The Joy of SalesCommentary • workplace • Opinion • ISSUE 30•04 • Sep 4, 1996 By "Atta Boy" Andy Sims, Region Five Assistant District Management Team Member "Atta Boy" Andy Sims Region Five Assistant District Management Team Member First of all, I can see you're all busy folks and the last thing you need is to waste time listening to a load of you-know-what, so let's get one thing straight right off. Dammit, I love sales. I'm not trying to waste your time rambling on about my own personal passions. You've got things to do—hell, we all do—and you're not interested in a lot of hooey, so let's cut to the chase. If you want results, plain and simple, I'm the man for you, because from the depths of my soul I love sales more than anything else on God's Green Earth. Selling is in my blood. I've sold everything from Bibles to bras-sieres. I'd sell air conditioners to Eskimos. If you've got the root beer I've got the ice. Why? Because I love people. In this job I talk to more people before lunch on Monday than most folks say hello to all week. I'm on the road, up and down seven states, with the sun on my face, whistling like a bluebird. Waiting for me in every town I visit are warm greetings and potentially lucrative accounts. A wise man once said, "There's gold ships and silver ships, but there's no ships like friendships." Amen to that. Say what you will about fancy cars and glamorous ladies, but in my book, they can't compare to a friendly cry of "Howdy, Andy!" from a customer who knows he's getting a quality product at a fair and decent price. I love the challenge. I crave the thrill of working the deal, and the surge of pride and hefty commission that come with the closing handshake. A successful sale is an art form, every bit as beautiful and subtle as a painting in the Louvre. It's a special gift, and, I don't mind saying, I've got it. I may not be a rocket scientist, but I'm a hell of a salesman. I'm no braggart—don't get me wrong. Some people are born salesmen and others aren't, that's all. I can no more shirk my appointed destiny than the great eagle can keep from soaring above the fruited plain. Sales are my life. I can read people like a book. If there's one thing I know, it's people. I'm a people person. You need to get in close and not let up. You need to get up in the morning and pound the pavement. After all, customers aren't going to come to you. They want to see a winning grin and a can-do attitude. It's not just my product I'm selling, it's me. A casual friendly gesture or personal compliment can make the difference between a "bust" and a "bonus." I get misty when I think of sales. Every man's got a credo, and mine is, "Care about the customer." What can match the sensation of inner peace I feel when jawing with a client over pie and coffee? They need the product, I need the sale, and if that ain't the brotherhood of man, then I don't know what it is. A man's got to earn his keep, and that's something we all share. I'd be a fool not to be goddamned grateful for good fortune, good friends, and a good hard sell. Give me something to sell, and I'm happy as a clam. You know where you stand as a salesman. It's sink or swim. You've got to hold your own. You've got to have all your ducks in a row and not get ahead of yourself. You can't go off half-cocked. You need to start out right, with good customer service. Identify opportunities for greater sales to current clients, develop techniques for "cross-selling" and "up-selling" to bring in new clients, and increase total product movement. Sometimes, the life of sales can be a hard row to hoe. I can't deny it. Often, the deck of life has dealt me some tough cards. Sure, I resent it sometimes, I'm only human. Sure, it can be boring, eating my biscuits and gravy alone in my room. Yes, I feel the occasional tinge of disappointment when no one accepts my invitation to come on over and play a little cribbage. Now and then I feel a bit down in the mouth when the office boys razz me about being 32 years of age and never having lain with a woman. But you can bet your bottom dollar that each and every morning I rise with the dawn and get down on my hands and knees to thank the Good Lord in Heaven I can provide my customers with the security of maximum value over a wide range of financing and purchasing options. And I'm proud to be man enough to admit that now, even as I write these closing words, I'm weeping uncontrollable tears of ecstasy. I'm done. You have yourself a great day!