Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Had my first official sales call yesterday to try and open a new account. It wasn't until 2:00 in the afternoon so I figured I'd make a few store visits on the way to Daytona. Since I'm nervous and all, I decide to stop at the stores that I know are upset with my company because of all the changes lately. Heck, why would I stop somewhere I know they love me and will give me bunches of warm fuzzies? That's for the weak of spirit. So, the first store I actually had to stop at the door to collect myself. The sales associates on the floor are a tough crew and not real happy right now. I take a deep breath and walk in.
Tammi! Great to see you! Here, sit down with us. What the hells been going on?
Yeah - can you believe it? Not one single harsh word. Even the manager was friendly, cheerful and more than helpful. I walked out in a bit of a daze.
Next stop - sales call. I'm driving. I'm driving. I'm driving. I think I'm lost, I realize I'm not. Finally get there. Walk into the store - still under construction. The first thing out of the owners mouth after the introductions is - "I don't know anything about selling bedding. What ever you tell us to do, we'll do." It took a few minutes (and a crane) to get my jaw off the ground. I walked in with what I thought was a very aggressive plan. Had run it past my boss, and he even thought I was asking for the moon. I got everything I wanted PLUS a whole lot more. This one store will probably make my market share increase and $ volume increase enough to qualify for a bonus this year. THIS WAS MY FIRST SALES CALL!!!! I'm the only vendor on the floor - it's Mine all Mine!!!!
So I sit around and we chat after we get all the paperwork filled out. They are a great group of guys and I think I'm really going to enjoy working with them. Next stop another client, very important to my territory, that has been neglected for the past month. I'm goin' in to get my ass chewed and I know it. I walk in the door and the Store Manager is standing at the front desk. I introduce myself and he asks if I would meet with him privately in his office. Yikes. This is it. I must remain humble and take my kickin' like a good sales rep.
We get in the office and he closes the door. I give an uncomfortable laugh and say it feels like getting called into the Principle's office. He looks surprised, sits down and proceeds to tell me that he plans on his store selling the highest volume of my products in his chain.
Again, jaw - meet floor. So we put together an aggressive training plan to get his sales people comfortable with the product line and off I go with a handshake and a smile.
Damn. Not a bad day. Not bad at all. My boss has informed me that since I now carry a 100% close rate, nothing else is acceptable. I told him to go ahead and hang on to that thought. It might help in those dark days of August.
In sales you're only as good as your next deal, but I'll tell you what. I needed this yesterday. It's good to be back in the saddle again!!!