This post is an ode to marketers and salespeople, a note of encouragement to thank you for what you do and to remind you that you can make the world a better place.

Ryan was great. He told us everything we had to know about various phones and their options. He knew his stuff. The more he spoke, the more he established his authority.

He told us about the buy-one, get-one-free offer on phones without pitching it too aggressively. The measured approach helped establish trust. When my wife mentioned that she worked for a university, he found a special discount for that university’s employees that knocked $27 off our monthly bill. More trust.

He discussed virtual reality with me -- only after I showed some interest in the topic -- and he described how “cool” the new Samsung virtual reality headset is. He noted we could get 20% off on the headset if our total expenditure on accessories crossed a certain threshold.

That led to a conversation about protective cases for my wife’s new phone.

When she decided to buy one of the cases, I turned to my wife, smiled, and said, “Ryan is selling today.”

He took it as an insult.

“I’m sorry. I really am…” he said.

I cut him off. “Please, don’t apologize. I meant it as a compliment. You’ve done a great job.”

The best marketers and salespeople solve problems and fulfill desires. Ryan did this methodically and intelligently. He discovered our problems and desires. He established authority. He built trust. He presented options. He closed sales. Nothing to be ashamed of there. In fact, I was celebrating his good work.

Yet, too often, marketers and salespeople act skittish or ashamed -- as if marketing and sales are rotten professions.

I sense this from some of my clients who worry about sending too many emails or coming on too strong. As I noted last week, your email subscribers will welcome your emails as long as the messages as valuable to them.

I think many in our profession feel skittish because there are marketers and salespeople who give us a bad name -- those who put their desire to sell ahead of their desire to serve their customers. Those are the marketers and salespeople who thrive on convincing people to buy -- even tricking them -- when the product or service doesn’t actually solve a problem or fulfill a desire.

Ryan inspired me to remind you: Don’t worry about the bad eggs, marketers and salespeople. Yours is a noble profession. Just honor it by acting nobly.

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