Selling Vodka to Christians (or why I’m insanely proud to be a Saleswoman!)


So, I’m not the mad saleswoman because I’m angry or incensed, I love what I do too much to wrestle with anger.  Madness is how I define my reckless love for sales; the passion and frenetic energy surrounding all things sales related.  To phrase it succinctly, I approach my sales career with an unmatched enthusiasm, attacking my target with an overpowering zeal for outcomes.  Sales isn’t just what I do, it’s who I am.  I AM  A SALESWOMAN.

I don’t run from the title and I never apologize for it.  When I hear a person in the sales industry try to explain away their profession and soften it up, I laugh, because it tells me that they haven’t reached the level of success necessary to give them comfort in what they do.  They still run from being identified with their career and haven’t reconciled that being a salesperson isn’t a bad thing because they may identify sales as a negative word.

You will never hear me justify my profession because I know all of the positives.  I know that being in sales, with historic results, means that I create relationships.  People like me enough to talk to me and that validates all those years of being a great student with report card comments that frankly said “she is a little chatterbox”.  I also don’t apologize for being a saleswoman because it confirms that I’m a great listener.  As much as I love to talk it’s usually in response to something that I’ve heard, so at the end of the day my conversation is always about you and WHO DOESN’T LOVE THAT!

For all of the fancy titles that I’ve had, Account Executive, National Account Executive, National Business Development Executive, and on and on, at the end of the day I’m a “salesgirl”.  Internally I still get a rush when my C-level contact picks up the phone on the first, second or third try and  I still have a click your heels, “yippee” moment when I seal a deal.  It always feels new and my career keeps me young and feeds my need for consistent change.  I’m in sales.

Successful salespeople need to be optimists.   I’m not a daily zodiac reader but optimism is a Virgo characteristic.  I am optimistic because of an innate belief in other people and helping them.  Serving others and taking action feels cathartic to me and there’ s no better place to do those things than in the sales universe .

Being useful while demonstrating my strengths is important to how I view my success, sales allows those traits prominently without people viewing you as a braggart.  Where else could you be a proud show pony without being a supermodel–or an actual show pony.  You know the part of the Olympics that you have to stay up late to see but can’t turn from, dressage, its impressive!  There’s this powerful beast displaying a natural grace that you just can’t help but watch.  Sales at its best is a graceful game.  You have to have strategic and tactical expertise, straightforward and deliberately coy.  Sales satisfies my inner sexy beast and my external girly girl all at once.

Wildly successful salespeople are smart…trust me.  I’ve spent my career speaking to intelligent people.  I have sold to CFO’s of publicly traded companies and large private organizations, scientists at start-up biotech firms, nurses working in nationally ranked hospitals, and executives looking to make career changes.  Typically everyone that I have sold to has known more about their brand or industry than I have but my passion for what I do and confidence in my intellect have NEVER let me down.  Combine smarts with a “good talk game” and in my mind, you’re set!

I am maniacally obsessed with the artful psychology of sales.  You have to demonstrate intelligence without being condescending, know a lot but not always talk a lot, be a genuinely concerned listener and in tune with the person on the other end of the phone or other side of the desk.  Everyone starts out believing that they can’t be sold and I agree.  You couldn’t sell vodka to a Christian but you could sell vodka to a Christian who is stranded in the desert.  Surely, even he wouldn’t turn down liquids in his position (lighten up).  There’s a difference between the person without the need, the person with the need but no pain, and the person that is drowning in the pain of his need.  Identifying the three and prioritizing them is the ability that is inherent only to the best sales people.  Or someone who thinks like a salesperson in all cases (and if you do, you should seek out a sales career).

I’m mad about what I do.  Energetically obsessed with my career.  Focused on my personal brand and confident that no one does it like me.  You should find something that you feel this passionate about and GO DO IT!