Not only am I a TV junkie, but I like to fancy myself a trendsetter (kinda).

And so, I am proud to say that I have been watching Schitt’s Creek since it premiered on the POP TV network back in January of 2015. If you have never seen it and you like comedies, I would strongly urge you to check it out (you can catch it on Netflix or Hulu).

The series follows a formerly wealthy family named Rose who after they lose everything, are forced to relocate to Schitt’s Creek, a small town they once purchased as a joke.

So, what could a bunch of egomaniacal out of touch rich jet-setters have to teach us everyday jamokes who are trying to survive in the graphic arts amidst a global pandemic?

Turns out?  Quite a lot.

sales lessons from Schitt's Creek

Humility. A great way to get a taste of humble pie is to lose everything. Over the course of 6 seasons, the Rose family goes from four selfish people that seem to only care about clothes, world travel, luxury, and appearances to ones who seem a lot like regular folk with relationships, worries, and joys. Once they are stripped of the homes, cars, clothes, and jewelry and are crammed into two small motel rooms with a fraction of their possessions, they are brought down to the reality of struggle. Gone are their friends, their societal connections – their entire way of life.

Humility is an important characteristic of a successful salesperson. It is required of anyone who hopes to solve the problems and better the situation of someone other than oneself. That might just be the best 2020 definition of a salesperson that I have stumbled upon thus far. When you authentically want to help others and engage with prospects and customers with that mission and that message, people will be attracted to that position. You will be rewarded with stronger relationships and get invited into the planning stages of projects because people know you are ready and willing to pitch in with ideas and solutions, not just to quote and run.

Loyalty. When we first meet the Rose’s they seem like four very self-involved people. It is not clear whether the Rose marriage is strong and committed one, and the two siblings seem about as deep as a puddle. But as we get to know them over the years, we discover that perhaps even because of their newfound poverty and isolation, they have only each other until they make some strong friendships in Schitt’s Creek. These folks do indeed love each other and are very committed to each other’s happiness and wellbeing in a way that surprised us. We were so busy laughing at the ridiculousness of their surroundings that we kind of got blindsided by the devotion that they have for one another.

In business relationships, loyalty is a 2-way street. Companies seem to spend a ton of resources cultivating loyalty. Are they effective? And what IS loyalty to a company? What have YOU and your company done to cultivate loyal relationships with not only your customers but with your colleagues as well? Think about what loyalty means to you. What companies are you loyal to? Why? What can you and your team do to foster more loyal relationships with your customers?  And how do you recognize the loyalty of your customers? Do they know you appreciate their dedication to you?

Perseverance. The Rose family got knocked down. Big time. And sure, they wallowed for a while. Was there complaining? You bet. But soon each member of the Rose family decided that they were going to keep plowing forward. Whether it is the vision of a chain of boutique roadside motels, a career in PR, a high-end apothecary, or a rejuvenated TV career, each Rose never gave up. And it paid off for each of them BIG time, as individuals, and as a family unit.

2020 has handed each of us a big steaming bowl of challenge and adversity, so much so that I am sure we are all tired of talking about it and reading about it. But those among us who are still plodding along and refusing to just bow out are the ones that will rise. The definition of perseverance is “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” Deborah Corn and I hosted a significant discussion on JUST this topic for Fierce Fabulous Fridays, and you can catch the replay here

Patience. Five years. It took five years for the Rose family to rise from the ashes of their former lives and reinvent themselves. Even though they are fictional characters, each one of those people is thankful for the journey and the circumstances that put them where they are because they have a life that, though not the one they thought they wanted, was indeed the life they NEEDED.

I have heard many people, myself included, talk about the small silver linings that COVID-19 has brought to them. It is of course true that it has been a global disaster. And we have had to adjust our expectations and goals and give ourselves some grace for those things that we were not able to get done this year.  Many of us are just taking each day as it comes. Still giving our all but knowing that things are just not going to happen the way we planned. Like Guns and Roses said, “All we need is just a little patience.”

There I go, mixing my metaphors again. As the always fantastic Moira Rose once said, “Who has time amidst all this chaos?”

See more posts from Kelly

Kelly Mallozzi.2018_print media centrAs a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, and Girl #2 at #GirlsWhoPrint, Kelly Mallozzi advocates for graphic arts companies to keep fighting to keep print relevant. She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.

Kelly is a regular co-host on the #GirlsWhoPrint Podcast along with Deborah Corn. She is also a mentor to several future sales stars and she connects to them through the Women’s Print Mentoring Network. Check out her book, co-authored by Bill Farquharson: Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How. Kelly also occasionally guest blogs at Printing Impressions and you can see her most recent posts here.

Connect With Kelly: Twitter @SuccessInPrint and on LinkedIn where she regularly posts and is even often interesting.


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