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The Salesy Socialist

Have you noticed the slow, creepy shift happening with the next generation away from the virtues of business competition, hard work and free market capitalism towards a culture of entitlement, “participation trophies” and socialism?

In my speaking, coaching and consulting engagements, I know that words and their meaning matter. And though the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” might hold true physically on the playground, I don’t think that’s true culturally. In particular there are two specific words impacting some core beliefs underpinning our free market capitalist system that I believe provide us anecdotal evidence of this “culture shift”. So what are the two words?

  1. “Salesy”– In my coaching work with newer financial advisors especially I often find that their biggest obstacle to success is their fear of appearing “salesy” in the eyes of prospects when implementing a new client acquisition strategy. On one hand I can totally understand where that comes from as we’ve all had the experience of being around a “back slapping”, “hand shaking”, obnoxious loud mouth, trying to sell us something we don’t need or want and making us feel super uncomfortable. But on the other hand lets all be real clear here about something so obvious and fundamental that maybe the next generation is not being shown the light. Nothing and I mean nothing happens in the world of business unless somebody sells something to somebody else ok? I don’t care what line of work you are in either. Everyone and I mean everyone is in “sales” in some form or fashion whether they realize it or not. For example, a physician would likely cringe if you claimed they were in sales but then watch them turn right around and “sell” you on their expertise and/or treatment plan. A CPA would most surely balk at the label “salesperson” but must convince you on their ability to provide their tax preparation services. Even a receptionist is “selling” your firm’s services indirectly. So let me suggest that its fine to want to avoid appearing “salesy” but please don’t avoid approaching someone about your services using your fear of appearing “salesy” as an excuse – not going to fly with this coach. Do you need to accelerate revenue growth? Are you working to improve your “sales skills”? Have you considered hiring a coach to help a new member of your team shift their core beliefs around selling your services so they become comfortable and confident approaching prospects?
  2. “Socialist”- When Bernie Sanders started winning primaries I was “feeling the burn” alright but not because I liked him, but because his message about socialism literally gave me heartburn! Are you like me and found it alarming that so many young voters were falling for this fantasy of everybody getting free stuff with no concept of paying the bill? When did socialism become so “hip”? Have we totally forgotten the lessons of history? Can anyone name even one successful socialist society? Are we teaching our kids how we won the cold war with the biggest socialist in world history the Soviet Union and what happened to the Berlin Wall? And please lets agree not to pull out Sweden as the poster child of socialism working. When you peel back the veneer there you quickly realize they are basically living off the hard work of previous generations and their current economic system is untenable long term. My favorite question to ask a socialist is “how much do you deserve to get from someone else who earned it?”. I’m becoming convinced that part of our problem is we’re not properly educating the next generation on why free market capitalism, while not perfect, is the best system for peace and prosperity. Unfortunately it seems that the term “capitalism” has become a pejorative term since the “great recession” of 2008 . I see this with newer financial advisors who have a since of entitlement when joining established teams at investment firms and expect to be “given” clients without prospecting. Basically they buy into the fantasy that they deserve to inherit clients that someone else put in the hard work to acquire and service. If you want a good read on this subject, Ive heard good things about a new book recently published called “The Problem with Socialism” by Tom DiLorenzo and I intend to pick up a copy to read myself. Imagine a world without “sales”, without incentive, without competition, without free enterprise….its a pretty scary picture. We should be teaching the next generation that egalitarianism (a socialists best friend) where we guarantee equal outcomes for all regardless of effort is the surest path to poverty and result in a “race to the bottom”. Are you warning your kids about the real dangers of the socialist mind set? Its not going to feel so “hip” when we all wake up and realize there really is no free lunch after all and our nation is bankrupt. Are you challenging educators in your community to teach the virtues of a free market capitalistic system?

Be proud and stand up for our free market capitalist system which rewards “sales” and promotes the power and true meaning of other words like “excellence” and “competition” as the surest path to lasting freedom and prosperity. And don’t let any “salesly” politician try to convince you otherwise!

Bob David

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