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Always Be Cl—No, Please Don’t

As a sales guy and an entrepreneur and loving what I do, it’s hard to contain my excitement when talking to others about what I’m up to. Couple that with the day-to-day role of selling and serving customers, it can be quite a lot of listening and talking and finding opportunities to… well, sell. But damn, that’s tiring, and I must be cognizant to not do this all the time.

Alex Baldwin is famously quoted among sales professionals for his role in Glengarry Glen Ross as a sales motivator – “A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always be closing!!”

I’ve got a few conferences and events coming up. I’m both looking forward to them and weary of them. These are sales conferences. As much as I’m there to learn and to, yes, sell, I’ll also run across many who will only want to meet if they, too, can sell. That’s fair.

But at some point, I’ll start wondering if we’re networking and connecting as individuals, or if we’re only connecting to sell to one another. Should I care? Should you care? Should we think about the authenticity of why we’re talking to one another? Yes.

I remember walking into a restaurant last year and ran into a colleague whose company sells a product for sales teams. We smiled and walked up to greet each other. We reached out for the customary handshake. All cordial until he leaned in, and asked how I was prospecting. Then, went straight into telling me how my team can do a better job selling with his product. Geez. I was there to meet friends, happened to see him, and now, I’m being pitched???

Don’t always be closing or pitching. Know your audience. Know that timing is everything. If you’re going to sell, don’t slyly make this seem like a friendly reach out before trying to sink your sales talons in me. 

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