Kim and Pat started in business on the same day aligning themselves with the same provider. They hit it off immediately; however, as much as they liked each other they also realized they’re in competition for the same business. They were both eager to start their new businesses and confident in their success.
It’s been a little over two years since that first day when Pat and Kim met. Things are very different than they were on that day.
Kim did everything the way the sales manager showed him. He faithfully followed the presentation. He made so many calls it felt like his ear would fall off at times. He never took “no” for an answer and he was always moving for the close.
He knew it would be rough at first like he’d been told. That didn’t lessen his enthusiasm or confidence. In fact, he was so confident and so enthusiastic he and his wife went out and bought the RV they’d been dreaming of. Because he thought that little extra pressure was exactly what he needed to really get fired up. Kim could see himself, his wife, and the kids enjoying the wilderness before they even signed the load agreement.
Every client Kim pushed to a close he told himself, “three more.” The sales manager said every new client was good for at least three strong referrals. And that meant he was really four clients closer to getting the financially secure business he wanted, or did it?
Looking back Kim feels like he’s been a rube. He can’t believe he bought into the company kool-aide like that. At this point he’s looking for a job. He and his family are in so much debt there’s nowhere else and no one else to turn to. He’s tapped out and he feels like a complete and utter failure. No dream business for Kim. He’s never felt lower in his entire life.
Kim can’t help but wonder what Pat’s doing and how he’s doing it. While Kim has been working 24/7 and still couldn’t eke out anything you could call a living Pat seems to have the money rolling in. He’s out playing around more than he’s working. What the heck is the deal?
Yes, Pat does seem to have it on easy street now. Pat started out doing the exact same things as Kim just like he’d been told to do them. Pat couldn’t stand the way he had to treat people to do what the sales manager said he should do. He was hoping once they were clients he could show them he wasn’t like that, but he quickly learned the hard way that first impressions are lasting impressions.
It didn’t take long before Pat came to the conclusion he either had to find a better way to do this, or get out of the business because he couldn’t continue to treat people like this. He knew this was standard industry practice so that meant he had to look outside the industry to discover a workable way. He knew what he had to offer was truly valuable to his clients there had to be a way to help them rather than cramming it down their throats.
Pat looked outside his industry and started working with a coach who could help him grow his business. This meant Pat had to learn how to market himself, how to hold genuine sales conversations that positioned him as an advisor not a pushy salesperson, and how to run his business. It didn’t take long before Pat began to experience some big changes.
When Pat did it the “industry” way he felt like a pushy predator constantly on the prowl for fresh game. Now Pat had people coming to him. He never had to push people to make a decision or chase after them. This was such a tremendous relief for Pat he began sleeping a whole lot better at night.
Pat slept even better as the money began to roll in. He felt a little guilty about Kim. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to help Kim because he did. At first he kept things to himself because when he’d mentioned a couple small things the sales manager had ridiculed him and told him to stick to what he was telling him. He also wanted to prove to himself they worked because he didn’t want to feel responsible for anyone else failing if he was wrong. Although he wondered just how responsible he could feel as he saw good people failing out of the business almost daily.
Time is the enemy and unfortunately Kim was among those who had run out of time. It was too late for Pat to do anything for Kim now. As Pat looked around he realized most of the old boys who’ve made it aren’t doing things the way the “industry” says to do them. They’re doing a lot of the things Pat now knows to do. However, they don’t tell anyone how they’re getting their success.
They just keep telling the newbies to keep doing the same old tired techniques that everyone knows doesn’t work. Pat feels pretty sad about this, but Pat has a successful business to run so he turns his thoughts to his next appointment. As he does thinks to himself how if he hadn’t gotten the help he needed from his coach he’d be in the same position as Kim.