06 Jan 2015

Inside the kitchen sink Ralph installed a metal shelf. I don’t know what they are called, but trust me you’re familiar with the device − the grid-looking thing that keeps the dishes from sitting directly on the sink bottom. Anyway, I got to cleaning the other day and realized the sink’s surface could really stand a cleaning. Lazy, as usual, I figured it faster to just fill the sink with a little hot water, a splash of bleach, and some dish soap and let science do the scrubbing for me. So I plug up the drain, flip on the faucet, and head outside to see what Ralph is up to.  

Turns out he was washing the cars. Cars, plural, as in my car too. Naturally I thought I should help or something − or at the very least capitalize on this captive audience in the form of chit-chat. Twenty or thirty minutes later I finish my pop and head inside to toss the can away only to discover I’d transformed the kitchen, foyer, dining room, and half the living room into a lake. 

I swore out loud. 

After lunging at the sink to stop the water flow, I poked my head back out the door to say:

“Okay, so don’t be mad. I got this. But do me a favor and don’t come inside for a little bit. I’m taking care of things, no worries. Don’t me mad. You’re gonna be mad, but don’t worry, I’m fixing it!”

As I closed the door behind me and headed to the closet to grab towels to dam and dredge with, I couldn’t help but think about all those times the software blew up on me mid-way through a demo. Sure in those situations I didn’t end up with a three inch deep lake in my living room, but they, too, required some seriously expedited block and tackling. 

Do enough sales presentations and something is bound to go wrong. Whether you find yourself missing a dongle, lacking an Internet connection, or with a use case that won’t cooperate − the key to success is having a backup plan. In an online demo, it’s simple − click pause and stop broadcasting momentarily while you mitigate the mistake. In person, however, things are a bit trickier. Be prepared to spin the situation into your favor. Sure, I don’t pretend that Ralph believed that this was all part of my ‘mopping the floor process,’ but (thankfully) he found the idea amusing enough to not flip out over the flood. 

So this week, be humble and laugh. No matter how well you plan, or how noble your intentions, occasionally life is going to throw you a curve ball. When you are willing to step up and take the pitch, instead of blaming the universe, you’re much more likely to exit the game with a win and a smile

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Last modified on Thursday, 08 January 2015 20:06
Erin Wilson

I find great amusement in everyday absurdities and am constantly surprised by how my bar-ventures, my travels, and even my food-qusitions relate to the shenanigans that is software sales. I am grateful for the opportunity to leverage the Sapient Salesman as an outlet to share with you my follies, and I hope you can enjoy the schadenfreude.

Website: ebullienterin.com/

Erin Wilson is the author and publisher of the Sapient Salesman

A "sapient salesman"?

 A sapient salesman is tasked with being a psychologist, technologist, empathist, humorist, conversationalist, and a dozen other “ists” in the course of practicing their salescraft. Most people can’t wear that many hats, and these tidbits are designed to minimize your millinery mandates. Read more

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Look for The Sapient Salesman: Spinning Life into Lessons, One Tale at a Time on Amazon.com later this year!

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