May 21, 2017

Not Another Call -- a Very Tired Sketch

Being early morning, we'll see how far I get on this before 8 a.m., which I've just decided is Deadline, period. Here comes the sketch, collage on pencil w. contrast increased. Next there's a lot of text.

There's really no word for "sales fatigue" in Swedish. By which I do not mean shoppers collapsing with twenty-odd fancy little bags in a shopping mall but the far more serious condition when you've been trying to Sell, Sell, Sell for such a long time that you can't do it anymore. Please rather kill me. This is when your entire soul is cringing so much that you simply can't convince. The glory of past sales fade before the grey damp mists of no.

-- There's tons of advice out there, of course, everything from taking breaks (you can't; you'd just think of selling anyway) to standing in a power position (you're calling from your bed now) to smiling; smiling on the phone is to subconsciously upgrade the conversation somehow, and then -- no. Don't try. Smiling hurts.
Ah, yes -- there was this advice on "not thinking of selling", and sure, one can have a nice conversation and all, but sooner or later (all those heavy bills that come thumping merrily down in the mailbox while you're calling and "not-selling-but-selling" suggest sooner, man!) you come to the parting point when you have to get down to business. And then you get turned down.

There's more out there, including quite a lot of quackery.

I saw one idea that actually resonated with sense. One has to get one's "No, thank you" quickly. (Someone had better still tell me how this is to go with the advice to do slow and gentle bonding, though.) And then, get up in the saddle again! Go to next, and you'll get your Yes sooner! Good advice. Only reality stood in its way.

My line was to travel about with a barely portable piano and perform music at the "Old Folks' Home", mostly in company with a singer. This week I did my best and final shot, spanning over three days in a row. I got up early, started to call, then had nausea for breakfast, another call, suicidal thoughts for brunch, yet one feeble call amidst general exhaustment and then tears for lunch. Afternoons fared somewhat better -- I feel less suicidal in the afternoons -- but my customers were in health care. They're early birds. They generally know much more about health care than culture. And they quit early too.

Trying to cut my weary tale short, those early birds were hopeless. (I prefer to think of them in the past tense). More often than not, those responsible for music and other activities are not in any directory, one has to ask their boss (who doesn't want to handle such petty things really) or some nurse, the only kind of soul that is more exhausted and fatigued than the caller. If you're nice you get a number. If you're lucky they answer. If you're even more lucky, they agree to read your mail, listen to the demo. Then you have to reach them again -- answering phones seldom have any function there -- and ask if they read the mail, etc. etc. Then you have to be lucky again: You have to reach this point perfectly between We-haven't-planned-the-season-yet and We've-planned-the-season-already. If there's any between. Or you haven't stumbled across any other obstacle -- they are too many to mention here.

This is the first draft. I don't know whether collage improved it or not.
We're nearing 8 a.m. and there ought to be a good finishing line here. But I'm too tired. Thanks for hearing me out, though.
And as for sales, I think that I'm off it.

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