I Hate The Man In Salesman

#Workplace

Mon, Oct 20th, 2003 03:00 by Richard Campbell ARTICLE

Friday I sent out a barrage of applications for jobs. I get a call on Monday. They want me in on Tuesday for my first interview, in sales.

Never have I had interview where I was entirely confident from start to finish. Which is amazing considering I have absolutely no background in the field of sales at all, even remotely. That night I get a call, I've passed! For a bunch of sales-whores they sure do know how to make an easy "Answer-what-we-want-to-hear-not-what-we-want-you-to-think" question form.

That should have had me running. I didn't though, I was determined to learn sales. My mind started screaming but my confidence negated it. I hate sales. I can't stand it. It's the last thing I want to be doing. I hate salesman. I was becoming one of them. On purpose. Willingly.

The next day they have me in for an eight hours (read twelve) interview. Until then, I still have no clue what the job entails. They made it sound like marketing, but then again sales is always about bending words.

I'm paired off with a salesman (they like to be called representatives and I like being called big cock daddy, but that ain't going to happen). Then we take the bus and I have to fund the tickets. I'm not impressed. We get to a high-income residence and we start to field our work. I watch and watch and so forth and I knew they wanted me to ask questions about the way the company works. So I finally guessed all the procedures, the three step, the five step and eight step bullshit commandments. The most important thing that day was learning how easy it was to sell.

Went back to office, they got rid of the second day trial and got me on retrain (50 bucks plus commissions, now I can buy that mansion I always wanted). The irony is they probably thought they payed me shit, but I was learning on their time with their resources. I would have done all this free of charge.

Exit building at 11 pm. I had been standing since 9 that morning. Hard day, gotta rest up for tomorow.

The morning started at 10. Everyone files into a room where no can sit down or lean, because this is to promote EXCITMENT and FUN! There's loud dance music pounding and people sales pitching to each other. We went through the first two steps for that company which was the Intro (Hi my name is...) and Story (I'm doing some advertising for...). My first effort was pitiful but Mr. Blank encouraged me and I managed to get something worthwhile out before we went out on the field. The atmosphere is bizarre, all these internal corporate slangs.

Juice = Join Us In Creating Excitement

Usage: That sale was Juicy.

"Dude I made a sale!" - "Juice!"

Yeah, I'm thinking the exact same thing.

I go out and follow Mr. Blank around for a while longer. In about two hours he puts me at my first door, and I did well enough. The fear was pretty nerve wrecking but after that, things got easier. I had no prior sales experience and Mr. Blank was pretty impressed (or just buttering me up with flattery). We hobbled on and it got the point where he trusted me and had me do the whole sales pitch on my own.

I love talking to people a lot more then I thought I did. It's energising and my ability to catch on and do good astounded me. I don't mind sales at all now, seeing as two days prior I loathed and hated it. I realised I liked sales and hated salespeople.

I noticed a difference though between the compliments I got and the compliments Mr. Blank got. His where something like "You're a good salesman, you're good at this" right after not making a sale. Whereas mine where along the lines of "You are a gentle man" or compliments about my person and not my sales skill. Considering it was my first day out, I wasn't expecting the later. (compliments about my sales skills, that is). Yet somehow it felt nicer to be complimented on my person as I know that I could be myself any time I wanted. Where as compliments on your sales abilities end with that job.

Something else I noticed was the lying. Mr. Blank lied a lot to keep himself happy. He lied about caring about my social life by asking dry and boring questions that had no real follow up. He lied about the sales he made that night. (I checked while he was at the bathroom, he said six, in fact he only made one). He lied to his co-workers when we came back to HQ to his colleagues on how the day went by saying "GREAT!" One sale in eight hours in not great, it's pitiful.

Also their whole system relies on the law of averages, and though it applies in some situations, accepting it, as a law for marketing, is lazy and short sited. Everything about their goals and habits is short sighted.

But I have to say, it is set up by the owners of the company in an ingenious fashion. Your only paid for eight hours of work yet if you don't come early and leave late you're not a team player and your fired. You come to work at 10, nothing much you can do in the morning before work. Then you stick around till 9-10 at night. Nothing much you can do at night. They've blended social life and work life together so that they in fact have the employees 100%. They've built a "HAPPY FUN RAH RAH!" System that makes it a crime to be sad or feel bad. The meeting in the morning and night can last up to four hours in total, these hours are unpaid, but are disguised to feel like a party. No one talks about real life at the company HQ and every single conversation is passed on as fake "what do you like doing for fun" questions. Every other question is about work. I am in awe.

So I quit, because it was draining my soul every second I was there. Yeah I know what you're thinking; "You loser. You quit, you don't have what it takes". You're entitled to your opinions. It doesn't change the fact that I've broken over a barrier I've had for ten years now. My confidence soared, my personal skills have been uncovered. I still have to work with them, that's why I'm going to find another job in sales.

I realised I don't mind fieldwork at all. I've learned so much, and I'm very glad that pushed and pushed to do the door to door thing. To become someone I loathed to see at my own door step. To me this is priceless.

The last thing I want to say of note is this: Salesman often forget that people are smart and intuitive. These people are just like you. They are you. They aren't suckers or losers. Imagine pitching to yourself and trying to sell yourself something. What would it take? How could you inform them that this service is beneficiary to there life and goals. How could you explain to them that they are turning there money into gold and not into trash.

They can tell when your are smiling because your greedy or smiling genuinely. Mr. Blank probably hardly noticed this but the reactions people had to his pitch wasn't of comfort and ease but of "Where the fuck do you come from?" Most of the folks he assaulted with his verbal garbage seemed to be decent hardworking folks who deal with bullshit on a daily basis.

Respect and be generally interested in who you sell to and you'll see how willing they are to co-operate.

If their company is entirely based on the law of averages, one sales for every nine visited, then salesmanship has nothing to do with it? All you need is a monkey or a robot that can push doorbells. That's what they've got as a work force. No thank you. Unless I can be creative and ring those doorbells with my cock, I'm not interested. The thing is, while I was there, I saw so many opportunities for the company to make money. They would just have to get rid of there "Law of averages Policy."

Lazy fucks.

The most important thing is to focus on those who you enjoyed spending time with. Firstly you'll be much happier inside. Secondly, you may make two sales less being compassionate and empathetic, but the lasting impression you leave on your customer base will make the product you've sold them seem a lot more important and precious. Remember that people will remember you genuinely appreciating them long after you've forgotten them.

I'll continue doing sales. I love the work, hated the people.

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