Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Consistently Inconsistent

Work has not gotten any easier this month. Bouncing back from extended time off has always been a challenge for me. Maybe it's a mental switch I can't seem to flip, I am not sure what it is, but it has been that way for 3 years.

So what I have done is start the process of reinvention. A reinvention of my sales approach. What I have been doing for 3 years has gotten me promoted into the management ranks. Now that I have stepped back into the role of a sales rep, I thought it would be like putting on a well worn suit. Comfortable. Well in the beginning, it was. I was popping. I was outselling my counter parts and it seemed that my work days were just a little easier now. I would go in, outsell everyone, and go home. Well what I didn't expect was that my counter parts would adapt as fast as they did. The fed off my energy and figured out what was making me successful. My speed and efficiency.

As I got more efficient, they got more efficient. As I sold more, they sold more. It took a store that had not hit their goals in anything in over 2 years, back into the goal hitting business. All of the success in the sales team was directly attributed to me. Then the month of May happened. I took a week off. I came back to a large goal to hit, and not many days to do it. I failed miserably.

When you don't hit a minimum, that is when managers cover their asses. Manager's, like most companies, are measured by the team they put on the sales floor. If the team can sell, then they look good. If they don't then they have to fill out a form that proves they did their job.

In my case, I did not hit a minimum requirement, so they pulled out the forms. They document conversations they had with you throughout the month, and the train rolls on. This is when they noticed that my attribute, my speed, is now a hindrance.

I was rushing through and speeding through transactions. I didn't believe them, and so I continued. Into June, I was rocking it again. July, I was there as well. August, well that's when the baby was coming, and my numbers took a nose dive. They pulled out their paperwork again, and told me, my speed was hindering me and to slow it down. They reached way back and quoted our training sessions from about a year ago.

September happened. Numbers were down. My manager came to me and said that she went to bat for me to try and stave off this write up because of a baby. She was shot down by the Regional Manager [or so I am told] and that is when it started to click.

It wasn't until I was called by the manager of another store I was trying to get promoted in to that it clicked with a resounding audible click. Like when you can hear the lock in the door reverberate in your brain. He wasn't even going to interview me and it was for 1 reason and 1 reason alone.

I am consistently inconsistent. I will have a great month, then a bad month, and my good and bad months are helping and hurting the team.

What I did was a shock to most people. I volunteered to a project that would help me revamp my sales presentation. It isn't that I was a bad at what I did, but like everything, it required me to adapt, and although I have adapted, it hasn't been fast enough. So I through caution to the wind and offered myself up.

To say that learning something new is uncomfortable is hardly doing what I am doing justice. This is like having your toenails ripped off with a pair of plyers.

So yesterday was my first 1 on 1 session with my trainer, and I guess you could say mentor, and it was nasty. There were a lot of stumbles along the way. There were also a lot of good things too.

After our 2 hour session on the sales floor, we came up with an action plan. We put together places to focus on. These aren't things I needed to change as far as scripting, but it needed to be an overwhelming behavior change. I need to change the way I think, act, and sell to be successful in this business and retail climate. I need to know what my company needs from me to be successful and I need to get out there and plug myself into their business model and make it happen.

This reinvention process is painful. Yesterday, I felt like a new hire. I felt lost. I felt overwhelmed. I felt good about my decision to make this change.

It isn't a diet, it's lifestyle change. I have to change and stick with it. Otherwise I won't get better.

4 comments:

Vodka Logic said...

It sounds so sad. I hopw you are successful and kudos for recognizing what you needed.

this comment written on a BlackBerry

Will Burke said...

Best of luck with this over-haul.
I'm sure it'll back-burner your Podcast for awhile, but I hope it's not for too long. But hey, you've got your family to think about too, eh? We're happy to take second fiddle!

Quarter Thrower said...

actually we are planning a new podcast for a week from Sunday. Should be up by Monday the 26th. I am trying to solidify the guest and then we'll be good

~K said...

Ahhh the old Regional manager made me do it bullshit...God that is just my fucking favorite....NOT...bitch