I showed up at the Burger King 15 minutes early to meet my new sales manager. He was late.
I was trained for 9 years to be a professional nuclear engineer and US Naval Submarine Officer, but I was ready for a new career and the opportunity to make a lot more money. I was eager to learn and excited to meet the sales team. My friend told me he made a ton of money every weekend and being fairly naive to the ways of the sales world, I believed him.
I wore my nicest golf shorts and a new golf shirt. I had a lot of time while waiting to ask the dozen sales reps standing around about their experience with this awesome sales opportunity. The first guy looked at me and said: “You can’t make sales in shorts!”
I was suddenly irritated and a little dismayed, but I reminded myself that my friend made a lot of money doing this type of door to door sales. I asked a different guy how many sales I could expect to make on my first day. Everyone laughed and said zero! The “Sales Team” was having a blast giving the new guy a hard time.
At that moment the Training Manager walked in and started handing out area assignments. I already made up my mind that this whole idea was a huge mistake, and I had given up a beautiful golf day just to waste my time. I decided to slide out the back door and escape, but the Trainer grabbed me by the shoulder and said: “let’s go!”
By this time, my initial enthusiasm was in the toilet! But, I had promised my friend I would try it out; I really was desperate and I had to increase my income because I couldn’t afford my divorce.
The Trainer said: “Just watch me and don’t say anything!” He walked up to the first house, knocked on the door, explained the benefit of the discount card, collected the money and we walked away. It happened so fast, I wasn’t even sure of what he said to the customer. The product was a discount card for a local car repair shop. It really was a no-brainer. The cost was $20 and the customer got 3 free oil changes worth $45, plus another $500 of discounts on car repairs. I was ready to buy one myself.
After he sold five customers in a row, I told him to give me the discount card so I could sell the next customer. This was too easy! He appeared so comfortable talking to the customers and explaining the benefits and answering their questions, and collecting $20 bills.
He told me to wait. He said he had to show me how to handle an objection. The next guy was very serious and antagonistic and wouldn’t look or listen, no matter what the Trainer said. After 10 minutes, the Trainer gave up and we walked away. I said: “You mean some people won’t listen no matter what you say? Give me the discount card!”
I knocked on the next door and a 16 year old boy answered. My first thought was to ask for his parents. My next thought was to practice my first pitch on this young guy. I started to show him the card and the discounts and the other benefits. He started laughing and pointed to his “new” car in the driveway and said he needed every service on the card (his “new” car was 20 years old). He asked me to wait a minute while he grabbed some money. He came back with $40 and said his best friend had a “new” car too. I made a double commission on my very first sale.
I made mistakes that first day, but the Trainer was there to help me out and I listened to his advice eagerly and I made 20 sales that day not zero!
- Sell something you like.
- Sell something you believe in.
- Only take advice from a successful Professional.
- Ignore negative and critical people.
- Study your product.
- Be willing to make mistakes.
- Go into action.
- Continue to study your product and your market.
- Decide you are a professional.
I’ve been a salesman ever since that day and I never stop learning how to be more professional.
Have a Great Week!!!