Colorado’s 25 most powerful salespeople

In one of Gary Larson’s classic “Far Side” cartoons, a salesman in a small boat is waving goodbye to a group of Eskimos standing on an icy shore next to their new refrigerators.

It’s a cartoon that hardly needs a caption. But consider this: Was this salesman someone who can sell anybody anything or was he simply good at convincing his prospects that storing their food in refrigerators – where food will stay cold but not freeze – makes more sense than exposing it to the elements (assuming the Eskimos have power, of course.)

Search for that Gary Larson cartoon via Google and you’ll find someone making that argument (at www.insideselfstorage.com). The best salespeople have a knack for solving their clients’ problems – including some they may not have known they had.

For the second consecutive year, we devote our annual “power-list issue” to recognizing the people who drive growth, the often unsung heroes of business who keep cash coming in the door by connecting clients with the products and services they need to prosper. (Read profiles of our top 25.)

This year’s class of 25 includes a commercial real estate agent who with her partner brokered the biggest deal in the state in 2009, the top T-Mobile retail sales agent in the state and nation, and a BMW salesman who joined the auto business after a 35-year career in education.

Whether they’re selling homes, IT services or advertising, all of these people share such qualities as tenacity, empathy and a healthy competitive streak. And some have been humbled by a recession that has made the last couple of years the toughest they’ve ever faced. That makes their achievements all the more exemplary.

Nominees for our 25 profiles came from solicitations sent out to 11,000 e-mail subscribers of the Colorado chapter of the Sales Association and to 16.500 subscribers of the ColoradoBiz e-mail newsletter.

We think you’ll find their stories inspiring as we shake off the shackles of the recession and start sprinting toward the recovery that awaits in the year ahead.