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While musing this morning well before dawn, it occurred to me that the first role we play when doing business of any kind is “the sales job!” Although many of us don’t like “sales” because - well for any reason. My reason, btw is because I always identify it with the “used car salesman” approach.

But when we think of how networking, as a means to an end which is to grow a business of any kind - it occurs to me that the first step in the process is a “transaction“. Oh yes, you’ve heard me say it often that networking is no longer about “transactions” - but about “relationships.” And that’s very true!

So then, Fitzgerald, what are you saying here? That the “first step” in the process is “sales“?

FIRST, I must “sell” myself to an other! I must first let them know me. At least a little at a time. As we (the ‘other’ and me) get to know each other, I must let the other into my life in such a way that I “sell” them on my honesty & integrity!

How do I do that? If I detest “sales” in any way, shape or fashion - how do I do that?

Well, in my mind at least, it’s about ‘authenticity‘. I have to come to the table without the masks that I may be fond of wearing depending upon where I am and who I believe myself to be at anyone time or place.

With ‘authenticity’ I must add the cloak of ‘transparency‘. I must learn to be who I am at the moment - even when I’m not very ‘pretty’ at the moment. And I don’t mean externally - but within.

“Yea, yea, Fitzgerald“, you might be saying to yourself right now! “That’s just your former therapeutic self telling me that.” Well maybe sorta‘.

But when we stop and think about it - it’s true! Unless we just want a “slam-bam-thank you maam” transaction which is the one-time only you buy from me what I have to offer - then the first act in any relationship that holds the potential for profitability over time - is to “sell” others on “us“. On who we are as a woman of integrity first!

I may initially think I’m dealing with someone of integrity only to learn later that is not the case. One of the reasons the “used car salesman” is so ‘slick’ at what he/she does, is they have perfected the ‘art’ of making others think they have only one person’s interest at heart - and that’s whoever is standing in front of them at anytime wanting to purchase. Sorry, used car salesman - don’t mean to generalize, but I just haven’t met any yet who haven’t shistered me in some way!

No, I want to experience another in more than one setting - over time - in order to know that I’m dealing with ‘authenticity‘, honesty & integrity. Only time will give me that level of comfort with another. And once that has been achieved - I will trust the other with more & more of me, as well as be willing to not just part with some change from my purse - but go it one better.

I will trust him or her with the lives & livelihood of someone in my circle of friends & business associates with whom I have considerable integrity & trust. Folks whose friendship is exceedingly valuable to me.

And before I risk parting with that. . . I need you to “sell yourself” to me!

Make it a day in which you have someone “sell” themselves to you in a significant way!

Linda, a fellow journeyer


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