One of my first “real” jobs was working in a gas station, back in the days when we pumped gas, washed windows and checked the oil. During my second summer, the boss sent me for a 1-week training session run by Chevron. I was excited to learn more about maintaining and repairing cars; this was knowledge I could put to practical use on my own ’65 Ford Mustang. I was somewhat disappointed to find that at least two-thirds of the course was focused on selling stuff (why else would you wash someone’s windows except to sell them wiper blades?). This experience was surely a factor in my own determination to stay far, far away from “Sales” in my subsequent career choices. Only when I had my PhD in hand and was solidly on an R&D path did I finally feel safe. Many years and economic cycles later, I began to realize that I had become a salesman after all. Innovative ideas had to be sold first to the bosses who controlled the budget, and then to the manufacturing guys who would build them. Collaboration with customer R&D folks was required; they were often the toughest to sell on a new idea. Although that old Mustang of mine ran pretty darn good, it was the sales training that really benefited me the most in that first job.
You are here: Home / Sales Are Us