Of the Reality of Sales

Einstein Quote

I think this justifies my messy desk at work. (Click image to view source).

If you didn’t know, I currently work as an advertising sales representative. Working as a sales rep immediately makes me the bad guy when I walk into most businesses. Sometimes they’ll magically disappear, start yelling, make up excuses, or my personal favorite – back away slowly and hope I don’t notice. Yeah, I’m going to notice. And if I’m told to come back in a month, I’m going to show up. Hell, if you mention your dog’s name, I’m going to remember. It’s literally my job to not forget.

But it isn’t always fun being treated like the gum on the bottom of a shoe. So many no’s get thrown at me in a day that when someone doesn’t say no, it’s like getting a high-five from Jesus. Course, not saying no does not mean yes, so that high-five often turns into a tease, and I end up hitting a wall instead.

There are four kinds of clients:

  1. The one whose afraid to tell me the truth because it might hurt my feelings.
  2. The one who is clearly better than I am and has no use for my services.
  3. The one who never is at the office.
  4. The one who says yes.

I figure the reality is eventually everyone might say yes. Or will say yes is a bit more optimistic. Still, my plight seems to remain the same, for every client gained, one starts to back away, and so goes the cycle.

With some people it doesn’t matter what I do. Their little faces become rigid, cold, and blank as they turn off their ears to what I’m actually saying. I could be offering them a free trip to stay at a castle in Spain and they would still accuse me of stealing their money. They don’t seem to grasp that I could help them. And they won’t, that is, until they are ready. Or until the right person comes along, with the perfect statistics, and makes them see that they need to do something to get their name out there. Jeez, who would have thought sales would be so similar to dating? I even get stood up at least once a week – go figure.

Of “Drive Safe”

Road Sign.

Click image to view source.

There are certain phrases we all say. Words that function like muscle memory. That are spoken without our brain having any choice in the discussion. So we say them, someone else says the appropriate words in response, and we continue on our way.

The phrase that I’ve been noticing the most, as of late, is drive safe.

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive safe.”

“Okay, bye!”

Why do we say that? Do we honestly think that if we don’t tell them to drive safe that something horrid is going to happen to them? That they’ll be driving along and they’ll think to themselves, I wonder what would happen if I turned the steering wheel really fast – oh wait, I’m supposed to drive safe. That’s not very safe. Thanks friend.

The words are merely a filler, in the way that we ask acquaintances how they’re doing expecting to hear the response, “I’m fine.” Sometimes words are just that, things we say because it’s the cultural norm, it’s expected, and we don’t even realize we do it. So I’ve started saying different words:

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive safe.”

“Damn, I was gonna drive ninety and backwards.”

Or

“Alright, I’ll see ya later.”

“Bye, drive dangerously!”

“Haha …… okay?”

I always get an awkward chuckle in response, suddenly, I’m seen as incredibly witty. And for what? Breaking our prescribed script. Changing up the normal conversation. If we all switched around our dialogue then one day simply saying, “Okay, bye,” would be seen as bizarre.

But what I find the most fascinating is that my changed words have become my script – it’s an inescapable cycle of habit.

Road Sign Swerve

Click image to view source.