We were flying around the back roads of Georgia somewhere near Covington or Conyers, I think it was. It was rural. That I remember for sure. Anita, my District Manager and I were hustling to find a small carpentry business that was operated out of a large shed in some woman’s backyard. She was the business owner and we had just learned from her brother, whose masonry business we’d just left, that her carpentry business was underperforming and might need our “help.” Not enough cabinets being ordered, I guess. It was the hottest lead I had in the one week I worked for a company called George S. May International back in 2005.
We didn’t get the sale.
The job was to walk door-to-door, business-to-business actually, and try to sell the owner of the business a $300 initial consult – a diagnostic if you will. I must have walked through over 100 doors that week and didn’t sell anyone on anything. I’m not even sure I was able to make it past the “gate keepers” and talk with more than a few business owners.
Readers of my post won’t be surprised to learn that George S. May International is no longer in business. Taking the time to Google the company will yield some pretty funny reviews though. Yikes.
I had just moved to Athens, Georgia without a job. I was 25. I’ve blogged here on Linkedin about eventually finding a job at a mall furniture store which turned the tidefor me in more ways than one. At this point, I’ve pretty much dropped my week at George S. May out of the recesses of my brain. I never actually got a paycheck. It was 100% commission. I actually lost money because I bought suits and a briefcase.
The company did fly me to Chicago for an entire week of training though, and thinking back on it now, I remember enjoying it and learning a few things. One thing I recall from the training week was learning a script. In subsequent sales jobs, including a short stint at Gold’s Gym, I’ve found some level of scripted conversation was beneficial in pre-qualifying a prospect.
These days I am fortunate to be called on to watch demonstrations of all sorts of new and cool web-based platforms. I always say “yes” to at least listening to the presentations. I recall how frustrating it was to work in sales and cold call all day long (and walk into businesses!). My vow is to always be cordial and responsive to sales folks. I’ve been there myself, and I’m also married to one. Not all sales jobs are created equal, that’s for sure. But many of them can be down right humbling from time to time. Sales is a tough gig and I have a ton of respect for those who do it well.
Originally posted on Linkedin by HoosNetwork blogger, Ryan Catherwood
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