Salesman or Sheister? #trust30

classic used car salesman look

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What do you anticipate when you meet someone in sales? Do you immediately visualize a classic used car salesman who will stop at nothing for a sale? He looks through you as he saunters over, complete with a cheesy polyester suit, bad tie, greased back hair and of course don’t forget the mustache! He reeks of Aqua Velva (do they still make that?) and cigarette butts. Your stomach turns out of control and you feel as if you sprouted a giant sign on your forehead that reads “SUCKER.”

Reality Check

An important piece of this picture is the preconception that he (the salesman) wants to do something to you rather than for you. The reality is that most salesmen I know (myself included) dress and smell like everyone else. I take daily showers, wash my hair and wear expensive designer perfumes. I don’t regard potential customers as victims ready to empty their pockets or sent to slaughter. Like me, the consumers are people who desire some product or service. As a salesman, it is my job to discover and fulfill a customer’s needs to the best of my ability.

It kills me when I approach a potential customer who shrinks back in disdain and fear. If you don’t require my services, it is OK with me. However, I can’t tell you how many times the same customers are shocked and amazed when they realize their experience was enhanced when they met and worked with me.

Here are several reasons I chose to be in sales:

  1. My parents owned and operated a gift shop throughout my childhood and teenage years so it was what I knew and it was my first real job.
  2. I simply love connecting with people and finding out their stories.
  3. It may have something to do with the fact that I tend to mother people and want to take care of them in general.
  4. It comes naturally to me (call it a gift)

Back to the prompt!

What do I want people to think of when they hear my name? Miriam is dedicated and determined to ensure customer satisfaction. As a sales manager, I want subordinates to believe that I am there to do something for them. My job is to make theirs easier through training, coaching, listening, supporting and caring about their daily lives. For the external customer, I want them to hear my name and know they are about to receive the best service anyone could hope for.

What I am doing in order to ensure these results? I get out of bed every morning believing in myself and my abilities. I do not simply talk the talk, but I strive to consistently deliver the same experience I would desire (and expect) if I were the customer.

#trust30 prompt: One definition of legacy is what someone feels, thinks and says when they hear your name. What are you doing today to build the legacy you want? (Author: Tim Belber)

4 thoughts on “Salesman or Sheister? #trust30

  1. Barry Silver says:

    I have spent most of my career as a funeral director, so I know about preconceived notions. Funny, those preconceived notions (almost) never surfaced when I was serving a family. You can’t control what someone thinks about you before you meet, but you can affect their feelings by the time your done meeting with them. So be it.


    1. miriamgomberg says:

      Barry, thanks so much for your comment. I totally understand how people would get a preconceived notion of a funeral director just like a salesman. Stereotyping is wrong, but somehow it is still the norm. We are all so much more than our labels. Miriam


  2. eof737 says:

    Sales comes easy to me too and though I’m not in it right now, I believe everyone sells something everyday; self, ideas, products; etc… people will always judge each other and the best way to respond is to ignore it. 🙂


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