Life of a Salesman

When I say, SALESMAN; what comes to your mind first? These are what you would imagine him as. Right?  

  • A pesky door to door salesman (selling soap?)
  • A smart boy in a tie and suit (again at your door, the Eureka Forbes kinds?)
  • The boys outside banks, trying to sell credit cards
  • Tele marketers (“I am calling from HDFC Bank, and we have a loan waiting for you!”)
  • The usual people – hawkers, shopkeepers and so on.
  • The corporate frauds. (Picture me)

Could it also be you without you actually realising it?

Let me ask you a few questions. If you can answer them in the comments section, others can also see them.

  • How many times would you have had a pesky salesman knock at your door during lazy afternoons trying to make a sale?
  • How many times would you have knocked the door on his face?
  • How many of the salesmen tried to use ‘foot in the door’?
  • How many managed to make the sale?
  • How many would you want to make a deal with once again, if given a chance?
  • How many times have you felt cheated after the sale?
  • Do you hate salesmen?
  • And which is the oldest profession in the world? I’ll answer this one, its SELLING!

We would not like to accept it, but we all are salesmen in someway or the other. Be it a doctor, a lawyer, a housewife or even a school teacher. We all are trying to sell something or the other. Just try to map the names I just mentioned with what they are selling.

SalesManI’ll recollect a story here. A young salesman was trying to sell bibles. One fateful afternoon, he stumbled across this old couple down the block. The geezer was quick to retort, he could not buy one since he had no money in the house. The young salesman just shot back. “Could you please say the same, with one hand on the bible please?” Now that’s the kind of salesman we are all vary off.
I’ll tell you what. Salesmen are cursed, abused and face most criticism than anyone else in the world. But the fact is that the world would be dry and empty if it were not for the salesmen. Selling is a noble profession and whether we like it or not, we can’t do without them. Or how can you imagine of wearing the clothes you wear now, the house you live in, the cold drink you savor during summers, the computer you are using to read this very blog!

Sure, manufacturers can make a lot of things, but how would they reach the final consumer – you?
Salesmen are often accused of a lot of things.

  • The smoke and drink too much
  • They talk a lot
  • They will pester you at the wrong times
  • They are full of themselves
  • They don’t respect other functions in the company (mostly HR!)

Well, it’s all mostly true. But why do they do it? Because they need to. They need to pester you, because you won’t get back in all possibilities. They also need referrals so they can benefit someone else. They need to be good talkers because they are paid to do so. And they are the most important people in any organization because they bring the money! Without the money, other functions can take a break. It’s another matter; you need to manage the hordes of salesmen, so you hire an HR. And as for the smoking and drinking, these guys would be travelling alone most of the times and after a hard day’s work, nothing like a scotch down the throat. Eh? Give them a break!

And when you start off a new business, what’s the single most important thing that needs to be done? SELLING! You might be the financial whiz kid, starting up a new advisory, but need to play the salesman first, whether you like it or not!

In times like these, when we talk about competition, globalization and increasing consumer awareness (lots of jargon eh!); salesmen have to be on the toes always. They need to be aggressive and they need to stay ahead of the competition. But there is a thin line that separates the ethics of this profession with what it is known for these days, which invariably is crossed many times. In the hunt for higher numbers, one ends up doing a lot of things that leaves a bad taste. But nature has its own way of punishing such culprits. I mean there are thugs in all professions, it just so happens you know more of salesmen, because you are one too!

I have used salesmen in a neutral way without any gender bias. Just read salesmen as salespersons!

10 Responses

  1. meghana Says:

    i agree,they are an inevitable pain in the A** most of the times but the fact that they can stoop to any level to annoy us and make business
    is disheartening.

    sometimes,i admire their creativity,have you seen the guys near Majestic bus stand,blore selling napthalene balls like hot cakes! ten bucks,three packets ,now,that is
    USP :) hehehe

  2. Sachin Says:

    Vinni - the salesman is talking, ;-)

    U know what if we don’t manufacture anything what are u gonna sell ;-)

    One more thing they are accused of is, they don’t stay at one place for long. (i mean the number of company they change)

  3. Gayatri Says:

    so, we must be open to people trying to sell, themselves/products/services regardless?

  4. Preeti Says:

    Defending yourself? :)

  5. meghana Says:

    u’re tagged ! vinni

  6. jane Says:

    i’m a saleswoman- so i guess i’m on ya side!
    it’s the egg n chicken story, do ya make it or ya sell it?

    like ya said, at the end of the day, we’re all selling ourselves!we’re all trying to be one up, and that in itself is selling!

    they say an idea is an excellent one only when used, shared and sold, else, it is only a silly lil’ thing harping on ya silly brain.


    i believe sales isn’t selling anymore, it’s just sharing good things in life in exchange for some greens.. not all good things in life come for free, do they? if they were for free, they’re not good enough:)

    i’m on ya side vinnin:0
    for once, i’m being an angel ;)

  7. Divkiran Says:

    good or bad, dosn matter… no business will run if thrs no sales… have worked with the bottom line myself and they really are the bread earners for the whole company… Thnks to thm for evrythn :)

  8. vinni Says:

    @meghana: the best salesmen are not the ones who are most innovative but those who genuinely want to help the customer and not themselves!

  9. vinni Says:

    gayatri, you dont have to be open to them but you dont have to hate them either! we are all not that bad!

  10. vinni Says:

    jane, i truly love you! what an angel u are!

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