The thought for today is: A major key in life is to be able to laugh at yourself!!
I decided it was time to start paying some dealers a visit to sell my book. I figure, I have to start somewhere and thought if I walk into a place here and test the water, I will never see them again, so who cares, right!?! LOL :)
If this were someone else's product, I would have no problem, but there is something about it being your own that makes it scary.
I pulled out my handy computer with internet to map out where to go to get to the local dealership. I followed the most beautiful road as it wound around through the Pennsylvania farms.
There were rolling hills of green grass and old square farm houses tucked into the, now, forest of sticks.
This is a spot along the road that I thought was so beautiful!! The only spot where the trees were green. Everywhere else they were just the remains after the leaves had fallen.Radio didn't come in well and since some kid now has my iPod, I perfected my singing skills singing Lady Antebellum, I run to you, all the way through the mountains. I must say, I have become quite the singer!! Good thing I am tone deaf and all sounds perfectly in tune to me :)
After about an hour of driving, I rounded the last corner and wondered where on earth this dealership could be located. I was in the middle of the sticks. No town in sight, but low and behold, there it was. They probably had 50 trailers on the lot and lots of ATVs.
The sign said "OPEN." I have done sales all my life, and have always done well but the people had always come to me, not cold calling. There is something incredibly terrifying about walking through that door. When I reached for the handle, I looked back at the car and almost bolted. But I came all this way, I had a little chat with myself and walked through the door. The place was empty and you could hear a pin drop. There was a middle-aged man standing just inside the door. I asked for the owner and he said, "That's me!"
This, my friends, is where we begin sales training 101.
For starters, "umm, uhh, well, and huh" are not ear catching statements. And babbling doesn't endear them to you either.
Oh, so prepared, I had in my arms a copy of the book, my note pad and pen, and my fancy, new business card holder.
Feeling proud of myself for spending many, many hours preparing a brilliant defining statement, I opened my mouth and said those very valuable 15 words.
Note: A defining statement is a short statement that gets their attention.
Sales 101- You must know what to say after those first 15 words!!
I had this whole follow-up conversation planned out in my head but somehow it vanished and when he said, "Oh, wow." I became like a deer in the headlights. Didn't hear anything after that. What do I say now? This is where I used my large vocabulary of "umm, uhh, huh, and well." Then I think I said about 100 words of who knows what at a very rapid rate.
He asked if I had a business card and a sample I could leave him to review. Hmmm... I looked down in my arms and pulled out my fancy, silver, new business card holder and opened it up. Since we are starting on a shoe-string budget, we got the cheap business cards off the internet. 250 for something like $2.00. Such a deal!! I had gone through the cards when I got the box and the ones I saw looked fine, but with the man watching me, I pulled out a card and looked at it. I realized it was cut crooked. I slipped it back in my fancy holder and went for another. That one had the edge of the picture trimmed off. OOPS!! I put that one back too and the third looked presentable.
Now, I felt rather puzzled as to what to say about the sample. I had every piece of advice going through my head from everyone and the only thing I could do was stick out my hand with the book, but I didn't want to give it to him because it cost me money that I worked so hard for. And yet, I had nothing else cheaper to leave. I was like a kid who got $20 and had to give it up. I couldn't let go as he reached for it.
Finally, I let go and he took it. Flipping through the pages, he said, "This is great! Are you from around here?" "Nope. Not even close." Now my answers were too short. I think I said something about visiting family and where I was from, but really I don't remember.
By now, my stomach is coming out my eyes and I am rather unstable with nerves. He handed me his card and said, "We'll be in touch."
I slipped the card into my booklet, shook his hand and said, "Thank you!" I turned to make my way out of there but must have been standing with my legs locked because when I went to walk, they were like jello. I was wearing stylish boots that had heels - about 2.5-inches high mind you. I walked out like a 12-year-old that had just tried on her first pair of heels. I was sweating and my mouth was now full of cotton balls.
I got in the car and made the phone call to my mom that she should keep her day job!!
We spent the next half hour laughing and have revised our plan for the next stop.
It's like the first scratch on a new car; you have to go through it!
Later, she reminded me of the marketing material I had packed into my car that holds half my house. I had forgotten such valuable material when overcome with nerves.
Oh, goodness!! I think I had better say my bedtime prayer tonight. With hands together, "Dear God, Please give me the strength to go into the next place with grace and ease. Please let my mouth fill with the right words, not cotton balls. And please remind me not to wear heels so I can walk like a normal woman!! Thank you and good night!!"
You can see the details of the book on our website at www.rvingmadeeasy.com