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Ode to a Peddler

The Webster Dictionary defines sales as "the act of selling; specifically: the transfer of ownership of and title to property from one person to another for a price."

Those in selling, those passionate about providing benefits to clients and also receiving the rewards of providing that benefit, believe selling is so much more.

My dear friend, Don Craighead, died this past week. Don was an exceptional business owner, entrepreneur, world-class networker, and the consummate salesperson. He was also an exceptional teacher through his actions, and his words.

I knew Don for close to 20 years and if I could sum up his personal mission statement, it was simply "helping others achieve their goals and dreams." That mission is what made Don so good at sales. That is what made Don such a good friend and loved by so many.

Isn't sales all about the salesperson convincing a prospect to buy something so the salesperson can receive their commission? Absolutely not. In fact, for great salespeople like Don, it's the exact opposite mindset.

Don believed selling, or as he termed it, "being a peddler," was one of the more honorable and noble professions one can undertake. When done right, selling not only solves a client's problem but in small and sometimes even in big ways, selling improves the client's life. (Many times, what I've sold has indirectly helped my client achieve their personal business objectives allowing them to receive their annual bonus which they then used on that dream vacation, long-sought kitchen remodel, or helping their child graduate college debt-free.)

It is this overall mindset that differentiates the great salespeople from the average ones. The average salesperson wants to hit quotas; the goal is to "hit the numbers." The great salesperson wants to hit quotas but also knows what problems the client faces and how the product or service they are selling can be a solution to that problem.

The great salesperson wants to be prepared to provide value with every interaction. The great salesperson knows that by providing valued solutions, "hitting the impossible sales numbers" becomes possible. The goal is not the numbers. Rather, the goal is providing value, differentiating oneself from the competition, creating loyalty, and ultimately making the life of the other person better.

Accomplish that and "the numbers" - your numbers - take care of themselves. Don Craighead's amazing legacy is proof of that.

Author: Sam Richter, CSP, CPAE National Speaker Hall of Fame | Top 50 Sales Keynote Presenters | Bestselling Author


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