My name is Peter Weedfald and I am a salesman. I am proud and honored to declare it, to live it, to teach it, to appreciate it, to be personally energized and blessed by it. It feels good to say “I am a salesman!”
I sometimes believe, like many other sales people, that I have been rejected, deflected and office ejected more times over three decades than any other sales person in our business. Yet, like so many sales peers, I forge ahead hunting for the next potential sale, the next team victory. I know our brand of products is a promise to merchants, to consumers, to our own employees, to so many more. I also know I personally represent our brand promise and I am assigned to ensure competitive advantage, to ensure it mirrors our corporate creed, and helps achieve our company dreams.
How about you? Are you a professional salesman or saleswoman? Does your company leadership highly respect, honor and appreciate your rough and tumble efforts each and every day? If yes, be proud and realize you are very special. You are weathered and schooled across the fields of manufacturing, merchandising, retail, administration and publishing. You are a highly disciplined business leader living in a world of rejection, anticipation and many times lonely victories. You dare to lead yourself and your team. You dare to dominate mighty old and new competitors. You show determination as you are simultaneously slammed with revised forecasts and budgets, “up yet another 20% for next year.” You are built to win, built to be responsible, built to be a market maker: a team player.
For those of you not in a direct sales role, who have not held the full territory responsibility charged with pouring hot liquid revenues and profits into the cold steel of a company’s profit and loss (P&L) statement you are missing the anguish of defeat, and the passionate elation of hard earned victory. The truth is, we are all in sales, across every desktop, workgroup and the entire enterprise. We are all, across our company hallways and offices sales and brand ambassadors. Every team member is responsible for both sales and marketing… to amplify the brand’s value and proposition in the language of product and service disciplines, in the language of comparative competitive advantage.
So you know, salesman and saleswoman have beautiful and inspiring dreams every day to build relationships, to build sales. They dream of success by earning the right to ask for the business, garnering the sale. They dream of making a customer happy, working to overachieve again and again. They dream of winning, avoiding rejection, never losing to a formidable competitor. They call objections nothing more than “a request for more information.” Some even profess that the selling begins when the customer says “no.” They dream of coming home to family, to park and rest their exhausted feet, and escape for the weekend from flying in silver bullets at 35,000 feet, bouncing through cloudy and sunny skies to visit, to command opportunity. All to garner the mighty sale one more time. All to achieve their dream, their team’s dream: to announce the joy of a new sale to their boss, to their spouse, to their children… to themselves through their own aspiring yet sometimes foggy mirror of sales success.
For those of you not on the front lines of sales, but rather reside in marketing, administration, accounting or corporate leadership please carefully listen to the voice of your sales organization working so hard to fulfill your company dreams. I have learned through my own positive and negative selling years that when you listen to your sales organization rolling hard to gain traction throughout the market you gain immediate competitive advantage. Of course, if and only if you treat them as your sales and brand ambassadors at the last three feet of the sale and take action on their observations, their council and guidance as one united team.
Selling is not for the faint of heart. Selling is not easy. The sagacity and professional leadership of a world class salesperson is any company’s most valuable asset as are their thoughts, observations and advice from the front lines of customers’ offices. Our sales people are asking for our help, so they can create market demand, market command which in turn builds formidable, long lasting customer relationships. Ensures a profitable brand, profitable market and company future.
So now that you know your salesman’s secret we wish all departments and workgroups great selling roads of prosperity ahead. Our ode to every salesman and saleswoman lives and breathes through our respect for their long days and nights away from home, for their painful rejections, for their glorious Spartan victories. All accredited and only made possible through the caring and sharing hard work of their important team members back at the home office or thousands of miles away across incredibly disciplined manufacturing and engineering hubs ready and willing to unleash more capacity, more multi-modal team support on demand.
Finally, the real ode for our hard working, brave salespeople is clear: “Dream big. And remember, a sale is a dream with a deadline, best achieved in congress with your entire company team.”