I’m going to take a break from the Dan Miller Challenge and respond to Day 4 of Jeff Goins Intentional Blogging Challenge –
The English Major Youth Pastor Turns Salesman
I was an English major in college. After college, I worked for 2 years as an urban missions coordinator for a small intown Atlanta church.
My next five years were spent earning a Master of Divinity (sort of like an MBA in the church world) and went on to work as a youth pastor for a couple years.
Through a series of events, I landed in the insurance world as a producer in 2004. A ‘producer’ is another name for an insurance agent which is another term for insurance salesperson.
Needless to say, I had no background in sales. More accurately, I never sold anything before, nor had I ever wanted to sell anything. I was like Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything:
Little did I know that I actually had a background in skills that would benefit a sales career.
It took me a good few years to settle in as a salesperson.
The first step might sound strange: I had to come to grips with the idea of being a salesperson. Even seasoned salespeople shirk the title for ‘trusted advisor’ or ‘consultant’ or something else that doesn’t include the word ‘sales’ in it.
The second step was understanding and implementing basic sales habits: making calls, networking, learning how to present and handle objections, and asking for the sale. Most small businesses don’t have formal training programs, so it took me a good bit to cobble together a sales process that works for me.
The final step has been to incorporate my natural skills and gifts and interests into my sales process. While it’s tempting to try to fit the mold of stereotypical successful salesperson, it’s important to find ones own voice as a salesperson. My education, experience in ministry, and talents and gifts should all be incorporated into the way I approach creating value for my clients and coworkers.
I’m still working through these three steps:
1. Strengthening a high view of the sales profession
2. Honing and developing sales skills
3. Working on finding my sales voice.
All professions require continual growth, study, and practice. Sales is no different.
Sales Experiment is for Salespeople (including myself) Who Want to Find Their Sales Voice
I set up this site as a place to curate some of the best sales and marketing strategies, tactics, and philosophies that are bouncing around out there. I’m also using it as a way to sharpen and develop my own sales voice.
Hopefully, in the process, I can help you find yours or at least connect you with resources that might help you on your journey.
Sales is honorable. Selling things that people need in a way that creates value for them is one of the best ways to help others and make a living there is.
The fun part is that one size does not fit all. There’s not a certain personality type or a certain approach that makes a salesperson successful. Experiment.Solve Problems. Create value. Find your sales voice.