How I Got In Sales

I work in sales for SGP who is a printing company. My title is actually project coordinator and I’m not sure why or what would be more appropriate.

When I’m meeting with people at various companies we seek to do business with I’m often asked the question “What did you do before you started working for SGP?” The answer is I used to be a Supply Chain Manager at a manufacturing company. The question that usually follows that answer is, “How did you move from that to sales?” The answer to that one usually depends on who I’m talking to and how much I’m willing to share with them.

The full story of it is I started my three and a half year manufacturing career in process improvement and worked my way up to supply chain management. I was so ambitious I mastered that position at that particular facility better than anyone else who had it before me and I was ready to move on to something else – either a similar position at a larger facility or something completely new because I wanted to broaden my knowledge base.

I’ve always been a bit of an entreprenuer. I knew that wealthy business owners and/or company CEO’s don’t have to be experts at any one thing but knowledgeable enough in many different things to form and lead a good team of experts. That was my thought process behind broadening my knowledge base.

So one area of experience I knew I would learn from was sales and marketing. The problem was my boss didn’t think I had the skills to do sales, at least that’s what he told our division manager to keep me where he wanted me. I think the real problem was I made his job so much easier he didn’t want the pain of trying to replace me.

I thought I would wait for something to change. I put up with a lot of crap in the meantime. One day I drew the line when my boss was in my face cussing me in front of my employees over something ridiculous (one of my guys didn’t sweep the floor on night shift) and he said GD. From that day forward I kept my eyes and ears open. It wasn’t long and a friend of the family offered me a job at SGP. It was in sales – targeting large retail corporations mostly. Looked promising enough so I took it.

It has definitely been the learning experience I wanted. I’ve proven to myself that I DO have the skills to do sales (against my previous boss’s opinion) and I’ve been successful. Of course I haven’t been as successful as I want to but I’ve done well for the company and despite the weaknesses (my opinion) of SGP I’ve been able to provide for my family.

I recently heard “grow where you’re planted” and it has given me a bit of a new outlook. I’m pretty sure there is something else in my future but at this point I’m not sure what it is. So I’m going to be enthusiastic about growth where I’m at so I can figure out what else God is wanting me to develop and learn from.

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