Happy is the man/woman who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife/husband.
My first straight commission job was shortly after we bought our first house (can you say bad timing?) I had been one of the best jewelry sales people for Service Merchandise (remember them?) but now I wanted the “unlimited income potential”, promised in the ad for security systems sales.
They paid $200 a month for gas allowance and provided leads. It was a reseller for a large national department store chain so leads were plentiful…. but most people only wanted the promised free gift.
The “good leads” went to the politically connected sales veterans…of which I was not! At least some people were making money, which meant I could, too.
Those first two weeks were murder and I had not sold one system and the “call me back next week” people were not working out either.
I looked forward to going home to my new wife in our new home, but always dreaded the first critical moments of crossing the threshold…
“How did it go today, honey?
Simple question and she was still calling me honey at least! I began going through my complex options mentally…
“Swimmingly fabulous” I thought to say with a British accent…no, too over the top.
“It was okay. Wednesdays are typically the slowest day”. I had only worked two weeks so it was too early to have a credible “pattern excuse”.
I looked at her sweet supportive face and decided to go with The Truth…
“I have not sold my first system and the leads don’t seem to be working out. They are sending me on the wild goose chases and all the people want are the free gifts. I had 3 no-shows out of 5 appointments today and I only have one appointment tomorrow. I don’t see how we are going to make it. I made a mistake leaving the other job.”
Then I did something I had not done since my dog, Pooh, had died 2 years prior.
Not because I thought I was a failure…not because I was getting bad leads…and not because of frustration or jealously with other people’s success…
I did not want to let Natalie down.
I know you don’t want to let your spouse down either as you pursue what you believe to be a better life for them and your family.
For the next hour, she rubbed my head and told me it was all going to be fine and that I was gifted and talented (hey, she forgot drop dead handsome!) , and we talked and planned the rest of the evening.
It was then that I realized I could not do this by myself…and that I was not in this by myself. That year, I presented my wife with the first annual M.V.P Award.
It is simply sharing.
Money – Vision – Pressure
Most people do not make it in sales because they can’t wait out the time it takes for success to “kick in”. Most failed marriages do not last for the same reason. If your spouse has no clue of what you do for a living and more importantly, how you do what you do for a living, then it will be hard for them to be patient waiting for the “ship to come in”.
The sharing of Money, Vision, and Pressure gives them an equal stake in the journey…and the outcome.
Okay Brandon, so you gave Natalie the M.V.P Award – did that really change anything?
It changed EVERYTHING.
I will admit that for the next two weeks, I still didn’t sell anything, that didn’t change.
But each appointment, each no-show, each hour that I spent sitting in the car between appointments to save on gas…she was ‘there’ with me. The support, the belief, the faith. I gained strength knowing we were on the same team and she was trusting me to take the game winning shot and would support me…even if I missed it.
Four weeks of selling nothing, gave me something that quick success would not have revealed.
And then, came the 5th week.