Thursday, October 11, 2007


I find it amusing that probably 95% of the conversation I've had at the office since 9/25 revolves around having the insert from Halo 3 sitting on display on my desk. It's amazing how many people play it, as well as the demographics of the people.

So today I want to rant a little bit about sales. My entire life I've been told about how education is important, mainly because without education you end up doing some "low level" job, usually involving sales. Well, while education is important, the ability to sell is extremely important as well, and there is no avoiding it. Everywhere you go, every conversation you have, when you are expressing your ideas or your thoughts, you are selling.

One of my greatest disappointments was the realization I had after a few months of my first real job. Before that I had done all these various ridiculous jobs that were more task oriented than time oriented. At one point I had a job where I sat in the back room and stamped numbers onto cards for 8 hours a day. Yes, this actually happened. By the end of the time I was working there, my right arm had grown significantly compared to my left from the stamping. I think it was something like 8,738 cards that I stamped. Looking back, a computerized device could have and should have done this.

Anyway, the disappointment was the fact that when your raise or performance grade is determined, it's not based off of your performance or some kind of tangibly measured statistics that are very concretely in your control. Instead, it is largely based off of how much your manager likes you, how much he or she thinks you do, and how much easier you make their job. (Some of this may have been correlated with my previous boss who, if you follow any Jung personality models is an ESFP) I was disappointed by this because I've always had a problem with being what I consider "phony".

I think this problem with being a phony goes back to this conditioning against sales. I have this ingrained feeling like when I'm doing something with the sole intent of trying to get someone to like me or just purely sucking up, it's dishonest and morally dishonorable. I also have a problem with taking other people's money because I get this feeling like what I'm doing is wrong. But in reality, being able to sell and incite good feelings in people is important and will make a large difference in your career and workplace environment.

In regard to this, I don't really have any advice. I've read "The Greatest Salesman in the World" and even did the nightly routine they suggest, slowly working my way through each scroll for 9 months. Do I really feel like I'm better at sales because of this? No, I don't. I think the problem is that to be truly good at sales, you actually have to get to the point where you aren't selling at all.

What I mean by this, is that you aren't really looking for the what the result of convincing someone of something will get you anymore. It's more just about you having a passion for something that is so great that you can't contain it. It just explodes forth from you and other people can see how important it is, so it becomes important to them as well, or they feel like they should learn more. Instead of trying to get people to like you, you become so legitimately interested in the other person that you really, truly care, and the person sees these and cares for you as well because of it.

In cases when I've gotten to a point like that, I haven't had problems with that feeling like I'm doing something wrong. I think it's because nothing about that is phony, so why would I feel like it is?

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