“Are you serious? Me, a sales person? No way, never happen!” That was how one of our local readers Terry felt for many years before finally, and …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
“Are you serious? Me, a sales person? No way, never happen!”
That was how one of our local readers Terry felt for many years
before finally, and after much resistance, accepted a position as a
sales representative. You see, Terry, like many people had been
unemployed for a long period of time and interviewing for jobs
based on qualifications, past experiences and comfort zone.
Aside from associating the role with the characteristics of the
stereotypical sales person such as dishonesty, sleaziness, lying,
and an out for themselves attitude, Terry felt that his personality
style would be a limiting factor. Additionally he was afraid of
As Terry put it, “Despair and need forced me to look for work,
any kind of work, and the first offer I received was to join a
local company as a sales person.” Terry was sure this would be a
placeholder, a stepping stone, something that would help pay the
bills until he could find a “real” job. Fast forward six months
later and Terry is happy, making money, having fun, enjoying a
flexible schedule, and basically having the time of his life.
You see, he became a sales person in the industry where had
served as a technician for many years. He had incredible industry
and domain expertise. Terry met others on the team and at trade
shows and conferences and realized that he was in good company,
surrounded by solid individuals who take their profession seriously
and go about their business professionally. These were not the
stereotypical sales people he had conjured up in his head. He
realized that this was more myth than fact.
My point this week is this, when asked what we wanted to be when
we grew up, none of us raised our hands in elementary school and
hollered, “I want to be a professional sales representative.” We
didn’t even see it coming in high school or college. But somehow,
someway, and according to Selling Power Magazine, there are more
than 17 million professional sales people in the United States with
another 16 million people that are in sales through direct
marketing and home based businesses. That is more than 33 million
sales people in the United States alone.
Many of you reading this column right now have so much
knowledge, vast industry experience, the willingness to work, and a
need to make some money. There are companies right now looking for
you, looking for individuals with industry and product knowledge
even though they lack sales experience. So if you have never in
your wildest dreams ever imagined yourself in a sales role, maybe
it’s time to reconsider a new career.
Thanks for your email Terry and for allowing me to share a
little part of your story and I look forward to hearing all of the
views about sales and selling careers at firstname.lastname@example.org. So let’s go
sell somebody something and make it a better than good week.
Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former
president of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and founder of
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.