Tuesday, December 27 – Wednesday, December 28

In the doldrums

Just as I had expected, these were slow days in sales terms.  Traffic flow at both of the sales locations was well below normal, and few of the people were in much of a mood to listen to what I had to say.  Each day at work I keep track of my presentation rate, which is the percentage of potential customers I approach who express some initial interest and want to hear my full presentation.

As a very general rule I make one presentation for every nine or ten people approached.  Some days are better, some are worse, but it all works out to this rate.  These two days, however, it was more like one presentation for every twenty to twenty five people approached.  As I highly doubt my initial approach had changed in any way, I’m attributing the deterioration to customer attitudes in the holiday season.  I’ve been working alone the last couple of weeks, with only minimal telephone contact with my manager, so I don’t really know if other people have been experiencing similar slumps, but I highly suspect that’s the case.

On yet another down note, I wasn’t able to go to the gym either day because physically I’m just not able.  It feels like some sort of bug.  Hopefully this will pass in a couple of days and I’ll finally have enough energy to go.

Published in: on December 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, December 24 – Monday, December 26

It wasn’t a bad Christmas this year, all things considered.  We had roast beef, which came out quite well, though of course: (a) I would have preferred the traditional goose; and (b) it was hard to eat without interruption, as I kept having to slip food to Sherbert the cat.  Sherbert also enjoys drinking the water from the tree base.  All in all, it was a chance to unwind after a dismal week in sales terms.  Next week is unlikely to be much better, but after the new year things should pick up substantially.

Published in: on December 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, December 22 – Friday, December 23

More gym stuff

I didn’t do any work-type work on Thursday due to some non-business matters that took up much of the day.  Given the pre-Christmas slump, it probably didn’t matter.  In the evening I made another gym trip, doing some back work with pretty decent results.  One-arm dumbbell rows: 5 x 8 x 85/85.  Yeah, I know, 85 pounds isn’t much, but it’s been so long since I did this exercise I figured it would be best to start with a light weight.  Hammer Strength shrugs: 4 x 8 x 275.  No trouble with these.  On Friday, I worked for a couple of hours, not much to report, but next week should be better.

Published in: on December 26, 2011 at 3:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Monday, December 19 – Wednesday, December 21

It really does seem to be the season

My suspicions from last week have been largely confirmed.  With Christmas rapidly approaching, my sales have been distinctly underwhelming.  I spent these three days working in three different but reliable locations, and of the three days only Tuesday was anything except awful.  What confirmed my belief is that fact that many, many potential customers gave an “after the holidays” response to my approaches.  I can’t entirely blame them.  If I were selling the sort of products and/or services that were commonly given as gifts things might be different, but that’s not the case.  In addition, the customer flow was mediocre at best each day, as I wasn’t in the sort of locations that would attract Christmas shoppers.  Another thing that might have complicated matters is that fact that I had to work solo each day.  On occasion, if I’m having trouble closing a deal another sales representative can help.  All in all, I was anything but happy with these three days, but I have hopes for next week.

Published in: on December 23, 2011 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, December 17 – Sunday, December 18

I was able to work for only about an hour on Saturday due to other obligations, but with Christmas approaching it wasn’t looking to be a particularly good day in any event.  I’m not holding out too much hope for the upcoming week.

On a much better note, on Sunday I actually – drumroll please – went to the gym.  It was my first trip in a month.  I know, I know, there have been many false starts, but this time I’m really determined to keep things going.  I’m not going to let a bad day in sales terms keep me away from the gym.  Anyway, I kept things fairly light.  Bench press: 8 x 135, 6 x 165, 6 x 185, 4 x 205, 3 x 225, 2 x 6 x 185.  Seated shoulder press: 8 x 95, 6 x 115, 8 x 95.  Dips: 3 x 8 x bodyweight.  The dips were the toughest of the exercises, though I don’t know whether that’s because they were the last ones I did or because they’re a hard exercise to begin with.

Published in: on December 19, 2011 at 4:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday, December 14 – Friday, December 16

The jury’s still out on whether this constitutes “progress”

Tuesday’s modest recovery most assuredly did not carry over to Wednesday.  In fact, Wednesday was as just an unmitigated disaster as Monday had been, though of a different type.  On Monday I made quite a few presentations but had trouble closing them.  On Wednesday, despite being in what’s usually a reliable sales location, I hardly made any presentations at all.  What I encountered instead was a seemingly endless array of quick “no’s.”  In the time I’ve been in sales I’ve developed an ability to counter various sorts of objections – “not right now,” “I need to talk it over with my wife,” “I’m too busy,” that sort of thing.  What I cannot counter, not that anyone can, is a flat “no.”  And that’s what I had in droves.

Thankfully, Thursday was a much better day.  I was in a territory that I haven’t previously worked, and the prior day’s cavalcade of “no’s” was replaced by a fair share of “yes’s.”  It’s hard to say what accounted for such a stark difference.  Yes, I worked slightly longer on Thursday, but that wasn’t enough to matter.  It’s semi-heretical at JKL Sales to even hint that luck ever plays a factor, but I’ll be the heretic and say that I got much luckier on Thursday.  It’s the only explanation that makes sense.  As for Friday, it was sort of a middle ground, better than Wednesday – not that it could have been any worse, of course – though not quite as good as Thursday.

Published in: on December 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monday, December 12 – Tuesday, December 13

Does this count as progress?

One good thing about Monday is that the weekly meeting in Nassau County was cancelled.  I still had to drive into the office to see to some administrative matters, but I didn’t have to sit – sorry, stand – through a long meeting.  Expressway traffic was thankfully light both coming and going.  As for the day’s sales activities, they weren’t what I’d call stunning, in fact they were rather poor.  After a slow start I made quite a number of presentations to prospective customers, unfortunately I had trouble closing them.  A few of the people said “after the holidays,” which may help support my belief, or wishful thinking, that this is just a temporary seasonal slump.  We’ll see.  On Tuesday I was at a less busy sales location, nowhere near the same customer flow as on Monday, but I actually did somewhat better. Progress?  I hope so.

Published in: on December 16, 2011 at 1:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, December 10 – Sunday, December 11

I worked for just  a few hours on Saturday, and in a continuation of last week’s theme my sales results were distinctly gloomy.  I’m hoping that seasonal factors are behind this slump, as that way things might get better after the holidays.  On a better note, on Saturday afternoon we went to a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm and picked out a really nice tree.  It’s not very tall, but is quite far around.  Looks nice.  Sunday I did basically nothing all day.

Published in: on December 16, 2011 at 1:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday, December 6 – Friday, December 9

It was sort of fitting that Pearl Harbor Day occurred this week


Plain and simple, this was a completely horrible week.  There’s absolutely no way I could put an even remotely positive spin on it.  Illness was no longer a factor, as after doing only a small amount of work on Monday, I was fine and ready to go on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, my sales skills were almost totally absent all week.  If there is a metaphor that can describe my week it is “drowning in an endless sea of no’s.”  Almost all of the people I approached quickly dismissed me, without even giving me the opportunity to explain what I had to offer.  As a general rule I should be making one presentation for every eight or nine people approached.  This week, it was more like one presentation for every 30 or 40 people.  I can’t even begin to explain what happened, all I know is that the situation is pretty much intolerable.

Published in: on December 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Saturday, December 3 – Monday, December 5

I don’t usually combine entries for weekdays and weekends, but I’m making an exception because Monday was essentially a day off.  Not out of choice, unfortunately.  After getting back almost to normal on Saturday, I had monumental coughing fits on Sunday and Monday.  It was sort of like epidemics of “consumption” in Victorian orphanages.  I somehow made it into the Nassau County meeting on Monday, which thankfully was shorter than usual.  It’s very doubtful whether I could have lasted any longer.  Following the meeting I went to a work location not far from my house and made a valiant yet short-lived attempt to work.  After about a half hour I was unable to keep going and went home.  Which means, alas, no money for the day, but I really had no choice.  Coughing can be debilitating, and over-the-counter cough remedies are pretty much useless.

Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment