This is Water. This is Selling.


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Have you seen the video built around David Foster Wallace’s 2005 This is Water commencement address? It has been making the rounds and is currently at 4.5M views (nearly .3% of Gangnam Style fame).

I was talking with a group of BDRs the other day and, for some reason, I kept thinking back to the video.

The BDRs were sharing frustrations with the day-to-day challenges of their role. The list won’t surprise you:

  • Frequent rejection
  • Gatekeepers
  • Bogus contact info
  • Calling in on customers because someone didn’t update
  • Finally getting a live phone connect only to be told “Nope. Not interested.”
  • Great prospects who go dark
  • Etc.

But the reality is – those challenges aren’t getting in the way of selling. They are selling.

Take a look at the video below.

Although DFW talks about the petty frustrations of daily life (traffic jams, crowded stores & long checkout lines), it makes me think about the routine frustrations of selling (like the short list above).

Now I know that for sales people, a 5+ minute video seems the equivalent of reading every entry on Wikipedia. But give it a try. If you lead a group, share with your team. If you’re a rep, share with a few colleagues, post to Chatter, etc.

Selling is rewarding work – but it can be a grind. No one is served by ignoring this fact.

This is selling. This is a people business.
This is the noble, frustrating, amazing, often brutal profession we chose.
This is the game. This is water.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Bertuzzi
Matt draws upon his experience in technology product management and direct sales to help Bridge Group clients better define their customer profiles and gain actionable feedback from their target market.


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