I am not a born salesperson. It is somewhat outside of my normal character to be nice. In that nice way that good salespeople are nice. All remembering your name and your kids’ names and where you use to work and all that other nice stuff.
I work in an industry where I am a fairly distinctive-looking woman amongst a lot (and I mean a lot) of middle-aged men in suits. Which frequently results in exchanges like this:
Middle-Aged Man in Suit (MAMS for short): ‘Hey, TiS, how are you doing? Your kids must be, what 3 and 1 by now?’
TiS (frantically dredging memory for this particular MAMS, to no avail): ‘Hi, doing well, doing well ‘ (..generates cute but generic anecdote about the kids without sounding too mumsy so they can’t shove me into that ‘mother who works’ box, but long enough to buy time so that my poor brain can find something about this particular chap but still, nothing. Who is this guy?)
MAMS: ‘And how have you been doing since you left [last dodgy place of work], you must have been there [insert frighteningly accurate number of years]‘. (What? is he stalking me?)
TiS: ‘Oooh, marvellous, you know how it is (riffs wildly on the joys of running one’s own business to buy time, but inevitably runs out of steam, and still, nothing)’
*uncomfortable pause during which it becomes increasingly obvious that I haven’t got a tossing clue who this chap is*
TiS: ‘So, how’s business?’ (last ditch attempt at garnering some sort of useful information to stick a name to a face).
At this point the MAMS in question will (hopefully) launch into a many and varied tale of woe/success/hardship (delete as applicable) with enough specifics in it that I can at least work out which company he works for, even if I can’t nail down who he actually is.
I used to rather glibly say that unless the guy was a complete arsehole, incredibly good looking or we had a fabulous meeting then I was unlikely to remember them. Now I really ought to find a way of remembering all of them, given that sales is a numbers game, and the more people you get yourself in front of, the more likely you are to get a bite. So any suggestions, any at all, that you have for remembering generic MAMS, would be much appreciated…