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I DON’T SELL!


authorWell, I have been with Optima™ for a little over 11 years now and I have been through just about every position here (with the exception of production). I was our Receptionist, Customer Service Rep, New Business Coordinator, Estimator, New Product Development Coordinator and Frame Detailer/CAD Engineer. I have seen a lot of the business because I enjoy learning and I enjoy a challenge. I have worked with a large percentage of our customers and I feel I am pretty darn good at most of what I do. So when our new President started here almost 2 years ago, I got a couple of shocks.

Here was the main one: Every day Kevin Kirbey would walk by my desk and ask me if I had sold anything today. And EVERY day I would tell him (emphatically at times) “NO…I DON’T SELL!” “I am a Service Rep” I would say. “I service customers. I satisfy their needs and I solve their problems…I do not sell.” I am not Herb Tarlick so leave me alone.

Although I agreed with the basic premise within an organization that everyone affects sales, from your actual sales person down to the person who packs it up and ships it out, I felt very strongly that I was not actively selling. I was a problem solver and active selling was, well…creepy.

So nearly 2 years later, here I sit in my now 10th position at Optima™. It’s a 2-fold position. The first is Sales Coordination (that’s a pretty broad term meaning I help the sales team). The second part…that’s right, Inside Sales. Who woulda thought…me in Sales of all positions? I can’t believe they even let me have this position after literally arguing with them to convince them that I don’t sell. Dave and Kevin could be referred to as jerks for not taking no for an answer.

authorHowever, as I sit here trying to learn the ins and outs of the sales process and cold calling, I find myself wanting to stick to that initial mantra. I don’t want to sell. I want to find out what my customers need and solve their problems. I want to them help grow their business. Then I want to learn what THEY think will help them grow their business and I want to find a way to be the person that helps them do that. I want to be the one they turn to when they don’t know where else to go or they need a quick suggestion to solve a pressing graphics / exhibit problem. I want the opportunity to prove what Optima™ can do and how I fit within the Optima™ solution. I don’t want anyone to think of me as a sales person but rather as a ‘friend’ or as a ‘solutionizer’ (I think I just made up a word). So, I think that is going to be my goal in this new venture…keep solutionizing, keep helping, keep learning about my customers and do what I think is right – help Optima’s™ customers! Hopefully anyway.

So if you find yourself needing any solutions or with any kind of graphic need, please get a hold of anyone at Optima™ in Sales or Customer Service and we can certainly help in a non-salesy way! Dave is telling me that I have finally realized that “sales” is not a bad word and if I solutionize to satisfy my personal convictions, everybody wins.

About the Author
Shante Katinsky is the Sales Coordinator for Optima™. She has been with Optima™ since 2003.

Other posts by Shante

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