Closing Deals as an Accidental Salesman
HDI‘s most recent roll-out is a student account acquisition campaign for Nedbank, and for the last few weeks I’ve been required to fulfill certain duties as a team leader (along with one other colleague). The internal specifications of the job is of no real importance for the purposes of this post, when next to daily setup and strike at various universities and colleges; my biggest role has been that of a salesman – which has taken me somewhat by surprise considering I never imagined myself in that role or field. My dad sold insurance for many years and in that sense I suppose you can say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. With my late mom’s lupus and subsequent kidney failure, my dad’s insurance job bailed my family out big time by covering all her medical expenses. In saying that, my dad has been trying to get me to enter into the financial planning field for a while now, what with the financial stability, sundry perks and flexi-time it allows. He also thinks that my drama background will serve me well in closing sales – to him, the only monetary relevance such a qualification provides. I never imagined myself doing sales. Dave, the drummer of my band Brother & Brother has just secured a job with a leading insurance company doing the same thing.
For the purposes of Nedbank, my job is that of a hands-on field worker, team manager (in charge of outsourced promoters), stock clerk, admin official, data capturer, promoter and walk-about salesman. I don’t think I’m too shabby with the latter – yes, another surprise. What that means is that I spend most days offering pretty girls lolly-pops in effort to get them to sign up for a student account while all the while ensuring them of the benefit of such an investment. I also offer them a credit card (dum-dum-dum).
Sometimes, to keep from getting too bored when sales are slow – I approach potential clients by jumping in front of them mid-stride with an umbrella in tow and pitching my rendition of that Rihanna song with the ella ellas – some respite from the beating midday sun. Then the deal can go one of two ways – they’ll either blatantly ignore me (which I find is the case with most beautiful girls and jocks) or they’ll give me some of their time, at which point I hit them with the hard facts and a few free incentives for extra impact.
Honestly, I much prefer working in field than in an office – there is so much going on at any given moment and it never feels like drudgery. Depending on how my arts career unfolds over the next few years, maybe insurance might be the way to go (don’t let my biggest fans hear that).