Monday, August 13, 2007

I’d never thought I could do sales….

If five years ago anyone told me that I would be doing sales, I would probably brush it off as a joke. I had been a software engineer all my life, and the time I spent in front of a PC is much more than that of facing another person. Add to the fact that I am a rather introverted person, the scenario of myself doing sales is a rather unthinkable one.

When I first started my venture in 2005, my job nature did not really change a lot. Most of the interactions with customers falls on my then-partner K’s shoulder. I would only attend occasional meetings when technical details were to be discussed. However, ever since I parted ways with K in 2006, I had to do every single tasks all by myself, and that included doing sales.

I could recall the first few sales demo that I was doing, they were more like FYP presentation than sales pitch. All that I did was to illustrate the functionalities of my product. In my mind, I was thinking of quickly getting over with the sales demo and went back to do my development work. To me, doing sales was like doing homework for a subject that I disliked. As a result, there wasn’t much success in sales.

I remembered there was this incident last year when I was on my way towards a prospective customer’s office. Normally I would travel via MRT or bus to my client’s place to do sales demo. As this client’s office was some distance from the MRT station, I decided to walk from the MRT station to his place. However along the way, it suddenly rained heavily and most of the people on the streets ran to the nearby shopping malls to take shelter. Knowing that I was already running out of time, I decided to take out my umbrella and continued walking towards my customer’s place amidst the heavy rain. As I was walking, I noticed that I was all alone on the whole stretch of street. A sudden feeling of loneliness crept into my heart, and I started to wonder why I was doing all these when I can choose to have a comfortable and regular paycheck working in an aircon room. Why do I choose to face nasty clients when I can just concentrate on my software R&D, working as a software engineer? If my passion is in doing software, why am I doing sales and marketing?

As I was walking, my mind kept churning out new questions. I thought I already had the answers for these questions, but whenever a new storm came about, the ghost of uncertainties will come back haunting me. I realized that the feeling of loneliness will always be there, as I continued my journey in pursuing a dream that isn’t shared by anyone else.

In the end, I reached the customer’s place with my shirt all wet. I do not know whether it was due to the rain or the sweat for walking long distance. I managed to close the deal eventually, and sorted out how I should do my sales more effectively and efficiently in future, instead of running away from doing sales. Looking back, I would always remember those days when I braved through the storms in pursuing my dreams.

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