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A Short Story on Sales as Meaningful Work

Mark lived in Texas. After the oil well business declined in the 1980’s, he took a job in sales, something he never thought he would do. As it turns out, he ended up working for a pharmaceutical firm, even though that wasn’t how the position was described to him at the time.

Not too many years later, he sold a new drug that was designed for neonatal intensive care units to help premature babies breathe. One of his clients needed to us the drug in order to help deliver a baby at 26 weeks, a date far too short of the 40 week gestation period. Mark had told his client that he wanted to be there when the drug was administered. It was important to him.

Even though the child was Caucasian, the baby was born a dark, unhealthy black. The baby was not getting any oxygen. Before the drug that Mark sold was developed, the baby would have been put on a ventilator, and it would have undoubtedly suffered all kinds of health problems, some immediately and many throughout its life.

Shortly after the doctors administered the drug, the babies skin turned pink, almost as if by magic. The child was spared from being put on the ventilator and many other health risks because of the drug Mark sold. And because Mark sold it.

This is when Mark recognized that what he sold was something far greater and far more important than he had ever imagined. This is when Mark found meaning in his work, and meaning in the outcomes that he sold.

You many not have stories as dramatic as this one. But you do have stories about you helped other people achieve an outcome that they would not have achieved without you. You do have stories about how the fact that you cared enough to help someone else that you created a meaningful, memorable outcome.

This is sales. Make it meaningful. Make it count.

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