What is the essence of sales?

When I was 20, I worked in this horrible little closet turned toner vat, basically breathing ink dust all day while recycling old printer cartridges.

I was thrilled when my boss had the brilliant idea to send me out with a stack of cash to go buy used cartridges from businesses nearby.

I hit the streets flashing massive grins, shaking slews of hands, and trying to amplify my voice and pitches to a superhuman level of charm. This went on for weeks.

But no one sold me a single cartridge.

Why?

Think about it: I was essentially offering receptionists free money (should be an easy sale, no?). But they didn’t know me; so all my flashy words amounted to little more than pickup lines, colorful forward emails, infomercials, or those lengthy landing pages with features exaggerated across sets of repeating bullet points.

The essence of sales is influence. The essence of influence is trust built through value added consistently (over time).

Look at everything in your email inbox right now that’s not from a friend or loved one. Which items do you know you’ll delete without really looking at? Which are from trusted sources you look forward to hearing from?

Who have you remained subscribed to through the years?

Whoever has gained and maintained your attention by consistently benefiting you has done so via the essence of sales.

Sales isn’t fast or easy. It’s more than timed “reminder” calls or sets of robotic emails. It transcends tactically placed funnels, magnets, contingencies, flash, and restated bottom lines.

The essence of sales is being and bringing exactly what you are and have until those who love it can’t help but want to support (and report to others) your good efforts in return.

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