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A Rose By Another Name

I am a salesperson which means every day has the potential of being Valentine’s Day or the day I get dumped. For those of you who don’t sell, here’s a peek. Maybe this will give you a kinder perspective on those pesky sales calls and emails.

It all begins with a cold call or you hear through the grapevine that an opportunity is about to hit the streets. The entire objective of a salesperson’s life is to NOT have an opportunity hit the street. If it does, you pray you can move faster-better-cheaper than your competition. You find an opportunity, you work to shape it, and then you want the customer to sign off on the deal without anybody knowing about it. You want to hang on to it like a precious love, hoping that the arrangement won’t be jinxed by the High Priest named "Procurement" (aka Purchasing).

Don’t get me wrong. I speak of Procurement with utmost reverence. They can be the purveyor of our joy and confusion. If we don’t pay attention to them, they will strike swiftly. Even when an opportunity goes up the scale from "possibly" to "maybe" to "certainly", it can go backwards in a matter of hours because of them. I am in the throes of this right now.

In the end, just like in life, there are no guarantees. The opportunity might go to the dreaded lowest bidder. Think of them as the competitor who is the same age as you with the concomitant joint pains but so nimble and dashing. They come in at the lowest price and win the opportunity from under your nose. Of course, not every opportunity ends in the pits, otherwise we wouldn't survive. Some soar quickly to heights you didn’t imagine. But none of it happens without being in the right place at the right moment.

As you celebrate the many loves of your life this Valentine’s Day, with gifts, roses, and chocolates, remember that some us call a rose by another name - "luck" - and we need loads of it. Happy V-Day buddies! May we always be in the right place at the right time, in life and at work.

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