Ready to knock doors?

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07/20/2010

I’ll tell you where I am later, but I’ll give you this hint: It was 75 degrees at 6:30 this morning and it’ll be well over 100 by noon.

It’s the kind of day that makes me want to walk around dusty streets and knock on doors and try to sell them stuff. Good thing, cause that’s the plan today. We don’t get a good early start on the day though. Nope, we go to meetings and then hit the streets when you could literally fry an egg on them, at 1 p.m.

I’ve got to meet the APX folks at 10. I’m here with Shawn Brenchley, who is EVP I think, and one of the owners; Stuart Dean, APX Corporate Communications; Bo Gardner one of APX’s 11 regional managers; Casey (sorry I don’t have his card, so don’t have his last name) another regional manager; and of course Tom Few.

So we’re going to a correlation meeting this morning. That’s what they call the morning meetings they have everyday. It’s a time for news and updates on company stuff, maybe some training, planning for the day, etc.

I’m going to be knocking the doors with another regional manager named Mark. Stuart and Tom are going out knocking with two others. We’ll all be in the same neighborhood, just a few streets apart. Tom and I have a deal: when you’ve had enough, call and we’ll quit knocking.

I asked Bo how long a sales rep (who was ultimately successful) went knocking on doors without selling one system and he said three weeks. Three weeks of eight hour days, 11 on Saturdays. More training and more practice led to a successful summer for that guy.

I’ll have more on how they get the reps up to speed and keep the teams motivated. I’ll also give you Bo’s reading list. He’s reading a book a week all year. Lots of sales and business stuff. Right now he’s reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. His other recommendations: Game of Work; Book of No Excuses by Brian Tracy; books by Tom Hopkins; Zig Zigler (he said he wanted to name his son Zig, but his wife vetoed that one) and Og Mandigo. I asked for some fiction and he said Atlas Shrugged.

What’s the most important characteristic of successful sales person? According to Shawn Brenchley, who did a couple hour accelerated training program with me yesterday, it’s confidence. Confidence in yourself in your company and the company’s systems and infrastructure and your product.

Discipline and competitiveness are important too, Gardner told me.

I have to say the training session–which covered the basic sales cycle and APX’s philosophy about that cycle made me realize why I was never tempted to go into sales. Seems like there’s so many things that can go wrong in the process that you can’t recover from. If, for example, the customer brings up cost before you do: “Your sunk,” Brenchley said.

I’ll be writing at length about the training… learning about all of those objections people are going to have. I’m too busy right now; I don’t make decisions without my spouse here; I don’t need it; Ii have a dog; I have a gun (!); I can’t afford it … and those non-verbal objections, and the main one is: Is this a scam? This is too good to be true.

I just kept thinking about how good I am at not talking to anyone who comes to my door in Maine.

Running out of time here, more later, and I have photos of my day in Provo yesterday, which I’ll post later.