War story: Persistent sales guy


Totally loved this story as a vivid illustration of a fundamental Sales principle: do the follow up. I strongly beleive that such examples are the very thing allowing us to throw away inner barriers(like this guy, who had followed up 48 times!). The story is about another one.

[ Originally translated from here (ru) ]

On my last job, we had a salesman, Vitya. He was closing just every deal, clients preffered to pay just to make him gone. Vitya had ridiculously large salary(and that’s only performance part, no base, just his fees). He tracked clients at shows, conferences, seminars, at muni, Ikea, cinemas, jets, was cold-calling, warm-calling. He appeared in person if he was tossed away on the phone, was calling if asked to be gone in person. He wasn’t reflecting, never pedaled back and was succeeding just everytime.

That was funny until that happened to me.

Currently I should transfer part of a job to an agency, they have such a wild Vitya on their side, only called Sasha. I’ve asked him to send me a contract – he brought it personally. I’ve sent him couple of questions – he offered to meet and discuss. “I don’t have time” – I say. “No worries, turn on the Skype, it will last for only half an hour”. The worst mistake was to give him my cell number. The day before yesterday he called, said we need to talk. “I can’t, I’m moving” – “No problems, I’ll get to you soon, we’ll talk and I’ll give you a hand with your stuff, give me your address”. In an hour called to check: “What’s up, have you packed everything yet? Aha, on your way? Tell me your address, I’ll help you to carry. Carried yet? Need help unpacking? Why you’re not telling me your address – I can help.”. Soon: “Where are you? Let me give you a lift to the work, I have the presentation with me”. In one more hour: “Why you’re not answering your mail? Is computer packed? Let me borrow you mine?

Yesterday he woke me up at 9:05, called back in an hour and did that again. Managed to send me 3 e-mails in between 10:00 and 13:00. First had a few sentences sharing new information, second expressed his worries about me not answering the first one, third one warned me that he’ll call if I won’t answer. Then he called. Five times.

Today I’ve turned my cell off. I should have some sleep sometimes.

Was by the office by noon, “Sasha called, call him back urgently, he suffers”. Got to HR, they say “Your cousin, Sasha just called, was asking your home address. Said just arrived from Norilsk but you haven’t met him yet, but promised. He’s at the Kazanskiy railway station, crying out loud near a taxophone.”

“My cousin is an idiot, trains from Norilsk do not arrive to Kazanskiy railway station. Lying should be pre-meditated sometimes”. Going to get some coffee at the kitchen – got called by the boss: “I’ve got called by Sasha, he’s asking if you’re alright? I told you were going to perform a parachute jump but was not sure if you did that or not”.

Checking my e-mail, got 5 letters. In first he’s interested, worried in second, angry by third, begrudging in fourth. Last one has the following: “Svetlana, I beg your appologies for the persistence. In my aspiration to move forward our common business, I might have crossed the line. I promise, I’ll be more discreet. I’m asking you last time. Please, make sure the bills will get paid. It’s very important for me. Make sure it will be payed today. I BELEIVE IN YOU! I BELIEVE”.

If his bill won’t be paid today, I swear I’ll set him on the accountant.

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