I have come to the obvious conclusion that sex and sales are identical.
Today, I lost my sales-pitching virginity.
It was a bit odd. The door opened and I was greeted with “I’m not buying anything from you!”
That’s kind of like getting naked and being told “I’m not getting wet for you!”
You just know it’s going to hurt.
So I took a deep breath, tried to stick to the pitch and you know what?
I walked out without a sale.
To be fair to myself, I changed her opinion drastically. But the whole way home I was plagued with two conflicting emotions.
The first was confusion. Why hadn’t the sale gone through? What had I done wrong? Should I have said something differently? Should I have forced this issue a little bit more?
The second emotion was utter elation. I had enjoyed delivering the pitch.
As I was driving – and bemoaning the auto gearbox in the silly, expensive Nissan rental -, I didn’t time to have a flash of insight. But, once I got home and stuffed down a few mouthfuls of the weirdest salad I’ve ever had (pear, spinach, cheese, slices of smoked ham and balsamic vinaigrette) it suddenly hit me.
My issue with sales is exactly the same as my issue with picking up partners.
Objections are opportunities. I’m too quick to take things personally. “I don’t want you” and “I’m not buying anything from you” to me sound like “You’re wasting your time, go away.”
I pretend to not give up. I follow the motions. I have the “training” – for both pick-ups and sales – and I follow it almost diligently. This is the pitch, go through the motions.
I am not saying I do it dully. I do not use tired pick-up lines and questions with little thought – part of the motions are to inject enthusiasm and be smart with your questioning. But by simply ignoring their objection, I don’t deal with it. I don’t overcome it. It just sits there, like a big ugly chastity belt, and I don’t even look for the key.
It’s like choosing the road that’s had a wash out. I know I won’t reach my destination if I follow this route. There are hundreds of alternative routes that aren’t washed out. I could choose any of them. I could bring tools to rebuild the washed out route – or to build a bridge over it. I could bring a different car. I could choose a different destination.
I could do so many things. Instead, I drive right up to the edge and go “Ah. Fuck. Now what?”
This is the one thing I need to change: I need to deal with objections when they arrive.
Part of me thinks that I’m forcing them: if they tell me they don’t want me/the product but I then convince them that they do, I wonder if I’ve done the right thing.
Yes, I’ll get the sale or get laid, but I feel as if they’re just doing what I want.
And so whilst I’ll say I will deal with their objections, I’ll also bear something in mind: Do they need what I’m offering? Will I add to their life?
Sometimes, I meet someone and all I want is them. But I’m not going to add anything good to their lives. Perhaps they need a friend. Perhaps they have a partner and I’ll complicate that. Perhaps they don’t need to be involved with another human being right now.
It’s so easy to say – and believe – “If I don’t get them, I’ll never get with someone like that!”
Which is true. Everyone is unique. But that means that somewhere, there’ll be someone with all their qualities – all the things I love and desire – who’ll benefit from having me in their lives.
And the same is true of sales. I will not get everyone. And there’ll be sales I don’t get which I’ll really want. But that’s ok. Not getting one now doesn’t mean I can’t get one later – no matter how much I wanted it. It just means I simply try again.