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.