Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Door-to-Door Selling as the First Step to Billions
      This article is by Gillian Zoe Segal, the author of Getting There: A Book of Mentors."

"Before you shell out $160,000 on a business school education, you might want to consider spending a couple of years as a doorto-door salesman instead. That’s what I learned as I researched and wrote my new book, Getting There: A Book of Mentors, in which 30 leaders in a broad range of fields tell about their rocky road to the top. I was surprised to find out how many of them credited early shoe-leather sales jobs for equipping them with the skills they needed for their ultimate success. John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of the PatrĂ³n Spirits Company and John Paul Mitchell Systems, called his three-year stint selling Collier’s Encyclopedia one of the most formative experiences of his life. “If that job existed today,” he says, “I would make every one of my kids do it.” DeJoria went door-todoor persuading strangers to buy a set of encyclopedias. This forced him to both hone his powers of persuasion and overcome rejection. “After you’ve had 15 doors slammed in your face,” he explained, “you need to be as enthusiastic at door number 16 as you were at the first door, if you want to make a sale.” When DeJoria launched John Paul Mitchell Systems, he relied on the same skills, going from beauty salon to beauty salon getting people to purchase his hair care products. He recounts that at least four out of every five salons turned him down—but he knew better than to let that discourage him.
Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of the shapewear company Spanx, had a similar experience in her eight years working for a company that sold fax machines door-to-door. She recalled, “I would wake up in the morning and drive around cold-calling from eight until five. Most doors were slammed in my face. I saw my business card ripped up at least once a week, and I even had a few police escorts out of buildings. It wasn’t long before I grew immune to the word ‘no.’” When she started Spanx, she needed to find someone to make a prototype of her product, and she began by telephoning local hosiery mills. Without exception, they turned her down. So she drew on a lesson she had learned from cold-calling: Face-to-face makes a huge difference. She took a week off of work and drove around North Carolina, popping by many of the same mills that had already rejected her on the phone. She sat in the lobby and waited to speak to the founder or owner. It eventually worked, and the Spanx prototype was born. From cold-calling, Blakely also learned that you have about 15 seconds to capture someone’s attention—but if you can make them smile or laugh, you get an extra 15 to 30. With no money to grab people’s attention the conventional way, through advertising, she decided to infuse her product with humor wherever she could, from naming it Spanx to writing “We’ve got your butt covered!” on the package. She ended up turning Spanx into something people love to joke about. Her product has been mentioned everywhere from The Oprah Winfrey Show to Glee—for free. The artist Jeff Koons cut his teeth selling candy door-todoor and then moved on to hawking everything from soft drinks on a local golf course to memberships at the Museum of Modern Art, and mutual funds. “Selling is kind of like fishing” he explained. “To be successful, you have to be persistent and patient.” He is now the most commercially successful artist alive, but it took him nine years after graduating from art school to make enough money from his art to give up having a second job. Calling on the persistence and patience he had perfected as a salesman, he slowly broke into the art scene by saying yes to any invitation that might give him the opportunity to network, showing his work to anyone who would look, and never refusing an opportunity to exhibit.
During her early modeling years, Kathy Ireland sold herself door-to-door. She explained, “Back then, agencies would send models on ‘go-sees’ to get jobs. The people in charge of hiring would look us up and down and dissect us right in front of our faces. I was rejected a lot. It hurt at first, but I soon learned that it was just part of the process.” She eventually became a successful Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, but as she got older she wanted to pursue a career that was not dependent on her looks. After years of failing with various start-ups (a microbrewery, a skin-care line, and several art projects), she finally launched her own brand, kathy ireland Wordlwide, with a line of socks. It is now a $2 billion enterprise with its name on more than 15,000 products. Ireland frequently advises others, “If you never fail, it means you are not trying hard enough.” Writing my book, I learned how much success in any field depends on persistence, not fearing failure, and getting others to follow your ideas. What better way could there be to acquire these essential traits than by actually hitting the street?"

Friday, December 11, 2015

AT&T to Expand GigaPower!

At Capstone Consultants we are excited about new opportunities with AT&T and it's new expansion and merger with DirecTV.  For us this means more opportunities and new growth in 2016!

"With its merger with DirecTV long closed, AT&T has begun to apply more focus on its GigaPower platform, announcing Monday that it will expand the reach of its fiber-based network to homes, businesses and apartment buildings to parts of another 38 metros.

AT&T didn't detail the rollout timing, but said those additions will expand GigaPower’s footprint to 56 metros.

AT&T has expanded its live GigaPower footprint to portions of 20 metros with the addition of Los Angeles, Calif.; and West Palm Beach, Fla. AT&T has not revealed how many GigaPower subscribers have signed on, but Brad Bentley, AT&T Entertainment Group’s EVP and chief marketing officer, said in a statement that customer demand and sales of GigaPower “have exceeded expectations” since the initial launch in Austin, TX, about two years ago. 

AT&T said its GigaPower network now passes 1 million “locations,” and that it expects to more than double that number by the end of 2016."


Friday, June 19, 2015

Why Start a Career in Sales?

Capstone Consultants explores a common question asked by our entry level applicants. “Should I start my career in sales?”
Do you need to look any further than the executive list of our Fortune 500 Clients? No, as it turns out more than 60% of Fortune executives start their career in sales.
If you’re like most young adults, you’re concerned about starting your career in sales. Before making your decision, consider these reasons and don't let misconceptions about the profession cause you to overlook some fantastic opportunities that might actually make a job in sales the right career move. The Capstone Consultants team has come up with 5 benefits to start a career in sales:

1. Professional and Personal Development: The biggest reason executives come from sales is all the invaluable, life lessons sales will teach you. Some of these include; negotiating, persistence, persuasion, self-discipline, which are useful in both business and personal endeavors. Salespeople build their confidence from building relationships with customers, and the next step is usually management. Managing and training salespeople is something that every company needs help with, due to the limited amount of skilled workers here there is usually rapid advancement.
2. Autonomy: Who likes to be micro-managed? Who likes sitting at a cubicle? Often, sales offices offer less conventional working environments and scheduling flexibility. One of the largest draws most often is from people who appreciate the freedom and independence. If you think that you can hit or exceed goals independently then your schedule will not be the only thing benefiting. How about a big commission check.
3. Networking Opportunities: Sales reps typically have many conferences and opportunities to meet with executives or higher ranking officials earlier in their career due to the immediate impact they have on an organization. A sales agent cannot perform his or her job duties without interacting with other people, and each encounter should be considered a potential lead or opportunity to form a new business relationship.
4. Suits Any Skill Set: Regardless of a job seeker's college major, favorite hobbies, or professional background, there is likely a sales-related opportunity in just about any field of interest. Very simply, every company needs sales to profit and exist. If you can get more customers, there’s a good chance they will always have a promotion waiting for you. Even for those planning a career in something other than sales, holding a sales position can help them develop a strong foundation of experience within their chosen industry.
5. Un-Capped Paychecks and Advancement Opportunities: Any successful sales associate with the ability to generate revenue for a company is a valuable asset. In addition to their ability to increase earning potential by expanding sales territory, an aptitude for sales can lead to leadership and management opportunities. A successful career that starts in sales can lead to management roles such as sales supervisor or executive positions such as vice president of sales. In fact, many successful CEOs got their start in sales.

Whether you're poised for a career change or need employment during a transitional period, you have much to gain by taking on a sales job, and you never know where it may lead you. Take this list of professional perks into consideration and try looking at open sales positions during your next job search with a fresh perspective.