All the discussion about Working From Home and part-time jobs reminded me that I once had a salesman in my team, who, after an initial 3 months of stellar sales, requested to do 6 months each year with my corporate sales team then 6 months running a watersports school on various European beaches. We discussed it and worked it out. I agreed. He made his six-figure annual sales quota - the same as for those working full-time - for 3 years straight!
I'm Regional Sales Manager; I meet my salesman in the customer's car park for an important closing demo/presentation at 8.00am. I step out of my car: wearing my sharp blue suit ......and brown carpet slippers! The shops were not yet open to buy shoes. I had to brazen it out. The customer's Board were all present. Everyone noticed, but no one said a word. We closed the six-figure deal! They became the team "lucky slippers".
I attended a long-fought-for meeting to pitch a big software sales partnership . I began the presentation . 10 minutes in: there's a fire alarm. Everyone is out for an hour. We reconvene in the board room. Having been back for 15 minutes, there's a power cut: I default to the whiteboard. 10 minutes in, the alarm goes again, but this time the sprinkler system goes off, soaking everyone. We're all out again for 90 minutes. I get agreement to adjourn to the pub! We agree the deal over real ales and the partnership thrives.
In IT-prehistoric times, I made a big hardware system sale to a bank. I sent in the systems guy to confirm the major software part of the deal and to agree the lengthy and expensive installation process. I turned up to get the final signature and big deposit cheque. As I walk in, my systems guy is being carried out by two police officers, having argued with and punched my customer! I didn't get the cheque.
Govt. sector salespeople always had big advanced bonuses but l-o-n-g sales cycles. They lived on confidence in their closing skills. One such friend ordered a new Ferrari 308, bonus-dependent. He got both. Delivery day party! All of his friends and neighbours gathered. The dealer's low-loader slid the gleaming, red 308GTS onto his driveway. He started it up and drove off. Ooops! He realised that the oversized speed bumps in his road meant that he could only go 20 feet. He had to return it.
My first technology employer was known for its very thorough sales training and effective salesforce. As a newbie, I can recall being shocked at how aggressive they were, but soon learned to be the same. One tactic was extraordinarily successful: going back to a "lost sale" immediately that it was lost, pushing the "buyer remorse" buttons hard, to try to win it back. Management took no excuses for not doing this. We became experts at it; the success rate of overturning the competitive sale was astonishing! .