🎶 No Love Today by Chris Smither
"Ladies and gentlemen, either you are closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of a pool table in your community!"Harold Hill*
Growing up, we had a sandbox, where I loved playing with Micro Machines. I’d slam them together and have all kinds of fun, especially when we introduced a hose into the equation. So, when my Dad decided to stop by Toys“R”Us (RIP) on the way back from Home Depot (I grew up in the suburbs, can you tell?), I assumed we were going to acquire Micro Machines. I looked at my old man with admiration—his taste in toys, impeccable. As we arrived in the aisle stocked with possessions oh so coveted, I pointed at the one I wanted, and Dad said, “Tell me why I should buy this for you.” Having skipped sales class in the second grade, I was woefully unequipped. As we left the store empty handed that day—my father’s icy grin at my back—I was determined to become convincing.
To the non-salesperson, the world sales rolls off the tongue like a Fisherman’s Friend cough drop—yuck. Nobody likes being sold, and for good reason. The archetype of the salesman best portrayed by Ben Affleck in Boiler Room or Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross (or in the iconic role written by Arthur Miller*)— doesn’t exactly paint an endearing picture of the profession. It tends to dissuade regular folk from setting themselves to the task of learning how to sell.
Sales isn’t just about getting paid to sell a product or service—it’s about convincing people to see things the way you see them. If you’re in a role that requires you to be part of a hiring committee, you’re selling. When you ask for a raise, you’re selling. When you try to get your memoir to an agent, you’re selling. When you’re trying to get out of a weekend with your in-laws, you’re selling.
The best salespeople—the ones who take home hundreds of thousands if not millions a year in pay—are storytellers. If you’re a good salesperson, you know that sales is really about figuring out what your audience wants and convincing them to trust you enough to help them get it. Sales, at its most functional, is a non-zero-sum game built on empathy, where both sides give and both sides get.
That’s Good Work for this week. Looking forward to what’s next.
Andy and the Holloway Team
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