I am often asked how do I like being in sales? It’s a valid question; after all, part of my job is to sell promotional products.
When I am asked this, I always think back to my days as a Front Office Manager for an upscale resort. My General Manager sent me on a sales blitz to Toronto. Now this is normally the job of someone in the sales department, not the front office; nevertheless, he sent me for some strange reason. They armed me with a video of the property, which I didn’t have time to preview before I got on the plane.
When I got to my first appointment, I popped the video in ready for it to showcase my beautiful property and all its amenities. Well, the video was horrible. To make matters worse, we had changed names about 6 months previously and this still had our old name plastered all over it. I was embarrassed and not really sure how I was going to get through the remainder of this presentation, let along the eleven remaining ones that were scheduled for me over my three day trip.
When the video ended, I explained that the video they had just seen didn’t come close to capturing the beauty of the property – the elements of privacy, beauty, calm and the many small surprises to be found around our 43 acres. The bored looks turned into looks of interest and I had more questions than I had time to answer.
I didn’t use the video again. Instead, I showed pictures of the property that I had with me and told my audiences about it. I always had questions and comments about how beautiful it was.
When I returned to work, the Sales Director told me that they had already received five calls requesting more information about booking a group at our property and one proposal was already being drafted. I was an unexpected success!
This particular sales blitz was a group of Sales Managers (and me) from different upscale resorts around the US which were all affiliated with the Preferred Hotels group. I received three phone calls the week I returned offering me a job as a Sales Manager at three of the other properties that had been presenting alongside me. They couldn’t believe I was “wasting my time” as a Front Office Manager. I never even considered any of these positions; after all, I wasn’t a salesperson.
I still don’t consider myself a salesperson. What makes me successful in making sales is the passion I bring to the table when I speak about a product or service I believe in. Ultimately, my clients know that my job is to sell them my products and services. They also know that, when I am recommending products and/or services to them, it’s because I believe that it will work for them. My belief in and excitement about their potential results shows and they start to believe that it’s not just another marketing method, it’s a viable opportunity for business growth and goal attainment.
If you’re not passionate about what you sell, then why are you selling that product/service?