Posts tagged ‘Vector’

If your “Why” is strong enough….

You will have to forgive me and extend me a little bit of trust on this one, this is not first hand experience but I know this story is true. Some of the detail, names, place etc, have slipped my memory but the heart of this still beats strong and true inside me. Some of you know that I am in sales, formerly the sale of Cutco knives to be precise and this is a story of a fellow salesman whom I have yet to have the pleasure to meeting but his story still inspires me.

This collage student, lets call him David, had been on a fantastic selling streak, for the last 6 weeks he had hit his goal of selling $4,000 a week and he was on target to go it again. He had what’s called in the business a “grand day” set. It was the last day of the sales week he had 5 appointments ahead of him and he was only one grand away from hitting his goal for the 7 week in a row. David was confident, he knew how to sell his product, all he had to do was show up and give the demonstration like had a thousand times before. He knew how to win, the first thing he did in every demo was to not just share his personal goals with Mr or Mrs Jones but to enroll them in it. He shared his dreams of Graduating college debt free and starting up his own company with every ounce of passion he had. The truth was David didn’t hit his sales goals because he was a slick salesman he hit his goals because he had a passion that wouldn’t quit and a dream that he wouldn’t let die.

David had all the momentum to achieve his goal that morning and as he was on the way to his first appointment adversity struck and struck hard in the form of a car accident. David and the other driver where luckily unharmed but David’s car was totaled. David was faced with a choice, call all 5 of his customers, who lived all over the city, and reschedule for next week or find a way to get to each appointment. There was no method of public transportation that could get him to where he needed to go and no friend or family member to ask for a ride, so what did he do? He asked the police officer who responded to the accident to give him a ride to his first appointment. David shared with the officer his goal and dreams just like he did with his customers. The officer was so moved and inspired by this young mans determination to achieve his goals, that he agreed to drive him to his first appointment. The officer wished he could have done more for David. David assured him he would be just fine and thank him whole heartedly for helping him achieve his dream. David was now at his first appointment, with no way to get to his next appointment that was across town plus he now had to explain to a middle aged women why he had been dropped of by a squad car. Not to mention that he was walking into her house with a bag full of very sharp knives. He chuckled to himself as he walked up the steps to ring the bell.

He rang the bell and greeted Mrs. Jones. He explained to her why his face had little cuts from broken glass and also why there was a police car pulling away from her house. She was shocked and a little taken back by the whole story but she still kindly invited him in to do his demonstration. David with practiced and focus did his demo for her, sharing his passions and dreams. Mrs. Jones decided that David had a few knives she liked and purchase them from his, also she knew some friends who would be interested in learning about the products that David had offered to her. There was just one last thing David had to ask, so he took a breathe and asked if there was anyway she could take him to his next appointment. Mrs. Jones had been so inspired and moved by Davids determination that she quickly agreed to take him to his next appointment.

Mrs. Jones dropped David off at his next appointment, and David now stood in front of Mrs. Smiths house with no way of reaching his next appointment but he was still determined to do all in his power to reach his goal. This could be his last appointment of the day so he better make it the best one ever. He walked up to the door and Mrs. Smith answered. She was an elderly women, she ushered him in with a very grand mothering was and they sat down at the table. From David’s experience in this business he could tell that Mrs. Smith was not a likely customer but this did not change anything, he still did his demo just the same. He shared his goals and dreams and took the time to show her all the knives and set options but Mrs. Smith was happy with her knives and did not need anything new. David did not lose heart, he had one last thing to ask. Mrs. Smith would you be able to take me to my next appointment, I know this is not a normal request but I a determined to keep my word and reach my goal and it would be of great help to me if you could.” David waited, knowing that it was a considerable walk for him to reach his next appointment. Mrs. Smith smiled and nodded “Of course, young man, I can take you to your next appointment.”

David arrived at his third appointment in Mrs. Smiths old Buick that smelled a bit like a hair salon, thanked her repeatedly and waved as she drove away. Mrs. Brown was a single mom with a toddler running around the house. After David completed his demo she bought one of the large sets of knives that David offered her, she did a lot of cooking and knew the value of having quality tools. She seamed to be a busy women with two children in school and one at home, David was half way to his sales goal and did for a moment question if he should just call it a day and begin his long walk back to the office, but something in him said no. No, David you have done all this work, you put in all these hours. You can’t just give up, not without at least asking if she can give you a ride to your next appointment. David finished packing up his knife kit. He stood to face Mrs. Brown not in a demanding or pompous manor, but out of respect, he looked her in the eye and asked her as he had twice already that day if she would be willing to take him to his next appointment. Mrs. Brown without missing a beat said. “Joey,” her toddler “Want to go for a ride?” Joey who had been playing in the living room just behind them, popped his head up and ran over to his mother greatly excited to go for a ride. Mrs. Brown after loading Joey into his car seat in the mini van leaned over to David and whispered. “He loves riding in the car.”

Appointment number four, the Mini Van in front of the mansion. It was game time, The Van-Dean residence cast a large shadow over the street but this also did not effect Davids approach or demeanor. Again with practiced precision he did as he had done at his previous three demos that day. He told the story of why had arrived via mini van and why he was doing what he was doing. He shared his goal and dreams with the same passion he had before. And something strange happened this time, before even beginning his demo, Mrs. Van-Dean offered to take him where ever he needed to go after the demo. David was a little shock but tried not to show it. Mr. and Mrs Van-Dean purchased some knives from him, putting David 3/4 of the way to his goal, with one last appointment left. David then realized that he had to get his paperwork for the day to the office by 6 o’Clock that night or his sales would not count for this week. However he first had to complete his next appointment and he was already half way there with Mrs. Van-Deans offer to give him a ride.

David’s final appointment, this was it, one last appointment to reach his goal. He had to sell at least a three hundred dollar set to hit his goal. After arriving at the Adam’s residence David stuck to his plan. He shared the events of the day with Mr. and Mrs. Adams and also his goals. The Adam’s had no personal need of knives they actually already had Cutco Knives and loved them. David, having noticed a picture of the couple with two grown children as he entered the house, inquired about their children, how old there where and what they where now doing. After a little bragging on their children Mr. Adams had a lightbulb moment. He decided to purchase both his children a complete set of knives for christmas, which was still 9 months away. David was delighted, he had just reach and far exceeded his goal. One last challenge, he still had to make it across town which from the Adam’s house was nearly a 25 to 30 minute drive so he could turn in all the paperwork. So what did he do? He asked if the Adams could help him with one last thing to help him in achieving his goal. Mrs. Adams gladly agreed to drive him across town.

There are so many lessons in this story but the one that brought this story back to my mind today is this:

“When your WHY is strong enough, the HOW will present its self.”

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One Year With Vector

On June 8th 2011 I walked into a little basement office in Missoula Montana, with a great deal of fear and self doubt swirling all around me. It was my third really job interview and even though my cousin Danae had assured me that I would get hired I was still scared to death. I remember sitting in the parking lot before going into meet my soon to be manager and future friend Isaac Cervantes and calling my mom trying to calm my nerves. I sat there for about 5 minutes just breathing slowly trying to relax and not throw up.

My cousin was already there in the office sitting behind a desk with two full sets of cutlery on each side of her. Normally Danae and I would have started chattering away in movie quotes that no one else could follow but that day I was so unsure of myself I could hardly talk at all. There was also a man sitting on a folding chair near the desk with on leg across his knee propping up a Mac book on his lap intently staring at the screen. At the time I believed him to be deeply engrossed in something work related but knowing what I know now I am rather certain he was on Facebook. He half rose to greet me, holding his computer with his left hand and offering me his right. “Isaac Cervantes” he said as he shock my hand. He didn’t even have both feet on the ground but really that’s so Isaac. I sat down across the room from him and filled out a questionnaire and looked over at Danae for occasional support. A few other people showed up for interviews as well. Isaac interviewed me and another girl together and about all he really said to me was, “I know Danae has told you pretty much everything so…” he pretty much focused on the other girl asking her questions. I am not sure he really said or asked me anything through that process. His dog Ruby emerged form behind his desk at one point to see who was in daddy’s office, giving us both a sniff and laid back down behind the desk. Then I went on to the long group interview where we where give an in-depth demonstration of Cutco Cutlery and told what the position would in-tale for us. From my former conversations with Danae I actually knew most of what we where being told but it wasn’t hard to be interested and pay attention just for the sheer excitement that oozed from Isaac. After that we where all dismissed and told we would get a phone call later if we where hired or if we weren’t. I left the office quite relived to be out of there, and called my mom. I headed toward the Barnes and Noble, which has alway been an escape for me and called my mom to tell her how it went. I wasn’t 10 minutes down the road when another call came in, It was Isaac. I pulled off into the parking lot next to the Taco Bell and the last part of my interview commenced. He asked me one question, and it was possible the hardest question anyone could ask me at that time in my life. “If I was only going to hire one person why should I hire you?” Seams simple enough, but for me, I had no idea why anyone would want to have anything to do with me. I fumbled around for several minutes while he waited silently on the other end of the phone. I finally pulled out an acceptable answer and he asked me if I wanted to become a representative with Vector Marketing? I believe my initial response was “Really?” and then a quick and emphatic “Yes!”

I remember being so excited, I knew it would be this great opportunity, but at the time I had no idea how it would change my life. Danae meet me about an hour later at I was still over the moon. I was going to sell Cutco for 6 months, hit FSM and then get a sales job at Best Buy. I was going to get the experience I need to work where I really wanted and I was going to make enough money to travel where ever I wanted as much as I wanted. I was going to have everything I wanted. And I wasn’t wrong, I just didn’t know yet what I really wanted.

I can’t remember exactly what was covered in day one of training but I do remember being pretty overwhelmed with information about knives, and steel and how the company works. Of all the day, day one was the lease emotional for me. That being said I felt pretty overwhelmed, I believe we went over the guarantee and that night I was so excited about it that I pitched it to my mother over the phone with out notes. There is a pretty quick learning curve in this business. I remember taking extensive notes that where so sloppy and scattered I can’t read them anymore but if it was on the white board I wrote it down.

The next day we did food cutting and that is when I became a Cutco Believer. The moment of truth involved a pineapple and a Butcher knife. Never in all my life had I used a knife that slide so smoothly and easily thru anything, much less the briny center of a pineapple. I looked over at Isaac while still holding the pineapple juice cover Butcher knife with an expression of pure shock and uncontainable excitement. I think my eye must have spoken because he grinned at me and said, “I know right!” We cut up all kinds of stuff that morning, apples, potatoes, bread, tomatoes and cheese. Oh the Cheese knife, don’t get me started. We ate pineapple the rest of the day of training. We continued learning the manual that day by reading it out loud to each other but it was when we started to work on the phone approach that my stomach turned to knots. We had already been making lists of all the people we knew to call and I felt like I had a great list of people to work from but it was about to be crunch time.

Our first phone time was in the office, we had to set three appointments before we could leave also we where supposed to ring this bell on Isaac’s desk each time we set an appointment. I remember sitting at the desk in the back room of the office, I called my friend Renae first, but the first person I actually talked to was Linda Cavigli. I was so freaked out I was stammering and stuttering like I had never talked on the phone before but I got an appointment and I rang the bell. I set two more appointment before I left, but by that point was pretty frazzled, to the point I was actually on the verge of tears. I reported back to Isaac, that I had set my three appointments and that I was going to make more calls that evening, but truthfully I just had to get out of there. I was so overwhelmed, I need to be alone, and make my calls where no one else was around. I left the office and went back to Danae’s apartment where I was staying and buried my face in a pillow and cried. I was so thankful that Danae had gone back to Kalispell that day so I was alone. I felt like I was failing even thought I wasn’t I had set three appointment and by the time I went to bed that night I had a total of 8 appointments set. But I still had to cry and scream into the pillow before I could do anything else. That was the start of it, when you face things that scare you there are two options, run away or take it as it comes. I have learned in my life if you really want to face something and succeed you can’t expect yourself to be able to handle every single bit of it at once and you are silly to believe that you won’t fall apart at moments. I learned to take each moment in stride and if something is just to much for now, put it on the back burner, I promise it will show up again. Also don’t disqualify yourself just because you have a melt down, just remember to pick yourself back up and leave behind what you don’t need. “accept what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is specifically your own” -Bruce Lee. I know that I had to have my little breakdown at that moment or I would never have been able to keep going. I will be honest it wasn’t the last one I had but it was significant.

Final day of training, this was the day we got our sample kits and learned how it cut pennies. A skill I use at parties at my house now. Also the day of my first demo, which was awful, just awful. No sale, no recommendations, fumbled thru my blue book, and didn’t know answers to half the questions I got asked. Oh and I cut myself with my own knife in the customers sink while cleaning it, good thing they where close family friends and had Band-Aids. I now write-off Band-Aids as business expenses. So I got all the cliche things that could go wrong done and out of the way with my first demo. I went home that night and read my manual over three more times and went to bed, hoping the three appointments I had for tomorrow would be better.

My second demo Danae come with me on and observed. I did the whole demo and it felt so much better but when it came time to close the sale I froze and Danae saved me. I know love this line now, “Mr. Jones, even if you buy just one thing it make you a preferred Customer and it allows me to offer you great deals in the future.” That closed my first sale, a set of four table knives. I was so excited and this trend carried over to my next two appointments, where i sold two custom like lists, both to people who already owned Cutco. You can always use more Cutco.

From there everything snowballed, my first weeks CPO was 629, week two which was my first full week my CPO was 1,803. I continued with an average of about 1,000 a week for the next 6 to 8 weeks. I reached my first promotion the on June 14th. My second promotion on June 22nd, and my third by July 13th which put me at 6,000 in career sales. Today I am at 21,072 in career sales and sitting at a position of Field Sales Leader. I am still shooting to reach Field Sales Manager with the company but frankly that is only the tip of the iceberg.

I sit her now a year after taking what I thought to be just a job but it has changed me and challenged me. It has shown me more about who I am deep down in the areas that I have been hiding from. It has shown me that I am more than I thought possible, that I am not some silly little girl who dream of walking on the moon but I am a powerful women who can have whatever she sets her mind to achieve. I never would have started a blog a year ago, I would have talked about it but I used to be too afraid of what people would think of my thoughts but now look at me, blogging everyday. I never would have even considered moving or moving to California but thats what I am doing. I have found freedom to be whoever it is that I am and the confidence to love all that I am. That is what a year with Vector has done for me.

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Preview of tomorrows post

Tomorrows post will be a significant milestone in my personal history. Tomorrows blog is titled “One Year With Vector” and will chronicle my first year of sales. As I began writing it today I realized it was going to take a little longer then the normal half hour I set aside for blogging each day but I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging. But please comeback tomorrow and read about this intense year that has changed my life. Thanks.
Until Then…

Make an attempt

“It all means little, all the painting, sculpture, drawing, writing…it all has its place and nothing more. An attempt is everything. How marvelous!” Alberto Giacometti

I will be honest I don’t really like to try or attempt things, I am a plan person, if I don’t know where I am going or what I want to achieve I have a very hard time taking that first step. Currently the thing that I am avoid is “call time” for my sales job. It’s curial part of my business, actually if you can’t make calls and make them well you don’t have a business. In the past few months my call time has been an epic failure, almost no return on the calls I make and I know why that is. My approach or script was well, ok I abandoned it out of fear and desperation, which is why it stopped working, I wasn’t using it. So now I am facing a very real challenge of having very limited leads and really needing to nail these phone calls because its make or break time. My sales career with Vector hinges on what kind of return I get on the 5 leads I have. I love selling Cutco but its kinda scary the place I got myself into. I was doing very well, hammering out about 30 calls a night and selling about a grand a week on My days off from the hospital and then I took a month off in October and ever since I haven’t gotten back into the swing of things. I don’t want to quit, I want to make it 30K in sales at the very least which is only 9 grand from where I sit right now, also the biggest reason I want to keep selling is that it is so fulfilling and I have so many things I want to do and they all cost money. For example I want to pay cash for my first house, travel out of Montana once a month and overseas twice a year, go to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, get an iphone, get a BMW, etc, etc, etc. But really the biggest reason is the person ¬†growth that goes hand in hand with a job that constantly challenges you and makes you dig deeper. Ironic that the thing I love most about this job is the thing that I have been tripping over the last 4 months. I know to you it might sound simple to make a phone call, but have you ever called up a complete stranger and asked if you can come over and show them some really sharp knives? Thats at the most base level what I do, yeah I have gotten your name from a friend of yours but really who would invite a complete stranger into their home with sharp knives? Sound a bit crazy huh? But its crazy fun too. Probably the best thing is the look on your friends face when you explain what it is you do, I have seen some great facial expression in my short time with the company.

So all that to say, tomorrow is going to be my day to get back on the sales call horse as it where. Its time to make calls and stop hiding behind my fear of failure. “What would you do if you could not fail?” I would definitely make some Cutco phone calls, buy a lottery ticket and apply for the space program, and get me a husband, just for starters. Its time to start living the dream.

 

Until then…