Are You A Vigilant Salesperson?

by | Dec 15, 2021 | Be Vigilant Book | 0 comments


We’re all salespeople in some way, shape, or form.

The question is – what kind of salesperson are you? Are you the one who’s only interested in making the sale? Or are you truly interested in being useful and providing value to your clients, even when it doesn’t involve a direct sale? Are you a complacent salesperson? Or a vigilant salesperson?

This obviously isn’t a new concept. My friend Jay Baer wrote a whole book called Youtility, where he says “The difference between helping and selling is just two letters, but those two letters make all the difference.” Another friend, John Hall, the author of “Top of Mind” makes it his business to ask if there’s any way he can help in every conversation he has.

But it bears reminding, especially at this time of year and especially this year, as we tend to go into autopilot and fall back on what’s worked in the past. This type of complacency can be dangerous as it jeopardizes relationships – both business and personal.

Quick example. Over the 19 years of running the Brand ManageCamp conference, I’ve hired hundreds of marketing and business speakers. This is the time of year that speakers’ bureaus typically reach out to try to pitch their rosters for any speaking opportunities I might have coming up in the next year.

The question is, are they just going through the motions and throwing out wide nets to try to land gigs, or are they truly interested in being of use to me and my business?

This has, obviously, been a challenging couple of years for the live conference business. When a speakers’ bureau reaches out right now, I let them know that we’ve run virtual events for the last 2 years and are hoping to get back to a live conference in 2022 – but we are waiting to see how things pan out in the next few months before finalizing any plans.

The speakers’ bureau then typically asks if they can call again to follow up in a few months. I say sure that’s fine. Then they close with something like “ok, well let me know if there’s anything I can do for you between now and then.”

To which I reply…well….now that you mention it… I did just publish my first book, “Be Vigilant! Strategies to Stop Complacency, Improve Performance, and Safeguard Success” and I’m embarking on my own speaking career. I’d really appreciate it if you could check out my website and give me your thoughts, suggestions, or advice – on the book, the way I’m talking about it, and any other insights you might have.


They’re caught off guard. This was supposed to be them selling me. Not me asking a favor of them! When they said “let me know if there is anything I can do for you” they really meant “let me know if there are any speakers I can sell you.”

And this is where the two types of salespeople separate. The complacent ones, just looking for the easy sale, find a way to get off the phone and then…..poof…..I don’t hear from them again (until they’re trying to sell me something again, of course).

The vigilant ones, the ones truly interested in adding value, take a small amount of time and engage. They provide me with thoughts, people I should connect with, advice on the website, the audiences they think would be the best fit for my topic.

The next time I’ve got a speaking slot I’m hiring for, which ones do you think I’ll call first?

It’s easy to be the complacent salesperson – especially if you’ve experienced success. The irony is that the complacency jeopardizes the very success that brought it on.

Instead, I suggest you be the vigilant salesperson. Especially now. Get off of auto-pilot and show a genuine interest in helping and being useful. The sales will naturally come.

Until next time, I’m Len Herstein. Be Vigilant!

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