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  February 3, 2017
The Oldest Profession on Earth...



The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.

                                            ~ Vince Lombardi

Dinner was just about ready when I heard the doorbell chime so I turned off the burner and went to the door.

When I opened the door, I looked down and saw a diminutive figure on my doorstep dressed in a green jumper with the handle of a shiny red wagon in one hand Girl Scoutsand an order form in the other.

"Hi...my name is Christina and I’m selling Girl Scout cookies to help Troop 356 raise money so we can go to summer camp... would you please help us?"

She then handed me the order form and told me that I could select from the choices listed on the form.

Handing the form back to Christina, I tried to explain to her that another young girl had been to my house the previous afternoon and that I had purchased several boxes of cookies from her already.

At this point I thought I had myself abundantly clear that I was not in the market to purchase any additional cookies as I already had several boxes that I would probably never eat, but Christina was not deterred in the slightest.

She once again handed me the form and explained that I only needed to buy one box to help Girl Scouts and a box was only $5.

With the thought of my dinner getting cold, I reached in pocket to pull out the $5 when I realized that I had not been to the bank in a while, leaving me with only 4 one-dollar bills in my pocket.

I explained that I was tapped out, but if she could come back tomorrow night I’d gladly buy a box of cookies from her.

Christina was not going to leave my doorstep without making a sale.

"It’s okay...we can take checks too".

I went to the drawer in my desk, retrieved my checkbook and a pen, and then asked Christina whom should I write the check to and she immediately told me that I could write the check to Troop 356.

As I was starting to write the check, she then added, "You can also buy some cookies for some of the people in the military... we have a program called ’Operation Thin Mints’ and you can donate some of your cookies to them".

I was hooked... I was already in the process of writing a check... so what did it matter if I wrote it for $5 or $25... one box for me... four boxes for our service people.

As I closed the door to get to my now cold dinner... I had to give the young lady a lot of credit for sticking with the sale. 

It would have been easy for her to accept my initial rejection and scamper off to the house next door... but she didn’t... she had a goal to sell a box of cookies to me and she wasn’t going to relent.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for 26 years, and if there is only one real truth that I’ve discovered during this time is that...

...nothing happens until a sale is made.

You can have the most reliable product... the best customer service... the fastest delivery... and it doesn’t matter unless someone buys something from you.

Sales are absolutely critical... not only to a business... but to an individual as well.

Each of us have been selling since the day we were born... screaming at the top of our lungs to be fed or changed.

We are selling our ideas to our co-workers... we are selling our services to an employer who might want to hire us... we are selling the girl we just met to give us her phone number and then later we are selling her to trust enough to go out on a date with us... we are selling to our boss that we deserve a raise... we are selling the car in the next lane to let us merge on the freeway.

In every transaction a sale is always made... either we convince someone to buy what we’re "selling"... or they "sell" us on why they won’t. 

In either case the sale is made.

Prostitution is not the world’s oldest profession... sales is...

...and it was Eve who sold Adam on why he should join her in eating the apple from the forbidden tree... making her the very first sales person...

Many of the best salespeople I know do not receive a wage for selling... yet they are some of the best I know at the power of persuasion.

They are the school teacher who motivates their students to do their homework each night... the football coach who convinces an athlete to come play for them... the actor who not only possesses great talent but who can also sell the casting director that she is perfect for the part.

Success or failure comes down to one thing... can you sell something to someone?

What are those things then that separates the good sales person from the great sales person?

Here is a short list, in no particular order, of those attributes that a true professional salesperson has:

  • The professional sales person is committed.  They never stop learning about the sales process and about the product and/or service that they are representing.  They never waver or are indecisive.  They are 100% all-in... all the time.  They have drunk the Kool-Aid and it tastes good.
  • The professional sales person is prepared.  They practice until they know it perfectly and they keep practicing so they always keep themselves sharp no matter how many times they’ve done it in the past.  They do their homework and understand what it is that they are selling and who they are selling it to better than anyone.
  • Professional salespeople never make excuses.  Excuses are for losers.  They are the masters of their own destiny.  They truly believe that they make their own luck and the harder they work... the luckier they get.
  • Professional salespeople are not interested in making a sales commission... they are only interested in helping people solve their problems.  They are always looking at how to best help others first by providing solutions not products or services.  They know only after they help their customers will their rewards come.
  • The professional salesperson knows that it’s NEVER about price... it’s always about value.  If it was always about price, then not a single luxury car, piece of jewelry, or designer handbag would ever be sold.  People buy for the value that they alone place on possible purchases.
  • The professional salesperson must believe.  The most important sale is selling themselves.  They absolutely believe in their product, their cause, their ability to help others, and the value of their service.  They believe so much that they feel that they are doing their clients a disservice by not selling them on the merits of the product and/or service. 

My young saleswoman standing on my porch inherently understood many of these professional sales principles... absolutely being committed, believing in her product and cause... helping me to find value in buying not one box of $5 cookies, but 5 boxes... and being prepared with a small red wagon and a practiced sales pitch.

Little Christina has a bright future as a successful sales person... whether or not she gets paid to sell or not...
Thank you for your support of OptiFuse where we believe that our rewards come only after we help our customers find the value they are looking for. 

Jim Kalb

Email -  jimk@optifuse.com
Website -
Twitter - @OptiFuse

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