Like many newly minted college graduates, when I crossed the finish line and collected my BS degree (pun definitely intended) with dual majors in Marketing and Economics, I quickly discovered that my degree was not what I thought it was. I thought it was the key to success and instead it was merely an indicator future employers that I was willing to follow a prescribed path to complete a process. The fact that I had completed my degree in 3 years instead of four while spending a trimester in Japan failed to impress any of the HR people with whom I interviewed.
With no job experience other than retail mall clerk during high school, I found myself applying for “marketing” jobs. I quickly learned that “marketing” is HR code for “commissioned sales positions.” Eventually I landed a position with a regional advertising agency only to discover that “account executive” is just another term for “commissioned sales person.”
SELLING is an essential part of doing business.
My mentor was a wise woman who quickly introduced me to the wonderful world of “self-growth” as well as “sales training.” She began feeding me a constant stream of products from top name motivational and sales gurus. In those days, their words of wisdom were carrying via cassette tapes instead of podcasts. More than one of those loaned tapes literally disintegrated in my cassette deck from my ravenous consumption of the material.
Not long ago, I ran across a blog maintained by one of those gurus. It didn’t take any kind of “bribe” to get me to sign up for his email newsletter – because this man already possessed “demi-god” status within my mind.
After I signed up, I was HORRIFIED to see that the “legal bribe” offered by my sales hero had a GLARING TYPO in the first paragraph. (Thanks Mike for pointing out my glaring typo in the first paragraph of this post.)
This person had a huge balance in his trust account with me – so I hoped that this was just an oversight on the part of his staff. Ever sinceI shared my email address with him, my inbox has been inundated with a never-ending stream of “hard closing” sales messages. Once I made a mistake of actually trying to watch one of his videos – and it was like watching paint dry. Meanwhile his blog posts seemed to be devoted to chasing keywords instead of sharing information.
Unfortunately, this man’s lack of understanding of the “modern sales process” has resulted in his credibility dropping to less than zero with me. This is a direct result of watching him function in the “new world” of social media.
The new world of social media can seem bewildering to someone who has decades of experience in one-way communication. I can see where it would be especially frightening for someone who hasn’t been along for the ride – for those who ignored the web until the 2nd decade of this century.
However, in the words of one of my clients – sometimes you can get so far behind that you’re actually ahead and that is definitely the case when it comes to social media and sales.