Friday was my birthday and I am getting old.

Something interesting happened that day: I had three different sales calls with people who had recently attended a speech and wished to discuss a possible project together. All three were owners of small companies, and I strongly suspected that none of them were a fit for working together due to their company types and sizes.

After discussing this, my assistant asked if I wanted to cancel the calls.

“No, let’s do them,” I said. “Maybe they’ll surprise me, and if they don’t, I’ll try to quickly help them on the calls.”

And so, I had calls with all three, in between other client and prospect work that day…

…And none of them surprised me!

All were far too small to be prospective clients, but in the 15 minutes we talked, I tried to ask questions and offer a quick suggestion or two to each that would help them with their sales growth.

My skyrocketing age has brought this into perspective:

There was a time when I would not have been thrilled to spend time on these calls.

But on Friday, I helped three people with their sales, who would not normally have been able to discuss their unique situations with me. They left the calls (I think) motivated and encouraged and optimistic about their revenue growth.

I got to help them because that’s the work that we do in sales, isn’t it?

Our job is to¬†help people. We’re not pitching, explaining, or convincing. We’re helping.

Look at it that way, and the pressure and potential discomfort with proactive communications kind of melt away.

And that’s what I got to do on my birthday: Help three people.

Qualifying prospects is an important part of sales, of course, and I wouldn’t want to spend all my days doing this, but organically, with speech attendees who asked for a conversation, I was happy to oblige.

They were not my prospective clients.

But they might know some of those people, and if they don’t, and nothing ever comes from the interactions…

…That’s okay.

Because I got to help.

And that’s the privilege we get to enjoy in our profession.

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