Twelve years ago, I landed my “dream job” as a pharmaceutical sales rep. Fresh out of university, the perks of a company car and a great salary had me spinning. But after a two-week product training session, I was sent home and expected to sell a blood pressure medication with the smallest market share... Not exactly an easy task. There I was, a 23-year-old with a science degree and a briefcase full of studies and marketing phrases, sitting in front of 60-year-old cardiologists, saying, “Here’s why you should prescribe this drug.” The experience was, to say the least, intimidating, and in hindsight, pretty funny. (And no, I did not sell the drug in record numbers, and it did not climb to first place in market share!)
The reality is that I didn’t know the first thing about sales, let alone about how to sell. I needed to learn what to do and say, and how exactly to reach the quotas I was given each month. So I worked, and I learned, and I made mistakes and I learned some more. Then, many products, many customers, many mentors and a few companies later, I developed a theory from all that learning. It was my golden rule of sales: “Figure out what your customer needs — then figure out how your product can help meet those needs.” That’s it. Pretty simple, right? There were times when I found this rule so easy to use. My customers had needs that I could totally meet! Other times, I had to be honest and realize the customer would never be completely satisfied with what I had to offer. And there was rule number two! In sales, there are wins and there are losses. Take them both. Learn from them. Keep going.
So, after more than a decade of learning and developing these and other fundamental keys to selling, I found myself looking for a new challenge. In the end, I had become a REALLY good salesperson — one who could fulfill the needs of happy customers, and also happy companies who saw that their quotas were met. I had taken a journey, and it felt like I had arrived at a happy ending. So, what was next?
In my sales role, while working with small businesses, I found myself spending a lot of time on business development. The sales were there, but also, I found that the more I helped my customers improve their business, the more business they had… and the more business I had. I spent the majority of my time with my customers working on strategies to sell more products, and ideas that could help improve the effectiveness of their business. I was asked to help train staff on how to sell, mentor employees to use their own strengths and figure out how to overcome their obstacles. The mentoring and strategy design was what I loved most about my job — it was a big realization. You see, some people want to be the star player, score all the goals and get the praise. This is something that a lot of sales people want to achieve, but what I recognized is that my calling was on the bench. I felt I was destined to be the one encouraging the players, helping the team succeed and giving out the praise. I wanted to be the coach.
That’s where I am today. Using the exact same rule I developed to simplify sales, I have simplified the way to deliver sales consulting. When meeting with a new client, my goal is to first uncover the needs. Find out what the business is excelling at and where it needs improvement. Then, using both my coaching skills and my experience, I can create a solution. Sometimes it involves developing a new way of operating or implementing new concepts. Often, it applies the success of individuals to the entire team. It can involve training and coaching, but one thing is certain: it is always customized to that business.
...Because unfortunately, there isn’t a magic bullet for selling, either. There isn't a single method or a proven concept that instantly creates sales. Every business has different needs and every business requires different solutions. So, let us help you by customizing an approach that is right for your business and will create sales success. Your business will be better off than it is now, and Ocean Goldfish can help you get there.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's chat about how we can make your business better!