Am I a seductress? If you knew me at all you would laugh out loud, because I am not.
Early on in my career many of my female peers wore their skirts very short. Out of pure modesty I could not re-hem mine beyond my knee area. I just couldn’t do it. I asked a coworker what he thought about the short skirts and if I should shorten my skirts to the popular thigh-high height. He asked why, and I bemoaned that it seemed like the thing to do and I was curious about his opinion. He said, “no, buyers will have no problem knowing what you sell…with some of the other reps, that might be up for discussion.” Since I valued his opinion and intuitively knew what was right for me, my hem lines remained steadfast at my knee.
Why do I write about this now? I am not amused hearing comments made towards sales people, who some will equate selling to seduction. I do not seduce my customers.
Once I was asked to bring “sexy samples” to a meeting I’d just landed with a male print buyer. Oh dear, I thought…sexy samples? Why would this man ask me to bring sexy samples of printing? I don’t have any sexy samples. The meeting didn’t go well.
Personally, I think sales people get a bad rap. You’d probably argue, well of course you do, you’re a sales person. Sales people are by their nature inquisitive and assertive, that’s usually why they ended up in sales. You must have those qualities to be able to effectively seek out and engage people. I’ve discovered that people will not buy what they don’t already determine to be something they want. It’s my job to locate people who want to buy some type of printing and they will either value what I bring to the table or not. What I bring to the table is product knowledge, a great mix of presses and talented people…oh, and, wink, wink, respectability.