A Sad But True Story

Recently, I had a dental appointment in town. After the appointment, I stopped by a Starbucks to treat myself to an afternoon coffee before heading back to the house. It was a pleasant indulgence and something I don’t do often enough.

I ordered my coffee and sat down at a table by myself and just relaxed, taking in the sights and smells and soft jazz playing in the background. No phone. No computer. No clients to talk to. Pure bliss.

A few minutes after sitting down I spotted an older gentleman walk in…he didn’t go to the counter to order anything, he just shuffled over to the table beside me, sat down and opened up a left behind newspaper. After a few moments our eyes met and we uttered the obligatory “good afternoon”. I turned my gaze to back to my cup of java – black, steaming and relaxing.

As I sat there enjoying my brief bliss, the man leafed through the pages making an occasional groan. After a bit he lowered the paper, looked at me and ask what I did for a living that I could come into a coffee shop in mid afternoon and not be in a hurry to leave. I told him I was a salesman and was able to control my schedule and come and go pretty much as I pleased.

“A salesman”, he muttered. “I used to be a salesman and I spent plenty of time in coffee shops like this. Never did make much money and eventually threw in the towel. Figured that if I just worked hard, was honest and tried to help people the money would just roll in. Didn’t work out that way. Now I just live off of my Social Security check which comes on the 5th of each month.” He continued, “Never could figure out what those heavy hitters who were going ‘gangbusters‘ were doing to make all that money.”


I said, “I know what you are saying. I too thought that working hard, being honest, and trying to provide the best service in the industry was sufficient. Then one day I got fired because of low production and I was stunned. That wake up call caused me to realize that if I was going to be financially successful I needed to take a different path.”

“What I realized was that I was good at selling, but I sucked at marketing. Especially marketing that attracted new prospects like honey attracts bees. So I went to work and became a student of marketing. I have since learned that being a good salesperson is simply not enough. If you are to succeed you have to become a master marketer. That decision has made all the difference in the world.”

With a sad expression he got up to leave. “Well, back then I figured it was just easier and simpler to focus on what I knew and kinda worked. If I had shifted gears the way you did….maybe things would have turned out different for me…” He got up without say anything more and walked out the door.

Right now, salespeople all over the country are struggling day after day trying to figure out how to do more than just get by.

It doesn’t have to be that way for you.

The truth is that this time of turmoil can be one of the very best times for you because most salespeople are doing exactly the same things as everyone else in their market and they too are wondering why it’s not working….and too many see a future before them that’s honestly not pretty.

I encourage you not to make the same mistake as that old salesman who tossed in the towel because he never made the mental shift from “working hard” to “working smart”.

If you are ready to make the shift from salesperson to marketer CLICK HERE and register to receive our FREE email newsletter loaded with proven marketing tips and strategies.