OK, I’ve got a little secret to share with those of you who are kind enough to peruse the total sales manager. In the not too distant future I’ll be 62! I know, I know, most of you thought I was a young pup barely out of my thirties. Well, thanks for the kind thoughts. I will be completely honest and tell you that life at 62 could not be any better! The reason? There are new horizons begging to be crossed and challenges that need taming. But first a look back.
In 1974, when I began selling, phone calls cost a dime and we made calls in phone booths. At the time I was in medical sales calling on hospitals. Get this, at that time you could actually smoke in the phone booths. Of course I don’t smoke anymore but it still boggles my mind that I could, in a phone booth.
When it was necessary to take notes while on the phone you had either a monthly planner note book or an individual monthly planner that literally fit into the inside pocket of your “suit coat”. Suit coat? When you needed to look up a phone number and you had your monthly planner notebook there was an alphabetized list of names in the back that you put in with a pencil. A what? If you didn’t have the big notebook you called numbers from memory! From what?
I can remember times when I needed to call the home office to get updates on when products were shipped to specific accounts and the line into customer service was busy. I mean busy, as in a busy signal! No soothing voice with language preferences and 5 options. Have you ever sat in front of a very good customer and said, “I’ll have to try again in a few minutes but I’m sure those products are on the way”.
Let’s flash ahead to about 1984. (Wouldn’t George Orwell love this.) I got my first lap top computer and I was thrilled. Of course it took two weight lifters to lug the son of a gun around. I was so thrilled to get this thing home and start working. The instructions were written by a guy whose last name was cobalt. About every 10th day I lost every thing I had done on the computer. Tech support was a guy in Texas who had just taken a crash course in software the night before. I could almost see him shrug his shoulders when I asked a question.
The early nineties saw companies get smart and send really intelligent people out to their sales manager’s homes to teach the poor nimrods how to use their desktops. And this absolutely wonderful lady finally put the age of electronics into perspective. She said, “Tom, computers are nothing more than electronic files”. Thank you, I finally understood!
Okay, that’s enough ancient history. I love the electronic world I live in. Do I understand it? Not even close to 20% of it. Do I appreciate it? Oh, yes! I love reading my son’s blog-The Lonely Marketer. Do I understand all the acronyms and what they apply to? Some. I love writing articles for Ezine and I love searching the net for articles on sales management, which is my business passion. I love my laptop that I alone can carry and on which I can actually load new software without calling tech support. I think email is the best thing since Callaway drivers. I think that having a blog where I can (someday) reach hundreds of people is the best thing since meeting the woman of my dreams 40 years ago.
Will I ever be really electronically savvy? Probably not. But will I learn to go with the electronic flow? Oh yes! It’s a horizon worth reaching and a challenge worth mastering.
Final Thought: If you don’t keep up, you may be left out.