Selling Dreams

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Most of us are selling something. Whether you work in a big company or by yourself, whether you are an accountant or working on straight commission, most of us have a facet of our job that involves sales. If I am an employee, I have to sell to my boss and company that I am a valued employee and should be retained or promoted. If I am in professional services, I have to sell my clients that I am worthy of their trust and that they should engage me to help them. Most of us who aren’t directly paid and responsible for selling day to day probably don’t think enough about this aspect of our career. Anyone that has dealt with a high pressure salesperson can easily develop a negative connotation of the idea “selling.” This is because a poor salesperson sells you something that you don’t necessarily want or need. In contrast, a real salesperson understands your needs and helps you achieve your goals through his or her product or service.

I visited recently with Lynda Jungkind, owner of Premier Bride of Mississippi, to learn more about her successful career in sales and as an entrepreneur. Jungkind is a Little Rock, Arkansas native and graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1972. She has a gift of creativity and for a number of years worked in Dallas and back in Little Rock in the advertising industry as a copyrighter. As she began to hit a glass ceiling professionally, she saw an opportunity to transition into sales full time. In reality, she had been successfully selling for years. In high school, she worked in a family owned department store where she first learned the power of persuasion and how to help people find what they were looking for. As a successful freelance copywriter, she had created demand for her creative services. However, she had the courage to leap into the world of full time advertising sales for a talk radio station. Her first sales job was a “sink or swim” job. No training provided, just a phone book as her list of people to call. Fortunately, she “swam” and outlasted both her boss and hiring manager. As she noted to me, “the average tenure of a new sales rep was 90 days. None of the other sales people would really talk to me until I had been there long enough to prove I would make it.”

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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