The Gift of ADD and Communication
Roughly 13 years ago, my oldest daughter Kati was diagnosed with ADD. The psychologist, Dr. Rosenrosen, told us that it was hereditary. Upon hearing that, my wife looked at me and said, "Well, THAT explains a lot!"
But ADD is not a death sentence. It's a gift. Not only can you have an entirely different conversation going on in your head as you speak (or in my case, give a seminar), you can learn skills that make you amazingly effective as a salesperson, allowing you to keep multiple balls up in the air at once.
Disability? What disability?
In my job as a sales coach, I am awed by the number of undiagnosed ADD reps I work with. It's easy to spot: Just listen for the oral diarrhea and a thought process that jumps from subject to subject with no apparent direction or purpose. If I can't make sense of what they are trying to say, I can only imagine what their customers and prospects must be thinking.
A week and a half ago I was on the receiving end of a phone call where the caller introduced himself as the husband of a paper sales rep who'd heard me give a speech in Phoenix earlier this year. After that, and for the next 15 minutes, he talked. I finally interrupted with the question: "Are you trying to sell me something or buy something from me?" It was that unclear that I literally had to ask.
I remember asking Dr. Rosenrosen how it was that I successfully made it 38 years as a salesman (read: "Communicator") without knowing I had ADD. She told me that somewhere along the way I had learned workarounds and probably had a good teacher or two. As I thought about it, a face came to mind: Edwin Fredie.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.