What’s in the bag?

What's in the bag?

Sunday night syndrome

When I was a child, many of you probably felt the loneliness of the end of vacation after watching the TV animation “Sazae-san.

I was one of those people who spent Sunday nights hoping that a meteorite would suddenly hit the earth and give me a day off from school.

Considering that 75% of life on Earth disappeared when an asteroid hit the Yucatan Peninsula in the late Cretaceous Period, 6,600 years ago, there is no way that such a situation would occur every Sunday.

And even if there were Martians like Duke Togo, it would be very impossible for a school to be the only one affected by pinpointing the damage.

Nevertheless, as an adult with the “Sazae-san syndrome“, I began to change my target from schools to companies in Tokyo and start imagining things conveniently around the end of Fuji TV’s “Mr. Sunday” program.

Since childhood, I have felt “grown up” in that my symptoms appear 3 hours and 30 minutes later than I should have.

The Essence of Sales

The sun will rise again.” So said Ernest Hemingway.

Now that we can confirm that there was no Duke Togo on Mars this week, it’s time to start talking about business.

The products my company handles are special components used in manufacturing processes at factories, so in business meetings, we prepare the products themselves or sample products that show their appearance and functions to the clients to find out their reactions to see if they are interested in ordering them.

Recently, more and more businesses have started to complete orders via the Internet, which does not involve real sales, but the company I work for is different.

The salespeople, who have been through many rough patches, warm up the business meeting with casual chitchat.

The conversation is then switched to the sales mode by the client’s question, “What are you doing here today?

Sometimes the conversation gets so lively that I lose track of what I really went there to do, but when that happens, I can eat a delicious meal there and return to the hotel to watch “World Business Satellite (WBS)” on TV Tokyo, which gives me a sense of fulfillment after a day’s work.

I should be thankful for the mysteries of the brain, which rewrites my memory to suit my needs.

Business is war.

Even the bad sales persons, who were just talking about golf three minutes ago, are now engaged in close combat with the same high level of coordination as a platoon of U.S. Navy SEALs.

First, we reaffirms the client’s work process.

We should not ask the client about such things or we should find out before we visit the client! You may be thinking.

In fact, we Navy SEALs are well versed in the subject, but we dare to ask.

Have you ever been out shopping and encountered a store clerk who was insistent on promoting a product you didn’t ask about?

It is also not difficult to imagine inexperienced salespeople explaining product features that are obvious only by reading the catalogs.

This kind of behavior is similar to the Takeda forces that were defeated at the Battle of Nagashino, and no matter how many excellent foreign company top brass cavalrymen are assembled, they will not be able to break through the client’s foot soldiers.

Even if an excellent researcher stationed at one of the desks thoroughly researched the client’s situation, the business situation changes on a daily basis.

The manufacturing process may have changed due to quality improvement or other reasons. In the words of Yuji Oda, “Incidents happen on site“.

A company is not a charity, so it must sell products and make a profit.

No matter how much they are conscious of contributing to society, they cannot be allowed to lead a life in which they produce no results and spend every night on the floor watching WBS.

If there is such a paradise, I’d like to know about it.

Therefore, many of the more than 8.5 million salespeople , who account for about 10% of the Japanese population, are motivated by a desire to sell, and often say things like, “Isn’t my product great?” or “I know all about your company’s problems!“.

However, unlike the Black Triple Star, which cornered Gundam with a jet stream attack, in a real business meeting, most of the explanations that are spoken with enthusiasm are not heard by the other party.

Perhaps the “three strengths of our company!” that you wish to emphasize about which your clients will be as indistinguishable as Gaia, Mash, and Ortega’s mobile suit “Dom.

In addition, it is extremely difficult for us, who are not gods, to accurately fill in the asymmetry of information in the field where incidents keep occurring.

If you want to look like a hermit on the battlefield, I recommend that you first climb up to Karin Tower and then extend the power pole to the temple of God, not to any of the crowded buildings in Kanda.

The essence of sales is to suppress the desire to sell and just listen.

Like a good reporter, you wait for the other person to explain his or her “problem“.

Don’t worry. Those of you who have worked day and night to avoid offending your girlfriends and wives should be able to do this.

However, even if you do listen to what they have to say, questions like “What is your company’s problem?” is the worst kind of question.

It is meaningless to ask in the first place. The client may not even be aware of the problem, and even if they are lucky enough to know, there are issues that are out of our control.

Many companies are not the “Eunseong Group”, the conglomerate from the Netflix Korean drama “Queen Maker” where money can solve anything.

From the several problems that emerge in the conversation, we can capture the problems that can be best solved by your company, not other companies, and introduce them with your company’s services under the cool name of “solution“.

Therefore, our special unit will ask clients from the way they do their job, knowing full well that we know what we are doing.

Since the customer only talks about their job, the explanation unfolds exactly as we imagined it, without any stress.

With the realization that there is no change from the prior information, my glasses will probably be shining like Gendou Ikari by now.

From here, you delve into the call and response, focusing on the points most relevant to the product you want to sell.

Of course, the caller is the customer, and our role is to raise the voltage in the crowded conference room while enhancing the sense of unity in the business discussion.

This is it!” If we can demonstrate with actual products or samples at the right moment, we can be sure that victory is at hand.

Salesperson of many years’ experience

This is one of the largest deals the company has ever had. Failure was not an option.

It is just before 10:00 a.m., and the sales person, dressed in combat uniforms similar to ours, get off the Shinkansen and head off to their respective battlefields.

The old soldier in attendance, who is in his mid-50s, is well received by clients for his experience and knowledge, and he is steady in his work.

He has a keen eye and is always saying, “I’m still as good as the younger guys“.

If you Google “Jagen,” the captain of the Arithia Court Knights from the Nintendo game “Fire Emblem,” you may get an idea of what he looks like.

The back of Jagen walking ahead of me, moping in the backlight, is very dependable.

His arms are muscular for his age, and he is carrying a bag larger than usual. It was evident that he was well prepared with samples to be used in the business meeting.

I was in the same vein as usual, raising the voltage in the conference room with my customer-oriented call-and-response.

I gave the old soldier a look and said, “Maybe it’s time to bring out the product samples,” but he didn’t move. In fact, he didn’t even make a gesture of reaching for his bag.

I felt that it wasn’t time yet!” I continued to dig deeper into the client’s issue with the minimum necessary response.

This strategy of responding to the client’s questions was effective, and the client said, “That’s great. Can we see some samples today?The client gave us a GO sign.

As expected of Jagen. I can’t believe you were able to get an approval from the customer.

I’m impressed by your strategy of rushing the process!!” I looked at his face with a smile, but he was silent with a serious face that clearly did not match the atmosphere at the site.

If anything, it seemed as if he was shrinking his large body and putting off any sign of his presence.

Being a genuine Kansai native, there was no way he could not have understood my client’s words.

Jagen. Can you give us a sample?” No longer by sign, but by direct voice, I requested, “I didn’t bring it today. I don’t have it with me today,” I hear the unbelievable words, “Sorry…“.

The conference room suddenly quieted down as if a ballad song was about to start.

What is that big bag at your feet…?” I could not bear to remain confused and speechless over the major incident that had occurred at the site, the client said, “Hey, man. Just show me next time.” We received words of comfort from him.

After arranging our next appointment and greeting each other in front of the elevator, we headed to the ground floor from the 20th floor.

I resist the urge to ask him about his earlier blunder in the privacy of our own room. “We are still in the client’s building. Let’s calm down,” I said, doing the 10-second breathing exercise to suppress the surge of emotion.

A few meters from the client’s building, Jagen said, “I’m so sorry for the trouble I caused you today. I am so ashamed of myself!” A word of warning.

It took about 20 seconds in the elevator and 10 seconds from the building to here, roughly 30 seconds of thoughtful apology.

When someone apologizes first, it calms the fire of one’s anger. Furthermore, the fact that Jagen, a strong man who has fought many battles in his career, used words such as “so ashamed of myselfto smoke me out was amazing.

“The business meeting was connected to the next one, so it’s all right. By the way, what is in that black bag that I mistook for a demo sample?

It would be a mystery that everyone who was at the business meeting would want to solve, even if they were not a detective like Kosuke Kindaichi.

I sweat a lot, so I have a change of underwear and a shirt. I also have bad back pain, so I need a handheld massager.It’s small and convenient!

I could hardly believe my eyes. He answered with an innocent smile, as if he were about to commit seppuku, a far cry from his devastated demeanor of a minute before.

I suppressed the urge to punch this old man...”. we were hot and sweaty from traveling under the scorching sun. You can bring as many changes of underwear as you like.

But, Jagen, this is a battlefield. “If you have room for a handheld massager, bring samples.” I muttered to myself.

What's in the bag?

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