GOING LONG FOR THE WIN
Edwin’s Incomplete Pass Ends a Sale
We’re calling on a major retailer during the holiday season.
We includes my trainee (whom I’m supposed to coach to be a super sales rep like me) and me, a super sales rep.
The headquarters store is huge, the company’s pride and joy. It’s decorated from top to bottom. Christmas trees sit on every floor, as do displays of Chanukah candles. Running on invisible fishing line down the length of each aisle are hundreds of spectacular glass ornaments.
In contrast to the anxious shoppers, my buddy and I are lighthearted. There’s a good chance we’ll be landing this company as a client. And if we don’t, holiday bonuses are coming our way anyway.
So it was with the joy of a school kid on Christmas break that I picked up a football and waved my trainee down the main aisle of the store. He jogged past shoppers, around some small displays and raised his hand signaling the fact that he was as open for business as the mega store.
I launched the ball toward my receiver.
Its arc took it toward an unseen wire and struck the slender obstacle, falling to the floor.
I watched in horror as the wire swung upward. It reached its peak and fell, 100 beautiful, delicate ornaments unhooking themselves, hovering momentarily in mid-air, then dropping to the ground.
Popping, shattering, tinkling – glass scattered down that aisle, showering shoppers and merchandise.
There was nowhere to hide. And nowhere to sell. The President of the company was on the floor, having come down to meet us. His only comment was (sternly), “Gentleman, call us after the season.” Of course they never returned another call.
POSTMORTEM: Edwin – Happy Holidays! Great visuals and sounds to the story. Question for Edwin & salespeople reading this; if you could play any sport in the world, then pick a teammate, who would you pick? I’ll bet nobody’s answer includes some 3rd grader who trips over shoelaces he or she could barely tie. What do you think your prospects would answer? Right, regardless of the sport, they’d pick the top pro out there. They want the same quality in vendors, the best pros out there. So act like a pro start to finish. And your sales call could end with the gift of a sale.