Updated: Jul 27, 2020
Toby was once a Travelling Sales Man. And in the beginning, it crushed his self confidence.
Toby was like Willy Loman. In fact, he actually had a t-shirt that states: Not Willy Loman.
Each day, he hit the road at 7 a.m. and got home around 5 p.m. He travelled from Cobourg to Pembroke to Prescott.
As he spent time on the road, he got to know hundreds of clients (and ideal places for a lunchtime snooze).
His experience doing sales with these clients transformed into managing a $3 million account.
But it didn’t come easy.
In fact, he almost got fired within his first year.
He struggled to make connections.
He didn’t want to do cold calls.
And he actually had absolutely no heating and plumbing experience.
He was intimidated by his clients.
Talk about low self-confidence.
But then Toby had a realization.
He realized he didn’t need to know every single thing about the products. And he didn’t need to be certified in the trades, either.
What he did need to do well was nurture the relationships and properly connect with his clients.
He needed people skills.
So, he took a new approach with the job.
He asked open-ended questions. He remembered kids’ names and their hockey positions. He cherished time petting dogs. He asked pointed to the art on the walls.
That’s when things really started to shift.
By connecting with clients as people, he started to transform his sales calls.
By asking questions, listening and then later remembering the details, Toby not only grew his number of clients, his confidence also grew.
Ultimately, he got out of his own head.
So, if you’re in a new position with work or are trying something out new that scares the shit out of you, remember this: people are just people. Talk with them. You don’t have to know everything. Give yourself grace.
And, if all else fails, scope out a good spot for a lunchtime snooze.