Sales is NOT About Numbers

I saw a post the other day on LinkedIn that completely re-solidified the ancient, antiquated idea that sales is about nothing but numbers - your numbers, the company’s numbers, the closing numbers, the bonus numbers - all the numbers.

The post was a meme of Leonardo DiCaprio in his role as Hugh Glass, the fur trapper in the movie, The Revenant. He is carrying his friend on his shoulders in the scene, running out of the forest with a look of sheer determination to save his friend’s life. In the meme were the words:

The Death of the Salesman, Finally... (and why I wrote the book)

In the brilliant and famous Arthur Miller play, Death of a Salesman, main character Willy Loman is the sad and defeated traveling salesman, unsuccessful, tired, and living a life of failed dreams in a small apartment in Brooklyn., NY. The play is literary genius depicting an American tragedy.

However, what the play also depicts is another tragedy - the tragedy that the salesperson in today’s society, has become a punchline, a stereotype, a character full of bad intentions and deception. You see, Loman is the typical trench coat-wearing, fedora-donning, briefcase-carrying salesperson everyone has grown to loath. The image of the self-serving peddler - meeting you to desperately try to sell you something - has become the logo, the trademark, the brand that unfortunately every salesperson finds themselves a part of, no matter how sincere their intentions or how moral their compass.

How did this happen, and why? Is every salesperson out to simply make…