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Jeff Matlow
January 02, 2015

A View From The Online Race Registration Sales Floor

It continually amazes me the people who apply for sales positions.  If I had a sawbuck for every time I heard somebody say "I love sales" I'd be super wealthy.  Or at least I think I would - I'm not quite sure what a sawbuck is.  But let's just assume it's a kabillion dollar bill, just for the sake of me being super wealthy.

"I think I'd be great at sales" job candidates will say when their lengthy resumes don't have an iota of sales experience anywhere to be found.  Not even one at McDonalds.  Forget about experience working with race registration, race directors or even in endurance sports.  "When I'm given the opportunity I will do really well in sales," they say.  The thing is, they're not even selling me on themselves, how the heck will they be able to sell my product?

That was a rhetorical question - but in a way not really.  Because if you can't sell yourself - the one thing you should know better than anything else in this world - how are you effectively going to sell anything else?

Again, rhetorical question. But not really.

There are such things as natural sales people. What makes somebody a natural sales person is that you don't have to give them the opportunity to sell - they make the opportunity themselves.  You just can't stop true salespeople from selling because sales is what they do.  It's what they've always done. They sell. They have paper routes, they start companies in their teens, they work on political campaigns, they buy a bag of Chips Ahoy for $3 and resell the cookies on the corner for $1 each.  True sales people sell - it's in their blood.  Nothing can stop them.

I'm a sales person.  I started my first company when I was 12.  I started my second when I was 16.  I made beer mugs at college and sold them out of my backpack outside of classrooms.  I started a company shortly out of college, then another one, and another one, and another one.

not the sales person we wantIt's taken me years to accept the fact that I'm a salesman.  Probably because there's been such a bad stigma around salesmen.  I blame used car lots.  When you say sales, many people think of words like sleazy, liar, weasel, slick and the such.  But sales doesn't have to be sleazy.  Sales is really just another way to describe somebody who likes helping others.

I've found that the best sales people are the ones that are not just passionate about the product and believe what they're selling is the best thing ever but, most importantly, they have a true desire to help make their customers' lives' better (excuse the apostrophe attack).  Good sales people want to honestly help others - not just in their job, but in their life.  Good sales people know that it's not about convincing somebody the product is good as much as it is understanding the customers challenges and helping them solve those problems on their own.

So you want a sales job?  Don't *tell* me how you think you'll be good at sales... show me.





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