01 Apr 2014

Last week my two favorite things: talking to strangers and dance music, had a baby named Winter Music Conference. Ten days of networking, sunbathing, dancing, and discussion among leaders in the dance music community, and… well, me. It’s oddly refreshing to partake in an trade event in which you hold no professional interest. While industry independence doesn’t get you any complimentary cocktails, it invites a level of candor that camaraderie cannot because, unlike the up-and-comers, *I’m* not trying to sell them anything. 

As the week went on, I met more and more famous people who, after some googling, turned out to be responsible for many of my favorite EDM tracks. At first I felt guilty for not recognizing them by name or face, I even considered doing some recon overnight, but I decided to sleep in instead. Basically I realized that despite my ignorance, I was having a good ‘ol time. The blokes I’d befriended were kind enough to call and ask me back, and people (possibly aided by badges, sure) remembered my name even tho there was little I could aid in amplifying their network. Kinda made me wonder whether all the time we spend chasing customers and doing research is really worth it.

As salesmen of software platforms we often attend shows unrelated to our field. Our customers do business in the real world; they interact with patients, with police, with paleontologists and park rangers, while we deal with programmers and product managers. And how do we adapt? We waste buckets of time trying to sew a cloak of camouflage. We worry about not being able to use *their* buzzwords. We nod and pretend to follow along while having no idea what they really mean. And why? We have buzzwords too! Good ones, I say. We know how to ask questions, so why play smart? Who cares if we don’t fit in? Neon is waaaay cooler than camo anyway.

So this week, get your god complex on. When you own who you are, when you turn naivete into charm, and ignorance into bliss, not only will you save the mountains of time you used to waste unnecessarily preparing for meetings, you’ll become that deal magnet you always wanted to be. Just hang out, do a little dance, and let the contracts come to you.

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Last modified on Thursday, 08 January 2015 20:03
Erin Wilson

I find great amusement in everyday absurdities and am constantly surprised by how my bar-ventures, my travels, and even my food-qusitions relate to the shenanigans that is software sales. I am grateful for the opportunity to leverage the Sapient Salesman as an outlet to share with you my follies, and I hope you can enjoy the schadenfreude.

Website: ebullienterin.com/
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Erin Wilson is the author and publisher of the Sapient Salesman

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