The Life of a Salesperson

I’m a collector. I collect sayings and articles and posters I see on walls in businesses and offices and garages. There is some great wit and wisdom in many of these. I’m not sure where I found it but I’m pretty sure a client pulled it off their wall when I noticed it and said I liked it. So, to the writer, my apologies. I wish that I could tell everyone who you are. This is called, “WHAT IS A SALESMAN”?

A salesperson is a pin on a map to the sales manager, a quota to the factory, an overloaded expense account to the auditor, a bookkeeping item called “cost-of-selling” to the treasurer, a smile and a wisecrack to the receptionist, and a purveyor of flattery to the buyer.

A salesperson needs the endurance of Hercules, the brass of Barnum, the craft of Machiavelli, the tact of a diplomat, the tongue of an orator, the charm of a playboy and the brain of a computer.

You must be impervious to insult, indifference, anger, scorn, complaint and be razor-sharp, even after drinking until dawn with a customer.

You must have the stamina to sell all day, entertain all evening, drive all night to the next town and be on the job fresh at 8:00 a.m.

You must be good at storytelling and willing to lose at golf and cards.

A salesperson wishes their merchandise were better, prices lower, commissions higher, territory smaller, competitors more ethical, goods more promptly delivered, boss more sympathetic, advertising more effective and customers more human.

But a salesperson is a realist who accepts the fact that none of this will ever be.

But a salesperson is an optimist, so they make the sale anyway.

Yet, for all that, a salesperson is certain that tomorrow will be better and there is nothing they would rather do, anybody they would rather be – than a salesperson.

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