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“Oh yeah, I hear they’re really fact-based there. Yeah, they make all their decisions based on metrics. Very analytical” said the young man in the grey Italian slacks.

sales success tips

The boundless hope of the young sales executive

He looked like he was trying to convince himself of something, or avoid discussing something else.

“Yeah, that’s what I heard.” His female colleague was approximately his age. Both seemed relatively fresh out of college, and full of enthusiasm and the power of new techniques.

“So,” she continued. “Is that why Harris lost the account? Not enough fact-based materials? I mean, that was a big account . . .” She shook her head in a way that made me believe that it had been an account far larger than any of hers, and that the loss would be talked about for quite some time.

“I don’t know about that. I mean, Harris always had his metrics and presentations. He helped me a few times. He showed me how to do the projections in the spreadsheet. It all looked really slick.”

“Oh I know, I copied some of his templates!” She laughed. It was probably occurring to her that maybe it wasn’t such a profitable association any longer. “But I suppose there was something about . . . ”


“Well, about him personally. I mean . . .” She seemed to need to come at this obliquely.

“Well, yeah, I mean .  . . ” He seemed to not want to approach it. “Hey driver, could you drop us off at the main entrance to the hotel, please?” he asked me. I nodded and acknowledged with a yep.

“I mean,” said the woman. “I mean he was such an . . . ”

Asshole?” the young guy offered. His colleague laughed.

“Well, yeah, I mean, don’t you think that would have caused him some problems?”

“I dunno. He always tried to be fact-based and give the customer the information they needed. The personal part really shouldn’t have . . .”

And just then, in a voice de profundis from the back of the shuttle van, I heard the wisdom of ages. It was from a gaunt man with a mustache and beard. He wore a beige Western suit. He leaned forward, his longish-grey hair slightly blowing in the van’s air conditioning. He opened his mouth and he said:

“It don’t matter how fact-based you are. If they hate your guts you ain’t gonna sell them shit.”

And with that he leaned back in his seat.

The younger man and woman looked at each other, almost stricken. This was wisdom. This was the key.

The Old Sales Dog had spoken.

By the way, I’m pitching my debut novel. If you like CIA mind-control, sheep, explosions, love, mental illness, and Perry Como, you’ll love this book. Check it out at Eye of the Diamond-T.

photo credit: Dunechaser via photopin cc