The rude awakening from my first B2B sales job

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  • Post published:April 21, 2021
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Let me tell you all a story about price…

I was working at a cell phone store, miserable, because all of my weekends were completely booked.

But then one of my former coworkers and good friends tried to recruit me over to the company he had just joined.

He just got a new job at a phone and internet reseller, and he told me all about how cool it was.

  • Bigger base salary
  • Car and cell phone allowance
  • Only working with businesses instead of the unwashed masses

I was sold. I interviewed and ended up getting the job.

But there were a few ugly truths I had yet to learn…

Once I got the job, my friend told me how easy the selling for this company would be:

  • We had a way cheaper price than the big competitors, so I could easily sell on price.
  • We could sell to any business that had phone and internet.
  • We had no assigned territories, so we could sell unrestricted.
  • We had 24 hour customer service, 7 days a week.

But let me tell you…

It was ANYTHING BUT EASY!

If anything, it was so much harder than I thought.

And anything my friend said, came with real catches, which we both learned:

  • You couldn’t just sell any businesses with phone and internet. If anything, the big guys offered 2 or 3 year contracts to businesses. You could find someone who wanted to buy from you today, but if they had another year on their contract, you couldn’t do anything.
  • We didn’t really have 24/7 support. We had an answering service for customer service. I also think there was an engineer that worked maybe 2nd and 3rd shifts, but it was not what I envisioned.
  • Because there were no assigned territories, the sales team just called whoever they felt, and would even call the prospects I was working with. You really had to keep your contacts close.
  • Their reviews were horrible because the product was horrible (Made out of crappy equipment).

But the worst were the customers. On top of the normal challenges that come with a sales job, I could only sign on new customers who were really bottom-of-the-barrel.

These were business owners and managers who were just focused on price, and not about value. As a result, they didn’t have attractive work environments. They only had a few employees. They never had any time because they were always putting out fires.

And were pinching every penny, and price was always a major factor.

It was a big lesson in finding out that just because you’re talking to a business owner, doesn’t mean there’s a lot of money in the bank. If anything, they were just barely breaking even.

But it was a big lesson I learned about finding the type of customer you want.

Since that sub-par experience, I have successfully avoided price-shoppers and tire-kickers like the absolute plague. If they ghost me after I send them my contract, I don’t even bother pursuing them.

I’m probably leaving money on the table, but it’s honestly not worth the headache.

It’s almost like dating. You want to scoop up the winners and keep them in your corner, while snuffing out the losers fast.

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