So where do you start with a blog about sales that hasn’t already been covered in today’s vast digital deluge of Internet word salad? I thought it best to serve up a fresh perspective from someone who wasn’t always successful at selling. Me, Bob Patey.
Also, what will make this story unique is my utter inability to bullshit, or to only bullshit when I am absolutely certain no one can check my facts (a task that has become inordinately harder since the rise of Google). This bullshit with a high quality barometer is a rarity in sales believe it or not. Most bullshit artists just swing for the fences, and sadly there are a lot of fence swingers in sales.
Through the course of my tale we’ll travel the last half century of selling to the IT market through this half-bullshit lens. This journey will be replete with the highs and frequent lows of the world’s second oldest profession (which arguably had a lot to do with the success of the world’s oldest profession) and hopefully lessons for all you young bucks about to lead the herd.
My story is about how you can be successful in sales in spite of yourself. It’s not difficult really, if you listen to the life’s blaring warning sirens, and sprinkle in an element of luck. It never hurts to be in the right place at the right time no matter how smart or skilled you are.
Lesson one (or three since I dropped a few above): You have to be skilled at a wide variety of professions to be good at selling. Also, no one is better than a Salesperson since every profession has an element of sales in it. Most professionals won’t admit that what separates them from the herd of people that do the same thing they do, and possibly just as well as they do, is usually that they can sell it better than anyone else upfront. Call it bedside manner, empathy to the plight for the poor bastard that got caught with their hand in the till, relating to people, listening, schmoozing with management, campaigning, call it what you will; but the better you are at selling the more successful you’ll be.
These insights are not just for sales people, these experiences are for all people. Like it or not everybody sells so why not admit it and get good at it. Listen to my story about how I found my profession (quite by accident), and luckily made a lifelong career until retirement.
Please feel free to help me in structuring this blog. If you have questions, want to call me names, or simply share your tale, do so in the comments area below. I want this to be as much a conversation as it is a pulpit.