An excerpt from my upcoming book.
Recently I met Jennifer (name changed to protect the guilty). Jennifer is a long-time acquaintance who joined a well-known make-up distribution company. Like most newbies, she was working in her sphere of influence. I happen to be in that sphere. After watching her pitch the product unsuccessfully to others, I told her I was interested in purchasing liquid foundation. I knew the product and the sales process since I sold it as a teenager. While I use powder, it’s more convenient to apply liquid foundation most of the time. She walked me back through ALL of the benefits of a different product, powder when I told her why I wanted a liquid foundation.
She didn’t hear me. She talked about the powder for 30 minutes, then went in for the close on the powder. Or we could schedule a party where I could subject my friends to this, and I could earn it if money were the issue.
No, Jennifer. The issue was that she didn’t listen even though I repeated my wants multiple times. Then she followed a decade-old script reminiscent of used car tactics. I told her I had to think it over. I was prepared to purchase the foundation that day, before our conversation. She could probably have upsold me from there. After this meeting, I had no desire to spend my valuable time with her again. I couldn’t, in good faith, purchase the product from her. If I had, she would have thought her pitch/presentation worked and continued to repeat it to other unsuspecting prospects. No, I would have to purchase it from somewhere else.
I’ve met many Jennifers in my life. I may not have had the time to educate them. It may not have been the correct place to provide constructive feedback. Frankly, I admired her boldness and grit to continue despite the constant rejection—unnecessary rejection due to a lack of training and inexperience, in her case.
With some perspective and strict honesty, I’m hoping sales won’t be the transitional career for all of the Jennifers I’ve met. It’s a great career.
I help people develop win/win scenarios. I help people solve their problems. I also get flexibility in career choices. Don’t get me wrong. Sales is hard. Many careers don’t measure you strictly on the results you bring in.
There’s also the rejection. It’s even harder when you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. I’m here to help. If you decide sales isn’t for you, at least you’ve approached it sensibly with some solid tips. Or, hopefully, you’ll find it’s a fulfilling and potentially lucrative role with mutually beneficial relationships with your customers.
I believe many people get in and out of sales because of inadequate sales training (and probably suffer more in the process).
It doesn’t have to be that way, so I’m writing this book. I hope it helps.