Anticipation or Frustration……..

She’s frustrated. She definitely is a workhorse and wants to succeed. She is wondering why she hasn’t made a sale and it’s week two. Poor thing… not only shouldn’t she be so hard on herself, but she’ll be lucky to make a sale in month two! God, how can I tell her that selling this publication is like driving a stake through Jell-O? UGH! I tell her she’s way too hard on herself and she needs to give herself some time.

She doesn’t want us to think she’s not capable or a loser. Are you kidding me? If she’s going to judge her ability by selling this product that’s not well branded in a bad economy– well, I’ll get the rope for her now. Why waste time?

~Seltzer

 Hockey pucks in AZ!

I guess at this point, what I can say..no one wants to buy and I really don’t want to sell. That’s it..you must love what you sell in order to sell it, you must be passionate about what your selling and you must understand it- inside and out…..that right ladies and gentlemen, that’s the key to success and you heard it here, for the 1 trillionth time!!

My first sales job in life was actually selling ice hockey pucks in Arizona..now that my friend is hard. I did very well; however, selling a glossy ad for a glossy magazine in CT…IMPOSSIBLE…lol:)  I was resorting to begging and pleading-this is a nightmare and I am fully engulfed now. Must get a sale, must get a sale, must get at least one!

It starts to make people crazy, the more pressure you put on the sale-the harder it is to obtain. How great, Murphy’s Law is kicking in! I felt like I needed to swoop to more drastic levels, but what was that..extortion maybe..ummm, NO…can’t go to jail for this. I know …just have a good dinner and stop thinking about it, get up tomorrow and have a brand new day!

~PINK

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Our First Networking Event~

Networking. It’s supposed to be the new way to get business. NO MORE COLD CALLING – MEET PEOPLE AND GET REFERRALS. Okay. I’ve been called a master networker and I guess to a degree, I am. I’ve been told I can make a tree talk and I do love helping people, so I am constantly referring people to each other. I guess that makes me a networker and I think she’s one too.

She has a specific territory – her own little world to scan for business. A hawk with a huge field filled with mice for the taking. So when a local Chamber was having a business after hours event, this posed the perfect opportunity for her to stake her claim. And it was at a piano bar – Joe’s Piano. How fun! I tell her about it and she says, “Joe’s Piano? I know all of the bars and restaurants around here and I don’t know about this one.” I tell her that it might be new so it’s entirely possible she hasn’t been there. Hmmm, she knows every bar and restaurant . . . she doesn’t seem like the type of person that would be out drinking all the time, but you never know …

We agree to meet at the event. Even though I’m usually spent by the time these things come around, I’m looking forward to it. She’s fun. She calls me kind of panic-stricken as I’m talking to some people I know in the parking lot. “Where is this place?” I laugh and tell her it’s in an industrial park and it’s Joe’s Piano — like a place that sells pianos! We crack up and I can’t believe that we are the only two that didn’t get it. I even tell the owner the humorous story. He was cordial, but didn’t laugh. Instead he gave me kind of sickly half-smile. Oops.

She arrives and I introduce her to a few folks and we rush to the bar. Lovely, it’s an open bar. We grab some wine. She seems to have gotten held up and I’m stuffing my face with delicious Italian food that the owner actually made himself. Impressive.

I think to myself, “I hope that she knows how to ‘network’ and isn’t telling everyone that they should buy our product.” The funny thing is, she wouldn’t come off as a networking-whore because she’s so likable. It would actually work for her.

I have to leave early so I go to see if she’s okay and she’s kind of slumped up against a wall. Is she listening? Is she in pain? I motion to let her know I’m leaving and mouth, “Are you okay?” She nods yes and looks okay. I hope she’s having fun and finds it useful. I’ll check with her tomorrow to see if she’s gotten any leads and off I go.

Seltzer~

Piano=Bar?

I guess with most jobs comes the ultimate evening of networking. Things pop into your head like “You should be there”, “Get out and have your face seen”, “we have to make a presence in this town” and while that all may be true, these networking events are BORING!!!

On this night it was really no different, the only thing in question was where was  it? I live in town and have never heard of this place. A piano bar that I have missed-this kind of thing is my ultimate favorite. I mean getting out of the house to have a few cocktails is nice; however, “networking” not so nice-but I will give it a shot. I have the directions and head out.

As I am driving a friend calls and i tell her where I am going-she instantly tells me that there is no bar at that address and to top it off its in a bad area! WHAT…there has to be a bar, the invite said cocktails..I call Seltzer..immediately she starts laughing and say’s this..”Oh my god, it’s a place that fixes piano’s!”…Great she is there already and it’s not a piano bar, I should have come up with an excuse not to go.

I arrive and go in. Everyone seems pleasant and quietly talking with each other. Seltzer introduces me to a friend of hers, but the conversation goes no where. Another gentleman starts talking to me who is a real estate guy and he is complaining about the country & the economy. As I manuever through the crowd, I am stunned by the looks on people faces. No one is really happy or laughing it has more of a funeral like setting. I go down 2 glasses of wine. I then talk to another girl who it’s her first time there too, she has no $$ and is complaining as well. 

Seltzer has to go and at this point I am literally having the wall hold me up. I question the reason, “why are we all standing around a piano store hoping to get business but not actually talking about it? What am I doing here..and when is a streaker going to run through the room?”

I had enough and left…and the “streaker” never showed..LOL!

~Pink

Oh God, He Wants to Have a Sales Meeting?

So he sends me an e-mail the other day and tells me he wants to have a sales meeting. Are you serious? We just hired our first hire; she’s only had a few days out on the street – what the heck is there to meet about? The poor thing is going to be so freaked out and nervous. She’s just getting the hang of it and if he starts to drill her on what she thinks she’s going to sell; she’s just going to look at him like I do. It’s a look that says, “You are such an idiot.”

So I’m off – late of course. This is very bad. I need to make a good impression as her boss, but I have a tendency to cram everything in at the last minute. I’m dashing up and I give him the “I’ll be a little late” call. He seems okay and I’m not so sure what I’m worried about because he is never on time.

I arrive and he looks irritated. She looks okay – not frightened. I’m so glad! She’s not dressed up, which I guess is okay, but I wonder what he thinks. There are so many instincts that he’s right on with and then others that he’s kind of a doink about. And I’m not sure if his expression is irritation or if he has to fart (he does that in meetings sometimes).

I think we are going to have an organized meeting – you know like with an agenda. Instead he has a ton of our competitor magazines, brochures and direct mail pieces that he proceeds to go through and rip apart. He is giving her leads. I cannot believe he had us drive all the way up here (an hour away) to go through leads.

He is flinging pieces of paper at her fast and furious. I can’t believe he is doing this. She has a list that she created and we added to. This was her starter list. It’s so important for her to get through that and not feel overwhelmed. The key is to keep them focused – especially in the first three months when your head is swimming with information overload. UGH. What can I do? I join in because if I don’t he’ll give her stuff that has already been started. Now I am managing two people. One that needs it and one that doesn’t, and the one that does is flinging papers at a young woman sitting at his dining room table.

~Seltzer

Sales, schmales!!!!

I get an email regarding a sales meeting at his house for 9:00am..what are you kidding, that is so early and he lives about 30 minutes from me~?

Go with it, it’s my job. So I get the boys on the bus , throw on some jeans, pink converse, ponytail…and head out. On the drive I am thinking to myself, what is this meeting going to be about…”prospects”..I have none..LOL, “How to get more prospects”…I don’t want one…”What to do when I get a sale”..who knows..this is worse then going to the dentist. 

I finally find the house, way out in the woods. Nice looking house, he comes out and is standing on the front steps…OMG he is wearing a Charlie Brown sweater with tan pants..I throw up in my mouth (not really but you get the drift!)

I go in and he shows me around a little and then asks if i want some coffee. I said sure, he then replies…”Can you make it, because I don’t know how to work our coffee maker?”……NOOOOOOOO…I have no idea how to use this machine, fine no coffee it is!

We talk for awhile, he is pacing a lot and we are waiting for her to come..where is she? Finally she walks in all happy and bubbly and annoying!

We sit down and I am expecting to talk about stuff and get a feel for what’s going on, instead they start ripping ad’s out of flyers, newspapers, magazines, and chucking them at me…WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

One after another, after another..I am now getting papercuts and if this is a meeting, I want no part of it. I am writing and talking notes and trying to keep up with them…this is crazy, ad’s flying around and the funny part..I am the only one getting all the ad’s……Finally the misery comes to an end.

I walk out with all my leaflets of paper and ad’s and head to the car. Put my stuff in, they are standing there..”Now get out there and sell” he says…BYE!

I drive away and head to McDonalds for a breather…phew….

~Pink

2nd Day of Training~

It was time for another day of training and I was starting to realize just how horrible this job must be to someone on the outside. Well, maybe she won’t notice!  

As I was telling her some of my best stuff, she kept saying, “yup.” Hell, who were we kidding – was it time for lunch? That was where we really shined anyway. I promised her my tongue wouldn’t blow up.

I think this lunch was the first one that started the transformation of our relationship from boss/employee to “girls just wanna have fun.” I don’t remember what story it was that began the side-splitting laughter, but this was where it all began. And it was at the Olive Garden, which was even funnier because we both love it and it seems so … unsophisticated.

 ~Seltzer

A not so Italian Day

It was raining out and she had called in the morning, I told her I was going to go out to a few more places. Later she calls and she is in West Hartford, I immediately think she is stalking me to make sure I am going into establishments…Oh god. I ask if she wants to meet for lunch-something about lunch, we are always good at this. LOL

 She say’s fine and we decide on Olive Garden, Oh my god-Olive Garden YUCK. This is a disgrace for all Italians out there and she is Italian, as well. Oh well, at least it will take up time and I won’t have to go into any more places for the day.

She comes in and has on an ORANGE long sweater, yes you heard me right. I could never in a million years wear this sweater; I would be mistaken for some sort of Pumpkin on the loose. She actually can pull it off, even the waitress comments on it. WOW– I am shocked, the police would probably use a stungun on me. LOL

 As we sit and talk our conversation turns to family and life, not really business. I learn her sister has passed away and now she is telling some story about a guy who is going to lose his dog to cancer. She strikes me as abrupt and “It is what is” very matter of fact-I am still unsure as to what type of person she is and if we could ever be friends outside of this horrible job?

 She is so bubbly and nice and talking and laughing, I just want to say-My god, this job sucks and come to grips with yourself. It’s hell!! I say nothing and we do laugh a little more, lunch ends-she is off to appointments-I however; am going straight home….ummm it’s raining for god’s sake!!!

~Pink

 

The Tongue Incident~

This was just bizarre and this is where it all began. At that time, I’m not sure I knew “it,” but this was “it.” I took her out on a full day of prospecting. It went really well. No one was rude and we had a chance to actually sit and talk to a few quasi-decision makers, and someone even said they were interested. Yes! So, it was a success and I’m sure she picked up a lot of insight. Once she got the hang of the whole “on the road” thing in outside sales, she would be fine.

(I think I remember that she told her husband she was so uncomfortable from the first time we went out. It got hot and we didn’t take our blazers off. Her, I’m not sure why. Me, I didn’t shave that week and I had no sleeves on my shirt! She told me her husband called to ask about her day and she yelled at him, “I can’t talk to you right now. I’m uncomfortable!” I think the audio of her saying that playing over in my head was the first time I got a deep chuckle from this hysterical person I think of a soul sister. (Gitchy gitchy ya ya.)

She asked if I wanted lunch. Of course! I was starving! The restaurant she picked was in the same location as a restaurant that I had gotten food poisoning at. I chuckled secretly to myself and confidently agreed to go there because, hey, it’s a different place now. I once again wolfed my food down and we proceeded to drive away so she could get her kids. If it was only that simple.  . .

My tongue felt like it was blowing up. Not like the whole thing and not like it was going to explode, but I could feel a small, hard ball at the end of it. “That’s weird,” I’m thinking. “I don’t remember that ball there before.” I’m having a private conversation in my head and pressing my tongue between my teeth to determine if this is a ball, if it is growing, if it hurts. What the heck?! I decide to get realistic AND I remembered my horoscope – yes – my horoscope. My horoscope for that day indicated that all my “i”s would be dotted and “t”s crossed, but nothing would prepare me for the interruption I would have and it would be (verbatim) “a doozy and I better think quick about how to deal with it.” Oye, now I become George Castanza from Seinfeld and proceed to overreact.

See, I had two allergic reactions in my life that made my lips and face swell. The last time I had this happen the doctor said, “Well, it’s something you ate and when it happens again, it will get progressively worse. We can stick you with a bunch of needles to determine the allergy or you can carry Benadryl with you.” I also promptly remembered my mother having a reaction to seafood and getting rushed to the hospital where they told her she almost died from asphyxiation as her tongue had swelled. So I begin to scramble for Benadryl in my bag and calmly ask her if there is a clinic in the area. Unbeknownst to me, she doesn’t do well in extreme situations. Actually, she doesn’t do well even in mild situations. Now that I know her, and she has mentioned this several times, it is a miracle of God the she gave childbirth.

She starts to scream at me “A clinic. NO. Why do you need a clinic? Well, there’s UCONN. Do you want to go there??!!!???!!”

Me: “No, if we have to drive to UCONN it might take too long. Where is there a walk-in clinic? My tongue is blowing up.”

She: “Your tongue is blowing up. Why? What’s wrong? Oh my GOD. You need a clinic. Why do you need a clinic?”

Me: “It’s okay. Don’t worry. I just need to go to a walk-in to make sure it’s okay.”

Well after all the drama, a walk-in was literally around the corner. Phew. I knew they would take me right away and I told her just to take my car to get her little monkey. She called him her “four –year old thing” and told me he acted like a mafooch and looked like Sammy the Bull Gravano. I could not WAIT to meet this kid. Off we both went as I profusely apologized. She didn’t know why I was apologizing, and I’m not so sure I did either, but I just hate it when people feel uncomfortable!

It turned out just fine and I took the Claritin that was in my bag (note to self: put lots of Benadryl in the bag!) The doctors were a little standoffish and didn’t even want to touch my tongue. I kept sticking out and saying, “Can you see it?” They would kind of back away. What was that all about? I wanted them to put a latex glove on and squeeze my tongue so they could feel it. How else could they diagnose it!

She makes it back with “Sammy” – oh my God – this kid does look like him and is the cutest Chubaka you’ve ever seen. Apparently my condition caused quite a ruckus at pick-up time at daycare. We laughed all the way home and I tried not to scare her kid. After all, I’m the lady whose tongue just “blew up” and he’s four. His visual is tissue and blood all over the place.

She FaceBook’d about it that night and got LOTS of response. I guess these things happen to her… Ahh, gotta love sales training.

~Seltzer

It has been said, that everywhere I go there are dilemmas and that statement is VERY true. This day would be like any other in my life, drama filled.  I am heading out with her to go on sales calls. Oh fun! Anyway, she picks me up at my house and off we go. She has a list of places and her car has papers everywhere of clients and people and articles and stuff, there is definitely a method to her madness.

Driving around we are hitting several places, in and out of the car, in and out–annoying! Then she is dialing her phone with a blue tooth and talking, this girl is all business and she is fast. I am more of the turtle and she is the hare. I still get there but in my own fashion.

Finally after circling a huge parking lot in New Britain for what seemed like hours and then walking another mile to get to the office we were looking for, I am exhausted. You see when you run your own company, like I did, you plot these things out….this would have been a day trip for me. LOL, but it was actually our last stop and so we decided to head back to town for lunch.

We eat and talk and I can tell we are comfortable with each other and there is something about her that is very intriguing. Almost like, we should have been friends for years. We finish lunch and head to the car. I have to go and pick up my son at 3:00 and it is like 2:45.

Driving she says, “Heather is there a walk-in clinic around here?”

Me: “WHAT…WHAT’S the matter?!@

She: “I think I may be having an allergic reaction to something I just ate~”

Me: Are you KIDDING, OMG this is horrible, do you want to go to UCONN, how can you tell?”

 She: My tongue is swelling.

 Me: Are you kidding me, are you going to die? What!!! OMG this is horrible, what do we do. OMG turn around and go to the clinic up the street-

There was a lot more screaming and yelling, but it is blurred at this point for me.

All I keep thinking is what if she dies and I am with her and OMG!

She does a U-turn in the street and we head back to the clinic, we walk in and there she goes up to the desk and tells them the problem, she then turns to me and tells me to take her car and go get my son.

I fly out of there and to his daycare. Run in and tell him “we have to go quick, the lady I work with, her tongue just blew up in the car.we have to go quick!” His response like any other 4 yr old, “What mama, her tongue blew up and there is blood and guts all over?” No, no I have no time to explain this, just get in the car with your bike and all your bags.

We head back to the clinic and wait. While waiting he is convinced when she comes out her tongue will be gone and she will just have a head. Wait, wait, wait, finally she comes out and it turns out everything will be ok. He keeps checking her face. LOL.

I had to Facebook that evening and no one who knows me was really surprised, after all it’s just a day in the life of ME!

Pink~

On the Road with “Him”

I think the fist on-the-road training day she was out with the boss. She must have asked him a few questions because he texted me and then called me to tell me to “Keep it simple. Only give her information she needs.” The boss was afraid I had overwhelmed her and I’m sure I did, but I think understanding the Big Picture is really important. Plus, she’s smart enough to get it and professional enough to ask when she doesn’t. “Okay, I’ll keep it simple.”

He asked if she was going to be okay and I felt like reminding him that we hadn’t been able to get anyone to work for us yet, so uh, yeah. “She’ll be fine.” I think he was surprised that she actually had ideas and voiced them when they were with some major clients. This is what I LOVED about her. She had IDEAS and wasn’t afraid to share them. Now that’s what sells anything – ideas and genuine caring. That’s my girl!

~Seltzer 

Another Glorious Day in Sales

 Going out with the “low talker” today, how exciting! First we get in his van, yes he drives a minivan and I keep thinking to myself, this is wrong on every level. We head out to the hospital to see some big client. As we navigate through the building, I can tell he is lost. He denies and keeps walking-weird, but okay!

Finally we make it into the office and I am introduced as a new sales person. The woman immediately connects with me just by sight and he begins talking. I sit and listen and listen and listen. Finally she asks a couple of questions and I literally can’t take it anymore, I pipe in and start shooting off suggestions. One after another after another, he looks over at me, wide eyed and almost in disbelief! I keep talking, I am not an idiot and he has not just created the wheel, he needs to listen to her and he is not.

Finally the meeting ends and she walks us out. She is talking to me and we are laughing about something.

We get to the car and he says, “Now, that is how you make a sale!” Are you kidding, maybe I missed something, but I certainly did not walk away thinking that, oh well–maybe I am wrong!

~Pink

Published in: on December 8, 2009 at 7:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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The offer~

All I can say, it was easy – wayyyyyy too easy.  I should have known that this was not going to be a usual – anything. We had interviewed people and offered jobs to a handful. Everyone was freaked out about making money. And I get it. “We’re not here to make friends. We’re here to make money.” (I have to be a little pissed at someone to say this, but the truth hurts.) So, when I offered her the small weekly salary and higher commission, she said, “Okay, I’ll take it.” There was not even a hesitation. I know she came from money. Maybe she doesn’t need the money– God, she’s perfect!

We set up our training time and I prepared to overwhelm her with information. Ahhh, you gotta love the sales training process!

~Seltzer

Flat screen

She called, offered me the job, I accepted and would start on Monday! The problem was I didn’t even really understand the position; I wanted a job for extra cash, besides Christmas was coming.

I called everyone I know and made the position sound much grander then it actually was, but for now I would have some extra cash and I had solved one of my problemos!

 ~Pink

Hmmm … Interesting

Another resume pops into my e-mail. I’m both excited at the prospect of finding a sales person and wondering if the person I see on paper today will want a million dollar salary. UGH!

Good intro in the e-mail and no cover letter – thank God. Employers just want the meat. We’re not HR after all. A creative background in concept development (which I likened to script writing), local television production and as I scroll — insurance sales. Really? This girl made some changes to pursue a dream. Nobody bounces out of the security of the insurance industry for just nothing. Unless of course, they feel like their soul is dying. (Did I say that?) I know people who have been involved in the film industry, written television scripts and produced movies. You have to be tenacious to sell your ideas. The process is fraught with rejection and you are typically approaching heavy hitters. She’s perfect –especially the rejection part!

Is it just me or is this friggin product a bi*** to sell? And she lives in one of the areas we are trying to penetrate. Even better. A local (Is that like a townie? Will she have teeth? Well, of course, she lives in a rich town. Maybe she wears fur…) I digress. I sent her an e-mail, the only part of which I really remember is the first line: “Hmmm… interesting.” At the time, I didn’t think that was strange at all, but apparently I was wrong!

Seltzer

LOLBusiness 

Oh Goddd, a job!

A nightmare ruined my dream, literally. I had a dream I pursued it and then everything came to a halt because of the economy. That being said, I took the summer off to hang out with my boys day in and day out. Let’s just say by September -finances changed and I need some extra cash.

How would I write a resume’ that explained my past experience? I attempted it, it made me LOL and so onto Craigslist I went sending it out. I really could not see myself working for anyone else, but I needed the extra cash and thought what the hell-isn’t everyone in the same boat?

 I sent to every job on Craigslist because in my mind I was qualified for everyone. However, I hadn’t seen one that said “Make your own hours, be your own boss, do want you want to do, express your opinions daily, and get paid!” So I kept sending and sending and not getting any response!

 Until I received a response that said “Hmmmm..Interesting. Tell me more?” So I did and tried to explain my life, keeping it short, in about 4 sentences…I told everyone I received a response and they were happy for me, but at the time I didn’t really expect an outcome.

Pink

Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 6:24 pm  Comments (1)  
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