Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I can't sell ice to Eskimos *Kind of personal. If you actually know me, you might care*

At times like this I wish I was one of those natural born salespeople. People that could sell ice to Eskimos, not only sell it, but for a high margin, with plenty of commission in it for themselves.

I am a salesperson. I sell stuff. I find out what my client is after, I bid/design/draw/specify it, and see if I can get them their desired solution for a price they are willing to pay. I only put food on the table when I sell stuff. I have a little product management position, which brings in a fraction of a poverty level income.

Right now it is really hard to be a salesperson, period. Add to that the fact that the products I offer I heavily tied to the housing market. Add to that the fact that my largest client, Regency Homes, collapsed last year, under the weight of clueless, reckless, foolish management. The homes that are moving in this market tend to be bare bones, hardly the type of homes that require all the goodies we offer.

My identity is not wrapped up in being a salesperson. It is my job, my career of choice, not who I am.

I do what I do with, God willing, integrity. I don't jack up one person's price and cut an other's based on my perception of their income or likelihood of buying. I try to earn repeat customer's business not because I know the name of their kid's little league team, but because I deliver on what I said I would, on time, for the quoted price, and I take care of any issues by fighting for my clients when they need service after the sale. To whatever degree I do this, I credit God, because anything good I do in this life originates with Him.

So, the problem. Right now, this career of choice, that I've had at A Tech / Easy Living for 8 years doesn't seem to be enough to live on, in the manner my wife and I have chosen to live. We don't live extravagantly, but we don't have to have two cars, go on an annual vacation, or own two computers. Kelli does work catering some, and recently became a representative for Premier Designs. I'm really not sure what to do.

The easy answer is, "sell more." But since I can't sell ice to Eskimos, it can be difficult for me. I need people who are interested in buying. Unlike some salespeople, I can't use the force of my personality to talk an uninterested person in to buying something from me, nor would I want to, because I don't think I could sleep at night.

I know their are habits I could change. Small things I could do. Our management is pretty loose. They only babysit you when you prove you can't go it alone. No one is looking over my shoulder making sure I do the little things that might help me be a better salesperson.

I guess I'm just sharing what's going on. Nothing really profound, just sharing.


  1. Your thoughts resonate very similar feelings that Jake and I have had. My background is sales for my family's business: custom printed balloons. Jake's family business is with the jewelry industry. Balloons, jewelry, cars, boats, and the type of extra add-ins to homes that you sell are all non-essentials to life. We know that first hand! You are doing the right thing, by selling what you have with integrity. That is all that God asks of us. As long as we are working hard at the job that HE has provided for us, and we are doing what HE would want us to do in our daily jobs, we can give HIM the glory for our sales actions. This economy has been rough on all of us in the "luxury" items industries, and it is a good lesson to live on a lean purse at all times. (The Richest Man in Babylon) There could be a need for a support group of some kind. :o) Hang in there!