Actually, my days as a salesman were over a long time ago, I just failed to recognize it. There was a time when I could cold-call a prospect and enthusiastically engage people about the benefits of my products. As I have aged, my sensitivity to privacy and respect of a person’s time is now greater than my dwindling enthusiasm for sales.
Most of this realization crystallized while I was attending a networking function a couple of weeks ago. It was easy to pick out those folks who were not only confident, but possessed a passion for their product or service. As I left the event, I started wondering where my passion went.
Brooks Brothers casual
Of course, this shouldn’t have come as any great surprise to me. The last several mixers and networking events have found me decidedly dressed down. Whereas I had normally attended meetings wearing nothing less than sport coat, tie and dress slacks, I have recently opted for more casual attire of khakis and a buttoned down dress shirt. The last event was particularly embarrassing as I looked down to realize I was wearing my deck shoes with no sox’s!
Public speaking is still cool
I wish not to leave you with the impression that my passion has completely evaporated. Much of my focus has shifted from purely marketing to research and education. Give me five minutes and I’ll take an hour discussing the changes to the health insurance market place, the value of Medicare, the challenges small businesses face with government regulations or the importance of spirituality. In short, I have a deep well of passion for important issues that concern all of us.
While I have not benefited financially from it, the most viewed page on my website is a blog post
called How much does the government pay Medicare Advantage Plans. The constant views of this post that is several months old is a tacit reminder that I do having something of value to offer. But it is increasingly apparent that my value is not as a sales person, but maybe just as a friend.
I started blogging as a means to drive traffic to my website. Since I am loath to put out drivel for content, my blog posts have really focused on providing basic quality information people are searching for in order to make sound decisions. Even though I sprinkle in humorous and community related posts, my main objective is to provide salient information or a different perspective on a topic. The writing of educational blogs is far more enjoyable than discussing the benefits of an indexed universal life policy as your client’s eyes glaze over in disinterest.
I’m a non-profit educational event
Another indication that my untethered “sales boat” has drifted away from the dock is the series of Medicare educational seminars I am hosting. There can be no marketing or selling at these events, only Medicare approved information. Not only will I spend enumerable hours preparing and presenting at the eight different seminars, I am actually spending money to advertise these free events that I can’t sell at. Have I sealed my sales coffin from the inside or what?
I never was Closer
So it’s official, I am out of the selling game. Note to all my Linked In connections: you can stop sending me emails to sell your life insurance products. (That should knock out 25 unwanted emails a day.) If you want help with health, life or Medicare insurance products I will certainly be there to assist you. But I can’t “sell” you in the conventional sense of convincing you that what I represent is the best for you.
No hunger, no fire
Nope, my days of selling are over. No more buying internet leads, dialing and smiling, knocking on doors, sending out direct mail or setting up “pay per click” internet ads for the sole purpose of selling insurance products most folks don’t want, need or understand. My “fire in the belly”, as sales professionals call it, has been extinguished. I’ve lost my “hunger” for sales. I’ll stick to what makes the passion bubble inside of me which is helping and educating people.
Now, if anyone has any suggestions how I can turn my little passion into a modest income for my family, I am all ears. But please, don’t try to sell me anything.