Over the past 20 years, I have committed myself to writing a couple of books. Having spent nearly 30 years in sales and sales leadership, it only seemed fitting that I write about what I know best…sales leadership. In advance of writing books, I wanted to start by testing my wares in the blogging world.
Having spent my entire adult life in sales, as you might imagine, I am not shy about expressing my thoughts and opinion. On TV and in commercials, we consistently see salespeople depicted as fast-talking, slippery and dressed in bad plaid jackets. While that may be the case in some instances (especially the bad plaid jacket :)), overall, true sales professionals are caring, thoughtful, great listeners and passionate about solving client’s challenges.
Sales has provided an amazing life for my family. I am thankful that Charlie Lombardo (God rest his soul) approached me, out on a baseball diamond, some 29 years ago and asked me if I wanted to go into sales. I graduated from Northern Illinois University, with a degree in Business Management and no idea what I was going to do. I had visions of being a hotel manager, with lots of glitz and glamour, only to find out that the path was littered with cleaning rooms, working the front desk, working graveyard shifts and dealing with angry customers…all at a very marginal income level. I have immense respect for those who work in the service industry, but I realized that while I wanted to serve, it was not to be in the hotel industry. Thanks to Mr. Lombardo, he opened a door for me.
I began my career in inside sales and was fortunate to be surrounded by great leaders and mentors, namely Bob Metz, Dan Frieling and Peter Szalkowski. I owe much to these men, as they taught me about commitment, respect, carrying myself as a professional and focused me squarely on carving my path. Nearly 30 years later, I often think about these 3 and am thankful that I was placed in their care.
30 years have flown by. I’ve been married for 26 to my amazing wife Diane and we have 2 grown Daughters, Alyssa and Carly. Life has been good to us and I owe it to venturing down the path of sales. I am proud of my profession and I am grateful that I have been surrounded by amazing leaders, peers and employees. I have made life-long friends.
In the coming blogs, I will share my thoughts on “all things leadership.” Having spent 25+ years leading sales professionals, I have picked up a thing or two, which I’d like to share. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.