An Unlikely Salesperson

What does it take to be effective in sales? Are some people born salespeople, while others just aren’t?  At Executive Success Programs, we’ve found that with the right training, not only can anyone be successful in sales, but they can truly enjoy doing it.

Alex Betancourt, one of our executive board members, shares a story with which many entrepreneurs will relate. Early in his career, he’d never been a salesperson, and his ventures were struggling. Today, he’s founded and grown many successful businesses, thanks to a shift in perception he had during his first ESP training.


Fourteen years ago, I took my first workshop with ESP. I remember that on the first day of the training, ESP’s President, Nancy Salzman, asked how many of the people attending were involved in sales; some people raised their hand. I didn’t.

Back then I was a struggling entrepreneur and I was transitioning from a recent failed project to a new endeavor. I had never considered myself a salesperson, or that I had anything to do with sales. To my surprise, Nancy said that we were all involved in sales, whether we recognized it or not. She talked about how everyone was selling something, whether a product or a service, or themselves. She also said that what made people successful was their capacity to enroll others into their ideas. As she explained this, a light bulb went off in my head. “I aminvolved in sales!” I realized. “I’ve always loved sharing things with people, and that is what sales is all about!”

Anyone who knows me closely has seen me sharing something valuable that I’ve found: a new suitcase, a gadget, a movie, a favorite restaurant, etc. I love to share the things I find valuable in my life with the people I love, and even with people I’ve just met!

That workshop with ESP ended up being one of the most amazing things I had ever done. So I did what I always do—I told my friends! Soon I decided to join ESP’s sales team. Sharing these programs with my family and friends, and watching the amazing impact they’ve had on their lives, has given me more gratification than anything else I’ve done. To date, almost 3,000 people have participated in ESP trainings because of my passion for sharing things that I love.

Today sales, or as I like to think of it, “enrollment,” is a very natural thing for me. I don’t see it as a task or a chore—I see enrollment as a way of being in the world. As a result, I’m no longer a struggling entrepreneur; I now own several very successful businesses. Of course there have been a lot of bumps along the way, but with ESP’s tools I’ve been able to move through those quickly.

I believe that sharing things we love is something that makes humans special and different from all the other species. Think about it: Do you think birds enroll each other into migrating? Do you think a housecat enrolls another cat into being more gentle, or appreciative of their owners? Do you think a dog enrolls another dog into exchanging his food for something else? No, of course not. But we people love to share great things and ideas with each other. I love being a part of that.

Written by Alejandro Betancourt