My career requires me to do something that strikes fear and horror in 75% of Americans. Research shows that most people would rather die instead of making a cold call: in the moment, do or die sales. But as my Father says, “If it was easy everyone would do it.”
I have always struggled with anxiety; it is my enemy and a nemesis. A few years ago I made a decision: if I failed at sales it would be because I was not good enough, not because I was afraid. Today, yesterday, and tomorrow I step out of the box (no pun intended) go to work, and sling those boxes.
Although, these feelings are always hiding just below the surface, I secretly crave taunting my irrational fear. The rewards are great and it is always a worthy offense. I get a rush from the rebellion and enjoy the surefire satisfaction. In high school my Mom gave me a key chain that said: “You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. I still have the key chain and cherish the sentiment.
Here is the anatomy of a cold call:
I drive to an industrial part of the city – warehouses galore, roll up doors in every direction. I have all my tools: Leather-bound note pad, favorite blue pen, and business cards neatly tucked away.
“Alright, it’s now or never: park the car and get out immediately.” I command myself. It is game time and there is no turning back. “Alright champ, take a deep breath,” I whisper under my breath. “Don’t talk to yourself like a weirdo.” I accidentally whisper out loud again. My brain is full of static excitement as I hastily make my way up to the warehouse back door. “I have one speed, I have one gear: go.” – Charlie Sheen.
I see a gentleman eyeing me suspiciously and my heart is pounding, I bravely clutch my binder. “O.k. Amanda, queue that sheepish/lost/cute/friendly grin.” I’m thinking. I remind myself to relax, because I have a tendency to scrunch up my shoulders and have awkward hands. He’s probably been in the warehouse since 5:00 AM and welcomes my presence as a much needed break. Even if the break consists of shooing me out of his warehouse. I think he might tolerate my sales song and dance.
“Hi, my name is Amanda, I’m with Renew Packaging Solutions. I was wondering if you buy any packaging supplies.” It is simple and to the point. He tells me that they buy some stuff and doesn’t emphasize further. And that is fine by me; all I need is the invitation.
This is where I come alive; this is what I am hard wired to do. I know who I am and what I am selling. I know with out a doubt that he should buy from my company because I believe in what I do, sell, and supply. Maybe all that tiger blood talk wasn’t crazy, because I’m feeling it.
I tell this potential customer: It takes 16 trees to make 1 ton of boxes. Not to mention the fuel, emissions, water, electricity, chemicals, and ink. Overrun corrugated boxes offer the most Earth friendly alternative to buying packaging. “Duh, Winning.”
The majorities of our boxes are unprinted or have little print. These boxes generally produce a cost savings of 50% from our competitor. (hello, again: WINNING.) This is High-quality, affordable corrugated that is perfect for shipping goods in the most cost effective, environmentally friendly way possible, thereby reducing the carbon footprint on our environment.
I tell him to spread the word about Earth-friendly recycled cardboard boxes, He can tell retailers or clients about taking part to help reduce green house gasses, deforestation, and packaging waste by purchasing with our company.
I make a sale: The End
That is not the end: that is one sales call out of many. I take a chance to be rejected every day. I stand up to something that scares me and I sell something I believe in – and I like it.