Congratulations to me! I had an anniversary at my place of employment. It’s been one year of working in a situation where I’m being mentored.
It’s been good. I think I’ll stick with it another year.
I learned a lot in this first year. Want to know what it was? Let me tell you.
The Importance of Building Relationships
I got it into my head that I wanted to be a master salesperson about two years ago. Luckily, I am already good at one element of that process… making friends.
In another part of my life, I had joined a business networking group in 2016 to promote my freelance content business. I got tired of writing other people’s content, but I don’t regret a second of my involvement in the group.
Because not only is that how I made the connection that got me hired on as a salesperson in a place I wanted to work, but I also built relationships with other business people. When the people I knew learned I’d gotten into sales, they started sending me referrals. They already knew me and trusted me, so it was natural to send me people who need my product.
I was surprised! I had no idea I was going to get into sales when I joined that group. In fact, I had sworn I’d never take another job again.
The moral of this story is that you never know where life will take you. Fundamentals, like building relationships and developing good people skills, will take you places you don’t even know you want to go yet.
You Must do the Same Thing Over and Over
“You and me,” lamented R, my mentor. “We’re going to drown in opportunity.”
Like R, I’m an “idea person”. On a good day I have several good ideas every hour. This is great fun.
You know what it is not? It is not a great way to get anything done. All those ideas get started and never finished.
I learned this year that the key to finding customers is to do the same thing over and over. Make calls. Send notes. Write blogs.
Do whatever the strategy is, but do it consistently.
Sometime in the fall of 2019, R got the idea to use a system a lot of realtors use. We started making a certain number of phone calls, writing a fixed number of notes and stopping by a given number of homes to drop off little gifts we made.
(“Gifts? Really?”, you say. Yes. We made a video of ourselves making candles and then gave away the candles. Next, I made little bags woven from strips of old clothes and put oranges in them. But that’s another blog.)
The results of all this consistency were a bit shocking. After six weeks of trying to figure out who to call and what to say, the number of referrals coming my way suddenly doubled. I’m not saying I sold any more cars in that period, but I sure did have the opportunity!
The moral of this story? Consistent effort works, but it also may show you the other skills you need to work on.
What will Year Two Bring?
I don’t know what comes next, but I’m sure it will be more hard work. That’s ok. I like to work and it’s very satisfying when I make sales and get paid.
I’ll just keep pecking away at it, like a chicken in a lettuce garden, and take the new lessons as they come.