One of my most proud literary accomplishments of the past several years is getting through “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Yes, THAT book. The one first published in 1974. The subtitle is “An Inquiry into Values.” If you have not read it, it is part memoir, part philosophical text. I read a lot. And this book is a tough one. It is especially tough if you are used to reading while being surrounded by screaming fighting children. And it got me thinking about the environment.
Because what I discovered is that I need it to be absolutely quiet when I read this book. Which means that there are only certain times and places that I can read it. And I’m reading it for a book club, which means that I have to have it finished by a certain date, and that I need to read it while being prepared to discuss certain aspects of it, almost as if I am reading it academically. So now I can only read this book while either a) all of my children are asleep or b) I am out of the house.
This is not really a problem for me. I can read it after bedtime or while the kids are at school, because from the time I drop them off til I pick them up again (a glorious 3 ¼ hours every day) is reserved for me to do things like work and eat a meal in privacy. So I just read then.
So what is the perfect environment for sales success? Should you have a space that is pin drop quiet, or one that is humming with activity? If you watch movies like “The Boiler Room” or “Wall Street,” the sales bull pens are jammed pack with dudes in ties screaming to make their pitch, as if the noise is actually a tool to create a sense of urgency to get the targets to buy.
But I don’t think that is what would serve you best. I believe that it probably depends on your temperament, as well as your actual reality. If your sales space is a communal one, in which there are multiple people making calls, this may be a good place for you, as long as there are no particularly loud talkers or no one that is dominating the space with his or her voice. If you are finding that your space is making it uncomfortable for you to make sales calls for any reason, you need to figure out something else. Try the conference room, or the boss’ office if your regular space is too loud. Try as many different places as you have available to get you what you need—an area in which you are 100 percent at your best. Maybe that’s home. Maybe that’s your car. Maybe it’s right where you are now.
The most important thing is that if it is not working for you now, you change it. If you are making excuses for why you can’t make the calls, figure it out. If making new sales is a big deal to you, your performance, and your income, you owe it to yourself to create the best possible space to do it in. Get help if you need it, but do it!
As a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, Kelly Mallozzi advocates for graphic arts companies to start a revolution and fight to keep print relevant. She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.