Never in my life did I imagine that I would end up in a marketing job. Expect the unexpected. My job requires me to do a lot of stuff, one among which is business development and marketing. I have no prior experience nor am I a business student. I come from a media background and am doing something completely unrelated. So to be frank, I don’t know how this shit works, but I learn from others and make it up as I go along. I read ‘Marketing for Dummies’, read a lot of internet articles, even watched the movie ‘The Internship’ to see how sales and marketing is done effectively. All I can say is that I’ve gained some confidence.
As far as I am concerned, I find this job to be very humiliating. I’ve personally had a lot of bad experience. My role is not just introducing one product, but promoting a company as whole offering a wide range of services. Since we are a supply and services oriented business, my main target is the procurement department, purchasing heads and officers and the so-called buyers.
Now that I look back at some experiences, I laugh at them. But back then; it felt very frustrating and embarrassing. One time I got to meet a purchase head who gave me an appointment at an odd time after several pestering phone calls. So I pack up my profiles and other crap, and visit him. After the usual greetings, as I start to explain, he interrupts me and says, “Listen Mister, I am not interested in your products or company. I deal with the manufacturers directly. I don’t need suppliers like you and moreover you look like a trader. You make so many phone calls, so I thought I’ll put an end to it with this appointment. That’s all”. Needless to say, I was shocked and disgusted. Just because you sit in a top notch company and meet hundreds of sales people like me daily, this is not the way to reject someone.
Another time, I visited a company and stopped at the reception. The receptionist was on the phone and held the receiver away when he saw me waiting. I told him politely that I needed to see the Purchasing Head. He asked what company and went back to talking on the phone. I replied and wasn’t even sure if he was talking to me. He scribbled a name and number on a post-it note and gave it to me still talking over the phone. I waited. After he finished, I asked him, “is this the number of your purchasing head?” To which he replied, “No. It’s the number of the driver.” For a second I wasn’t sure if that was the truth or sarcasm. Then he said, “I have been working here for 5 years, I know how to give the number you asked for.” I just walked away. Can’t deal with rude people.
There will be shitty situations, and then there will be some real good listeners you will meet on the way. You got to take things in good sport. Don’t get bogged down by the idiot who is busy on the phone messaging while you’re explaining your products, don’t fret when someone acts big headed and tries to demean your company. Basically, don’t give a fuck.
Imagine a race. If your horse is the best in the race, the jockey that is you will get credit. And if you have a dead horse, no amount of whipping it is going to help you win. A sales person in Apple won’t have trouble selling a computer as many just want to have that brand on their desk. The same does not go for a China made PC. The minute you sense that all hard work and efforts are not yielding fruit, it’s time to reassess. Never underestimate your skills.