Magic

 

The right place at the right time.
Pumpkin in November: the right place at the right time.

The magic of a sale is only magic if you believe it is. What feels magical is more likely to be the result of a number of probabilities all falling in your favor…but where’s the fun in that?

The challenge, in my opinion, lies in post-game analysis of why you did not make a sale. Success speaks for itself. Failure – aka success, delayed – can be cause for disappointment, over-thinking and even angst. If you’ve had serial failures, it can really get in your head. Doubt is the emotion most easily transmitted to the world, a consequence of which is the sales death spiral. Okay, that’s too dramatic. But finding and keeping a positive attitude is the most important activity in the wake of a non-sale.

Keeping a good face is an individual enterprise. I like to be logical. My logic about how selling works is as follows:

 

A sales success is the result of having:

1. The right product or service…

2. In front of the person who wants or needs that service…

3. (For which they have the money to pay…)

3. At the right time.

 

Note how little input your humble salesperson has to this calculation. You and I have control over only the introduction of the potential customer to our product, and nothing else. Which makes a successful sale less about magic, and more about turning up.

TP Towers

 

Everyone loves a TP tower!
Everyone loves a TP tower!

Folks in my business talk about warm markets and cold markets. My understanding is that “warm” refers to people I already know –  friends, family, acqaintances and work colleagues.”Cold” refers to everyone else, meaning people I have yet to meet.

In truth, I’m stuck. I’m stuck at the point where I’m reticent to talk to my warms about my company, and I have yet to find a clear way to talk to my colds. Mostly that’s about fear. Like most people, I don’t want to be rejected, nor look like a fool, nor hear “no”. It’s natural. But all of those excuses are totally in my mind, because I haven’t even approached even one – ONE!  cold person.

The good news is that I have pretty clearly identified the areas in which I want to focus. Pet-sitters, hair and spa owners and fitness pros. The idea is to get really good at understanding these folks. If I can know how they are likely to view my products before I talk to them, it will give me lots of confidence. However.

The point is that to get to know how these people as individuals will think in general, I will have to talk to a few of them. That risks, of course, failure, but that’s fine. I need to consider that to be a reconnaissance for future gain. Finding the right balance between actually trying to make them a customer and doing my reconnaissance will be a trick, but if I have zero expectation, I can’t be disappointed.

Which brings me back to the warms. I think the conventional wisdom is wrong. Warms are likely to be better propects after I’m an established salesman. They know me as something else; colds will only know me as the sales guy who made their life better. Something about success being attractive.

Oh, and TP Towers? Just wanted to sing the praises of my company’s daily fibre drink. Happiness can be as simple as a regular, fluffy pooh. It’ll tell you a lot more about your internal health than you might think.

 

Faultlines

Face the morning.
Face the morning.

Observing how the rollout of Obama’s federal healthcare act is proceeding makes it clear to me that our society here in the US is divided along some pretty clear faultlines. The lines of demarcation aren’t new. What’s happened is that the upheaval in the medical insurance market has made them more visible, like an earthquake clarifies the existence of techtonic plates.

The way I see it, there are four basic social groups in the US:

+ the independently wealthy and those with reliable independent incomes

+ those folks who work for solid companies with good to very good health insurance coverage

+ the folks who either work for governments or are on the roles as entitlement recipients

+ everyone else.

This last category is the one that I fall into. My employer does not, so I have to provide my own health insurance. That comes from after-tax dollars, and at the moment, I am not covered. The premiums for my catastrophic cover (with a $10,000 deductible) doubled in the last two years: it was unaffordable.

It seems to me there are two ways to proceed. The first way is to accept the exchange concept, and take my chances with government-sponsored insurance. In fact, I have no choice, because without any insurance, I’ll be fined per IRS.

The second way is to accept that path for a while, all the time doing my best to leapfrog into category one, by being a successful salesman. You can tell which path I prefer – prevention, pre-emption, good lifestyle, and independent income with insurance to match.