(This is the third in a continuing series, #FitBitTheOwl.)
Early in my professional career in sales, I joined a financial services company headquartered in a Philadelphia suburb. Upon my hiring, I along with about 7 other new district managers were sent to headquarters for two weeks for orientation sales training. I was the sole woman in the group and only one of three women in a group of 28 district sales manager nationally for this company.
The sales training manager was pure Philly and ex-military so he was quite full of himself and a task master. Our sales training consisted of 8 hours of being stuck in a windowless conference room with lunch often brought in to our meetings. At the time, I was a vegetarian, which I could tell rankled the training manager a bit since the menus were often limited to pretty much bar food. Plus, being the only woman in a group of eight, a bit competitive, and single (all of us were in our mid-twenties), I didn’t let his macho persona get to me. He was one of those types that liked to instill fear or “you’re outta here!”
The goal of the sales training was an orientation to their products and services, but mainly to brainwash the district managers into learning a word-for-word canned sales pitch. At the end of the two-week sales training period, each one of us was to have learned this sales pitch that was 2.5 pages, typed in single space with 1-inch margins. We would present the sales pitch while being videotaped, plus we would be required at the end of the two weeks to write the sales pitch word-for- word including proper punctuation with no errors. “Zero tolerance for errors!”
I went along with the training game, but I knew once I was back in my sales territory that “canned” sales pitch would go right out the window as I drove back to my apartment from the airport. If my new clients were anything like my previous clients, I would be laughed at right out of their office. Yet, I played along because whoever was perfect in rewriting the sales presentation word-for-word, complete with correct punctuation won $100. It wasn’t much money, but that wasn’t the point. I was the only woman and I wanted to win the prize, dammit! In fact, I would become only one of three women district sales managers on a team of 28 district sales managers nationally.
Now, why am I telling you this story?
During that two-week sales orientation meeting, there were one or two new district sales managers that didn’t make it to the end of the “Mr. Philly’s” sales training. One of them in particular from New Jersey was scoffing at Mr. Philly’s sales techniques which drew this response, “Look in this mirror! Whadya see??”
(Obviously, Mr. Philly was prepared for a scoffer in the bunch because he held up a small mirror.)
“You know what I see?? I see a bad attitude! And none of ya’s are going to be successful with a bad attitude!”
At the end of the two weeks, I did win the $100 bucks. Not because I bought into his sales pitch entirely, but because I had an attitude toward winning. I wanted to prove to Mr. Philly and to the other guys in the group that I was going to beat them, not only in that dank, little conference room but out there in the sales world. And I did. I took an under-performing territory that ranked almost last nationally to third in the country within nine months.
In order to earn the bonus…
Over twenty-five years later, I am putting that same positive attitude into “The Perimeter Walk Business Plan.” #FitbitTheOwl – The Business Plan. I know my neighbors, friends, family, and perhaps some of my readers think I am a bit nuts, silly, weird, whatever by my backyard perimeter walk and turning the fitness lingo into the sales lingo. I know there have been a few giggles.
But you know what? I don’t care!
What keeps me motivated is that “before” photo I promised I would reveal when I hit my sales (fitness) goals. I want my husband and sons to be proud of me, but most of all, I want to be proud of me. I want to earn that bonus of a healthier me, and in order to earn my fitness bonuses it starts with that positive attitude Mr. Philly drilled into our sales group all those years ago.
The Tag Line
In almost all fitness gyms there are the dreaded mirrors. Those mirrors are there to help make sure people working out are doing the exercises properly, however, those damn mirrors are what keeps many people from returning to the gym. Who wants to look at themselves in the shape that brought them there in the first place?
But I thought about that mirror Mr. Philly held up in that conference room. I thought about what I saw in my own imaginary mirror. I saw that photo of myself that one day I will have to post here, as I promised, whether I win or lose at this perimeter walk business plan. The only mirror I want in my backyard is an attitude that reflects a winner no matter who giggles at my walking the perimeter every night.
Every business plan, there is a marketing tag line that is supposed to inspire and motivate everyone towards the business plan’s success. My perimeter walk tag line is this, “Backyard fitness where the only mirror reflects a positive attitude.”
Go ahead, giggle…. “but, none of ya’s are gonna believe the ‘after’ photo!”
My next post in this series will be “#FitbitTheOwl – The Bonus Plan, Part 2.” I will be discussing more of my strategic sales trajectory planning for achieving successful business results.
I will also be updating you on my backyard fitness progress!
“Backyard fitness where the only mirror reflects a positive attitude!”
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