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Don't Be a Sourpuss

We are all going through a really tough time. As a business owner, I have never seen anything like this. Besides managing my business, I also am my company’s salesperson. I direct all outbound initiatives and programs to drum up new activity. In some ways, I am going back to my initial days of my sales career and figuring out scrappy new ways of finding clients. I love it. I also love that my own prospecting work allows me insight to share with my clients as they should be selling right now too.

This is what I have learned. Don’t be a sourpuss. Everyone is going through a hard time right now. (I shouldn’t say everyone. I’d actually like to own a teleconferencing or toilet paper company right about now, but you get the point). What I am getting at is that everyone is struggling. Owners, managers, employees, customers, buyers, you name it. So as a salesperson, walking in and talking about your troubles just isn’t going to make the sale.

Stand out. Be positive. Be a ray of light. Talk about your great product. Talk about good things. Enough gloom and doom. Be the happiest, most memorable salesperson out there. People want to work with someone they want to be around. You will be the first person they call when it’s time to place an order.


I have been in Chicago since March 13th. I have never been home for such a long stretch of time. I was getting a little stir-crazy not being able to travel as much as I am used to. Finally, the weather warmed up so I was able to take my daily walks to enjoy the fabulous architecture of my beautiful city on the lake.

A recent city and park district development is something called the Riverwalk. It is a two mile, uninterrupted public path along the Chicago River that takes me to Lake Michigan. It has restaurants, kayak and bike rentals, tourist boats, wine, beer and tiki bars and lots of other activities for everyone to enjoy. It’s a lovely addition to the city.

I live very close to the west end of the Riverwalk. I try to walk it daily. I start at Lake Street, walk the two miles to the lakefront and loop back. If I could play “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and skip the entire time I would. I am so happy when I do this. I think the other 99.8% of the people I see and their dogs are the same as me. We all appear to be in awe of our city’s beauty and how lucky we are that we are not dealing with cars, horns, traffic lights and interruptions during our exercise. We smile, say good morning and wave to each other. Even the security people are happy. They smile and wave to me and they are working! My day starts great, even before I see Jermaine at Starbucks. See my past blog “The Human Touch”.

There is one woman I see every day on my walk. She is young and serious. I have no idea what is going on in her life. It’s not my business to know. She doesn’t smile, say good morning or wave. She actually frowns every day. I smile when I walk by her. She doesn’t smile back. I feel bad for her. I hope she is okay. I really hope she’s not a salesperson. If she is, I think she better go spend a little time hanging out with the the security guards because that is who I would be buying from.


Jennifer Perna

Jennifer Perna

Owner, Fulton Market Consulting, Chicago, IL
Jennifer Perna started Fulton Market Consulting in May 2017 after developing an event experience and sales management experience portfolio for over 25 years in the downtown Chicago catering and special events industry. Jennifer presently works with owners, managers and all team players at hospitality-related companies on increasing sales and creating business development strategies, streamlining processes for operations and event production and developing best practices for human resources and administrative management. This is especially imperative as we continue to manage a diverse and young talented pool of employees today. Jennifer brings a dynamic, approachable and relatable communication style to all levels and members...