Home > Uncategorized > Don’t Anger The Sales God.

Don’t Anger The Sales God.


In sales, you establish your territory by producing a steady stream of revenue from your clients.  You increase your sales numbers by a combination of developing your relationships and by finding new ones.  Working on long-term projects will occasionally produce a whale of an order but you can’t count on it.  Even rarer, is the “blue bird” order that shows up on your desk.  This is the request you had nothing to do with, didn’t expect and is talked about in the cafeteria for the next few weeks.  You don’t base your sales projections on whales or blue birds but they sure do feel nice when you get them.

Seven years ago, I was working with a group of new salespeople and helping them get started in their new and respective territories.  The first step is always to introduce yourself to the existing clients and introduce the company and yourself to the prospects.  They won’t buy from you if they don’t know who you are.  One of the new sales people, “Ted”, caught a lucky break.  It seems the prospect was completely dissatisfied with his existing vendor and needed Ted’s help to complete an order for server equipment and he needed it as soon as possible.  The client’s budget would be approved within 3 days and on the fourth, Ted would have the order faxed to him.  Ted told him we could send it now and bill him later but the client wanted this to go by the book.  It seemed any deviation in the process had gotten him in trouble before.

Ted grew excited because the margin from this order was more than substantial for a veteran on the floor…let alone a newbie.  The next three days couldn’t come fast enough for Ted and I overheard him telling people at the water cooler about his fantastic luck.  I briefly took him aside and explained to him it would be best to not mention it until the order was in hand.  He heard me but he didn’t listen and continued to tell people about his sale.

As I walked past his desk I noticed he had a travel site on the screen and asked him if he was going on a trip.  He told me he had just booked a nice long, (and well deserved), get-away weekend for himself and his girlfriend.  It was at a pretty swank resort in the mid west and he said he found a good deal for it.  Having been in sales for years, I was able to hide the police sirens and flashing lights going off in my head with a smile and a nod and simply walked away.  He had committed a cardinal sin of sales…never spend your commission before you have it.

Finally, the fateful day came but the infamous order didn’t.  As the day was coming to a close and his nervousness was becoming more and more evident, he called the client.  It seemed the other vendor was able to make amends and fix their relationship.  All that had angered the client had been addressed and things were back to normal.  The client told Ted he appreciated the effort but since the other guy had already done so much work for the order he decided it was only fair to give it to him.  Ted got the ol’, “Thanks for calling.  We have now added you to the Approved Vendor List” speech.  Dejected and poorer than he was before, Ted returned to the phone and continued his work.  It seems every once in a while, someone angers the Sales god and is made an example to others.  Fortunately for Ted, it only happens once per person.

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