Letters from a Perfect Imperfectionist – The only real sales people are people like Stevie Ritchie

A lot of people will tell you that they are in sales.

In reality they are just in account management.

The only real sales people are those whose income depends on making sales.

Affordable, appropriate and approved, ethical sales.

Self-employed, commission-only.

They are the real sales people.

I’ve seen some people go commission-only and then break the rules to make a sale.

I’ve seen them tell lies, falsify paperwork, make undeliverable promises, encourage prospects to overspend on products that are inappropriate for their circumstances and do not solve their problem.

Simply to hit target and generate a cheque.

People like that are just the scum that accumulates at the bottom of the sales kettle – every now and then you have to take a Brillo pad and clean them out – that’s what regulators are supposed to do.

Happily, for every bottom feeder – there are many more who do the job ethically and superbly.

There are those who are industrious and talented and simply shine – people who find sales and sales talk very natural – they have a patois that is lyrical and a blarney that captivates.

I have found them to be in the minority.

The majority are those who start with limited skills but are prepared to work through the “school of transactions” and take their first 200 rejections to learn how to take rejection.

Those who are prepared to invest 10,000 hours in becoming sales geniuses, even though they don’t have a natural talent.

Rather like Stevie Ritchie in this year’s X-Factor, people who work ridiculously hard and have limited talent but a belief that they can make it.

He isn’t going to win (is he?) and he isn’t naturally talented – but by God he is having a go.

If you could inject some of Stevie Ritchie’s ATTITUDE into your people – your business would fly.

“These “letters” are the personal observations of me, Chris Barrow and are not intended to reflect the views of 7connections and its team members, they just give me permission to publish here on the basis that they can keep an eye on me, a bit like a mad relative at a wedding reception. I’m likely to upset the sensitive and outrage the sensible – if you fall into either of those camps then read at your peril.”


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.