The Crowley family is coming off an awesome spring break. We spent some much needed down-time in the mountains of Asheville NC getting much closer as a family and just goofing off.
One of our outings was to the unbelievable Biltmore estate.
During the tour, my oldest daughter (Logan 11) informed me that HER mansion was going to have a gymnastics room and candy parlor. Not JUST an indoor swimming pool and bowling alley the pauper George Vanderbilt built in his measly 178,926 square foot shack.
When asked how she was going to pay for it, she confidently said “I’m going to own a bakery – Daaaaad”.
In my face.
This got me thinking about us – Healthcare Sales Professionals. When I was a kid, I never said “one day I’m gonna be a salesman.”
Has any kid ever said they wanted to be a salesperson?
To make matters worse
While contemplating this question, I ask some friends and family how they would describe salespeople. Keep in mind, they know I am a sales guy. What did they say?
“Slimey, conniving, conceded, narcissistic, deceitful, egotistical, liars.”
They said this to my face!
So, how did we end up in sales?
Who in their right mind would pursue a career with such a terrible reputation? Landing a sales gig doesn’t equate to hitting the jackpot.
I’ve been ignored, yelled at, spit on, chased by protestors and cussed out. I’ve slipped on ice and bruised my tailbone, pitted out a suit jacket in August and split my pants chasing down a doctor. I’ve been called an overpaid caterer, an unreliable FedEx man, a glorified public relations rep and a legal drug dealer. Ahhh, the glory.
Why did I decide on a career as a human punching bag? Money. I took all the abuse because I knew that if I kept fighting, I could make more money than the doctors I was calling on.
Growing up as a kid, we didn’t have much. I vividly remember the rush of pride little husky-jean wearing Johnny felt opening his saving account register to see the “mountain” of money piling up from shoveling snow and mowing lawns.
As a college intern, I remember asking company executives which jobs made the most money. They all said the same thing – Sales.
I was hooked. Sales was my destiny!
Start with Why
The belief that money was my main motivation got me thinking about Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why. His famous principle says the way to inspire people is by identifying and speaking to their “Why”.
Focusing on Why has been a game changer for me. I remember selling a technology solution that empowered customers with data and analytics that improved their efficiency and profitability. But, six-months after implementing my largest customer, I discovered no one at the practice was using the software. It just sat there dormant while they paid me a hefty monthly service fee.
This was my fault. I had demonstrated WHAT the technology did and HOW to use it. But, I completely ignored WHY the software was important to the customer and WHY it was essential to patient care.
I went back to the customer with use cases (the Why). Their utilization and profits skyrocketed.
Simon defines the “Why” in this famous Ted Talk.
Money is never the Why. Really?
Simon states the Why is never to make a profit. Money is just a byproduct. Money can be used to buy objects or create an emotion. Those outputs are the Why. Not the money.
Money may create the security that comes from not worrying about bills. Money may foster the prestige from living in a mansion or driving a Bugotti. Money may be an objective metric used to gauge progress for an over-achiever.
I understand Simon’s principle but I am struggling to see if it is true for sales people.
Money certainly creates security, fosters prestige and is a quantifiable metric. But money does none of that for me.
There’s something about seeing an ever increasing commission statement that gives a great sense of accomplishment. Is it the accomplishment that I seek? No. Because if I was the #1 rep in the company but didn’t make the money I desired, I wouldn’t be pleased.
Am I alone? I’m seriously torn by this. What do you think?
I would be honored if you would reply to this email and tell me if money is your Why. If not, do you think money could be a Why – for someone else. It may take me a few days but I will reply to every one of your emails. I take your responses seriously.