Little Acorns – PBEvent Reflections

Years ago, I took up a high paying, cut throat sales executive job with a small, yet extremely niched IT company.

The new role came with promises of a massive portfolio of large brand, big budget corporates. The plan was to sell lots of hardware IT equipment to these big guns and therefore guaranteed of  juicy fat commission sales cheques.

(Ashamedly I confess, it was all about money and material matters back then…)

What happened on the first day, couldn’t haven’t been any further from the potential riches originally offered.

I sat at my desk, fired up my new lap top to find that it was bare of any existing customers, let alone Top 50 BRW ones.

Instead, I was thrown into the ring of fire and forced to make my own sales opportunities.

I had zero prospects but had a quarter of a million dollar quota that needed to be achieved in the short 3 month probation period.

I was doomed.

I had only one option. Make dreaded cold calls.

“Hi, I’m Grace from blah, blah company. Would you like to buy some very expensive hardware that I’m not sure you really need? ”

Luckily, I befriended the office receptionist. Being the only other female, Jules hailed from Northern England. With her endearing strong Yorkshire accent she was sweet, down to earth and my sole cheering squad.

She would constantly overhear me make all those awkward phone calls, later confessing she would secretly hope that the next call would be “The One”.  The mega buck deal.  The big ticket to get me out of hot-sales-quota water.

To help me (and save me from the further soul destroying telephone rejections), Jules started to pass on all customer inquires that came through her direct phone line.

Keeping my spirits up, she always reminded me that it didn’t matter how small or vague the customer’s questions were, they were all in some form, a sales lead.

“Little acorns, Grace. You gotta start with the little acorns…”

Sometimes they were duds. Other times, would just stayed stagnant. And for the rest of them, they never started off as a big opportunity. They all took time, work and effort.

What mattered the most was when Jules gave me a contact name and number to call, it was a door opening; an opportunity to start a conversation with a potential customer; one step closer to building a relationship.

All those little acorns, started to slowly fill the vast gap of the dreaded sales target. And when those acorns grew into big sturdy oak trees, then I started to really celebrate.

Darren Rowse opened the PBEvent last Friday with a speech about how most things start small. But small consistent actions can have a big impact.

It can be a s simple as taking 15 minutes a day to slowly chip away to get to the bigger picture.

We all have an endless list that can help our blog grow.

There’s a media kit that requires my urgent attention. It’s also time I started contacting relevant brands and PR companies. There’s even an eBook within me that’s begging to be released.

To get to all of that, I’m going back to my acorns. And like past days, none of this is going to happen immediately.

But it’s sure to be a steady growth, with mindful steps taken along the way.








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  1. says

    Such wise words there Grace and a very timely reminder for me as well. From little things big things grow. If only I had a big cuppeth of patience to drink from

  2. says

    Mindful steps. What a lovely (bloggy) analogy. I approach it like you too Grace because everytime I try to think why arent I taking off I remember that the most important part is to connect with the people that actually bother to read my stuff. Connecting is the fertiliser for those little acorns. Go you x

  3. says

    Great post! Love the analogy. Today I am really kciking myself for not getting the chance to speak to so many people. I saw you in the distance but just could never get past the distractions to say hi. It was lovely to see your smiling face, even in the distance!

  4. says

    Gah! I hate making cold calls!

    And you are right, all it takes is for us to make one step :) Writing a media kit has been on my mind for way too long. I’ve finally finished my 30 before 30 list which I’ll share later this week, and yes, that darn media kit is on it too ;p

  5. says

    Just what I needed to hear today. I am plugging away, but it seems like such a huge mountain that I am chipping at. Little by little I will get there :)

  6. says

    Great post Grace. Still suffering conference envy over here. But the little snippets that you and others are posting have been wonderful. Thanks for making us feel a little less left out of the wisdom pool. Acorn bucket. Whatevs. I just like it, ok?

  7. says

    Grace-thank you for this post. As a new blogger I have been caught in the trap of statistics, networking, flogging my blog and getting slow feedback.just this week, I decided to concentrate on my subscribers(all 7 of them) and my readers (not sure the number-maybe google Analytics is broken ha ha) and put out meaningful posts. Some have 1-2 comments, others none. But I am starting as I mean to go. Slow and steady gets there in the end. I want my blog to help others, not be a popularity race. Blogging is a roller coaster ride but I sure do love to blog. Good luck with all your bloggy dreams xlisa

  8. says

    Great blog post, I really love the idea of acorns, sometimes I get so bogged down that I achieve nothing. Might as well do some it rather than none of it!

  9. says

    These are great words to share. My blog is nearly one year old and it has changed so much in that time. I have learned SO MUCH! It is still just a little part time project for me, but all those little lessons, little bits of chipping away, have had a huge impact in the course of a year. Onwards and upwards. :)

  10. says

    This is the exact concept I was thinking about when I decided to start afresh without a niche… To start small, concentrate on the writing instead of the flogging, and to approach each task of “blogging” one step at a time.

    Love the analogy of something I have failed to find words for xx

  11. says

    I used to be convinced about the importance of the corporate ladder. My power hungry twenties. Now – meh. I’m happy being a SAHM for 5 or so years. And then maybe more some if I can get away with it. I’m blogging because I want to blog. Not for the money. But the stats do help make it feel worthwhile. A little bit. I do like to see them grow. :)

  12. says

    Thanks Grace for reminding me that perseverance and consistent effort can pay off in the long run. I guess for me it’s also about working out what I want or need from my writing efforts (and I realise that this can change over time). At the moment I’m happy to write for me with a bit of the social aspect thrown in, so that influences what effort I put into my blog. So it’s possibly planting those acorns with an understanding of the goals ( I think I’m going to use the term”outcomes” which is so 1990’s) knowing that everything is changeable.

    If I rambled, my apology – I should be in bed.


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