Trying on Sales Genes
On the way to the airport this morning, along with four red crustaceans*, I drove past a Dunkin’ Donuts where years ago I might have changed the direction of a young worker there who was wearing a pair of sales genes. I liked what I saw so much that I just had to comment. I say “hoped” because I’m not sure what happened since and I have no idea where she is today. Given the fact that the time it takes to read this 250 word blog is basically equal to the average employment tenure of a DD worker, I can’t assume that she’s not still there because she didn’t listen to me.
It was a Sunday and I was on my way to church, grabbing a medium with milk and sugar prior to picking up mom and dad. This young lady was extraordinary, despite the fact that she really didn’t do anything spectacular. I watched her help three people ahead of me and immediately trained my focus on her sales genes. She made suggestions, up-sold, and showed genuine appreciation and cheer for her job and her customers. In a world where showing up to work on time makes you unusual, showing any kind of enthusiasm for what you do makes you Employee of the Year. This young lady was more than all of that. She was ... special.
As she handed me my coffee, I turned around and, noticing that there was no one behind me, said to her “I’m going to tell you something and you are welcome to consider me crazy, but you have a natural talent and it is being wasted here in the land of caffeine and sugar.” She squinted and gave me a look of concern, probably grateful that there was a counter between us. I continued, “There is something called a ‘sales gene’ and you have it. Someday, someone with more money than me is going to walk in here and see what I see. He or she will recognize how special you are and offer you a job. When that day comes — and it WILL come — follow that person out the door.”
And with that, I left.
It’s only the second time in my life that I’ve done that, the other time being at a Pier One Imports. I like to think that natural sales ability is THAT rare. For the rest of us, we need to make up for it with hustle and chutzpah.
I hope she listened. I hope my words either woke something up in her or validated what she’d felt all along. Crazy people spouting off unsolicited advice in a Dunkin’ Donuts is not common. Raw sales talent is anything but.
*Taking four lobsters to Dallas. Got into an argument at Security. They wouldn't let me bring the ice packs through, claiming it was liquid and not allowed. I invoked my six grade science class and pointed out that ice is not liquid. Knew that class would come in handy someday.
Bill Farquharson can be reached at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org