Not Your Mother's Sales: Suzie Chafin Finds Purpose in Fostering Relationships

By Allie Wilson Jan 23, 2018

Suzie Chafin is not your typical salesperson. In fact, she’ll tell you that if she’d known in the beginning the Area Director role would mostly involve sales -- a position in which she excelled so much she now mentors other ADs in her role as a Sales Director -- she wouldn’t have given N2 Publishing a second look.

Growing up with deaf parents, Suzie filled the role of interpreter and even protector. She has early memories of salespeople coming to their door, trying to, as she saw it, take advantage of her parents. This molded a specific view of salespeople -- not one she held in the best light.

Suzie and sister, Linda, with parents.

Suzie (left) and her sister Linda with parents.

CREATING PURPOSE

Fast-forward to 2013 when Suzie, a stay-at-home mother of four teenagers with a desire to stave off boredom, started searching for something to fill her days. It had to be an opportunity that would still allow the flexibility to run her kids to appointments and practices… and she really didn’t think such a job actually existed. Then, she found N2 on Indeed and applied to become an Area Director -- the first AD in Mississippi.

After attending training in March, she set a goal to launch her publication in June so she could be done with ramp-up when her kids got out for summer break. And she succeeded. Her secret? Squeezing all of her appointments between 9:00am - 3:00pm; this, she says, not only made her more efficient, but helped her balance work and family life.

“For women, we’re often forced to pick a career or motherhood,” Suzie said. “I didn’t have to pick. I could have both. I could have a career and still be a very engaged mom.”


THE N2 SCHOLARSHIP

Although money wasn’t Suzie’s motivator to become an AD, her financial success enabled something her family lovingly refers to as the “N2 Scholarship.” Her oldest son started college with a full ride right after she launched her first publication. However, he quickly learned the college he was attending on scholarship wasn’t the right fit. A year later, while on a campus visit for her daughter, her son tagged along. And both kids realized that’s where they wanted to be.

For Suzie, there was no hesitation. Although the new college was private and much more expensive, they were able to do what was best for both children in that moment -- and do so completely debt-free thanks to her income. Of course, there are also vacations and lasting memories the family has been able to enjoy because of Suzie’s earnings.

“Does money make you happy? No, it doesn’t,” Suzie said. “But it can be a way to help you fund things that you would never have been able to otherwise.”

Suzie, Sam (son), Andy (husband), and  Lauren (daughter) at Sam's graduation.

Suzie, Sam (son), Andy (husband), and
Lauren (daughter) at Sam's graduation.

TURNING SALES INTO RELATIONSHIPS

While the income was certainly sweet, Suzie found her biggest motivator was doing something meaningful and enjoyable -- and there was great satisfaction in doing it well. Since filling a leadership position with N2, Suzie has also been able to help other ADs, including one who went from simply paying the bills to helping her husband retire and start his own business so they can have “fun money.” That’s real-life change!

“We get to pour into people's’ lives and help them achieve the dream. That’s the fun part about leadership. Paying the bills is boring. You want to be able to live an extraordinary life,” Suzie said.

So how does Suzie feel about her “sales” role? She really doesn’t view it that way at all, actually. She sees her role as a facilitator of relationships in her community.

“A sales transaction happens, yes. But I see it as connecting businesses and creating relationships. We want the relationships to be a win-win for the residents and businesses for years to come,” Suzie said.

An article on a pet or a child has the ability to build confidence and foster relationships within the community. It might be minor, but it builds community.

“It’s very rare to find work that you can feel really good about,” Suzie said.

Who knew sales, once held in disdain, would be the very means by which Suzie fosters relationships within her community and achieves the exciting life for her family she was after.

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