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Unsettling glimpse into world of sales

21 October 2010 No Comment

If you adopt a certain point of view, it can accurately be said that we all have to sell ourselves to a degree. Even those of us who find any kind of self-promotion awkward and unnatural have to compromise at some point, whether it be for a job opening, business opportunity or just generally making a good impression to someone.

With that being said, I do not think I could be involved in sales full-time. In addition to trying to find suitable sponsors for my radio show, I am currently working for AOL to help them launch a vast network of community-based web sites (patch.com) around St. Louis. Though I should be moving into more of an editorial (writing/editing) role in the next few weeks, Iíll take whatever work I can find right now. So, Iím helping them complete their online business directories for these sites.

Itís not bad. I keep my own hours, and do everything independently. Much of this work involves taking and uploading digital images, and updating business information on the web sites. Flexible, manageable Ö and itís work!

Unfortunately, much of the work I have been doing recently does not always pay, so these kinds of jobs and opportunities can be very helpful.

One aspect to this short-term venture is that I visit businesses to make sure I have their information correct, and to see if they want any input into how I present their directory web page (text, photos, etc.). Itís actually been relatively smooth, but I can tell when I first approach a business, they assume I am selling something. Their patch.com directory web page is FREE.

It takes a minute for them to realize I am no salesman. The fact I am wearing such casual clothing helps; and, I assume that I project very little sales ďpresence.Ē Iíve learned to mention that I am NOT selling anything, and this is a free deal right away. The few times the business representative made me feel like a salesman did not sit well with me. Iíve had a few moments recently during these business visits when all of a sudden I did not feel like myself. Iíve now adopted an approach where I just act like myself, tell them Iím a writer trying to get these web sites launched, and am helping out with the directories because I need the work and since Iím not selling anything, it is a good opportunity for some work.

People understand that. There is nothing wrong with those involved in sales, and, in fact, it is not only necessary but it always comes down to the authenticity and character of the person. Like in all aspects of business, there are people you like, and those you are not quite sure about. Sales exposes any artificial elements in certain personalities, and Iím sure most business owners pick up on this.

Between this web site work, and trying to convince people to sponsor my radio show for just a few bucks per week, Iíve experienced an increased glimpse into the world of sales. It is scary; the constant rejection, doubts, skepticism, dread and discouragement that traditional sales people experience on a daily basis has to be astonishing. It must be so difficult to operate knowing that only a fraction of your contacts will pan out in a positive way. It is also no surprise that this rejection and dejection is why so many sales people are depressed Ö and with the rough state of the US economy, this is a startling realization.

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