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Selling in Color

Aug 24, 2021

Today’s episode of Selling in Color, an archive from The Sales Evangelist, features DeJuan Brown. Dejuan, like 40% of salespeople, did not plan to join the sales profession. In fact, his initial dream job was to be a chemist. And in today's episode, you’ll find out how DeJuan fell into sales.

DeJuan realized chemistry wasn’t for him.

  • After realizing chemistry and systems analysis involved too much math, DeJuan chose to major in psychology and philosophy. 
  • He wasn’t super passionate about psychology, but at this point, he decided to stay on that path. It would be a while before he fell into sales.

He had a mixed perception of salespeople.

  • Because DeJuan’s father sold door-to-door insurance, DeJuan had an intimate relationship with salespeople. However, he noticed people’s aversion to his dad as he went up to the door; the pulled curtains, the slammed door, those experiences impacted DeJuan and his idea of salespeople.
  • This was a huge turn-off for DeJuan. He liked the money and rewards, but he didn’t like this negative perception and didn’t want to be associated with it.
  • Even though people told DeJuan he would be good at it, he didn’t want to be the sleazy salesperson. He saw sales as a poor use of his talents.
  • Because sales have such a low barrier to entry, you can encounter all sorts of people that might not be the best for the industry or perception.

But DeJuan had a change of heart. 

  • While DeJuan was waiting tables in 2001, his friend got a job at Intuit. In 2002, he came to DeJuan (for the 5th time) and encouraged him to apply.
  • To appease him, DeJuan applied. He went to the interview and landed a part-time job.
  • This was the first time he thought about sales as a “clean” career path, and it was lucrative.
  • But he still had some concerns. Most of his fear revolved around the belief he had to push people. He didn’t want to drive people to something they didn’t necessarily need.
  • But that never happened. The lightbulb went off relatively quickly; he was helping people understand the options they had at their disposal.
  • There have been times DeJuan thought he should quit and move onto something else. But his time at Intuit made DeJuan know that he was legitimately helping people and their companies perform better and solve problems.

DeJuan started to see the success he wanted.

  • His final mental shift was an acceptance of the sales roller coaster. Results will never always go up. But if you control the inputs, the outputs will eventually take care of themselves.
  • He applied this mindset both personally and professionally.
  • DeJuan is now a director at Microsoft, and his career is progressing. And he’s looking to continue where he’s left off. To follow his success or learn more about him, connect with DeJuan on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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