Lessons Learned From the Art of Persuasion and Making Sales

If you look at my resume, you will see a background in Pharmacy, Marketing, Accounting, and Finance, and yet none of them are my passion. Those are just the paths I took to realize my true passion which is being an entrepreneur, a published author and writer, to teach and have a voice in writing, and public speaking.

Years ago I had a privileged to work as a membership marketing intern. Honestly, I didn’t like the job, but they paid me 10 dollars an hour, this was in 2008, so it was pretty much above minimum wage and average pay for internships.  On top of that it was in pretty good location, just a couple of blocks from the metro station. Also, every once a week we had meetings with free food, you can’t beat that.

My director for somehow used to really like me, till today I think because I was the best intern he had ever had. He was not just a boss to me, but also a leader and a good example; I learned a lot from him. As I mentioned, we had meetings every week to discuss our weekly achievements for the entire organization. He was the one who was speaking most of the time for our little membership marketing department during these meetings. We were three of us; two full-time employees, and one intern, which was me. Like all of my other jobs I have worked before, I have learned and accumulated many skills through them; it was through this internship I learned how to master my sales skills. And no, it was not door-to-door, it was through phone calls. We didn’t even use social media networks at the time, I think social media era was not that potential and popular like where it is today.

We had weekly targets to meet, and one of my main jobs was to make sure new membership targets were met every week, for old members’ renewals and new members who had never signed up with us before.

We had a database for all members; those who were currently active, and those who were currently inactive whose membership have expired needed to be renewed. We had also had a list of potential clients and customers, who have never been members before, but have a potential to be if we would have made efforts to approach them.

There were so many benefits these customers and clients got if they signed up for memberships. Among those benefits, there was one that stood up that the members were more interested in to sign up. We had a prescription drug discount program whereby each member who signed up with us would get a certain discount on top of their insurance coverage with their prescription medication if they ever got sick. Coming from the pharmacy background experience; I also had an experience in processing customers’ insurance claims and make sure they go through, and this is why I was the perfect intern candidate.

The membership marketing director advised me, if I made certain calls every day pursuing potential members to join us, by the end of each week, we would have a 99 percent chance to meet our targets every week.

Therefore, I had to divide my time, because I had other tasks that I was supposed to do daily including updating the database with current information and contact details. My strategy was that each day to made sure to set time at least 2 hours to speak to 20 potential customers and clients. And each Friday after the meeting, I would go back to my cubicle and prepare a list of 100 potential members to call next week with dates on it, and columns to put descriptions if the calls were successful or I needed to call again next time. I also had my yellow page book on the side, hahaha..I mean; I was ready to make calls each day to meet our targets. And I have to tell you, some customers would told me yes, they wanted to sign up, some would said no, some would said maybe, some would said call another day because the person who made such decision was out of the office, some wouldn’t even let me finished what I had to say and hanged up the phone. But I was so determined to meet our targets each week, therefore when these potential members said no to me, I would took it as they meant call tomorrow. And I would call tomorrow, but this time used another phone line…hahaha. Eventually my efforts were worth it because each week we met our targets, some days we were way over our targets. And my director was so proud each week. When the internship period ended, he wanted me to stay. But I took another job, for somehow I got tired to hear the frequently no’s…hahaha.

But looking back, I am so glad that I had such an experience through this marketing internship. Not only it taught me how to pursing customers and clients to make sales, but it also taught me that these no’s that we often get in life, sometimes they are not as bad as we take them to be. Perhaps they just mean try something else, or try again and change how you pursuing things next time, or you need to improve yourself or perhaps your products. Whatever it is, whether it be your dreams, your goals, and et cetera, refuse to fail and take no for an answer until you accomplish them. If you keep making the calls without growing weary, meaning that if you keep taking a series of actions steps to achieve them every day, if you keep persisting, and perhaps try different strategies and approaches, when things don’t work; one day, after one call to another, you are going to get a “yes,” and eventually you are going to meet all your targets like you have planned.


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