Someone DM’d me on Twitter asking if I was still alive. LOL. Yes but barely. The new sales job is hard. I’m working on average 10 hour days, which isn’t so bad. What sucks is that I’m both trying to learn and trying to sell at the same time. I don’t have the knowledge to make me “transactional”. In other words, I can’t just show up at a potential client’s business and sell them by the end of the meeting. I have to go back to the office, find out how much stuff costs and what we charge for them, find out how much labor is involved, find out if I’ll make any money on the deal… I do a lot of research just to make a sale. That takes time.
Also, since I’m new, I have no referral network. No book of business. I’m literally cold calling 98% of the time hoping to drum up business. I’ve made 2 sales, one last week and one yesterday. I’ve only been working for 3 weeks. Apparently that’s a pretty big deal for someone with absolutely zero experience in the security systems industry. My “training” is pretty abysmal. My boss calls it “earn while you learn”. Basically it’s get your shit in gear and start selling and just ask a lot of questions along the way. Making those two sales actually impressed my boss. He said:
Sales Manager: Seriously John, I didn’t expect you to sell anything your first month. I thought you were just going to take your time to learn everything, and slowly work up to sales.
Me: Well, shit dude, it’s not like you guys are paying me enough on base salary to sit around the office and do nothing. My savings is nearly gone, so I gotta make some money somehow.
SM: No, no, no…I appreciate the hustle. That is how you’re going to make money the first year. I just expected you to go a bit slower, but you know what, I didn’t when I was new.
Yeah but he was a technician for 8 years before moving over to sales. So he knew everything about security systems. I know next to nothing.
I’ve focused on learning just a few system, and what they actually accomplish. I don’t know their inner workings but I know what the end result is. So that’s what I’m selling, in the end, what do you want your system to do? I think my boss was intentional about that. During my interview he said:
SM: The old school way of doing security system sales was to have the salesmen know absolutely everything about the system. Basically we wanted techs to be salesmen. But you know what? Salesmen don’t need that perfect knowledge. I want you to know enough about the systems so that you can accurately sell what they are going to do. However, the customers aren’t going to buy a security system, they’re buying you. If they like and trust you, that’s when you make a sale. You, John, obviously have a natural knack for that. Which is why you would be very successful in sales. Let us worry about the ins-and-outs of a security system. You go win the trust of the customer.
So I show up by 7am, spend hours on the computer researching, spend some time on the phone, then I drive everywhere, and leave around 5:30 or 6 to go home. I’m usually pretty spent by then. We put the kids down around 9pm and I go to bed. My wife is disappointed that we don’t get to watch Game of Thrones after the kids go down, but she understands.
All this leaves me with no time to write. Which is disappointing. I hope that will change as I become more efficient in the sales process. Sorry for being so absent the last 3 weeks. But I’m literally trying to earn enough money to live. I got my first paycheck yesterday: $1,200. All base salary. So without sales that’s about $2,400 per month or $28k a year take home. Yeah, I need to make some sales.
Everyone at work tells me I just need to be more patient. That I will be successful and that I will make good money, but it doesn’t happen over night. First year is going to be the hardest, but if I do it right, then it should get easier from there.
I don’t have a year to wait. I need it now. So I’m going to bust my ass now. Work harder than everyone in there so that my family can live comfortably ASAP.
A big thanks to my Patron’s who covered the gap this month. You gave me close $300 at the end of the month. That obviously makes a huge difference!
I’ve got so much more to write about. I hope I find the time to.