Meeting Uber driver “Sam” reminded me that infectious enthusiasm is better than all the sales skills in the world. From the word, “hello,” it was clear that Sam was from Russia. I asked him his story – it’s an endearing one.
Sam “won the green card lottery,” leaving Russia where he’d been trained as an attorney and a dental technician. There wasn’t time to learn more about this peculiar combination. Sam moved to NYC. With no credit history, he managed to purchase his Rav 4 at 18% interest so he could drive for Uber and work on his English. After 9 months, Sam decided that he missed the mountains of his homeland. Opening a map, he saw that Denver was near the mountains, so he packed his car and drove here.
Sam told us this and more with joyful delight, enthusiasm, gratefulness and laughter. He was so happy – and he made me happy.
I got to thinking about Sam and about sales. In this NOISY world, one in which it’s so hard to break through to customers, Sam made me WANT to be his customer. He made me feel good about him, myself, my country, my life. I wanted to give him a $20 tip on a $21 fare.
In sales, we train skills, strategy, product knowledge – we teach our teams how to get the attention of our prospect, and how to get them to buy from us. Sam, the Russian Uber driver I met once and will always remember, is a great reminder that people want to engage but are busy and defensive because they know that mostly, we want something from them. Instead of trying to get something, let’s give honest, joyful enthusiasm.