’m necessarily better at it than they are. There are lots of salespeople that have been doing it a lot longer than I have and are a lot better. Then again, there are probably a lot that have been doing it a lot longer that are a lot worse. But because I do sales more or less because I love it. I love the interaction that a sales person has with their customers. I love the fact that sometimes the right sale, or the perfect offer can make someone’s day. I love doing a good job, and making other people happy–which is honestly what sales should be about.

But now that I think about it, “Life…” can be so much more than that. It can be about the way that sales relates to life in general and my life in particular. Or it could be about the way that a salesman sees things differently from how a customer would see it. Or it could be about the art of salesmanship and how everyone could be a better salesperson. Or, and this is more likely, It could be a steaming pile of shit like everything else I write. You never really know with me. I’m a loose cannon.

sd1: Okay, so I just really wanted to use the word “albeit.” Is that so wrong? (back)