My third year of sales, I once again had a new job. This one was more exciting than the previous two as I was finally working for a credible company. I was ready to try my hand at selling to Fortune 500 and 100 companies. The goal was finally to be able to say; “My clients are…” and put the recognized household name accounts on my resume.
To my surprise, it was relatively easy to get the buyer for one Fortune 500 company to agree to have me come in for an initial appointment. I was excited about the opportunity to meet with her and learn how her company made the buying decisions.
The day arrived for our meeting. I was asked to wait in the lobby while ‘Mary’ was to be located. Ten minutes passed, and then fifteen. Normally that was my limit for waiting. However, given it was my first entrée into a large company, I waited until the half-hour mark was reached, and then exited the lobby without success.
A second meeting was scheduled, and the same experience took place. New on the job, the manager was well-aware of my trying to get into the company. So I tried one more time only to experience the same. That was it.
Did I quit trying? No!
I figured I had nothing to lose, so I took the Motherly approach. I called the woman one last time. As she picked up the phone, I said, “You must be very embarrassed to have stood me up three times. How about you make it right this next time? All I’m asking for is for five minutes. If you find you do not like me, you have my permission to ask me to leave.” Embarrassed laughter could be heard, and then a new date was set.
On the day of the appointment, I met with the woman in her office. Fortunately, a clock was behind her desk. As Mary spoke, I interrupted to say, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I promised to give you five minutes for deciding if you want me to leave, but seven minutes have already passed.” I then asked, “Would you like me to leave now?” Mary turned beet red, but replied, “No, I like you, please stay!”
Within a month I had the first sale, and within six months the entire campus was filled with the equipment I was selling.
Moral of the story: Never give up, but find a better way!
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