Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pets, Sales, and Crappy T's

Owning your own small business has many perks.

But it also has some drawbacks.. as in, since I am the only one in the company I also have to do all the crap jobs.

That is what I am avoiding right now. Crap job aka cold calls

I've been avoiding the cold calls for about 3 weeks.

I don' t like the idea of pestering people. I don' t want to annoy my clients. I don't want to hear them say no.

But I have to do them, if I want them to know about new products.

I've tried it all, I've booked off time, I've set up who I need to call and what I'm going to say.

I even told more than one person that I'm doing it so that I can be held accountable.

Still haven't done them.

To be honest, I should be doing them right now, but I'm writing this weeks blog instead.

I was supposed to do them last Friday morning, but I decided to head to the city early before the Jane event I was scheduled for.

(Yes I went and did sales for another spa, yet decided instead of working on my own I would go shopping)

My shopping list included a dog toy and some tarps from Canadian Tire, and there I found a lesson in sales that I need to try to apply to my own life.

By the time I got to Bridgewater I was already late, so I was rushing through Canadian Tire like a crazy woman in search of crack.

I made it to the pet section, and started scanning the wall for the special toy that is the only thing that keeps my dog entertained enough tot keep him in the yard

It was here that I was approached by the bravest salesman I've met in awhile.

"You look like you're searching intently for something"

"Yes I am"

And I was, which was why I made no eye contact or really paid any attention that someone was talking to me.

"Hey how may steps are you up to"

I wear a pedometer, I think it's pretty self explanatory, so I didn't bother to think about why he was asking me.

I just looked at it.. mumbled 3000 and that I had been driving a lot, then went back to mad pet-toy scanning.

Nothing there, so I moved to the next aisle ready to give up and move on, when the guy came back.

"What is it exactly that your looking for?"

Dammit, now he's going to try to help me and he's going to spend twenty minutes wasting my time looking for something that I know for a fact isn't there.

"Oh just a dog toy, but it's not sold in every Canadian Tire, so I'll have to pick it up in Dartmouth"

"Oh.. to bad you have to go that far"

"I'm heading there anyway, it's okay"

At this point I'm doing one of those, talking with my body turned in the other direction as I step away. because I'm really bad at ending conversations without resorting to typical work type "Thank-you and have a magical day" phrases.

He steps with me... we are now looking in the kitchen and bathroom cleaner aisle for pet toys... somebody should call PETA.

"What kind of dog do you have"

This is the start of a conversation that only dog owners have... you will rarely find a cat owner, or a fish owner who cares what breed your dog is.

Much like you will rarely find a single business woman who cares what brand of diaper wipe you think is best at clearing up your two-year-olds rash.

So I realize he must be a dog owner/lover and I'm about to be sucked into the typical compare your dog small talk.

I give up, and give in, I was never going to make it to MicMac before 2pm anyway, what's another 5 minutes.

"He's a husky, so he runs... this toy is the only thing that gets him to come back."

Following this sentence is generally the point where the other person says what breed of dog they have, and a cute little anecdote about their pet.

He doesn't.... he introduces himself.

I shake his hand and give him my name.

It feels a little like we just decided to have a business meeting about pet toys.

His people will call my people, and my dog will have a lifetime supply of squeakers if I just sign up for a three year contract and promise to sign up five family members.

This is my first signal that this "salesman" is a little odd.

His next sentence is "I don' t actually work here, I just thought you had a nice smile and seemed easy to talk to"


Woops... how rude of me.. I hadn't even bother to pay attention!!

This wasn't a worker.. he was just some random man that thought I was having trouble finding something and wanted to help.

how nice...

Just like in Sobeys when you are muttering profanities to your self because they've moved to stupid pickles again and someone decides to let you know they think they saw them in the ice-cream freezer next to the cake flour while they were looking for canned tuna.

So I just smile again, because that's what I seem to do when I don't know what to say, and he must have thought that was an invitation to keep talking.

So he did.

He tells me that he's a sports therapist, from Halifax, asks me what I do, I answer, with a weird feeling that we're no longer talking about dogs or toys anymore. I'm not really sure how we got into this conversation.

Or why....

"I just happened to notice that you don't have a ring on your finger so that's why I figured it was okay to talk to you"




He's hitting on me.

In the pet section?

Of Canadian Tire???

Now forgive me, I understand that I have been off the market for quite sometime now.

But I did put in a good 10 years or so of dating.

I don't remember Canadian Tire being on the list of best places to hook up.

Although, now that I think of it I probably would have had better luck there than the Tavern.

I quickly try to regroup as he sputters on about coffee and numbers and my smile.

He has been hitting on me.

And apparently I've been letting him.

We've actually gotten to the stage of our relationship where he's replaying how we first met. ( Seven minutes ago, two aisles over)

I need to quickly let him know that I am not interested.

I try to do this nicely as I've already spent half our relationship mistaking him for a friendly Canadian Tire worker.

I feel bad for judging him before getting to know him... or apparently looking at him.

So I say something that makes perfect sense to me. (The happily unmarried person who would never want a ring for the pure fact that my dog would swallow it, or I'd flush it down the toilet, or something equally as obscure and devastating)

"Oh, I'm married I just don't wear my ring"

I think "for safe keeping"

He thinks what every other sane person in the world thinks "because I'm stuck in an unhappy marriage"

Sometimes when one door closes a window opens.

I closed the front door but gave him the key to the back entry, with a map and a flashlight.

As soon as I see the look on his face I realize what I've said is wrong.

This is the advantage to being picked up in a bar... at this point you would mumble something, that he wouldn't hear because the music was too loud, and run and hide on the other side of the dance floor.

There was no dance floor.

And even if there was a dance floor, there wasn't a crowd of people to put between us anyway.

Now I'm late, without a dog toy, and feeling GUILTY for leading some random guy on.

He still talking... he keeps saying coffee, and I keep thinking... dammit.. if I had of just gotten a second coffee this morning I maybe could have been alert enough to have avoided this entire thing!!

I finally interrupt him, something I am not good at and usually reserve solely for telemarketers.

(yea those people who make cold calls, I hate them, I never let them get their first two sentences out....wanna take a guess as to why I've been putting off my cold calls??)

I set him strait as quickly as possible, no ring, happily unmarried, please go away.

And then I turn and run.

I wind up circling the entire store twice looking for the stupid tarps.

(They are really hard to find when you won't look up past knee level for fear of making eye contact with anyone.)

As I drove the rest of the way to Halifax and thought about the weirdness of a person that just walks up to a random stranger in the pet section of Canadian Tire and tries to start a relationship with them.

He is just one of those people who sees any opportunity and takes it.

He saw a girl, into sports (or at least into knowing how many steps she takes each day), who liked animals and was not wearing a wedding ring.

It was like I was a walking E-harmony profile.

And what did he get for stopping and asking me out... well, nothing.

Except a little rejection.

But he was not really any worse off than before he stopped and accosted talked to me.

(I think I was actually the only one scarred by this series of events)

There was no harm (to him) in asking for something.

So that is something I will keep in mind as I work up the nerve to do my cold calls.


Or maybe Friday.

No comments:

Post a Comment