I’m not a good salesman. I used to assume I would be because I just assumed I was probably good at everything. As it turns out, I’m not. I know this because I’ve tried it and it wasn’t that fun.
You may remember a trendy fad known as the “internet.” It was kind of big in the 2000’s and should be fading into obscurity anytime now. I sold that. Briefly. Door-to-door. This year. It was quite an experience, the likes of which I’d hoped to never encounter again.
As a door-to-door salesperson, your job is to convince people to buy things that they probably shouldn’t buy. For me, that happened to be slower internet for more money than other local competitors.
“Mbps [download speed] is just a number,” my boss said during training, as if this negated the fact that it’s a pretty significant number. “Show people that this is what they need.”
And that about wrapped up training as my companions and I set off into the wonderful world of sales.
The general idea seemed to be: find poor, stupid people and knock on their doors. But it wasn’t as easy as that sounds. In fact, besides finding people dumb or nice enough to let you into their homes and show them your product, there was the problem that it never actually worked when you went to demonstrate it.
Imagine the hassle of trying to sell an internet modem on the merits of its ease-of-use while simultaneously speaking with customer support on why the unit isn’t working and standing on a chair in the corner of the house to get the best signal.
“Yes ma’am, this is a fluke occurence I can assure you. It worked just fine right outside your house. In fact, I think it might be very nice for you to have internet on your own front porch. You didn’t want to be cooped up in the house all the time anyways.
“Ah, yes I’m still holding. No, I already tried resetting the unit. Oh, I see. It doesn’t work and I should proceed with the sale as normal.”
By the end of my adventure I was top salesman for the region with a whopping two career sales and a new respect for any job that doesn’t involve walking down the street in the rain to receive dirty looks at every door.
The truth is, I can’t even sell myself on the idea of selling things anymore. Which is unfortunate, because my current job has recently added that to my list of responsibilities.