I’ve decided to tell you about some of my jobs – since they have been a dominant and interesting part of my life.

Most people, in my current job, would call themselves salespeople, but that doesn’t work for me.  I basically have disliked most salespeople I’ve ever met and I never wanted to be a salesperson.  The reason I’ve disliked salespeople is because of the stereotypical image of a traditional, high-pressure person who takes advantage of people.  There were instances, in my past, where I felt manipulated into buying some things that I never should have bought…but didn’t have the gumption to withstand the pressure.

When I went to interview for my current position, I didn’t realize it involved selling.  I had been unemployed for about 6 months and thought I needed practice interviewing, so went to the meeting to learn about it.  When the “bait and switch” routine occurred, and I discovered I was being interviewed to sell, I almost ran out of the room.  But I stayed and listened.

They somehow persuaded me that this was the greatest opportunity in the world and that I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot.  To this day, I am amazed that I agreed to try it, but continuing to be unemployed seemed like a worse option.

After accepting their “offer,” I soon learned that I had only accepted an opportunity to earn money.  There was no base salary, only commission.  If I earned enough within the first 5 months, I could become eligible for group health benefits.  One of the requirements was to come up with a list of 200 people that I could meet with immediately to “sell” their products.  I had just moved back to this area, so I had to use my very large family, church directory and neighborhood directory.

I was then put through a hiring process, similar to receiving a top secret clearance when going to work for the Air Force years before (which will be another story).

Finally, I was approved, and it seemed so easy at first because all I did was tell friends and family that I had gotten a job, and several of them scheduled appointments with me and made purchases.

After a couple of months, I got scared because all of my “baggage” about salespeople kicked in.  Plain and simple, I can’t handle rejection or making people feel uncomfortable.  The fear kept growing and immobilized me.  I told my boss that I just didn’t think it was going to work out.

He wisely referred me to a friend of his who ran a sales training school.  What would it hurt to meet with him and discuss my issues?  So I did.

That meeting, combined with learning and using the sales system, changed my life.  The system taught me how to be completely non-traditional and put people at ease.  I no longer saw myself as a salesperson – I was a person who found creative solutions to people’s problems.  I no longer had to “sell” anything; people bought solutions.

The tools and techniques I have learned have helped me in most areas of my life.  I have better relationships with everyone I meet.

The price tag for the training was greater than my entire college education bill, but it paid for itself in 3 months.  Five years later, it is still paying off.  I cannot say enough good things about it and my personal coach, who has mentored me to tap into talent that was probably always there (but deeply hidden).

I don’t know of any other job where I could have been so sick and still able to make a living.  For the first 3 years, I could only work 1 or 2 days a week and sometimes couldn’t work for 3 weeks at a time.  My boss was an excellent manager in not micro-managing me and believing that I could pull in good numbers when I did feel good.

It took lots of prayer to make it through most of those appointments and “fake” feeling ok.  I knew the products and I now had confidence about my skills, but before being diagnosed and treated for Lyme Disease, my gastrointestinal issues could be sudden and quite unpredictable.

With God’s help, I have not only survived, but flourished, winning awards and trips every year.  I have come to believe that God put me in this position because He knew I was going to be sick and He is a God who promises to provide for us.  I NEVER would have chosen sales, but it affords me freedom that I never had, working in the corporate world.

Now God has blessed me with another agent who absolutely loves prospecting and hates paperwork – which is the opposite of me, so we make an excellent team.  Together, we capitalize on our strengths and constantly encourage one another.

Don’t let anyone kid you.  This is a tough business – only about 10% make it.  I give God all of the credit for my success (even though I still worry about the commission-only part and am violating His commandment to not worry, but to trust Him in all things).

That’s the most awesome thing I’ve learned about God throughout this whole experience – He believes in me even when I don’t.  He rewards me even when I don’t think I deserve it.  How can He possibly love me so much?  And why can’t I trust Him completely when He’s never let me down?

 

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2 comments


  • Nice to read your blog

    February 23, 2012
    • Thanks so much – brings a smile to my face to know someone is actually reading the blog!

      February 28, 2012

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