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“What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?” – George Eliot
Pure, profound, and poetic. What a beautiful philosophy by which to live one’s life. I concluded my first book on sales with this message. Reflecting on where I am today, it seems an appropriate way to begin this book—also about sales.
Careers can be difficult, particularly those that involve sales. I know. I’ve sold sawmill equipment and starved. I’ve sold automobiles and sucked. I’ve sold real estate and struggled. You noticing a pattern? Hey, at least I was consistent and persistent.
Then, I tried selling new homes and succeeded—succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. So what changed?
What was different? Why the turnaround?
As corny as it may sound, I learned how to smile. Not the finished version of S.M.I.L.E. that is my new book, but a fragmented version—a version that came to me in bits and pieces, from a variety of sources, spread out over many years. Some came from books I read. Others from sales people I studied. Many came from training I received. And a few, the result of personal experiences. With each sliver I gained more insight into learning how to S.M.I.L.E.
The joyous journey Sherri Montgomery is about to take you on is not unlike the road I traveled that led me to writing this story. Growing up, I followed the Golden Rule. I was taught to always take the high road with everyone and everything. I focused on serving and caring. I was most fortunate for that early direction.
Unfortunately, much of the knowledge and training I received in my failed attempts at sales focused not on serving and caring but on selling and closing. It took me in another direction—down a different path—one that led me to losing who I was. I wasn’t proud of what I was becoming. I wasn’t pleased with the person I saw in the mirror. I was lost. And I wasn’t . . . smiling.
My newest book S.M.I.L.E. is dedicated to the sales people in all industries who have lost their way. I see them everywhere I shop. I recognize that look on their faces when I’m looking for appliances, clothing, furniture, and bedding. I witness it when I search for automobiles, RVs, insurance, or real estate. I see them struggle, I see them lost, and it pains me. Because I’ve been there, and I don’t want them to be there another day.
My wish for S.M.I.L.E. is simple. It begins with making the life of every sales person less difficult. But it goes far beyond that. Ultimately, it’s about making their life one worth celebrating—one that’s fulfilling, enriching, and purposeful—personally and professionally! I wish to see more . . .
This post was submitted by Steve Rigby, a C-Suite Book Club Author.
Make sure to check out his latest book S.M.I.L.E: How a People-First Philosophy Creates Extraordinary Sales