I had the opportunity to speak in front of 300 Team Leaders in a direct sales company earlier this month, in Dallas, TX.
At the end of my talk, the MC got on stage and asked for the takeaways, of which there were many, and I loved hearing all about what people got out of what I had to teach them.
Afterwards, a line of people formed to tell me hello and what the talk had meant to them, and I ended up with some of the biggest takeaways of my life, and I thought I’d share them with you.
How much time do you spend pretending in your life? How much time do you put into crafting stories and putting sentences together to “be interesting” enough for those around you to listen?
I often tell the story of how, in my various positions, my bosses always asked what I wanted my title to be on my business card. Every time I was asked, I thought it strange. “I am in Sales, I thought, it should say I am a sales chick!” And while I don’t know that I would go with that title directly, I adamantly believe in the science that states the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. “Say that I am in Sales!” And they never did.
I was an Account Manager, Account Executive, Business Development Manager, etc. It wasn’t until I owned my own company AND grew it that I FINALLY got to be the EVP of Sales!
So here is the thing. All of those titles are byproducts of my job. I did, in fact, do all of those things, through my job as a sales person. But because it is more palatable to a potential audience, I didn’t get to say I was in sales.
Can you imagine the amount of time and energy that are wasted on creating stories around what we do instead of just cutting to the chase and stating what we do. It is perceived by many as awful to say “I am in Sales.” The next logical question for anyone who is interested is, “Oh, what kind?” or “What do you sell?”
What a beautiful jumping off point for you to then go into whatever it is you do! And there is no artifice to it! They are now interested AND they KNOW YOU SELL! No hiding, no being fearful that once they find out you sell something, they won’t want to talk to you.
My biggest takeaway from my talk is that I was thanked for giving these leaders permission to say they were in sales. Let that sink in. Why would that ever be? Could it be that we have gotten so far from authentic communication that we don’t feel that being in a sales field is going to “help us win friends or connect?”
Be authentic, be yourself.
Chief Sales Officer
Creating a Sales UpRising one leader at a time.