“I’d love to do what you do Diane but I don’t like selling. Nah…It’s just not for me.”
It’s the thing I hear the most when I ask people why don’t they quit their job and do what I do, if they love to travel so much. Everybody thinks I have this marvellous lifestyle…and ahem, ahem…I do. But when I offer up the concept that they could travel the world and eat baguettes at a cafe on the Champs de Elysees. That they could cycle through the rice paddies of Sapa in Northern Vietnam. Or Samba down the streets of Salvador in Brazil…all the while earning a paycheck… well out pop the violins and the rest of the string quartet is warming up in the background.
How did salespeople get this terrible rap? It seems impossible to shake that image of the sleazy, slimeball guy, in his periwinkle seersucker suit, standing in front of a broken-down, worn-out Chevy Malibu. Because everyone knows that guy. We call him the Used Car Salesman. And it’s the image many people conjure up when they hear the word salesperson.
I have been in sales my entire life yet I don’t own one gold medallion necklace. And I don’t have a hairy chest (I swear) despite the fact that my grandmother swore if I ate too much celery I’d get one. And guess what…you are in sales too. And you probably didn’t even know it.
There is a great book I recommend by Daniel H. Pink entitled “To Sell is Human.” In it, Pink relates the concept that we all sell. It might not be real estate. It might not be used cars and it might not even be lemonade at a roadside stand, but we all sell. We sell our ideas to our bosses. We sell our rom-com movie picks for date nights to our boyfriends. We sell ourselves on the lie that ice cream has negative calories if it’s eaten before 12 AM on a Sunday night on the last day of the month.
Yet suggest to someone that they might consider a career that involves selling and they are like…”No, no, no, not for me. No thank you. I’m no Herb Tarlek. I don’t want to come across as pushy. I hate the thought of my friends hightailing it for the door the moment I walk into the room. Nobody wants to be pummelled with Arbonne.”
I get all that. I do. I swear, if I get one more Pampered Chef invitation, I might blow my brains out. But there are different spectrums of sales. The Herb Tarleks of the world do exist, but that is not the sales style that I coach nor suggest you adopt, because I hate that too. If you aren’t familiar with the Herb Tarlek reference, Herb was “that guy” on a hit TV show in the ‘80s. He sold ad space for a radio station called WKRP (in Cincinnati to be exact). He was annoying, pushy, a little bit slimy…thought of himself as a laaaadies man and had an air of desperation. He was the quintessential salesman in his day.
But if you are in sales for the right reasons, and you shift your mindset, you’ll come to understand that selling is a service. And it’s a service people need. When you believe in what you do, selling becomes effortless. And what better service to sell than travel? I don’t condone selling people crap they don’t need. But travel…the entire world needs to travel more. I could completely riff on that whole concept for hours over a bottle of Cabernet, but I won’t for now. Let’s just say selling people life-changing dream trips – making our world a better place…well, there isn’t a better feeling.
And with or without you, people are going to book travel. So why not with you? Come to think of it, you’d actually be doing your friends and family a disservice to allow them to book with anyone else. Because quite frankly, you are the bomb. Or you will be once you become skilled at selling travel. You will be able to offer insider travel tips that they simply won’t be able to find online themselves. At least not without falling down multiple rabbit holes in the process.
Trust me, there is something so incredibly satisfying about being able to convince someone of your point of view. To be able to share your carefully curated collated wisdom. To think…I did that. It feels so goooood, like somehow you’ve made a difference.
And should you be paid for that service – your knowledge? Knowledge that cost you both time and money to amass? Abso effin’ lutely. There is nothing shameful about it. Money is what makes the world go round. It’s simple. The more money I make from sharing my travel knowledge, the more I can invest in learning more. And the more I learn, the more I can share with more people. Who will then, in turn, share their knowledge and make more money. And with all that money, who knows what they’ll buy. The cycle goes round and round and round and everybody wins. You’ve probably heard “less is more” which I sorta agree with on some level, but in this case…more is more. Celebrate it. Lavish in it. Accept it.
I believe in abundance. There is an infinite amount of abundance in the world – just waiting for you. The world is not a place of lack. There is more than enough to go around. And with that mindset, I don’t feel guilty at all about selling and nor should you.
Unless… you really don’t see the global benefits of world travel or the need to escape the daily grind to rejuvenate one’s soul. Then okay…maybe then, you might have a case for not being a good fit to sell travel. But make no mistake, whether you choose to sell travel, or you choose to stay in your current 9 to 5…
You, my friend, are already a seller.
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