To the uninitiated, the managers who never actually sold anything, the presidents who did not climb up the rungs from entry-level sales positions to become the #1 salesperson, and to the operations managers who regard salespeople as a necessary evil, the presumption is that money drives success in salespeople.
Monday morning I was reading what turned out to be a really stupid HBR article about "professionalism". It actually started with the interesting question of "Do your colleagues think you’re professional?", which got me to thinking about the perceptions that people have regarding salespeople in general. Unfortunately, the article then went on to attempt to tie "professionalism" to the way one decorates their cubicle and then tie that result into gender and race. Note to HBR: you really need to do a better job at screening your writers.
30 years ago, during one of my "I think I will once again try to live in Vermont" sojourns, I remember working high on a mountain ridge one cold, wet fall morning pouring cement that we had laboriously carted up by buckets in ATVs for the footings on a microwave tower. It was November and long gone were the colorful fall leaves and smiling tourists visiting the antiques fair down in the postcard-pretty town Weston. It was back to the hardscrabble work of running a commercial masonry company building a series of towers all along the spine of Vermont. That November and December, we worked until the ground froze hard with most daybreaks spent chopping through the ice that had crusted over our water storage from the overnight freeze. It was during that period of what seemed to be a never-ending expedition of increasingly cold, wind-whipped, ugly, steel-gray days that I made a decision that I was moving back to Boston and would do everything I could to avoid November in Vermont.
In St. John, New Brunswick, Canada this morning where I was a keynote speaker yesterday along with David Meerman Scott for the two day Engage Conference sponsored by the economic development and export trade offices of the Province and St. John.
Tags: sales productivity, Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, sales management effectiveness, sales effectiveness, sales enablement, sales optomization, Sales quota, sales management boot camp, sales producitivity
I spend most of every day, most weeks (except a couple on the NH beach and a couple at Stratton snowboarding), every month and every quarter thinking about and working in the professions of Sales & Marketing.
A couple of days last week I went over to Vermont,
explored the woodlot up on the ridge and basically locked
myself away during all of that rain to do some intensive
work. As I was working on material for the fall semesters at
Tufts and MIT along with the new content for our October
Boot Camp, it led me to really, really appreciate the sun at
the beach. I love Vermont-7 generations and all that-but for
the choice of VT mountains or NH beach in the summa', I'm
choosing the NH beach. Just don't let any of the good ol'
boys on the bench know about this down at the Winhall General Store since I may not be allowed to bring my trash to the dump (sorry, in proper Vermontese, I mean "transfer station").
I've been spending a lot of time this summer thinking through the decision makers on the other side of the table. As a salesguy, coach, blogger, I'm typically focused on "our side of the table"