Today is National Salesperson Day
One of the questions I ask people in interviews about working in an advertising, public relations, marketing and fundraising agency is: Do you like sales? If you don’t, then look in another field.
Our work is about getting people to do things — donate, sign up, take out a loan, convince an editor, select a physician. It is all sales. Every ad, every brochure, every website should do something. It’s not art. It is sales.
So if you are hiring all “salespeople,” what are the best traits for a writer, designer, PR professional or fundraising consultant? The same as a salesperson for business-to-business or in a retail store or in a bank or in a car dealership. LinkedIn calls it “active listening.” I call it empathetic listening.
In our business, if you can’t put yourself into other people’s shoes, you’ll never be successful. You must be able to understand and share the feelings of another — not just be actively listening (as in, put down your phone while another person is talking).
You have to become that person. The closest profession to marketing is acting. In acting, the actor must get inside the character’s head. In marketing and fundraising, you must do the same.
Happy National Salesperson Day. #SalespersonDay
Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.