A Good Sales Rep is Hard to Find?

Apparently, there is a shortage of sales reps in our area. When I bump into people and they find out that I’m an independent sales rep, I start getting offers. I’ll give you an example.

My cell phone stopped working last week. Or rather, it was on but said “No Network Coverage.” I tried all the usual tricks like rebooting, but still nothing. So I walk into the local cell phone store and tell the guy my problem. Of course, I ask about the latest phones, too, since I see a possible opportunity for a new one. And, well, as we’re talking, one thing leads to another and I get the question, “What do you do?”

“I sell Avon.”  No sense in beating around the bush.

“Oh, you’re a salesperson,” he says with more enthusiasm than I would expect. ”You should come work for us. I am so tired of 20-something-year-olds who end up wanting a relationship with their boss.”

What?!  I’m not quite sure how to take that bit of information. Am I supposed to be flattered, offended? I guess a 40-something, gray-hair-at-the-roots-and-married girl was looking pretty safe at the moment. Mind you, I was dressed in sweats and a plain t-shirt at the time. Okay, so they were black sweats and I had on a black light-weight jacket. Maybe he mistook it for a Power Suit. Or maybe I just had that I-sure-could-use-a-job-so-I-can-buy-a-cool-phone look.

The funny thing is, I have been thinking and praying about finding some sort of job. So when this was presented to me, it made me wonder.

Lord, is this what you want me to do? Really? Not another sales position, because I’ve already got one of those and it’s not really my thing anyway. 

This isn’t the first time it’s happened. As soon as someone finds out I’m a rep in a networking marketing capacity, they assume I want to add another such position to my resume. Lately, I’ve been approached by people wanting me to sell specialty phones with mini computer screens and also a juice drink that’s supposed to cure all.

You know that movie, The Accidental Tourist? Well, you could call me The Accidental Sales Rep.  It’s not really a comfortable thing for me to do. I’m not aggressive or assertive in the least. I think of myself as a relational salesperson. I’m in the business of building relationships and helping people. And if I happen to make a sale in the process, then that’s just icing on the cake.

So, back to the story about my phone. They put in a new SIM card, thinking that it was just too outdated. (The phone is about three years old. You know, we like to hang on to things as long as possible.) Well, it worked in the store, because the tower is right next door. But as soon as I got around the corner . . . nothing. This means I will have to go back in the store today, because my family is freaking out that they can’t get a hold of me.

I suppose when I walk in, he’s going to ask me if I’ve thought about the job any more. And my husband will say (again), “Hey Hon, why don’t you do that?” with way too much enthusiasm.  And I’ll break out in a sweat because it just doesn’t feel right in the pit of my stomach. I recognize that feeling. It’s the one that made me leave my last job. So, no, I don’t think I’ll be pursuing it. But maybe I will get that new phone. And maybe I’ll ask the female manager if she’d like to place an order. And maybe some other opportunity will present itself. Maybe I’ll just keep waiting.


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