Salesmen for real (4): François

IMG_0786A business trip with François is always a unique experience. Nothing will happen as it was supposed to. The best attitude is to expect nothing and whatever will be will be. Inside of our organisation François is the most qualified in his technical domain. He knows everything thanks to his previous professional lives. In his speciality, he also knows a lot of persons such as decision makers, influencers, etc. But the most important is certainly that those people also know François.

I can try to give an example. We were visiting a machine manufacturer together. I qualified before the contacts, the application and the reality of the need. It was a really technical visit and for this reason I visited this customer with François. We met on the parking lot of the customer. François wore a totally crumpled shirt, but as he is the kind of person who does not really pay attention to his clothes I was not so surprised. We checked about the music we were about to play to the customer and we joined the reception desk. We were introduced to our contact and 2 other persons, all high level engineers. I started with a short introduction of François as “Responsible of Engineering in the Group”. I saw people staring at him when he took off from his bag a binder with a flashy cover with flashy Pokemons drawn on it. Not necessary the same as this one on the side but same family. Their eyes were talking for them: “Who is this guy? Why am I involved in this meeting? How long will it take? Help!” I must admit that I was quite surprised too.

As they were looking at him he was turning the pages, quite slow. Then our contacts had some time to catch some names on the pages he was turning and also an idea of the quite impressive number of running projects he was on. When it is opened, you can’t see the Pokemons any longer. The eyes changed their meanings “OK, maybe I was judging too fast, let’s listen to what he has to say some minutes”. Then he started to explain why and how we took the technical options we took. Softly he came to the situation where they were learning from François. The 3 of them were writing every single word he was saying. I never thought about it like that before, but I don’t believe it is a show like bad salesmen can produce. He is acting as frankly as he is: 100% natural is my best guess.

François is a believer. He believes in what he does. He is not only a professional and life believers like Eugen, Sinan or Edith, he is religiously believer. And he lives in total accordance in the values in which he believes. This is for me high level of respect to be a salesman with these strong values.

I can give another example for illustrating the deepness of his mind. I travelled once to Pondichery in India. It used to be a French counter and just for the dream of the name I travelled to this city. You can’t barely find no French speakers, but the French people left the Christian Religion when they left the Pondicherry area. I entered in a church with the French name “Notre Dame de Lorette”. At first it was funny, they were leaving the shoes outside like in Indian temples, Jesus was pink and fat like Ganesh. But then the sound of a prayer was coming from a group of people gathered on the floor around a lady. They were praying in their language, Tamil, of course. They were praying together “Our Father who art in heaven…”. The sound was the same, quite magical to understand without picking a single word. This was really an emotion to hear something familiar at thousands km from home in a totally different language as the ones I never had an idea of a sound in this church.
When I told this story to François his answer killed me: “You know, Philippe, sometimes you need to go far away from home to meet the Lord”. Deepness I said earlier….

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