Has anyone been to Avalon this week? Brick and mortar shopping is alive and well! Any day. Any time. Absolute insanity! I had to drop in there last week to pick up a pair of Airpods. 3 pairs actually. That was an unsuccessful trip. Apple didn’t have any in stock. Neither did anyone else! I went to Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Simply Mac, and AT&T. All out of stock. Finally, I dropped in Verizon and they had ONE pair! Wow, it’s not like these things came out yesterday! I bought the ONE pair and then decided to just pick up a couple gift cards. I give up!
The silver lining from all this was that I was reminded of the volume of sales talent working in retail (specifically at AT&T & Verizon). There’s a lot of good folks grinding it out. Be nice to them! Maybe I have a soft spot for the retail game because I worked in the BIZ.
After college, I was cutting my teeth in the real estate business. I needed some steady income so I picked up a job at AT&T wireless in Dawsonville. It was part-time about 20 hours per week. It was perfect because while it was providing steady income, I was also learning about sales. That was 2007 I think. I remember AT&T had just bought Cingular. The big players at that time were Blackberry, Nokia and Motorola. Remember the Motorola Razr? I loved that phone. I think I owned 3 or 4 of them. Then the iphone came out. GAME CHANGER. Game over really.
Back then, sale associates were recognized (and comped) based on average feature + accessory revenue per sales opportunity. If someone came in and “upgraded” their phone without buying a car charger or case, that was NOT good. We were trained to teach people how to use new tech like text messaging, blue tooth, and to use AT&T TV on their phone. I say “AT&T TV” because I can’t remember exactly what it was called. It was video on your cell phone. REALLY bad quality. Really bad.
It was a really fun job. I met some cool people and learned a ton. The only part that I didn’t like was standing on my feet all day. And I was only 23 years old! I also hated working Sundays because I would miss so many Falcons games. Ot
her than that, it was great.
What was super interesting to me was the monthly variance in sales “numbers”. Back then, AT&T always kept 3 or 4 of us on the floor. All of us selling the exact same thing. With a few hundred opportunities per month, you couldn’t really blame good or bad numbers on luck could you? I don’t think so. The top associates would consistently produce 40% to 50% more than the average (don’t ask me about the below average associates). How was this possible? What I noticed pretty much immediately was that the top people always either NEEDED the money or they WANTED a promotion. It didn’t matter if they were male or female, young or old, attractive or not. The X factor was if they wanted it.
Over the last 10 years, I’ve experienced the same thing. Since I’ve seen it so many times, it’s easy for me to think about next year and ask myself “hey self, what do I want? how do I make it happen?” and then start making it happen. My wish for you next year is to figure out what you want. Not what someone else wants you to want. What you want. Figure out why you want it. If you figure that out, I believe 100% you will make it happen.
Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas! If you want to learn more about me, check out my bio at www.rhoads-group.com/clayton
P.S. I only worked at AT&T for 6 or 7 months but I learned so much about work ethic, customer service, and SALES. That short time at AT&T coupled with my experience in real estate prepared me for the eventual leap over to insurance sales. If you’re currently working in retail, tired of working nights and weekends, and want to and want to talk to me about a career change. Please reach out. In January, I plan to carve out time specifically for stuff like this.