Monday, July 16, 2007

Is Your Daughter That (Marketing) Whore?

My daddy, one helluva real salesman, taught me early on about the unsung glories of being in sales. Commissions which went unpaid, territories carved-up when you were successful, quotas set so high no one could make them, and lean times when your market was so affected by the economy that no matter how good you were there were no sales to be made. But still, I was entranced.

When I heard how he managed to help solve a company's problem, saw that satisfaction in his eyes, I wanted to feel that too. I adored the idea of problem solving to mutual satisfaction. I loved that a person could make money from helping another ~ even it was 'only' to help them make more money. I dreamed of being able to match need to benefit, problem to product, and of being paid to do it.

I spent my early years working in retail. I've sold nearly everything a woman can wear, men's apparel and shoes, and a few other assorted items. I've sold on commission, by quota, and at flat cashier rates. When a customer told me, "No," I was challenged to find out why... What did they need or want? Often, they didn't know what they needed or wanted, so I had to listen really well and, rather like a counselor, find out what they were looking for. Usually I go the sale. If not, I told them where they could find what they wanted. I may have 'lost' that sale to another store or company, but they always returned to me because I solved their problems. (Even if the problem was 'just' the perfect pair of the red high heels.)

I broke records, won divisional contests, and created some rather simple and innovative customer retention tools (even without permission). For my efforts I was "promoted" to management.

This was to me, a less spectacular position. For awhile I consoled myself by focusing on motivating the 'real' sales force and mentoring those who felt dirty about sales. But it just wasn't as rewarding, mostly as the companies I worked for had DMs and other 'higher-ups' with minds closed to employee moral and a general ignorance of what it was like to be in sales.

So I went 'back to school' and got my B.A., then I moved on to public relations and fund raising for non-profits. There I sold concepts and Utopian ideals to an all-too-often less than concerned public. And for less money than I made in most (if not all) of the other places. Along the way I also tended bar and held other customer service positions. *wink*

All of this is what's lead me here today. I'm rather compulsive about seeing the unmet needs, the poor (or nonexistent) customer service, the desperate hype designed to move products, the the way people just don't just stop and think. I've learned most products and services are not dirty, and that marketing and sales need not be either. And that this is the least true in the adult industry where most of us market a product or service for what it is, not what it isn't.

Daddy doesn't know about my sex pro work (which is a whole other story), so I've not sent him here; but he would be proud of what I do. Because at the end of the day problems have been solved, sales have been made, and I've got that gleam of satisfaction in my eyes.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous greg said...

Damn, I'm proud of you and I'm not even your dad!

July 20, 2007 6:41 AM  
Blogger Marketing Whore said...

Aww, thanks :)

(You're makin' me blush here!)

July 20, 2007 1:18 PM  

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