So I made the jumps from lowly residential tech all the way up to National accounts representative and traded in my beloved system III for a suit and tie. This didn’t happen all overnight of course and I certainly felt like I paid my dues but why did I not feel like a man who was on his way up with such a bright and successful horizon ahead?
I’m sure you’ve read my story by now how I transitioned from a tech servicing houses to the prestigious commercial route and from there to a salesman. Oh how I loved that work but it was time for my career to advance and this mega company I worked for had that all mapped out. Managers all seemed to rise up through the ranks and branch leaders were born from the best of these desk bound sergeants. From the branch you moved to the center of this tree and the really great generals eventually became part of the roots which is of course the strength of any tree. Getting to any of these points was a huge accomplishment and the pay seemed to me like something I’d never have any other way. So I started my quest to become a strong part and it all began with a commercial sales class.
I had done Ok with residential sales but I never hit the numbers the hot shots did. $15 grand was the best I could muster while those boys did $25 to $30k every month. Like I said everything was mapped out in our world and it came time for a boost in commercial sales and we all had to attend a 3 or 4 day class. I excelled in the question and answer parts and mapping out treatment strategies was so easy because I had actually done thousands of treatments for just about any business you can think of. The class coordinator was himself a big player in the company and he was as sharp as a tack. I learned so many things about by passing secretaries and getting to the right people that could say YES to our service and putting together tailored proposals from a stock format. We even worked out cue cards for the different companies we’d call on with perfect keywords and phrases that made it impossible to say no to the appointment we were trying to set. Unbeknownst to me this class was actually a recruiting tool and our teacher took a liking to me and saw some real potential for a full time commercial salesman. It didn’t hurt my chances any when I sold a $5000.00 job for a local restaurant with a $500.00 initial fee on day 3.
To my surprise my manager wasn’t at all happy about the announcement in our private meeting that I would become a commercial salesman. I think part of the reason is that my monthly draw would be relaxed significantly and if I didn’t make my numbers one month he’d have to carry my negative numbers with no questions asked. At first this was a huge relief to me because anyone not making their 30 day quota’s in sales actually owed the company money and it would be taken out of their next months commission. Starting a month in the hole was always a terrible motivator and I did that a few times. Maybe another reason my manager balked was because in reality I was not a great or natural salesman. I think I helped more people off the hook for problems that were not worthy of a years contract than anyone & somehow I think he knew it. He however did not have the last say in the matter and when our little meeting was over my manager had to make the call to the printer for my new cards with the raised lettering.
To be continued;