My new business plan?
My “traveling salesman” days are coming to an end quickly and actually, it is long overdue. Traveling sounds exciting to many and it is for the first few months, but as most of you peddlers know, the road gets old, fast. New places and faces are great but not so much if you would prefer to be a family person and have interest/hobbies that are better enjoyed in one place, home. For someone who thought my college counselors were crazy for recommending it and thought the word was a bad one, I sure changed my mind.
During college I tried my hand at selling ‘cause I needed the money. My counselors were right, I was a natural but I had a bad feeling about what I was doing because even though my product was good, I was selling to people who had much more important things to spend their money on. I stopped the day I sold something to a young woman in Cookeville who needed it for her children. Halfway home, I turned around, gave her the check back and turned in my samples the same night.
I thought I turned my back on sales that day, but in actuality, I just changed the parameters. I worked in a factory and a gas station, back when giving service was as important as pumping the gas. I didn’t think of it at the time, I was selling again but this time I was providing a service and something they needed. Some of the folks may have needed the previous product, but my focus was on getting the sale, not on serving the customer.
Jumping ahead, I have been in a form of sales ever since. Selling the company I worked for, selling their goods in a retail environment, selling service, selling a food product, etc.. I did not regain the actual title again until a good friend suggested I fill a position calling on him in an industrial environment. Once again, I did not see myself as a “salesman” but he helped me understand it was much more than actually presenting a product and in his environment no one was going to sell them something they did not need.
I was selling the product PLUS. The plus was my service to their account and the service my company gave them as well. Hmmm, that was a much more comfortable pproach. After I joined the company my sales mentor, Tom Hutto showed me how to enjoy the experience and work smart, not necessarily hard. Once I enjoyed and did not fear what I was doing, I was able to work long hours without it having the “work” feeling, thus removing the feeling of working hard.
On a side note, several years ago I found out Tom had passed on the exact day I was searching for him. Good fellow and I feel a loss even though we had not been in touch for many years.
Now that I find myself on the other side of the great divide (time when I have lived more years than I will live in the future) quality time with my wife, friends and “living” has become even more important. But the “itch” to sell continues to be a part of my life, but more online. While Deb and I have actively been online for over 15 years, it is time for me to step up my “game”.
No worries, I’m not about to start putting affiliate links in this blog, or trying to send you to our different online stores, but I might just be talking about the process more than I have in the past. If some of you find yourself in a similar position, maybe by ramblings can help.