Thursday, July 22, 2010

Believing in Your Perspective

On Tuesday I found myself having to sit through what was supposed to be a five hour training class. "Solution Selling" was the title of choice that my organization came up with. Thankfully, it only lasted about three and a half hours and they fed us food from Jason's Deli. They forgot to consider the only vegetarian in the room, but I made do like I have for years by pulling the cold cuts off the bread. Two Diet Pepsi's (no Coke products allowed), five dill pickles, three makeshift "mini-sandwiches" consisting of rye bread, really cheap mustard, lettuce and tomato, along with a few cherry date oatmeal cookies thrown in and I was out of there. There's nothing like having to rearrange your sales calls for the week and start at the ungodly hour of 3:30 am to accommodate the schedule of "The Powers That Be."

I found this training session to be amusing on a variety of levels and not just because I was being my typical smart-ass self in what I call the "naughty corner" of the room. I'm beginning to think that my organization has either put an HSP in charge somewhere or is consulting with one. The best part is that whoever this is, they're actually listening to them. Or maybe they're beginning to realize that the customer is actually what drives the business, not the power of the business itself. But then again, when you're number one and there's very little competition, you tend to create and buy into the illusion that you'll always be able to "have it your way."

Funny how things suddenly change when competition comes around and those "customers" you never treated as people have viable alternatives. Funny how I brought up the exact same point to my former boss, "Doublemint Twin #1" a long time ago and was basically told in a not so nice way that my perspective was invalid. It's just not good business sense to "force yourself" on your accounts, telling them this is the way it has to be because that's what you want. Mmmm, wouldn't it make sense to actually cultivate a relationship by finding out what their needs are and attempt to meet them? Isn't that the definition of "marketing" in the first place? Meeting needs profitably? Finding out what the market needs and then providing it? No, it doesn't mean being a doormat for them to walk all over, but you've got to find out where your needs/service/product and theirs meets.

Regardless, when it came time to speak up about what we "newbies" with less than five years of service thought about the "new" process, I stated openly what no one else would. I simply stated that this process and perspective was the one that I was used to from the other companies I've worked for. I said I was happy to see this process being introduced because I had been uncomfortable using the "old" approach. Yep, I just tell it like it is anymore. They need to hear it, even if they choose not to listen. Besides, you can't change something you keep hidden or sweep under the rug.

I'm glad that my organization is making these changes, even if it's for the wrong reasons of wanting to drive the competition out of business and reclaim their coercive market power. I couldn't help but nod my head in agreement and smile at some of the highlights of this training. It felt good to finally hear that perspective I had mentioned so long ago be validated. It also felt good to have them admit what they didn't want to before-that our sales approach was to force ourselves on our customers, not consider their needs and just blaze ahead with our own.

I had to really focus myself from getting brainwashed by this "new direction," so I wrote a set of words on the back of a sheet of paper so I could remind myself not to get sidetracked. They're a set of words I formulated myself and have had reflected back to me a few times. They're a set of words I kept hearing in my head two months ago and that I repeat to myself often throughout the day. My organization's "new direction" doesn't change things. For starters, who knows how long it will last? Furthermore, I still need to follow my heart and work towards what I really want.

Just as my company kept its truth hidden for years, I have as well. Letting it surface every now and then doesn't count. I have to be committed and stay strong, no matter what. I have to acknowledge what's not working in order to transform it into something that will. I have to keep going within in order to discover what I've been ignoring. The other night, my higher self reminded me with a song that I used to hear several times a day, but had forgotten. Within the ending lyrics was the message I needed-"have you been half asleep and have you heard voices? I've heard them calling my name. I've heard it too many times to ignore it, it's something that I'm supposed to be."

Not too unlike those words I wrote myself-reinvention is the process of visiting who you are so that you may become who you should be.

Maybe it's time I finally started acting on what I've heard. That's the only way to demonstrate belief.

1 comment:

  1. Like the Nike slogan says, "just do it". I find that to be a great truth in my own life as well.
    Always enjoy reading your growth and wonderful perception on life. :)