Stockholm- A Culture Capital

Stockholm- A Culture Capital
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Saturday, July 24, 2010

All Work, No Play.

Well I have not done anything too enviable this week, it has mostly just been a lot of work, reading, and plenty of admin for my upcoming travels, so I thought in the slump of action I would fill you all in on my current job. I am currently employed as a door-to-door salesman for ADT doing a marketing promotion for their security systems (we basically sell the service)

A typical day looks like this. I wake up; looking out the window hoping the weather will be good for the day, as I will be spending the entire day at its mercy working purely on commission. I have the morning to myself to do whatever it is I need, and then at 1pm we have an office meeting that is designed to go over our previous day(s) of sales and then get us motivated for our current day. A lot of times we will do sales training, role plays, or address any blips about new policies or equipment. Then we drive out to our area and hit the doors.

Basically from there on I spend the next 6 hours of the day knocking on people’s door and through good sales techniques, building the value of the product, and finding the interest of the customer hopefully setting them up with a brand new home alarm system. This task sounds simple enough, but throw in some fun ingredients like people slamming the door in your face, immigrants who either can’t talk English or want a bargain with you till they run your commission dry, people who are in a contract with another company, own a dog, gun, have an elderly parent or neighbor who is constantly ‘protecting’ the home, and you suddenly have a much harder job. The job is both easy (walking and talking is all you do), and mentally taxing (you are alone, working for nothing, being beaten off door after door)

The upside to most of your days on the doors, besides selling, is finding some of the quirkiest, and most irrational people you will ever find. THERE ARE FREAKS IN EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD! Over the years I have had people threaten to sick their dogs on me and have their husbands follow me around the streets, call the cops out of fear of a scam, and of course being told “I don’t really enjoy telemarketing at the door.” I have also been asked (sexual innuendo alert) ‘how big are you’ by a 50 something black man named William Brazil who asked me to ‘convince him to buy a system’ one night in Detroit. In essence this job is NEVER boring, you see homes that are gorgeous and meet people with incredible jobs contrasted to houses that look like a barrage of cannon balls blew through them and the family uses benches ripped from a safari van as a living room furniture. The lesson here: you never know who lives behind the doors on your street, and you may be thankful for your ignorance or missing out.

I think all sales people that start a job like this have a love hate relationship with their job. They are offered incredible money with unlimited salary, but all the responsibility is up to them, and the work in not easy. Sales are demanding of your time, energy, and focus. Despite the crazy stress and people, there is something besides the money that keeps me returning to the doors year after year. Pinning down what that charm is I have yet to do.

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