O'Reilly logo

Let's Close a Deal: Turn Contacts into Paying Customers for Your Company, Product, Service or Cause by Christine Clifford

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Overview and Introduction

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.

—Milton Berle

In 1975 I sat across from a district manager for Nestlé interviewing for my first job in sales. A friend from college had recommended me, and he was already working in a similar position for the company.

Forced to drop out of college during my junior year because my mother had died from breast cancer and my father, a physician, had undergone quadruple bypass surgery, my only relevant job experience had been as a senior secretary for several stockbrokers at a regional firm. After an extensive interview, the district manager thanked me for applying for the position and said, “I'm sorry, but I can't offer you the job. You have a lot of the qualifications we're looking for, and you come highly recommended. However, you have no sales experience.”

Arguing, I explained that I would work hard, and couldn't he please just give me a chance? I could see that the more I begged the more certain he'd become that he'd made the right decision. As I walked out of the building, feeling totally dejected, I realized I had gone about the process completely wrong. I hadn't been able to close the deal because I hadn't positioned myself properly.

I was so busy thinking about me and what that job would do for my dwindling bank account that I never really talked about what I could do for him or, better yet, what I could do for his company. I resolved then and there that I would do what it took to get the necessary sales ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required