Summer Sell Mode

Last Thursday was a warm, and very humid summer day in the North East corner of the U.S. I arose from my bed very early with the birds and was on the road by 5:27AM. I had a 6 hour drive minimum ahead of me and two 50 pound ‘cherished’ sample VFFS trial film rolls in tow. One in my passenger seat, the other directly behind it in the back.

It was a grey and overcast morning and a shower burst on my first early exit caused me to hydroplane twice in about a 50 yard stretch as I descended the semi-circular off ramp on the Massachusetts Turnpike. I thought to myself with instinctual superstition, ” This isn’t good.” As I drove south, the weather improved and by the time I battled through the Merritt Parkway bottleneck and crossed the mighty Hudson – it seemed that fate was smiling down on me. I arrived in southern New Jersey at my destination on time and stretched my legs under a sweltering 97 degree Fahrenheit 1PM sun before heading into the building to meet the President.

I had mentally prepared myself for a ‘worse case scenario’ because my business associate had warned of a ‘last minute change’ that could potentially seriously inhibit my ability to CLOSE. This thought, in and of itself, brought back vivid memories of Star Trek re-runs with Captain James T. Kirk at the helm and the ‘Red Alert’ sirens blaring in the background as he grimaced and held tightly to the arms of his ‘Con’ Chair on the Bridge of the Enterprise.

As we walked into the air conditioned outer office the ‘cool’ and unpleasant attitude of one of the ‘Middle Managers’ drew a ‘coy’ comment from my parched lips. Perhaps I was unknowingly suffering from dehydration? Her scowl was just a bit too much for me to simply absorb with a fake complacent smile, and basically much to do about nothing. One can always blame the summer ‘heat’ in New Jersey for swerving over the politically correct and subservient sales gal/guy role expected by all ‘bag carriers’. Especially, when you’ve spent over half your life, risking your life, on the byways and highways of New England, New York and New Jersey combined. Forget about Philly, and we can save that traffic saga for another day.

My first impression of the ‘President’ was that his age was younger than I had imagined. The conversation in the conference room started cordially and soon swayed into the ‘Home & Garden’ realm. From there to the business at hand and some ‘reluctance’ and ‘apprehension’ due to off shore manufacturing unknowns and FDA compliance. From here, to the following weeks vacation in Europe. From there to a cordial and warm goodbye and ‘promises’ to test my film the next morning – without their food product running through it prior to receiving our FDA & ISO documentation.

As I walked out the front door back into the furnace of the asphalt parking lot I knew that everything was going to be OK. Why? How? Gut instincts never lie when you’ve been selling for over half your life. I know my product. I know the application, and trusted the logic of ‘Mr. President’ and owner to not being hostile to savings of over 30% on his annual packaging film spend. The next morning I received confirmation of this ‘good’ instinctive feeling and was assured that our film would suffice on their VFFS machines inside their south Jersey meat packaging operation.

My Point: Roll with the punches and trust your instincts in unexpected or problematic ‘Selling’ tight spots. Relax, and think about Solutions. One will come to you – that is mutually beneficial to everyone involved. Trust your instincts. Listen to them. – CLOSE – . Get back to the HUNT. : )

Joe Lambert, Film Sourcing Specialist

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