Part #5…”Bein’ Prepared”…”I’ve NEVER seen anything like what just happened”…

Part #5: …”Bein’ Prepared”: …”I’ve NEVER seen anything like what just happened”…

“Bein’ Prepared is somethin’ that was always taught to & instilled in me from my Mother”.

Once durin’ my Sales Career my Sales Manager just happened to be spending the day with me. We were makin’ Sales Calls on some Customers in the Ft Payne, AL area. We happense to be callin’ on a Playground Equipment Manufacturin’ Company. We had an appointment with the Plant Engineer who was in the process of takin’ quotes on new Lift Trucks, that’s what I sold. I had been there a couple of times to do my “Need Determinations” for a proposal. Well, this was the day! The weather wasn’t the best that dat. There were Thunder Storms movin’ thru the area all day. Our appointment was for after lunch. We were a few minutes early for our appointment,as was always the case with me. We were kept waitin’ as the Plt. Engineer we were meetin’ with was dealin’ with some plant issues, these always seemed to spring up in the manufacturin’ businesses. Time passed slowly as we sat in the lobby. It was durin’ this time there was one hell ofa Thunder Storm moved into the area. The receptionist spoke up & said “Mr. Gray the Plt Engineer will see y’all now”. She instructed us where he would meet us so we proceeded on our way. As we met I introduced my Sales Mgr., all the glad handin’ was done & we entered his office. His office was right in the middle of the plant, no windows, as many are in that type of an application. As we got comfortable, I pulled out my Quotation, for the 20 unit package. I just happened to have three (3) copies of it. I presented the Customer with the Original, a copy to my Sales Mgr. to follow along with, & I had a copy. All were complete with a professionally prepared Quotation, Brochures, & Specification Sheets (for each model unit), & Warranty Statements all in a neat presentation folder. As I was sittin’ across the desk from the Customer I proceeded to use my copy of the quotation, facin’ the Customer & me readin’ backwards, to cover line item by line item. My Sales Mgr would interject every opportunity he could, tryin’ to enforce the level of commitment our company offered our Customers. The Plt. Engineer would occasionally stop me & ask a question, I would address his objection & then move on. {{{{{ BAM-M-M ! }}}}}. Lighten’ struck close outside somewhere, a loud rumblin’ of Thunder quickly followed, the kind that rattled the ground under your feet, then {{{{{ POW ! }}}}}. The power transformer blew, the lights went out, & the plant went silent. Let me  just say “It was Pitch Black, I mean “Dark Thirty”, in that office. The three of us sat there wonderin’, in our own minds, what to do next. I didn’t even hesitate! I reached in the inside pocket of my Sport Coat & pulled out a Flash Light, shined it on my quotation, & never missed a beat. Out of my peripheral vision I could see the shock on my Sales Mgr & the Customers faces. I continued on for a moment then the Customer interrupted me sayin’ “you do know the lights are out don’t you”? “Oh, yes sir” I responded. I paused a moment then continued on. Then the Customer just started laughin’ like hell, my Sales Mgr. joined in as well. Then it dawned on me I should stop. After a few moments the Customer said continue on, Don’t Stop Now! So I did. A few more moments passed, the lights flickered, then came back on. The Customer just laughed even harder then. He said “I’ve NEVER seen anything like what just happened”! Long story short, I didn’t get the business, it was a PRICE issue. After that I became the story of many sales meetin’s. The theme? “Bein’ Prepared”!…“Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>


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