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I Have Never...

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sales Plan

"I Have Never tried to write a sales plan."

OK. I know that sounds mind numbingly tedious, but I have been running away from my past work history for too long. I am steeped in sales up to my neck.

I used to work for A Big American Chemical Company. I gave them six years of my life.

The first three years I really enjoyed.
I was straight out of Uni and into a well paid job. I was soon driving a company car (a BMW) and out on the road.

Selling insulation into the building industry. Again, not riveting, but hey, how many jobs are?

I really enjoyed sales, too. The buzz of persuading someone to buy something that hours, days, weeks ago they would not have considered. My ethics were important to me and I believed totally in the product.

Then Emma joined the company. I'd been single for a while. She came in to replace my boss's outgoing secretary.

We got on. After a couple of months we 'really' got on. I guess I persuaded her. I sold the idea of me to her. The buzz of the sell maybe blinded me to the importance of the after sell.

Looking back, I was naive. After three months it petered out. For me, that three months had been great. She'd been a support at work, promoting my best features to my boss. I'd been very demonstrative about our relationship. Foolishly I told everyone at work. I'd meet her when she flew up to Manchester from London with flowers. I'll never forget the look of disgust on her face.

"How could you embarrass me like this?"

I'd never thought that someone wouldn't appreciate flowers. However, I see now that she was intensely private, and this caused a scene where everyone was looking at us. I like being the centre of attention. I guess Emma didn't.

Anyway, we split just after New Year 2001. I took it badly. My work declined. I was scared, though.

How could I possibly leave this great job? That paid well? Gave me a great car?

The material things blinded me to the fact that I could never be happy in this environment. I was no longer talking to Emma, and because of that I was no longer talking to my boss. I was left hanging out in the wind.

But I stick with it for what? 2,3 years?

I read somewhere recently (another blog, sorry I forget which) that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will jump straight out. Put a frog in a pot of cold water though, then gradually turn up the heat - eventually it will boil alive.

I was definitely a case of the latter. I'd found this cosy pot. I wasn't just going to jump because it got hot. I boiled.

My boss eventually told me that things needed to improve or I would have to be relocated to Germany.

Even then I considered bashing on.

What made me leave? One spring day I was sat in my parents' back garden. We were talking about work.

I admitted I hated it.

Mum said "So why don't you leave?"

I'd always thought that my parents would be disappointed if I quit this well paid, high flying job. I have this 'perfect son' thing. Here I was being faced with the fact that all my parents really cared about was my well being.

I rang my boss and quit the next day.

I remember listening to "There Goes The Fear" by Doves. It could never have been more appropriate. It was over.

I've always put this failure down to my dislike of sales. I never hated sales, though. I hated having to deal with a failed relationship. Having it rubbed in my face (Emma got together with another sales person in the company).

Now, in my new company, I am ready to re-approach sales. With open arms.

Come to daddy.

What have you learnt from failure?

3 comment(s):

Once we lived in a neighborhood with really awful neighbors. I loved my house - it was beautiful. I thought I could stay out of the conflicts among the neighbors, but, eventually, it came knocking at our door (literally). We put the house on the market and were in a new house within a month. The relief was tremendous. I hadn't realized how my stomach would cramp up as I drove towards my house, or how much I had hated being in my own front yard. Life is so much nicer, now, but I am still too worried to be friendly with the neighbors. (Is that what I learned? Sad.)

By Blogger Anne, at 12:19 am  

I hope you find a job you adore, and someone smart enough to adore you and all the flowers you bring to her!

By Blogger Candace, at 1:00 am  

I have to admit that I learned that "never start a relationship with someone you work with" lesson... When things go South, it really can make things uncomfortable.

I have also learned never, never to leave the tea kettle on the stove while you get a shower. It ruins the kettle, and then you have to go through the day without your morning tea.

By Blogger daftkitty, at 7:08 pm  

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