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    5 Reasons I Love Selling

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    As a kid, my dream was to become a loudspeaker engineer.  Building speakers was my passion–small speakers, large subwoofers, car systems. Because of this, my first job was at a DIY loudspeaker store. I certainly never thought I’d end up founding a software company. The two couldn’t be further apart, right?

    Recently, Dave Brock asked me to tell him why I love selling. Immediately, I thought back to this first job, and how much I loved it. And then I realized that, actually, that job and my passion for it did set me on the path to the job I have now.

    One of the most exciting parts of that first job was seeing new drivers and tweeters show up from vendors who innovated with new technology and materials. I loved learning about the new tech and understanding how to compose the perfect speaker combination, crossover, and casing for the “product” to sound as good as possible.
    But what was just as exciting was helping customers get as hooked on the passion as I was. It was fun to showcase our speakers, and it was fun to help them find exactly what they wanted for their particular needs and preferences.

    I love good sound. My son says I don’t have a passion for music, I have a passion for great sound effects :) But everyone is different in how they like to experience sound. One person might just want the biggest and baddest subwoofer they can find, so they can play really loud. Someone else might live in an apartment and love classical music, and they want speakers that can simulate the nuances of how an orchestra sounds in person but at low volumes. And of course, factors like age and taste and how your ears receive sound impact the best possible solution for each person.

    My son says I don’t have a passion for music, I have a passion for great sound effects :)

    I loved being the person who had the knowledge, expertise, product, and willingness to learn–the one who could actually help customers find exactly the solution they needed to fulfill their desire for their idea of “great sound.”
    And that is still what I do today. I use my knowledge and expertise and the things I learn from our customers, to carry the vision for a product that helps sellers and their companies and teams actually get what they want.

    To answer Dave’s question, here are 5 things I loved about that job, that I still love about selling.

    1. I Love Knowledge
      A great salesperson doesn’t just know how to sell. They also know their product. They don’t just know the product, they also know the industry. They know the competitors, they know the non-competitor options, they know the customer’s industry. They watch for innovations, and they know the latest news. 

      And they don’t just know those things. They also know business, they understand psychology, leadership, human nature, how systems work, and why people make decisions. Becoming a great salesperson means becoming an expert at a high level across many areas of interest, and to me, that’s fun.
    2. Learning From the Experts
      The best salespeople don’t assume they know everything there is to know, even when they are experts. There is always more to learn, and there are always experts who know more than you do.

      I loved when new loudspeaker technology came to the store I worked at. I would pepper the representatives with questions and soak in everything they had to teach me. Likewise, I love learning about new technologies that impact our customers at Membrain. One of the fun things about technology in general is that it is always evolving, and there’s always more to learn.

      To be a great seller, you have to be willing and eager to get out there and know what’s the latest and greatest, to read blogs and articles by experts, and to be constantly learning.
    3. Helping People
      That first job taught me that one of the best things about being a seller is the opportunity to help people make decisions that will impact their lives for better and worse. I loved learning what each customer wanted and needed from their loudspeaker system, and then helping them design exactly the solution that would give them what they needed, nothing more and nothing less. 

      It was always gratifying to see their enthusiasm grow as they realized that I could actually help them fulfill their dreams. I get the same high today when I watch customers begin to understand just how much our product can improve their lives.
    4. Designing Custom Solutions
      The alchemy of being the expert + helping people is the opportunity to design a custom solution. To understand both the available options and the way they fit together to produce different results. To understand both the customer’s needs and the way the technology can and can’t fulfill them.

      When you truly understand both your product and your customer, designing a custom solution becomes an art form that is fun and exciting to execute.
    5. Learning From and Teaching Customers
      I already mentioned learning from experts, but learning from customers is something else entirely. At the loudspeaker store, no matter how much the innovators of loudspeaker technology knew, there was always a customer situation that was entirely unique and brought a new nuance to it.

      And some of the customers who came in, knew more about the uses of loudspeaker technology in the field than anyone I ever met. I loved when they came in and taught me even more.

      Just as fun as that, is taking on the teacher role with customers who know what they want, but not how to get it. Helping them understand enough about the technology to understand what they could accomplish. Helping them define what was important to them and what they could live without. Teaching them what was possible and helping them understand how it all works together to create the sound they want.

    I didn’t grow up to be a loudspeaker engineer. I could not possibly have imagined, as a 17-year-old in a DIY sound system store in the 90s, where my life would take me. But I couldn’t be happier with my career than I am today. And selling is still one of my favorite jobs in the world.

    George Brontén
    Published May 8, 2024
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn