Need a Job?

No, I’m not hiring.

I do get hundreds of resumes and emails asking me for advice in finding a job. Most common is from someone who wants a job in sports, and they want to know the best way to get there.

Well here you go.

1. Don’t major in Sports Marketing

IMHO, every one of the Sports Marketing Programs, or the derivatives there of, are a HUGE waste of time and resources. It’s the 2000′s version of rocks for jocks or majoring in Phys Ed. Can’t think of what you want to major in… working in sports sounds like a blast… so lets pick Sports Marketing.

I know that’s not completely fair to everyone. That’s its a broad generalization, but from this end, it sure seems that way.

Let me let all Sports Marketing majors in on a secret. There is nothing at all special or different about running, managing, or working in a sports organization. It runs the exact same way as any company that sells widgets, service or entertainment of any kind.

If you really want to work for a sports organization, get as broad based a business education as you possibly can. Finance, accounting, sales, more sales, more sales, management, etc. The better the understanding you have of our customers and how they work, the better value you will be able to provide to the sports organization. To repeat, it’s more important to know how our customers’ businesses operate than how the sports business operates

What we do is easy.

2. If you can sell, you can get a job – anywhere, anytime

WhenI was growing up I was told over and over again, if you can sell, you can always get a job. Of course, I was told that after a friend of my moms’ told me when I was in highschool, that I should also have a trade to fall back on. He tried to teach me how to lay carpet. My first, last and only experience was working for him and watching him shake his head and rip out whatI had done…. But I digress

I don’t remember who told me that selling was a job for a lifetime, but they were right.

If you can sell, you can find a job in sports. I will take a high school dropout who is caring, involved and can sell overan MBA in sports management almost everytime.

What makes a good salesperson?

Let me be clear that it’s not the person who can talk someone into anything. It’s not the hustler who is a smooth talker. The best salespeople are the ones who put themselves in their customer’s shoes and provide a solution that makes the customer happy.

The best salesperson is the one the customer trusts and never has to question.

The best salesperson is the one who knows that with every cold call made, they are closer to helping someone.

The best salesperson is the one who takes immense satisfaction from the satisfaction their customer gets.

The best salesperson is the one who wakes up early every morning excited to come to the office and get on the phone and let people know exactly why they love their product, their job and their clients

Sound corny? It is. It’s also very simple.

It’s also the most important job in every company. There has yet to be a successful company that has survived with zero sales.

So if selling is the most important job in a company, why do fewer and fewer people seem to be wanting the job?

Why aren’t their many colleges offering majors in “Salesmanship”, not Sales and Marketing. Just pure, old fashioned selling?

If you don’t have a job, or don’t have the job you want, get a job in sales. Every single person on this planet can learn to be a great salesperson. All you have to do is put in the effort and care about your company, your prospects and customers.

Once you excel at selling, getting a job in sports is easy. But then again, if you are good, I’m sure the company you work for is going to do everything they can to keep you.

One last self serving footnote. Please don’t send me emails telling me how great a salesperson you are, looking for a job. We post all of our jobs on the Mavs and HDNet websites. If there is an opening, feel free to apply. Good luck!

59 thoughts on “Need a Job?

  1. Pingback: Alumni Profile - Steve Masterson ‘04 « Sport Management Education

  2. As a professor in a Sport Administration program I take great offense to the statement that it is a wast of time and money. At least we are a degree that has an identified purpose with an intense focus on one industry segment.

    I am proud to have worked in college and professinal sports and attribute much of my success not only to experience, but to my education.

    I have a deep appreciation for other \”specialized\” degrees and would never stoop so low as to name call.

    As they say…\”differnt strokes for different folks.\”

    As for me…I\’ll continue to hold my head up high, speak with a stong voice and be proud to represent one of over 200 sport management programs in this great county of ours.

    Comment by Dr. B -

  3. What is said about sales is true however there are a fistful of companies exsiing without selling anything.

    Comment by Phil -

  4. Every planned occupation, is the best disappoitment.

    Do what you love, everything else will come.

    - mw

    Comment by Marty Weel -

  5. I have sales jobs! Call me 925-417-9400!

    Comment by Joe -

  6. so by your logic: if you can’t sell you’re fucked.

    well color me fucked.

    Comment by stone -

  7. Mark,

    I just want to let you know that my school, DePaul University in Chicago, offers sales as a major. We are only one of the few schools in the nation who do so. Every company (3M, careerbuilder.com, etc…) that comes to our classes to talk to us always states that there are not enough good sales people coming out of college. I am just glad to see that administration at DePaul was able to see the need that the companies have and fill it.

    Comment by Oleg Krylov -

  8. Mark,

    My dad told me the same thing. Funny thing is when I started my consulting business. How many clients asked me to join their company, since they thought I was such a great salesperson. Of course I did not join them (why grow thier company when I can grow mine?)

    Here is my website

    http://www.crackmarketing.com

    Cheers Mark

    Comment by Internet Marketing Company -

  9. As a marketing major on the brink of graduation (May, 05) I agree with the previous responses stressing internships. Many of my fellow classmates haven’t taken the time to get their feet wet in the “real world” and are going to have a rude awakening the day after graduation. I’ve done four internships in the past 2 years, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I still knew nothing. “Marketing” is often used as a catch-all for so many positions, leaving those without practical experience with no direction. Those with a speciality in mind however, whether it be sports, or non-profit or otherwise, can take “marketing” and spin it however they would like. As a sidenote, I think this problem may be fostered by students waiting until the absolute last minute to decide on a career path…squeezing 4 years of major-related classes into 1 or 2 leaves little time for internships. There should be more emphasis in the high schools on choosing a career path. Chances are if you are talented at something or enjoy doing something when you are 16 or 17, and you focus your energy on that, you’ll be worth something to employers by the time you graduate college.

    Comment by Lauren R -

  10. I wonder how Sports Marketing majors do on the market in comparison to straight Marketing majors.

    Comment by Theodore -

  11. I agree that if you get a degree in sports marketing (or Renaissance French literature or some other esoteric subject) that it’s going to make it harder to find a job, so when I talk to students, I stress the importance of internships. They’re a great way to preview a job so you don’t spend a decade figuring out what you want to do when you grow up (only to find out that you really hate what you’re doing). As a columnist for Career Entertainment Television (http://ce.tv/), my job is to help people change their lives by changing their jobs.

    Comment by Nathan Aloni -

  12. I agree that if you get a degree in sports marketing (or Renaissance French literature or some other esoteric subject) that it’s going to make it harder to get a job. But I don’t agree that all is lost. When I talk to students, I stress INTERNSHIPS. They’re a great way to “preview” a job, getting valuable experience while figuring out what you want to do when you grow up. And it keeps people from spending a decade to find out that they really hate doing something. As a columnist for Career Entertainment Television (http://ce.tv/)my job is to help people change their lives by changing their jobs.

    Comment by Nathan Aloni -

  13. I agree with Mark that getting a degree in sports marketing (or Renaissance French literature or some other esoteric subject) is going to make it harder to get a job, but I don’t think all is lost if you do. When I talk to students, I stress INTERNSHIPS. They’re a way to figure out what you want to be when you grow up without having to invest a decade to learn that you really, really hate selling doing something. As a columnist for Career Entertainment Television (http://ce.tv/), my focus is helping people change their careers and change their lives.

    Comment by Nathan Aloni -

  14. Very blunt insight on the demand for good salespeople. My dad is uneducated, but he makes a good living as a salesman because people trust him. He doesn’t push them; he just talks to them like a friend. Every time I scan the help wanted ads, it’s loaded with sales positions.

    Comment by fantasy -

  15. Selling the highest paid hardest job on the planet; the lowest paid easiest job on the planet.

    How to close more deals– the secrets:
    1. No one cares how much you know until that know how much you care. Actually care about your clients.

    2. Place the needs of your customer in front of your need to sell them.

    3. Pick up the phone. Nothing happens until you pick up the phone. There are many people who can talk a good marketing game, very few can take it to the hoop. You will beat 90% of the employeed “salespeople” on the planet by your willingnes and ability to pick up the phone and to secure an appointment.

    Rick

    Comment by rick Luoni -

  16. I think there could be a company that survives or even thrives on ZERO sales.

    It would have to be an LLC or a Partnership that sat on a lot of cash, put big chunks of the cash into a well-managed municipal bond fund, and thus used the monthly cash flow from the bond fund to pay salaries.

    So if they went one year without any sales, the cash flow from the bond funds would pay for salaries and office expenses. Assuming they were inventing something new, or didn’t have any products on the market and wanted to come out with something absolutely pathbreaking!

    Yes, great sales would probably get them to that point. But ideas are greater than sales, anytime.

    Before Gateway bought e-machines, they had over 1 billion in cash, which presumably would be able to bring in about 50 million a year tax free. Enough to keep 1,000 employees going for a year. The income stream would be recurring.

    This would be unacceptable tax-wise for a corporation, also for one that has thousands of shareholders who would see a share price getting smaller.

    But for LLCs and Partnerships that want to take a hiatus and change their business, this would perfectly fine.

    Or if they didn’t want to have too many ZEROES on their books, let’s say 10 employees drawing $50 000 a year could each buy some of their own companies products while they work on the business redesign or new business.

    ZERO does look like a four letter word, but it could even be refreshing and extraordinary and incredible for a smaller, non stock exchange company to do that for a while.

    Zero sales? It could end up being profitable if enough employees were relaxed enough to create breakthrough products, technologies or services.

    A company like that will exist in the near future…

    Comment by Alex -

  17. I think there could be a company that survives or even thrives on ZERO sales.

    It would have to be an LLC or a Partnership that sat on a lot of cash, put big chunks of the cash into a well-managed municipal bond fund, and thus used the monthly cash flow from the bond fund to pay salaries.

    So if they went one year without any sales, the cash flow from the bond funds would pay for salaries and office expenses. Assuming they were inventing something new, or didn’t have any products on the market and wanted to come out with something absolutely pathbreaking!

    Yes, great sales would probably get them to that point. But ideas are greater than sales, anytime.

    Before Gateway bought e-machines, they had over 1 billion in cash, which presumably would be able to bring in about 50 million a year tax free. Enough to keep 1,000 employees going for a year. The income stream would be recurring.

    This would be unacceptable tax-wise for a corporation, also for one that has thousands of shareholders who would see a share price getting smaller.

    But for LLCs and Partnerships that want to take a hiatus and change their business, this would perfectly fine.

    Or if they didn’t want to have too many ZEROES on their books, let’s say 10 employees drawing $50 000 a year could each buy some of their own companies products while they work on the business redesign or new business.

    ZERO does look like a four letter word, but it could even be refreshing and extraordinary and incredible for a smaller, non stock exchange company to do that for a while.

    Zero sales? It could end up being profitable if enough employees were relaxed enough to create breakthrough products, technologies or services.

    A company like that will exist in the near future…

    Comment by Alex -

  18. I don’t nee a job but would like to add a comment to your advise. I sold houses in Richardson when i was younger as a second part time job to raise my family. I am 74 years young now and spend about 12 hours a day on the internet to try and complete the projects I am working on but you don’t want to hear that now.
    My advice to be a good salesman is to be a good listener. Just ask your customer a question about his self and just set back and listen and he will tell you a complete history of his life and if you listen long enough he will sell hisself. I did that one night while i was sitting on a new house for a builder/broker and I noticed that the man kept reaching toward his shirt pocket. I asked him if he wanted a cigarette and he said “yes” so I give him one. he said he had just run out. They got ready to leave and I said “Here take 2 more cigarettes for the road”. About 10 monutes later they came back in the front door and he said “That last cegarette did it we will take the house”. Its the little things that countYou learn if you listen.

    Comment by Bill Taylor -

  19. I never thought about sales in regards to my own job. In fact, I think my job in the environmental field is as far removed from sales as possible. How wrong I’ve been. It wasn’t the fact that I was selling any products, just offering what our clients wanted. Service and support. Ignorance is not truly bliss after all.

    To all those people who believe sales is below them. Change the way you think. People I’ve talked with believe “service” is dead in the US, especially in California.

    I disagree. Be creative. I have more fun coming up with ways to make my clients laugh/smile that creates a happy, positive work environment. If the clients see you happy, they remember you and repeat business. My company got more verbal recommendations this way, adding to our already large client base.

    Comment by mycquester -

  20. lol…you crack me up.

    Comment by jefzila -

  21. google jockers beware! could this be a subtle “buy” hint? hmmmh… Cubes you’re the man, I love your free advice and learn as much from you as my UTA teachers learn me in a whole semester. I’ve been a Mavs fan for 6 years of college so far, maybe I can sell you on a free intern so I can explain dropping out of school to people who ask too many questions.

    Comment by okie diesely doke -

  22. Mark, you’re 100% right. More people should think like you do, but actually do it. That’s why you’re so successful, you’re a good at sales.

    That’s why Google is such a successful company. They benefit everyone. Google benefits its users, its advertisers, and even the people who Google something. Google also has a great brand, too.

    I used to sell those coupons books and credit cards, but I didn’t like doing it, but what I enjoyed about was how I was helping a customer save money.

    I used to also be the water boy for my college basketball team, and I had to sell the water to the players. This is like selling bottled water, but your players actually need it.

    Everyday you can think of something to sell. Walk into a Wal-Mart and find something on the shelf. Look at someone else walking down the aisle and ask them if they’ve ever tried this product, and focus on a benefit. How can this product benefit my fellow Wal-Mart shopper.

    Walk into Wal-Mart, look at HDNet screens, and tell the person that this was created by Mark Cuban, and they won’t care who created it, or who funds it. What they care about is how HDNet can make their lives more interesting, more enlightening, and change something for them.

    Do the same thing with Google. Google something you like, then you’ll find more information about it. See if you can sell what you Google. That’s what I would call “Google a Day Goal” and you Google your goals.

    Set a goal, and Google it everyday.

    Set goals, and Google something that you want out of life, or how you want to make a difference.

    Each time you Google something new, you tell Google how important it is for you.

    So, if you want to be good in sales, you should be good with Google.

    Some of the best sales people are good with Google. They Google their competitors, they Google their customers, they Google their prospects. Google is the best search engine now, so that’s why I believe more people who are into sales should use Google.

    Comment by Eric -

  23. To Aaron
    “no matter what I accomplish in sales I will probably never land a big job in sales”

    Take note, my boss who has no college degree didn’t make 30K a year till he was 30, by 35 he was making 300K annually and last year was his best 500K… he’s a salesman who started late but, learned quick… the one thing one in sales most always realize,,, SALES IS BLACK AND WHITE… numbers don’t lie, if you can sell and prove you can sell then companies will come beggin for you… remember every encounter is an opportunity to sell yourself…

    Comment by Philipl -

  24. Hey, that same advice applies to getting laid.

    Getting laid is 75% Attitude/Salesmanship and 25% looks. (yeah, looks do play a factor but not as big as you’d think…)

    Salesmanship, salesmanship, salesmanship.
    I’ve seen some of the ugliest guys take a hot chick home while others sit there wondering how he did it.

    Comment by Tim -

  25. “no matter what I accomplish in sales I will probably never land a big job in sales”

    Please don’t interpret this as being mean, but you “will never” land a big job in sales with that attitude.

    All the best to you in your future.

    Comment by Carrie -

  26. Mark,

    My only question is why didn’t you tell me this when I entered Sport Mgt. in 1996? :) I believe at the time Consumer Reports or US News and World Report college edition listed Sport Mgt. as a hot major at the time. I guess they forgot to tell me in the article that I would also need to be a relative of an owner to get a good job. Mr. Cuban would you be interested in adopting a 26 year old?

    Comment by Dan -

  27. I have Don’t even have a HS diploma, or a college degree. But I guarantee that I can out sell anyone that has posted or that reads this site (except probably mark) why? Because I pay attention to customers, I get to know them; I listen to details and read in between the lines. I haven’t had an unsatisfied customer, even in my first job until now (knock on wood). I help people make their own buying decisions, not high pressure buy now tactics.

    I deal in high end home theater, sound systems, and home automation. If you’re not on your game the people who shop for this stuff can smell it. I have earned my modest job by busting my ass; I wish more people were judged on real world experience, rather then a big shiny piece of paper on your wall.

    It pisses me off that no matter what I accomplish in sales I will probably never land a big job in sales, due to not having that piece of paper. Then again I could be wrong I am only 22 ;)

    Comment by AARON PEEK -

  28. Everyone says I look like Mark Cuban. I’m not really into sports but everyone says if I ever wanted a job as a personal security guard I could be Mark Cuban’s double ;-)

    http://upt.org/lane/flagstaff/large/new_pict0009_x65.jpg

    Comment by Lane Davis -

  29. So when do the Mark Cuban business and professional development books come out?

    Comment by Mike -

  30. The war continues

    “With Branson and Cuban, I wanted them to fail,” said Trump. “Fortunately, they did. Martha and I are teammates.”

    Comment by Dennis K -

  31. Could this be a future Blog entry?
    Apply now to be Martha Stewart’s Apprentice!” has already sprung up on NBC’s Web site.

    Comment by B. Ebbers -

  32. I seem to recall at several games and on ESPN 103.3 FM that the Dallas Mavericks were offering a $1,000 scholarship for an individual interested in the University of Dallas’ MBA with a concentration in Sports and Entertainment Management. Just wanted to throw that out there, as it is somewhat ironic that the Mavs would promote a major in which the owner sees little value in.

    Comment by Kenn -

  33. There you go again Mark! You hit the nail on the head. When we recruited at a high tech company we did not pick former telesales people, necessarily. We picked well groomed people who could communicate well. All things business are about communication. Whether it is with friends, fellow employees, customers, the chain of command, etc. I would add GET EXPERIENCE. Offer your time at a discount someplace to gain experience.

    Comment by Rob Thrasher -

  34. One important phrase that I will reiterate time & time again whether it applies to sales or to obtaining a position (still selling)… That phrase: “Executives buy, not because they understand, but because they feel understood”. So whatever you’re selling, seek first to understand instead of shoving yourself or your offerings down the prospect’s throat. Do your homework. Read this post:

    http://trustedadvisor.typepad.com/revolutionary_marketing_a/2005/01/consultative_se.html

    Comment by Scott Jones -

  35. Hi, Mark!
    Thanks for the advice; although I love my job & am not really interested in Sports Marketing. I am, however, an IU Kelley grad — go Hoosiers!

    On a separate note…

    I’m trying to raise money for March of Dimes: Walk America through a blog raffle. Do you have anything you could contribute to the prizes? (Even a call-out on this wildly popular blog could be VERY enticing!) Visit me if you do… or just if you want more info!

    If not, no problem — but be sure to come visit (and donate if you can!) next week!

    p.s. If you’re willing to link to me next week to send traffic the raffle’s way, let me know & I can send you the code for a pretty button!

    Comment by Principessa -

  36. If sales is the most important job, customer service is the second (or maybe given the need for repeat sales to survive, Mark considers customer service part of sales). It’s amazing how little customer service there is these days — frankly, even within one of Mark’s organizations (i.e., the Mavs). After spending thousands on season tix over the last 4-5 years, one incident with my account exec (over a $10 item) caused much of the goodwill the organization developed to dissipate. I’m in a service business and I hammer that point home to our new employees — return phone calls, don’t demand that the customer do things for you but instead find out how you can help the customer, etc. Pretty common sense stuff, but it’s amazing that not many people grasp it.

    Comment by Jon -

  37. It is truly a rare skill to be a salesman – one that I do not possess. I would love to be able to sell real estate to people by telling them: “Sure that may be the sound of police helicopters overhead you hear, but doesn’t it sound just like the ocean?” Yeah, you don’t learn that kinda hustle in school, that’s instinct.

    Comment by Steve Tatham -

  38. As a high school teacher and recent Master’s graduate, I have to tell you what kids nowadays are looking for: big buck jobs with little to no work being done.
    That is the reality of life in these oughts.
    We no longer have the work ethic that made us so great in the 40′s and 50′s.
    It’s all about doing as little as possible but still raking in the bucks.
    Get a degree, any degree. Business doesn’t really care as long as you have a degree.
    They want to see that you will persevere and not quit. They can teach you how to do the job, the degree just gets your foot in the door.
    Best of luck to all you new graduates and God Bless.

    Comment by Ronnie -

  39. I have the answer to Mark’s question,Does anyone know why they don’t have sales courses in school??? My guess is that most of the professors enjoy sitting in university land where they don’t have to get their hands dirty and make business happen. Most University’s like to teach the theory of business but most haven’t gotten their hands dirty and dug into the gritty aspects of making businesses work… Sales is the frontline of all businesses, the best salesman in successful companies is usually the CEO. He sells the company his sales team sell the relationships and then the products and services are byproducts of those relationships… Wish i would of learned that from univeristy, instead I learned it bumping heads with potential customers for two years till I got it.. I have a finance degree from a big ten university and not once did I even know there were huge sales organizations within every fortune 500 company where most of the important decisions were being made on company direction and how to drive profit. It is amazes me that their is not a sales tract in business schools, and I guess I should consider myself lucky that I fell into the sales world. SALES 101, if your not in sales or helping drive sales, your on the wrong side of the fence of your organization…

    Comment by Philipl -

  40. I have a two part comment/question for you.

    About the selling, that’s one thing that is constantly reinforced throughout all the schooling I’ve had. I currently go to Sullivan University in Louisville, KY. I’m a Culinary Arts major, and someday hope to be a personal or team chef for an NBA player or team. The one thing all my teachers have told me is to sell yourself and your product. My product being my craft, myself being someone you would trust to cook your meals.

    A second is, how would I even begin to get started in this buisness? I applied to go to the NBA team jobs fair that was in Indy last year, but couldn’t go do to a family emergency.
    Another question I have from a fellow IU fan is if you think Davis will be dropped after this year. All I hear is that when he took them to the championship against Maryland a few years back, that that was fluke of the century. Thoughts?

    Comment by Will Davis -

  41. Hey you JERK! I AM a ROCK JOCK! Also known as a GEOLOGIST to you others. If you think it’s so easy, why don’t try it? As if sports has anything to do with rocks.

    If your meaning was an unintentional diss on my profession, be more clear next time.

    Comment by mycquester -

  42. Okay so I have a 50/50 comment for you on this, and keep in mind this is coming from a recent college graduate that is right on the precipice of deciding what to do now?

    I have a degree in Radio/TV/Film production, and have long wanted to get into either sports or entertainment production. So what do you do? Well, I have a background in sales, and I currently work for a consulting firm that sells SALES TRAINING to Radio/TV/Cable stations and markets.

    Mark, I’m so glad you said avoid the sports marketing degree. Does that also mean, avoid an MBA in Sports and Entertainment? Not to mention any local Dallas schools, but a certain one that the Mavericks actually have done promotion for and provided a scholarship opportunity for, is exactly what you are saying to avoid!

    And as far as sales goes, I think I know why people are moving more and more away from it, even though it is the most important job in the system. If you are the most important job in the company, then why is the position often treated like the worst job? Sales people are looked down on more and more. I know this is not so for all companies, but when you look at retail, or even Radio/TV, they are the conduit through which revenue flows, yet they are the first to be put down!

    I left my last sales job, because of this reason. Also because they could never get the sales commission structure right. How motivated would you be to sell, if you are worried when you will ever see the commission check? Or the rules constantly change? Sometimes, it is a simple matter of stability. I needed to know I was going to be able to pay my bills!

    So I completely agree. Sales and management from a sales perspective, is the fastest way to get your foot in the door at any company. And thank you from saving me from going to a particular college, and wasting my time getting an MBA in a program that won’t help me.

    As silly as it might sound, I have held the ideal of working in production or management with the Mavericks as the measure of where I want to be. I think to myself, if I wanted to work for the Mavericks organization, what do I need to do to get in the door?

    So I guess I was mistaken thinking and MBA in Sports and Entertainment management would be great addition.

    so where to go from here? More production experience? More sales? What kind of chance do I have of getting out of the sales department and getting into a decision making role would I have? Every company says they will promote from within, but how big of a leap is it to go from sales to production? Or Sales to facility management?

    Riddle me that, Mark….

    Comment by Matt Price -

  43. “No, Im not hiring. ”

    Crap , and here I tought I could go and play for the Mavs for my third comeback to the game , guess I will have to seek out another Team.

    signed : Michael Jordan.
    ;-) ( its a joke )

    One reality people seem to forget is : if you dont ask for it you will never get it. ( anyone know of the new Michael Jordan nobody knows about ? ( BTW Michael whas a very poor player until is last years of college , did not made the team and all … )

    also : Never close your door for opportunity , you never ever know who will come knocking.

    And if Mark Cuban and all is company are not hiring today , it must be the end of the world ? Or its because of the Bad US economy , if your not hiring , its “REALLY” bad. ;-)

    the best salesman is not trying to get your money or to sell you what you whant but what you need.

    Admit it , you like a real salesman when he is working for you , you hate a real salesman when you bought something from him which you dont need or dont fit your need or use at all.

    Thats my take and its free , feel free to disagree ;-)

    Comment by Moulinneuf -

  44. Your advice is good. It’s a two-sided coin. Don’t forget (& not suggesting that YOU do, Mark) that the marketplace is driven by ideas – and commerce is fundamentally the exchange of assets which are the manifestation and utilization of ideas.

    Content/assets/product do not exist in a vacuum. The salesperson breathes life into it, embodies it, engages it intellectually and emotionally, strives for its absolute success – yet at the same time acts as the devil’s advocate, and creatively seeks ways to take it to the next level. Sometimes “thinking outside the box” means dismantling the product conceptually and reassembling it…piece by piece. By conceptually, I mean in terms of ideology, culture, function, psychology, etc. It’s a process of stripping the product down to its essence – and then building it back up.

    So I submit that the core of selling is not presentation, but creativity. A great salesperson IS a creator. And the best creators know how to sell their own work.

    As they say in the entertainment business, content and distribution go hand in hand.

    Comment by Matthew Baughman -

  45. Ugh… sales and cold calling. A dirty (but necessary) evil. “Excuse me, let me tell you how my widget will make your life/company/job so much better! What? you’re busy? Too busy to hear about the OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME?!”

    I know, cliche. But it seems to be the underlying, if unspoken, attitude of a majority of the “sales” type people I’ve ever met.

    Comment by Jason (Go Pacers) -

  46. AMEN – I was foolish enough in college to get a specialized degree for a certain field and I almost feel trapped by it now. I was lucky enough to find gainful employment (although daily I loathe my job). However, any person who asks me about majors, college, etc I tell to get a degree in Economics, Finance or Accounting. Those degrees force you to learn the backside of the business world and also make you take classes in the front side (marketing, sales, PR, etc) which anyone with half a brain can figure out.

    Thanks for also reaffirming that the salesman that succeeds isn’t the one who can produce the flashiest show, or speak with the greatest of eloquence, but it’s the guy/gal who shows their customer that they really are providing something that could be of use. They aren’t selling something to make a buck, they are sharing something that they think will improve their customer’s business.

    As far as the self-serving bit at the end, I’m not sure how self-serving it really is. You’ve been down many a road, you’ve shared a house with less than ideal conditions with multiple roomates and now you are financially free from having to do that. You are simply sharing the tools you’ve used to succeed. The funny part is how willing most successful people are to share, and how unwilling so many “un-successful” people are to listen.

    All the best – Go Nuggets, we are totally back with Karl @ the helm. Watch out Western Conference…

    Comment by Alex -

  47. We’re on the same page. I couldn’t agree more. Put “Sales” on your business card, be proud of it.

    Comment by Andy Nardone -

  48. Mark,
    You’ve hit right on the head! As the director of a non-profit, I can tell you first-hand that many of the same skills you mentioned crossover into our platform as well. Where did I get my training? Sears! I put myself through graduate school selling lawn-mowers, hammers, saws, rakes, treadmills, wrenches. . . all that junk. They paid for me to receive the training in selling and then paid me for selling. They paid for training in personal interaction and conflict management and I credit that training with helping me more than graduate degree! The key element, as you so clearly stated, is an interest in “helping people” find what they need.

    Comment by Darin Wood -

  49. The Perfect job:
    The Word of the Day for Feb 02 is:

    sinecure \SYE-nih-kyoor\ noun

    : an office or position that requires little or no work and that usually provides an income

    Comment by dan -

  50. Finally, I am not in agreement with one of Mark’s posts! As an AP Calc & AP Physics (and Cal State part time) teacher with both a physics and business degree, I get asked all the time by my students about what major they should consider. I will print Mark’s blog and have it handy for them starting today, as they soon will be receiving their college acceptance letters.

    However, I will also try to deter them from any business degree. When I got my business degree, I entered the work force along with litterally thousands of others with similar degrees. Jobs were hard to get (1990) and the skills we had enabled us to apply for jobs that helped ‘tend’ to the true entrepenuers.

    I tell them this: get as much math, finance, physics, computer science as you can. Train the brain. Think. The most challenging degrees academically usually set you way apart from the masses that get placed into society from acadamia. And then jobs come looking for you.

    After my first degree (Business Analysis – Texas A&M) and coming to the realization that competition was tough (and that those getting most of the jobs had the more challenging degrees), I went back (UT Austin) and worked on physics/astronomy/math. Then everything changed: Doors opened and I was asked more about what I thought than about how I could sell.

    Get that challenging degree. Personally, I think that a physics degree trains the brain to think in ways that can be applied to almost any job. You get solid math, programming, and problem solving skills along with gaining a solid understanding on how the physical world ‘works’. You do not, however, get people skills. But that comes from the college experience as one gets involved with organizations and socializing.

    With a physics degree you get trained to come up with innovative ideas. Once you have the ideas and products that will help society (and make you rich) then you will need the business degree specialists to help you sell your product, tend to your books, and manage your workers.

    just my $0.02

    Comment by greg -

  51. I think the secret to being employable at all times is the broad base. And continue learning. Just because you have a degree or diploma don’t stop taking classes or using the net to learn. That one extra skill you learn may be the one to get you selected over another candidate.

    Learn to use the computer. Word, Excel and Power Point are all important. And be able to read write and speak well. Slang just doesn’t get you the hihg dollar jobs if your not a rapper or sports star. Even they lose money when they cannot speak well, their popularity drops and their less likely to sell merchandise without being able to present themselves well.

    With all these skills available, you are better prepared to sell yourself as the next employee that an employer needs to hire. Even in the job seeking process the best salesmen win, it’s all about selling yourself.

    Comment by Aquariuz -

  52. The first job me and my brother ever had was cleaning ducks for all the rich duck hunters in town out here on the California delta..That was 30 years ago..Some of them have built enough houses out here that I think they’re billionaires…This real estate thing is rediculous….From there, I’ve been selling bait to local bait shops…Mark some day I hope you write about putting all your eggs in one basket..It happened to me…Sold to one bait shop for years, building it up for the owners.. One day, I find out, the lease is up, and they’re pulling out..Left me high and dry…Wasn’t ready for it..Believe it or not, the name of the shop was the “Trap”..Ha!..Ha!..Now I have to pull off an “Edison”… Discovered I can invent things..The difficult process in selling an invention is the patent process and all.. You write a comapny like I did the other day, and yes, they’ll look at your product, but won’t sign a non-disclosure..No way, Jose…Now you have to go out and get a patent to sell your idea or they can steal it from you..One rep. from a company mentioned royalties and wanted to set up a meeting..Whoa Nelly!…I told him if he wouldn’t sign a non-disclosure the meeting couldn’t take place without me having at least a patent-pending…That can be done with a provisional patent app. for as little as $330 over at Bob Shapiro’s LegalZoom…Cool, now I don’t have to spendind BooCoo bucks I don’t have and have about 9 months to sell or license it…Thanks for previous tips on business strategies Mark..The key here is don’t make the “Big Mistake”…If you don’t own it, you can’t sell it..Therefore, for as little as a few hundred dollars, a provisional patent will get you in the game with a small amount of capital invested..Just got bit again last night..Another comapny just e-mailed me and may want to deal..My product will sell, the key here is showing it to them, getting a lump sum, and then a royalty..Gates didn’t want a million dollars for his idea, he wanted a $1 from IBM everytime they put it in their computer..Smart like a fox that boy was…I saw this on T.V. one day, and have never forgotten it…Kind of like Arnold getting percentage on the backside…Well back to the drawing board, and by the way, never put all your eggs in one basket you guys, I surely won’t ever again…Good luck, all!…

    Comment by ShadNet -

  53. My advice to be a good salesman is to be a good listener. Just ask your customer a question about his self and just set back and listen and he will tell you a complete history of his life and if you listen long enough he will sell hisself.

    Comment by runescape money -

  54. He sells the company his sales team sell the relationships and then the products and services are byproducts of those relationships… Wish i would of learned that from univeristy, instead I learned it bumping heads with potential customers for two years till I got it..

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  55. What about the caste of people whose job it is to buy things? I’m writing (in a very very literal sense) about money managers who invest capital, journalists who pick and choose what stories to write, a stylist who dresses and grooms celebrities, et at. I think (hope?) one can be successful in business without having to be a good salesperson.

    Comment by Andrew Graham -

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