Bit of a pun for a title that one.
I have worked as a salesman in this industry since the age of 17, I am now 24 years of age and I am approaching 8 solid years in my career, so I’m feeling a bit reflective. In this post I thought I would share with you the things I have learned in these near 8 years. Enjoy.
For anyone who knows me, they will know that I certainly am not the patient type. However this industry is one which certainly does teach you to increase your patience levels. For example, waiting for customers to get back to you. As a company we don’t really price in the home as a general rule, we prefer to come away from the customer and then send them a price. But the side effect of this policy is that sometimes it takes a little time for the customer to make a decision – which is fine as we don’t want to appear pushy. But hell this can sometimes be so very grating. On occasions you think you have visited a stone cold deal, but it takes weeks to come good.
Or, hearing back from manufacturers. If I need a special price working out for a non-standard specification or a new product that doesn’t have established costing processes yet, it frustrates me greatly if I can’t just work it out myself. I know I am going to have to refer it back to my suppliers but I know that means I am going to have to wait. Again, for an impatient person like me, this can be rather tedious.
But, after nearly 8 years of this, I have learned (maybe just a little) to let things be. They will take as long as they take and there will be some occasions where I can do very little about it. So me being impatient won’t help the situation. One day, I’ll learn to relax completely!
Let me make this clear, in my 8 years selling I haven’t learned to trust people, I have learned that you can honestly trust no one. If I had a £1 for every time I was promised a quick response, a reply to an email etc. The same goes for work outside selling. My online journeys through this industry has taught me that there are very few people who can truly be trusted. Everyone, and probably strictly quite rightly, is in it for their own businesses first. Everything else comes after. What that does mean though is that you often get disappointed, let down, annoyed and frustrated.
The lesson I have learned? If you want something doing, do it yourself, you pretty much cannot count on anyone else.
Dear me, if you do not keep on top of things you really can get very far behind in your work! I joined the industry about a year before the economy dived off a cliff. I got first hand experience as to how busy this industry can be at it’s peak. At the age of 17 this becomes a very steep learning curve and I discovered very quickly that if I don’t put the hours in and focus, getting behind can do damage to your conversion rates.
Over time, and with my other online endeavours, I have learned how to manage my time and work schedule much better. Right now, I believe I have struck a nice balance between selling, my online life, my site and the National Fenestration Awards. I am managing to get pretty much most tasks done on time, and to a high standard. Yes I do often work at home after hours, but I have learned that it takes this time and dedication if you are going to make a good career out of this. Though I suppose that lesson can be applied to pretty much all jobs.
Our industry seems like a funny one. On the face of it, we don’t sell the most compelling and luxurious product. But I have learned in these past 8 years that it’s an industry you stay in if you get past the first 6 months.
I have often heard people saying “once you’re in double glazing, you can’t get out”. I don’t think that is meant to be as ominous as it sounds. It’s a statement which I have come to understand means that our industry overall is a fun one to be in. Yes it’s frustrating at times and can be very stressful, but it is also one which has an alluring quality to it, keeping most of it’s people inside it for almost all of their careers.
On a personal note, I have enjoyed pretty much every day working in the family run double glazing company and the wider industry online. I made the choice at 17 years of age to leave Sixth Form after one year to go into full time employment and there has not been one day where I have regretted that decision. It was a big risk at that time, but one that has definitely paid off as far as I’m concerned.
I would love to know your thoughts. Leave your comments in the section below.