The Struggle Is Real

10 07 2015

In middle school and high schooled I played football. I wrestled and participated in track and field as well to stay in shape, but my main sport was football. As is typical of American football players, I made fun of soccer players, I think the term I used was, “grass ferries.”

Not trying to justify my stance, but from my perspective soccer players were a lesser form of football players. Soccer players faked injuries where as football players played through them. Sure football players had pads, but that’s because we tried to lay hits on the other team so hard that their mommas would make them quit. Sure soccer players ran, but not while taking hits and delivering hits. Like I said, I viewed them as lesser athletes. That was until I played soccer.

The college I went to was a small college in New England, if you blinked as you were driving by the school you’d miss it. As you can imagine, a school that small didn’t have a football team, they didn’t even have a flag football team, all they had was a club soccer team. The choice wasn’t an easy one. I was an athlete, I needed to play something, but soccer? I finally set aside my prejudice and decided to play. I can honestly say, soccer was one of the most difficult sports I’ve ever played. It’s a different kind of difficult. I have never run so much in my entire life! By the end of the season, I had a whole new respect for soccer players.

In this season of life, I have had a similar revelation. I’m in sales. Sales guys don’t have the best of reputations. I mean really, how do you view sales guys? A necessary evil? Even less so now with the advent of the internet. To make matters more difficult, I like to consider myself an honest sales guy. I’ve done my research, I know the better products from the lesser products, but I also know when the lesser products are good enough for the situation. I know when you really should go with the better products, but no matter what I suggests, I feel like I’m put on the other side of the table.

Sales people don’t just have to know their products, their competition’s products, how to provide exceptional customer service, but they also have to learn to become trust worth and likeable in a short period of time. My income is dependent on all of these factors, what is more, my job is dependent on all of these factors. Do you know what happens to a sales guy when he doesn’t sell? He becomes an unemployed sales guy.

Recently I’ve been struggling to sell. The traffic in my store is down, so I have to do more with less. People come in and for a majority of them, they feel like all I’m trying to do is to get them to buy the most expensive product I have. So I go back to football – after the Green Bay Packers lost a game, Vince Lombardi went into the locker room, held up the pig skin and said, “men, this is a football.”

His message was simple, lets get back to basics. So that’s my goal, go back to the basics of what made me successful in the first place. My ability to connect with people, make a friend, and if the timing is right, make a sale. I mean I’m struggling to make sales now, the only difference this back to basic approach does is now, even if I don’t make a sale, at least I’ve made a friend.