Death of a Salesman

My name isn’t Willy Loman, and I’m not suicidal. I am however, leaving behind a chapter in life that’s taught me a few things I can use in the future. Account Executive is the title found on the bottom of my emails, but lets be real…I’m a sales-guy. I spend my days talking with HR managers and recruiters about their hiring/recruiting needs. I share our features & benefits, convincing them they’ll find no better place to fill those needs than at one of our career fairs! Some take part, but the majority don’t. Sales is a a numbers game. Still, it has it’s rewards. After all, who doesn’t feel good after you’ve just talked with someone for 5 minutes and now paid your cell phone bill for the month.

(Photo by Dave Caudil) 

But back to the whole death thing. This is my final week at Ineedajob.com, before she gets a kiss on the cheek and a, “Welp, see ya later!” When I think about it though, I’m really just embarking on a new kind of sales position. My new email tag will simply read, Teacher. I’ll have to prove and convince a new boss and co-workers I know what I’m doing, and more importantly, sell a portion of America’s youth on world geography and historical events. And as with any “sales” job, we’re all in search of the best way to market and advertise our product/service. As a first year teacher, my marketing campaign will have to be great! 

Below are a few lessons I’ve learned that I plan on taking into the classroom on my new “sales job”…

Reward Your Target Audience – The kids that show they appreciate your service and efforts deserve recognition, don’t they? Without playing favorites, you can surely find a way to keep your customers wanting more and later becoming your best refferals. They’re great resources to convince non-buyers.

It’s a Numbers Game – The #1 cliche of sales is certainly true. Not everyone will buy into, or be interested in what you have to say/offer. That doesn’t mean you quit or give up though. That doesn’t mean a “NO” stops you in your tracks. It may often be a moment of bad timing, or perhaps just a cost they can’t factor into their budget. Some will buy, and you’re always looking to raise that number!

Out of Sight, Out of Mind – In my mind, I remember our conversations and those moments I almost made the sale. That same knowledge isn’t always shared by the other end. You’re easily forgotten. To resolve this, it’s necessary to keep in front of people/students, and always be on their radar. 

Call Reluctance Kills! – It’s easy to get discouraged and back away. It’s never real difficult to retreat. The seed will die if it isn’t cultivated…always. A follow up is required for growth, and a “NO” can’t change your attitude or overall objective. You’re there for the sale, and again, to have as many buyers as possible. There’s never enough.

Ask For the Sale – Sure, the features and benefits might be great, but not everyone will say, “sign me up.” It may take different approaches or a little push to get the results you want. Be careful to not be over-bearing, but it should be known…I want your business!

 

Wish me luck!

Testing…Testing

The benchmark for intelligence has long been measured by what we know as our “IQ”, or Intelligence Quotient. I’ve never known it to be much of a standard, and it’s far less notorious than your SAT, ACT, and GPA scores. IQ registers a person’s reasoning ability rather than education or knowledge. But before 1912 and German pychologist, William Stern, how did we know Plato, Aristotle, Da Vinci (est. IQ score of 220), or a host of other so-called geniuses were THAT intelligent? Certainly, they’re accomplishments speak for themselves, but I wonder how well they’d do on our modern “standardized” tests?

I was curious, so I took my own IQ Test online. In my research (10 minutes), I found that you can accomplish whatever score you’d like based on what that given site is selling! There doesn’t seem to be a standard “IQ Test”, but instead, a litany of promotional marketing sites that front their sales-pitch with a free test. I didn’t take any of these. I can’t honestly believe an accurate IQ score goes hand-in-hand with 5 DVD’s for $5.

My score on www.iqtest.com was 137, which I feel fairly good about. After all, that number fits into the “very superior intelligence” category. But still, I’m not quite sure of it’s overall legitimatecy.

I had always been told a score of 160 = Genius. I think Albert Einstein receives credit for this. This made me double-y curious, so I looked to the wide world of Google to find more answers (they’re always credible, right?). Below are just a few names you might like to compare yourself to:

  • Madonna = 140
  • Hugh Hefner = 152
  • Bill Gates = 160 (Wonder if they factor in “Biz Smarts”?)
  • Tony Romo = 124 (30 on the “Wonderlick”)
  • George Bush Sr. = 98
  • George Bush Jr. = 125 (Yes, that’s Junior…not Senior)
  • Kim Ung Yong = 210 (highest in the world)
  • Muhammad Ali = 78 (taken by the U.S. Army…hmmm??)
  • Lee Harvey Oswald = 118
  • James Woods = 180
  • Stephen Hawking = 160 (Yeah, but can he do a pull-up?)
  • Quinton Tarantino = 160 (“Kill Bill” equals E=mc squared)

As with everything else in life, you can always find someone worse off (dumber) or better off (smarter) than yourself. I’m sure my score went directly to the heads at MENSA for my opportunity to join the ranks of comedian Steve Martin and actress Goldie Hawn (yes, Goldie Hawn). I might even use it as a resume builder and provide a comparison chart to show I’m a better “reasoner” than President Bush and Tony Romo. Look for my name in headlines somewhere, doing something greater than these two hacks. : )

Quest for the Cup

Right now a Detroit Red Wing is napping next to a 116 year old trophy. Maybe he’s taking it fishing or stopping by his childhood rink? No doubt, some small child in British Columbia is getting their picture with Lord Stanley’s Cup this summer.

And while the Cup makes it’s travels to Russia, Sweden, Slovakia, Canada, and the USA, NHL teams are working on ways to stop the “Big Red Machine” (hasn’t that name been taken before?). Take for example the retirement community of Tampa Bay, FL where a new coach, #1 draft pick, and highly sought after free-agent from Pittsburgh (Ryan Malone) have changed the landscape on a cellar-dweller of the league. Or if you look out west, Vancouver vies for Mats Sundin, perhaps the league’s classiest and most decorated (statistically) captain.

 

July 1st always brings excitement. And even though you expect, and know it’s coming, you’re still anxious to see who gets who, and who will land where. Most importantly, your banking on your team’s ability to set themselves up for success in May and June.

Which brings me to “my” Dallas Stars. With the recent signing of Sean Avery, we’ve now become the league’s most hated team! (don’t even try to argue it). His antics in this years playoffs spawned the “Sean Avery Rule” after waving his weapon in front of the game’s best goalie, Martin Brodeur (check spelling below). Steve Ott is certainly an aggitator, but at least he’s a RESPECTED aggitator! Man, I love that guy.

Forget the fact that Mr. Avery is interning in New York this summer with Vogue Magazine. Disregard the fact that he dates starlets like Rachel Hunter, Elisha Cuthbert, and (cough) that prostitute linked to Elliott Spitzer. Ok, maybe they’re not ALL starlets. He was also featured on MTV’s “Cribs“, as well as Kelso’s brain-child, “Punk’d“. Needless to say, this guy brings much more to the table than generic Canadian hockey-skater-player-guy. He’s building the foundation early for his next “career”.

The Stars have made a name for themselves as the hard-nosed, hard-working, hard-to-play-against team of the NHL, and if you could find an ego (not Eggo) on the team besides Mike Modano, you’re just probing to closely. They epitomize what you’d want in teamwork, leadership, and chemistry; I’d hate to see that jeopardized.

 If I can continue, we’re also going to pay this guy $15.5 million over the next four (4) years! For a quick breakdown, I’d like to offer this statistical information:

  • That’s $3.875 million per year
  • 15 goals is Mr. Avery’s career high (2004 & 2008), 39 total pts.
  • If he matches that high, we’ll pay $258,000 per goal…$99,358 per point!!

Granted, he’s not paid for goals or production as much as the “full package” be brings to the ice. Plus, it’s fairly hard to put a dollar amount on hacking the opponent off every night. But I do know it’s not worth $3.875 million a year. I fear baggage that needs to be left in N.Y. and L.A. I fear a disrupted locker room. I fear playing short-handed. If he brings grit, physicality, and tenacity to the rink everday, good move for the Stars (kinda). But if Brett Hull and the front office want to compete against Tony Romo or Dirk Nowitzki, I hope the Rangers (NY) or Kings don’t mind a reunion tour at the trade deadline.