A day in the Life of a Salesman
“IN THE END, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CONNECT. ALWAYS, THE CONNECT”
–Amar (Head Of Sales At Capri Global)
It’s been two fruitful months of getting to know Dikshaji Patel. She has been a source of inspiration for me. I remember the day, 14th December 2018 when I first approached her for a loan from Capri to help her expand her business of hand woven, dainty ladies’ bags. This time has been a struggle for both of us in a way- Me as a salesman and she as an MSME entrepreneur. This relationship has become more than just a sales deal for me. I genuinely want her loan to be sanctioned and I want her to succeed.
This time spent negotiating with her revealed our vulnerabilities to each other. At first reserved and guarded, during the course of our meetings, she and I have built connect over time.
That time she said, “I don’t know how my business will work Amar. Will this loan really help me?” And I assured her with the deepest conviction that it would. When she said, “I am just a sales deal for you right?” And I said, “You were at first, now you’re a friend and I’ll make sure to lend you the money in the most seamless way possible. Trust me.”
I recall her narrating the hard work that has gone into creating a life for herself in the past five years since her divorce and her perseverance to gain a loyal list of 200 clients who swear by her unique designs of bags.
The hard work of late night design ideation, the endless cups of tea to fuel her vigour, the dilemma to sell bags on credit and her fearless attitude to create her niche in a competitive market of ladies’ bags. I think of that pure innocence, after seeing my pre-occupied face on one of those meetings with her, with which she said, “What worries the great Salesman?” And I candidly told her, “I have to meet my sales target for the month. But don’t worry, I won’t pressurize you.” She just smiled so warmly that at that moment I wished the best in the world for her.
The travel in the 9:45 am rush hour local totally wakes me from my reverie as I push my way out the train. I plead the cabbie to reach me work in 10 minutes and he does! I almost forget to punch in when our receptionist calls me back to do the needful.
Anita calls out calmly, “Amar, please punch in” but sternly and compels me to obey. I run into the conference room where the morning meeting with the rest of the sales team is already in progress. I excuse myself with the usual “sorry” face to my annoyed boss and join the meeting. We discuss each of our prospects for the day, our targets for the month and again we zoom out the office to close the impending deals.
An established presence in over 10 states and more counting, Capri is serious business and I can really see myself growing here. As head of sales, with my ground work done and cold calls made, I reach out to my sources to give me more leads as I reach Dikshaji’s building. Repeating to myself my elevator pitch on why procuring a loan from Capri will help her further expand her business. I nervously ring the bell and she promptly answers the door with a determined smile.
I enter the door and she invites me to sit on the sofa in the living room. She offers me some tea and I accept gladly. I recite my pitch with quiet confidence and she stills seems unconvinced.
Then I break into a logical analysis, relying on my sales skills and explain to her the very vivid benefits of taking a loan from us. For a good 15 minutes, she is quietly contemplating her options. Feeling like I have lost out on her, I thank her for her time and start walking out unsteadily. Just when I am ready to enter the lift, she calls me. She says, “Amar, I think I will take the loan from Capri.”
I turn around jubilant with joy, trying to hide my emotions but failing badly at that. She smiles and tells me to login her details into our sales files and asks me the date of loan sanction.
I explain her loan sanction process and leave with a promise that I will get back with ready documents for her to sign to process the loan further in another 2-3 days.
I jump with joy in the lift and head to office with a winning expression to clock in again and file Dikshaji’s papers. I inform my boss about the conversion and he happily slaps me on the back beckoning me to continue doing great work!
I return home to a waiting wife and tell her the good news and she says, “There’s dal and rice for dinner.” I get back to reality and ask her to bring it for me. I eat stress free and go to bed with a satisfied soul waiting for the promise of the dawn of another day to close another deal.
I realized one thing that day, salesmanship is all about building relationships with customers. It’s about understanding their needs and delivering the right product that complies with their requirements. The nervousness of approaching a prospective client, the uncertainty of their unconvinced attitudes, the adrenaline rush of seeing them turn into customers and the joy of meeting my monthly targets beckons me to sweet dreams.