These days I have tried to convince myself that the dots aren’t connected and that it is possible things happen in isolation. Say the man who spilled his Rush energy drink on me because he got the sense that I got up late and in so much hurry to get to my destination. So why not make my life a bit more miserable by ruining my nicely pressed shirt. And just when I had made it on time with just a few minutes to spare I sit hours unending waiting for a client.Whooping forty minutes, forty minutes that I could have taken to wake up in grand luxury.My client’s assistant finally came and told me I would have to reschedule because the client has had a change of mind and wouldn’t be around until tomorrow. I got up and shook my head in disbelief not in her presence though, that would have been a grave mistake.
We rescheduled for the next day, I left the office feeling miserable because I hadn’t really found a way of dealing with how others could just treat you like they could do away with you. But then I knew what I was up for this when I decided to take up a sales job.
I tried all means to get a job after school and all that had resulted in nothing but self-sobbing because the job market was seriously chocked.
Am allowed to call this sheer luck or hard work? But hey, I landed this job with a start-up company and I planned to give it my all. What I didn’t sign up for was this madness and people ignoring me. Maybe am being a bit dramatic since this is actually my first encounter with a client.
But still, that didn’t stop my frustration, frustration so thick I could actually slice it with a knife, I turned my rearview mirror and consoled myself that is it just a passing moment. Just when I started the car, I saw the man who had negligently spilled his drink on me, walking as if he had no issues in the world. Looking at him started getting my heart boiling. I quickly left, didn’t want to get back to where I had pulled myself from. The pit of hate and self-blame.
10;30am, the next day, I was gently seated I was much calmer than I was yesterday, for some reason I was just a happier person. I sat patiently hoping my good mood was a sign that my day was going to be as promising as I envisaged.
Mr. Twum would see you now.
I got up brush off my trousers and went to his office.
“Hello Gentleman, forgive me I can’t recollect your name.”
‘Henry”, I said.
“Am sorry about yesterday.”
I was way too excited to indulge in his apologies, they were more pressing issues to talk about. The idea of money kept tickling my mind and all the agony of yesterday forgotten.
“Well, well, well, let’s get started. You mention that you were into an advertising firm and introducing something new to the African market. Forgive me, but that is as much as I can remember I was enjoying my cocktail way too much.” He was referring to when we first met at Kona Cafe last week.
I smiled,”It is a good start, I love the part that you remember is a new product. So the service is called ZNet. Well, you bear with me a lots of people are stuck to their phones these days and the amount of data we consume daily isn’t small, the youth are on their phones half of the day, so what better way to engage and relate to your brand than to meet them where they are always found. The whole idea is to draw people closer to your brand through their mobiles since they are already hooked on it.
I liked the fact that he kept nodding his head, it could only mean one thing, that he was buying into the idea. I didn’t need more, all I wanted to see was the signed contract and then I can proudly say I bought a client through my own efforts and wits. The joy!!!!
I continued,” this could drive footfall to your various outlets, encourage engagement with your customers and also increase the sales.”
Riiiiiiiinnng,riiiiiinnnnnggg, “Excuse”, he said as he got up to pick his call. I was perplexed, I thought we were having a moment how could one phone call come and alter that.
He got done with his call.
“I am sorry about that, I like the whole idea of engaging with my audience through their phone. I will have to inform my secretary to arrange another meeting for us next week, I have to run. Sorry about that.”
“Henry”, he got up as he shook my hand, “this is brilliant let’s make it work”.
I smiled to the end of my eyes. This response was the best response I have heard in ages. I was really confident this was a sign of a great beginning.
I drove to the office a very happy man. I got to my seat and wrote an email to him. I had to hit the nail whiles it was still hot. I spelled out the benefits of the service, so he could always go back to his mail should he have doubts about was we discussed.
I patiently waited for the call I was to get from his secretary concerning our next meeting. Minutes dragged to hours and hours to days.
It was the third day and I had not heard anything from him. I was getting really anxious. I sent a second email about our meeting. I went ahead to suggest I could deliver a presentation to his whole team if it would help put things in perspective. I clicked on send, and I sat still hoping a quick reply would come. How mistaken I was?
I let a whole week pass by, I sent another reminder, now I was doubting myself, did we not have a great connection the first time we had this discussing?
The next three weeks I found myself driving to his office again, this silence was becoming unbearable. I would choose heartbreak over this. I got the office, took a seat and patiently waited for the secretary to get back to me.
Henry, the secretary came in, sorry we haven’t gotten in touch as we should but then Mr. Twum has traveled and wouldn’t be back this week. Is there any chance we could reschedule it for next week. I put up a smile and said of course. I didn’t know disappointment could hurt that much. I left wondering where the dots starts and ends.
So for a week, I decided to chase other prospects and keep my ears to the ground for his return. Don’t call me obsessive, but I literally checked out all his social media handles just to convince myself that he had truly travelled.I was greatly disappointed, he wasn’t much of an active person there. So I rounded back to ears on the ground for news.
I was getting used to all the disappointments coming around me from every angle. How could it be that all my prospects could work together to make my life miserable? I usually like to be in control of situations, but then this job was opening up a side of me I couldn’t really handle well. The best I could do was to influence their decision but the final bit was on their lap.
One afternoon, after a somewhat fruitful meeting with a prospect, I sat in my vehicle hoping he would buy into my idea and not end up like Mr. Twum.
My phone beeped, I felt reluctant to pick up, I presumed it would be my boss asking me the turn of events. I finally kicked against it, better late than never. It was an office line and immediately my eyes lit up, I crossed my fingers and hoped it would be one of my prospects.”Hello, my name is Yvonne, I am calling from Cube Co. Ltd”.
Juices of joy sliced through my body, who knew the mere mention of a company name could bring such fulfillment.
” Am I speaking to Henry?” she went ahead and asked.
“Yes”, I replied, trying to keep my excitement.
Mr. Twum wants to know when you would be available this week so we could schedule a meeting.
My smile grew wider, I didn’t know they had such elasticity. Well, I quickly scheduled a meeting for the next day. This was no time to play he came out to ask for the meeting. I wouldn’t want this to drag this meeting on any further that it has already gone.
So happiness is living today and knowing tomorrow is equally going to be a great day.
After my meeting with Mr. Twum, I had to speak to his marketing team and demonstrate how our product is the turning point for their business the following week.
It was time for double effort, if you thought the beginning was the hardest then you would miss this bridge. This stage was extremely crucial to me because it was the final information I was to give before they made an informed decision as to whether to buy to buy into the idea or not.
The mirror drama! I literally bullied my mirror with my looks and speech. I have always felt nervous about presenting.
But I didn’t indulge in it so much, if it did nothing at all, at least it helped me to gingerly prepare harder.
I didn’t know I could look nicer than I already do. I got my best suit out and properly groomed myself for the day. Looking good actually helped in unnerving me. I got there twenty minutes earlier and was ushered into their conference room.
My palpitating heart wouldn’t allow me to enjoy an inch of freedom, a part of me kept urging me on, that this was going to be my spotlight. I felt better with that thought and felt at ease.
Lots of nods, lots of question lots of recommendations, I came out a very happy man, the presentation couldn’t have gone any better. I was madly surprised by my own capabilities. What they say is usually true, practice makes perfect and self-believe is everything.
It went so well, they expected an invoice on their desk my close of the week. There is real joy in work when you put in your very best. I couldn’t wait to give my boss the good news. And this client wasn’t any client it was one of the top brands in the country.
I couldn’t have been a happier man. At our quarterly sales meeting, I waited patiently for my moment of glory. Well, before I knew it there was a hand of applause for bringing the best deal to the company with the highest paying company.
My joy knew no boundaries, I would have performed the happy dance there and then but I considered myself too old to indulge such childish jokes. I quickly dashed to the washroom after the meeting and danced a bit. Hey, don’t blame me, everybody knew what I had accomplished and it was a bit overwhelming so pardon me if I danced to shake off.
I finally came to the conclusion that hard work always pays off.
The celebration… you cannot practice it or anything. It’s a moment when the excitement of your goal make you react to the moment.
Well, I would call my first deal, the beginners’ luck. After that big breakthrough, I have chased and stalked people just to sign the next contract. But hey, I don’t get so despaired like I would have because hardworking, continuous learning, faith in your capabilities and products helps a great deal.
I have a presentation to give next week, wish me the very best. I am much closer to closing the second deal than I started.