In the beginning...
I often joke that I'm an accidental salesman. Sales was certainly not on my agenda in the early years of my career. Shortly after completing a BFA in Photography, I spent a year studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and became a full-time meditation instructor in my home town of Rochester NY. I was seeing enough moon beams to imagine that would be my lifetime career even though the financial prospects were not that great. Well, that all changed in the summer of '79, when Bonnie, my wife of two years announced one day, "Chris, I'm pregnant and you need to get a real job!"
A quick read of Richard Bolles' "What Color is Your Parachute", convinced me that either public relations or sales would best match my interest in communication and people. Sales won out over PR when a friend working as an office equipment repairman introduced me to the president of the company, and I was offered a position as junior sales representative.
My favorite sales training programs were Dale Carnegie, and a week of specialized training in selling Scriptomatic Addressing Systems. However most of my sales experience was gained the hard way -- pounding the pavement and making cold calls to offices and small to large companies.
That was in the early '80s before the advent of the Internet and email. Phone calls were discouraged, so the best way to get in the door was to just show up and talk your way into the hearts and minds of unsuspecting prospects. After 3 years, I landed a better position with Dictaphone Corporation, then part of Pitney Bowes. Their training was even better, but cold calls were still the name of the game.
What about now?
Fast forward to the present day, and I've found that cold calling is not an efficient approach. Referrals and recommendations from happy clients, and leveraging social media are far more powerful means to generage new and repeat business.
From 1994 - 2011, I was employed with Human Factors International, Inc., a global consulting and training company in the user experience research and design field. I consistently out-sold everyone on the sales team; often by more than double anyone else's monthly sales. I would be remiss not to credit the collaboration of my consulting colleagues, whose services I was responsible for selling. We worked closely as a team through the sales cycle, so my success was through well-orchestrated team work.
In January 2012, I took a leap of faith motivated by a passion to share what I have learned, and resigned a secure sales position to devote full time to my own sales and business consulting practice. My website tells the rest of the story about my services, approach and how to engage with me. For more details on my career path see my LinkedIn page .
I'm also an avid nature photographer, and love to hike the mountains of western NC near Asheville NC where Bonnie and I relocated after our two children had completed most of their college educations.
I look forward to hearing from you! Call 828.707.6500, or send me an email.