I Am Not a Salesperson

Recently my voice mail and email boxes have been filling up with messages from recruiters from insurance organizations. Apparently they think I’d make a great salesperson for their respective products. Uh. No.

I suspect the root cause of this influx is the keywords attached to my resume. “Financial services”, “banking” and “product marketing” are likely adding up to me being a stellar sales professional, able to leap tall investment products in a single bound.

While I admit to occasionally using my powers of influence with my children to change a behavior, I’m not built to take it outside the four walls of my house and certainly not willing to rely on this ability to pay my mortgage.

Many of my former colleagues and friends are in sales and they do quite well for themselves. It comes naturally. It’s easy. It fits them. Despite my chatty Cathy-ness and friendly personality – both solid traits for a successful sales career – it’s not for me. I do not possess that gift. I was not created to sell.

Even when I owned my small business, Frittabello, I struggled with this activity. Sure, I could always get my foot in the door but if the potential customer didn’t bite after a few attempts, I gave up and moved on. After a few years of this frustration, I got one of the biggest Ah-ha moments of my life. In fact, it’s likely the reason you are receiving this newsletter today.

To promote my business, I would periodically send out emails to those who’d signed up for my various lists. I would promote my baby journal and other gifts as well as highlight the various events I’d be participating in. I’d also include a short post about my life or latest foible in my single parenthood journey. I did this for a few years. Did I make any sales? Sure, there’d be a few here and there, but it was not the “Buy Now” link people were clicking. It was the “Reply” button.

The result of that action was emails – either ones of thanks or of a “me too!” nature in which people commented on how the particular post touched them in some way. It was then that the elusive light bulb went off.

People are not buying what I am selling. They are buying what I am saying.

Shortly after this realization, I created my blog – “Parenting for Purpose” – with the intention of helping other parents in some way, shape or form in their parenting journey. While the content has changed slightly over the years, helping, teaching or even possibly inspiring others was the intention.

Not long ago, I came out of the spiritual closet and announced that my posts would begin to reflect my faith and how it has been the rock that has gotten me through the challenges of being a single mom. The response I’ve gotten has been overwhelming. I’m brought to tears sometimes by the words that have been shared with me. These words come not just from other single moms, but dads, married people and even grandparents!

They have found comfort in knowing someone else had experienced what they had. They found a laugh or two when I described the silliness of my life. They found inspiration to try the activity or discipline I’d used to make their desired life changes.

What does all of this mean?

In short, it has helped me to embrace the title of “writer” instead of – or in addition to – “Product Marketing Professional”. It has enabled me to regularly share my life and parenting experiences a bit more openly and to a wider audience than in the past. It has enabled me to consider a different life path – perhaps the one I was meant to have and was born to follow.

This realization coupled with the free time I had this summer have resulted in what has eluded me for over eight years. A goal that I’ve spoken about for so long that I sounded like a broken record. A response to the chorus spoken to me hundreds of times by friends and family.

“You should write a book.”

Well, it is done. I have completed what I am referring to as my third book. My baby journal and children’s book take the first and second spots respectively. It is currently in the loving hands of my very good friend to edit and I have begun the overwhelming task of getting it published.

I am pursuing this path instead of self-publishing again because I feel this book has a larger message that needs to be communicated to a wider audience than simply via my blog posts and social media. It is my hope that this book will be my calling card as I speak about its content near and far.

This is why I will not be returning the calls of the recruiters for their financial services sales positions. While I may very well have to return someone’s call for a job soon, I pray that it is for a position that takes advantage of my God-given talents that will support my writing and speaking endeavors. Or perhaps it’s something totally different that’s yet to be determined.

Either way, I look forward to what God has in store for me in the coming months knowing full well that He has my back and His plan is the one I want to follow for my life.

I want to express my gratitude to you, my faithful blog follower, for helping me discover the writer buried in me as well as the future speaker I hope to be.

Ironically (or not), I’ve gotten a few requests from my readers asking if I would serve as their virtual life coach helping them discover their true calling and/or simply navigate the crossroads they are encountering.  I didn’t have to sell a thing to get their outreach to me – I only had to share my story. Kinda crazy, no? I hope you will continue to travel with me along this journey.

Jen’s Gem: Do what you love and the money will follow.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2011-2024