My First Summer Job…

Yesterday our firm, Social Leverage, had an investor day where our LP’s were invited to meet six of the founders from our third fund. We held it on Zoom. For ten years we have held these in Coronado or Scottsdale for over 100 people.

Nothing can replace IRL (in real life), but for the LP’s it was very effective.

It is not an easy time to be an entrepreneur and speak into Zoom to both your employees, customers and investors.

I was at lunch with Rachel, something we have been doing regularly since she started work full time and she asked me about the event and how it went. I was explaining how difficult it must be for the founders and employees right now.

Rachel asked me about my first job and I told her the story of my summer selling Ecyclopaedia Brittanica. I was 17 and I applied via a newspaper ad.

I reported to Bay and Bloor to be trained in objection handling by Mike Lee. He was a serious smoker. Mike would yell out objections like…

I’ll wait for the CD-ROM….

Too Expensive…

My kids can go to the library…

I would have to banter back and forth with Mike to try and get the sale.

On the weekends, I would go set up a booth at a local mall with my selling partner Check Chan. We would try and get people over to our booth to either pitch them in the booth for a full pitch and close attempt or get them to fill out a lead card.

Later, we would be back in the office calling on those leads or leads that were handed out by Mike Lee, trying to get house appointments to close a sale. The leads stunk of smoke!.

I’ll never forget that first job and the tactics we employed. These tactics were considered the gold standard at the time as were the books themselves.

I learned so much from Mike Lee and Check Chan about the hand to hand and face to face battle of sales.

Even if think you are the best salesman, go work for the best product.

Sales sure has changed…