The Comfort Zone Of The Seller

Gold Coin Nero RomeIt is said that everything has its price. This is most probably true. Many have had to pay the hard price work for their success and have had to work year after year without a break. To push himself to uncomfortable areas. Away from the familiar and safe. If you want to develop, you must take steps out from your comfort zone.

I took new steps at Kalajoki Beach, when I walked towards the seaside as a newly chosen project manager. I had given up my place as a sales manager of Katinkulta and had stepped into new challenges. I had been recruited to make results in the recession of the economy, when companies fell like hay in a storm. I was committed to a marketing contract so there was no return. I had to get on with the job.

Sunnuntailenkillä elokuussa Nallikarissa 13Kalajoki and sandbanks were in sales terms light years away from sales offices of Katinkulta where I had enjoyed two years of hard rise. In Kalajoki everything was at the initial stage. After the first six months the summer did not look rosy. The risks began to be realised and the selling did not get started. The problem was the new sales office. The building licence for it was not obtained from the county of Kalajoki.

It began to seem strongly that matters neither will come true nor succeed. I had a big lump in my throat and I felt bad. I cleared my thoughts dozens of times during that spring by walking to the seaside. I thought about the matters, why did I start in this challenge?

I was definitely out of my comfort zone as a seller and as a human. The road seemed to be rising steeply up. What did I do? I shortened the steps to half, started walking faster and I trusted in myself. I said often aloud to myself:

“Markku, you will make sales history. You are good and you can. Do not give in now. You are a winner. You can do this. You are the best.”

After all it went so in Kalajoki, that the whole municipal council visited the site to make the important decision. The building license was obtained for the best location of the sandbanks, next to Siikarysä Fish Restaurant. The wheels began to turn. The sales office was completed in the same summer with the assistance of the PR–house factory from Alavieska. Special thanks for it belong to managing director Mr. Tapani Kääntä. In the autumn we celebrated the big opening at the sandbanks with the power of 450 guests. The party was memorable. The holiday to Hawaii raffled in the event was won by Mr. & Mrs. Saksola from Alavieska.

Inspire Me Mountain TopNow business was no longer depending on the Sales Desk, so I began to do what I was expected to. Get results. In the new location I felt my self-esteem increasing and I was preparing for a record sales summer, when paint from the roof would be removed as champagne bottles were popping for the celebrating of closed deals.

About 300,000 day visitors visited in Kalajoki on June–July 1990´s, which is the problem of the area. 60–80 sales days is not enough for profitable business around the year, if you are not clever and rapid enough during summer period. Considering the special grade in the area I ended up in my new innovation, in a strategic thought that economic students from Vaasa and Vaasa University were worth recruiting for summer jobs. Vacation ownership representatives should be under 170 cm in hight, easily approachable, pleasing and educated young women. So not those normal sales weasels ― ADHDers, who are mainly interested in themselves. I needed Queen Bees ― it’s all in the attitude…

ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

I decided to try a new plan, in which women present and men price. I had read about the forgotten 1970´s success–story–concept of real estate agency group Huoneistokeskus, where women work as presenters and men as closers. There it was.

There were customers visiting the sandbanks of Kalajoki like black clouds in the sky, but also customer acquisition “in from door” had to be in order. The work had to function as if greased so I decided to recruit the best in the world for the task, smooth Jani with his Mercedes.

Jami had earned credit in Gran Canary Island, Spain as the best, funniest and most pleasant outside contact person of all times, who knows the matters. I wanted to have this 165 cm tall ´Ross Perot´ for us also because he was extremely result oriented, focussed enterprising young man from Middle Finland. Jami also has his green 280 Coupe Mercedes available, which he had imported from abroad.

His reputation gave a feeling of safety for both sellers and leaders. He was so efficient. Also customers liked him. There was never negative feedback. Only smiling customers walking in. To make my plan perfect, I still needed a good customer financing, which was formed that time from local Savings Bank KEP.

Savings Bank KEP quickly educated Harry and myself to grant genuine bank loans with 7.5% fixed interest in situ, where the market interest was more than 13%. The deals would not fail at least for the lack of financing. The customer financing was unique, nobody else has similar.

To my big surprise job applications began to flood from Vaasa. Half of the the sellers chosen by me were six laudatur´s secondary school graduates and seven of them were already economics students. The applicants were less than 175 cm tall, except one Ville and one tall Heidi. All of them were enthusiastic to make hard selling for 100 days with me. They wanted to learn to make deals and to get a genuine sales experience for their studies. I had it.

I hired one already distinguished top-seller at the field, Kimmo from Jyväskylä to show the way for novices. I got a top-seller Harry from Kuusamo Spa Resort beside me as a sales manager and as a closer (take over). Harry became a partner, sales manager and a closer competitor for the sales competition in summer of 1992, which was declared open with “The days of Thunder” –song at every morning meeting ― Our daily mantra!

Markku Tauriainen SmilingThe lump in the throat no longer existed as I walked to the shore of the sea. Vice versa. Everyday was like laughing gas, to which it was nice to wake up to. We worked firmly and we competed against another in a healthy way. During that summer I broke all the sales records of the field. The business was so good immediately after mother´s day, that the piccolo champagne bottles first ran out from of Alko liquor store of Kalajoki, then after a short time it ran out of all the nearby ´Alko´ –stores within radius of 300km. All the actions succeeded and all the sellers excelled themselves. We made sales history. I also made my own record as a closer, which still stands.

Holy Grail of SalesWe were able to drink from the Holy grail, which is found extremely rarely.

At least it may be searched for if you stay in your comfort zone. In order to challenge yourself, you have to strive out from your comfort zone.

The more often you make this the more you develop and succeed in demanding sales matters. You walk over difficulties and you are able to make sales, which you have not experienced before. At the same time you make history ― by winning yourself!


Jaana Became A Super Seller

bellafemmelogonewNone of us is ready. We look for new possibilities and we meet new people. And that is how it is supposed to be.

I met Jaana years ago, when I was working in Tenerife. Jaana became a five star super seller in a moment. Why?

First of all she was a smiling, enthusiastic and genuinely interested in her customers. And because she was an extremely good listener it was easy for customers and also for sellers to talk about themselves with her. She concentrated on people. She liked her work and did not judge other sellers or her superiors. She did not complain and did not say a bad word even about customers. She was good.

Jaana did not waste time and energy on any unnecessary grouse even when she returned to her home country. Vice versa. She made deals when others did not. She made deals also in Finland.

It was also nice to exchange thoughts with her after a working day. As said, she was an excellent listener and when she spoke clearly and simply.

Jaana is still one of the best, if not the best female seller I have met. I hope you could meet her once and experience, how she was as a seller and still is today.

Also you should direct your focus to the analysis of your own operation. Then you can forget the disadvantages around you and can burn toward the rise stairs.

Marilyn Monroe Inspire Me PosterIt is of essential importance that you only concentrate on your own doing as a seller and stay at your own sandbox. The rinse over the edges is foolish operation and does not lead anywhere.