I’m back with another installment of stories to success, and this one is quite close to me as an individual. It’s a story based in Kolkata, after I couldn’t fair well in my campus, and returned home. On flipping through the pages of a local newspaper, I had come across a walk-in interview for new graduates in an Advertisement agency.
I reached their office at 8:45 AM; it was pleasant to the eyes, located in the posh locality called Esplanade in Kolkata. I was nervous appearing for an interview in a new domain, away from my specialization, and anxious without a job in hand.
I was taken to a conference room, where other candidates were seated around a round table with a Gong on it, and a trainer was addressing them. I was asked one pertinent question: Can you sell?
“Yes, but what?” was my question. I was told that we had to sell tickets to amusement parks, offering discounts on bulk purchases. My first task was concept selling, and I was fortunate to be assigned a mentor.
He took me under a tree outside the office, and handed me the tickets. “Selling is an art of patience,” he told me. I was anxious to prove my worth. The module was door-to-door selling, and we were all allotted areas.
Challenges were many:
- Most posh societies had a stringent norm against the entry of salesmen.
- On most occasions, I was an object of pity to the residents, they were sorry to see an Engineer struggle.
We met in the afternoon at the decided meeting spot, a South-Indian restaurant, I hadn’t sold any tickets, and was disappointed to be honest, and averted eyes from my mentor. He, however, approached this with a different perspective. He told me,”To sell is professional; to become an emotional wreck is amateur.” He seemed to know of my emotional state from my expressions. It touched me.
So, I decided to tackle the situation with all I had got; all my energy, my enthusiasm, and a smile, for I was meeting new people, and getting to know how they thought of amusement parks.
Surprisingly, I had sold four strips containing 20 tickets each by the time we met again in the office, around 6 PM. I was rewarded with an incentive of INR 250, and the Gong was rung for me, as a token of appreciation.
It was the first time I experienced a sense of victory in my corporate career, and it is a memory I still cherish.
As would be new-hires, here are some things to learn from this experience of my life:
- Situations are like a pot of boiling water, you choose what you are; a potato that becomes hard and sensitive, emotional, an egg that changes its nature, or coffee that makes the water change its properties, and what’s better, coffee gives it a wonderful aroma and rich taste.
- Inspiration and knowledge come from people, great associations and a little toil and sweat. Shy from it, and you shy away from success that insight and innovation bring with them.
- In life, the most memorable events are the ones that you struggled hard for, and achieved, no matter how trivial they were. So, enjoy these memories in the making. They make you a better recruit. After all, it is said by all corporate giants, we need Managers who can appreciate; appreciate the value of people, of businesses and of clients. Build the value to appreciate, so you get appreciated.
I will be back with another installment of an enthralling story. Till then, a new recruit is a potential leader.
(Inputs from Swarvanu Sengupta, Shri Ram College of Commerce-Global Business Operations)