One more street,
One more week,
One more contact!
By Linda O.
Sales is a numbers game? Maybe this is debatable, but those of us who have turned our noses up to sales as a profession or have rejected the idea as a knee-jerk reaction have likely done so because we feel that deep down we don’t have the stomach to handle the seemingly constant rejection. Another thought may be that salespeople are pushy and we don’t want to be perceived in that way.
The truth is, we are always in sales mode, but we do it disguised under the labels of courting, (the princess kisses a lot of toads), or parenting, (aka bribery), or interviewing, (making yourself sound better than you are), or simply conversing, (recommending movies, restaurants, etc.) But as a profession, people have very strong opinions. If you are or were like me, you detest the thought of ever saying, “I’m in sales.” Like it or not, sales is a fact of life. Once we come to grips with that little dose of reality, how do you become successful at it? What I have found to be a fact of my life and the lives of others: More contacts trumps fewer contacts.
Here’s a no-brainer. Someone making ten contacts every week vastly improves their chances of success compared to someone making one contact per week. One will surely reap the rewards of constant, daily effort, and the other will grow frustrated until throwing in the towel altogether.
Here are two examples that I think of often.
When my daughter was a 16-year-old fashion model, a modeling agency owner from Milan, Italy scouted her at her agency in Dallas. Only days later she was living in a model’s apartment in Milan and spending long days going to casting after casting and not booking any modeling jobs.
After about three weeks of frustration and exhaustion (and no jobs), she called me and my husband to talk about coming home, saying “Maybe I just don’t have what it takes. There are a hundred or more tall, thin, beautiful girls from all over the world at every casting, and all we hear is next, next, next.”
My husband launched into his best ‘Father Knows Best’ mode, and I listened as her dad told her, “That agency didn’t fly you all the way to Milan not knowing if you ‘have what it takes’ or not. You are there because they know you have what it takes.” Before the call was over he shared with her an experience from his days selling cable TV door-to-door.
“It was a brutally hot August day, and I had knocked on doors until almost dark without making a single sale. Hot and tired and hungry, I decided to work one more street hoping to lift my spirits with a sale or two before calling it a day. That one last street brought me the single biggest sales day I had ever experienced!”
The story was enough for our daughter to decide to give it “one more week.” The next week she booked several modeling jobs, and that weekend she was on a flight to the Italian Rivera to shoot a catalog for Georgio Armani. Her next call to us was made using the phone by the sunken tub in her suite overlooking the Ligurian Sea!
One more street, one more week, one more contact! That’s my motto!