Why one ear is better than two for growing sales


Does having only 1 ear increase sales? It depends on if you believe being “memorable” is detrimental to being successful in sales. It has been a long and undisputed belief by many that tall men and attractive women do well in sales. Is that because they’re tall and attractive or it is because being tall and attractive are attributes of being “memorable?” I argue the latter and so much so I challenged a previous employer during my interview to take me up on my challenge.

During the interview, the owner, let’s call him Larry, proceeded to ask, “How do I know you’ll be successful in sales? I have no doubt you’re smart enough to learn the business, but you have no formal sales experience.” I in turn replied, “I can see why you would question my ability, but I’m so confident I’ll be successful at your firm that I’m willing to wager my first 2 paychecks to prove the point. I bet that if you and I made 10 cold calls and revisited those same people 2 weeks later, they’ll remember me over you every time.” Keep in mind I’m interviewing for a job with the owner of the firm. I was 34 years old and had just sold my company to a private equity group. And due to my 3yr noncompete, I was forced to reinvent myself in a marketplace that was flooded with tons of equally smart MBAs (notice I didn’t say talented).

Larry looks at me with a sheepish grin on his face and says “Ok Shay, you’ve got my attention. Let’s hear it.” Confident the job is within reach, I go for the closer. I reply “No offense Larry, but there’s a lot of mid 50’s slightly balding guys calling on these people every day. However, there is only 1, one-eared burn guy and that’s ME. Therefore, I am more memorable and they will remember me over you every time.” Needless to say I got the job despite the risky, yet calculated move. My point is being memorable is the key to being successful in sales, whether it’s being tall, attractive, athletic or having 1 ear. On that note, be memorable for the right reasons and people will want to be around you and do business with you. Based on the above, one could argue that perhaps I’d be the complete package if I was a tall, attractive female with 1 ear. I have learned in sales, especially in life, being comfortable in your own skin is a rare trait and one to be admired.

Morale of the story: make the most of the cards life dealt you and never discount the value of believing in yourself. The will to succeed, coupled with the passion to persevere, guarantees success.

Disclaimer: Due to medical necessity (hearing loss, infections, etc), I have since received a prosthetic ear. You will read more about this wonderful toy and the enjoyment it has provided with various practical jokes. 


Shay is an All American and World ranked triathlete, burn survivor with scars over 65% of his body and is a sought out national motivational speaker. Despite being told he’d never compete in sports again at the age of 8, Shay is living testament to “Anything is Possible”: 4x Ironman, 4x member of Team USA, ranked top 1% of Ironmen worldwide and has competed in 9 triathlon world championships, including the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. His mantra has always been to not merely be a “finisher” but to be a “competitor.” If you enjoyed this article, I encourage you to check out my other posts.

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