Friday, January 2, 2015

On Sales and Feeling Conflicted

I feel a bit sorry for those who do sales calls. They are taught to be relentless. One time someone called from a company I have done business with many times, but their approach was manipulative, and I was disgusted by what I was hearing.

I just had another call from a company I used to do business with, but they are not currently in my area. I tried to tell the sales guy this. "Are you sure?" was what I heard, followed by more sales pitch.

I tried to be polite, and get off the phone. When that did not work, I just hung up in the middle of his pitch. 

Why did I pick up in the first place? I am trying to stop people from calling who don't need to. I have gotten a number of collection calls for others over the years, and it sucks when it wakes me up, especially.

You might think there is no reason to feel sorry for these people. After all, they took the job. But maybe they had no choice. Maybe they have a family, and need the income. I won't hold the approach against them. After all, they're only doing what they've been trained to do, and doing what is expected.

The problem for me is with the ignorant approach of the companies that think they're somehow doing the right thing.

I have become so sensitized to what "selling" often feels like that I am no good at selling anything. I feel like others feel the same way, and I respect that enough that I usually try to keep my distance from slimy feeling sales pitches.

It makes it extraordinarily difficult for me in the position I find myself in. There are times I feel like I am "marketing" my illness. I am trying to make the case as to why anyone would want to help me. The problem is that if the person doesn't have that want, I don't get helped. A good sales pitch would try to plug into some want or need a person identifies with to make that happen.

I have tried to help myself financially by offering mp3s (Relatingtocancer.com/mp3s.html), a recipe booklet (GreatFoodEscape.com), my book (SometimesitSuckstobeHuman.com), jewelry, prints, and other creative endeavors (cedonaah.com and Facebook.com/cedonaah), and even most of these things, I have been told, need to be marketed).

I have a problem on more than one level with this whole marketing thing. I explained one piece above. Another piece is that in some way, my things get lost among the throngs of the many other authors, artists, and jewelry makers.

Many have told me they understand my frustrations. Well, they do - and they don't. There is a similarity between us, but there is also in a large number of cases, a big difference. I am dealing with cancer. I cannot function well most days, sleep a lot, and have no income, and no husband or family to support me. 

Do I want people to buy things just because they feel sorry for me? No. That is why I try to offer up things I think they will value and appreciate.

At the same time, I make no secret of my situation and extreme need. I just would hope and ask that people act from their heart and not their head. I have asked for as little as a dollar. One dollar. Some people give more to help animals and children in other countries than they are willing to invest in a fellow human being in need in this country.

I am not exactly sure what that says, but it says something. It is not necessarily something labelled "bad," either. If you were in a position like mine, you would undoubtedly pay more attention to these types of things, too.

I am running out of money constantly because I can't seem to get ahead. I guess that can be construed as a good thing. I get enough to keep going.

But the thing is, I am about to begin chemo again, and I am in a lot worse position than I was in when I started this journey. It is hard to function and try to heal myself at the same time. The financial stress can't be helping me.

The stress of having to deal with other people's reactions to me doesn't help, either. I often can't seem to drown the way they think I should.

I share this because it is what showed up as I wrote today. I share it because I also know I am not alone in this experience. 

Many do not talk about their experiences because they're embarrassed, demoralized and other not so great reasons. I can totally understand why the silence.

As for me, I have discovered I have nothing to lose by speaking up. It sucks. It is uncomfortable. It is a lot of things, but I need the help, and I need people to understand how desperate my situation is while I simultaneously try not to immerse myself in it. It is not an easy task.

I said above that I do not want people to buy things because they feel sorry for me. The fact is, I am in such a great need, a part of me wouldn't mind if that is what it took to make something happen.

After you have done all that you can do, said all you can say, and get to a point that you haven't a clue what to do any more, you have to hope something, somehow, somewhere changes so you can get the help you need.

My guess is that is sometimes why the ugly sales pitches show up. They are desperate for you to buy what they are selling, and will try to do whatever they can to make that happen.

There has to be a better way, and I think if people would just start listening with their heart, instead of their head, we could possibly find that way. I am fairly certain many people talk themselves out of helping another every day. 

I bet the reasons sound good, too. But there is also a good chance that those things are more a REACTION to a situation based on past things than a true ACTION based on their heart in the moment. 

But when things like this are unconsciously motivated, they don't bother us like they do when they are coming from an external source - like someone who wants or needs something from us. 

This conversation is a big one. There are so many pieces and parts and reasons and objections and...I am sure I could never cover it all. I do, however, understand there are many facets. But just because I understand them does not mean the ones I address should be silenced.

It really sucks when the party who is in need is supposed to understand why someone does not help, and then proceed to shut up.

I guarantee you if those who aren't in need - ones who are so damned sure of their beliefs and ideas about those who are - were in the other person's shoes, they'd more than likely be singing a different tune.

It is a lot easier to say something about a situation when you are not in it, than when you are intimately affected by it.

PS if you haven't yet voted for my blog today, would you please? I could win a much needed $1000, but I need votes to get there. The contest only runs two more weeks, and you could potentially give me 2 votes each of those days between Facebook and Twitter. Thank you.  http://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest?badge=105


  1. I can totally relate to this post! In college I worked at alumni relations and cold called people for donations. It was not fun but I needed money to pay rent and buy books. I certainly have an appreciation for people choosing to work (even in a crappy job) rather than not being able to take care of their responsibilities and/or families!

    Great post! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. :) Happy New Year!

  2. Yes, everything needs to be "marketed", I realize that as an artist, though I do try to gear my art marketing in such a way that it simply makes people aware of the existence of my art, rather than tries to push it on them. If they like it and can afford it, they'll buy, if not they won't. Of course the result of this is that I spend more on supplies than I make on selling art... so maybe I need to reexamine that approach.
    I hope you find a viable source of income, I assume you must already have checked with social services to see if you qualify for assistance?

    1. Hey again, Vick :) Thanks for coming by again. To answer your last question...Yes. I have spoken a lot on this blog about how things have been in that regard. I am hoping Disability will come through at some point, but so far, it has been a whole lot of not much of anything.

  3. WOW - I can relate to your post on so many different levels. My step-daughter is currently in sales and needs to make 100 calls each day. In the course of a week - she gets between 5 - 10 "yes" answers. I can't imaging being told "no" 95 times each day. As a business owner, I need to market and sell my services in order for my business to thrive. After working with Hugh Liddle, at Red Cap Sales Coaching, I realized that a sales conversation is just that - a conversation! It's a chance for two people to explore a challenge and possible solutions. Sometimes, I am that solution, and other times I'm not. But realizing that my purpose is to be in "problem solving" mode has taken the manipulation and "skeeviness" out of the interaction. Best of luck on your journey!

    1. Hello Lisa :) Thanks for your comment. I think I still have an issue personally with the whole "problem-solving" "fix-it" aspect of marketing. I feel that problems can be created out of no where as a manipulation for a sale. This is NOT to say that is what YOU do. But I have seen that happen many more times than I would like. It was always a dilemma for me before "all" of this. Now it is even worse.

  4. I understand your feelings on the marketing issues. I went and voted. You sold me. I wish I could do more. Good luck in your fight.

    1. Hey there. :) Thanks for being "sold." Didn't even know I was selling anyone anything. Maybe that is the best kind of "sale," except that it may not be as "effective" as approaches designed to get the numbers. There are many people who know about me and my situation who haven't taken the time to do what you did. You are in a special class. Thank you!