Posted by: yacmichigan | August 16, 2013

My Very First Sales Appointment: A Worthwhile Disaster

My Very First Sales Appointment: A Worthwhile Disaster

By Brent Kelly, The Insurance Coach,


Don’t let bad experiences slow you down.


Artist interpretation of my first sales appointment

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a confident 22 year-old guy who was ready to take on the world. I had all of one month of training and now it was finally happening. My first sales call.

As I made the drive to the prospect’s business, my youthful confidence started turning into anxiousness. I could feel my body temperature rising and perspiration forming. I was scared to death.

I had no idea what I was doing. I was clueless on how business worked, I didn’t understand the details of insurance, and I had no idea how to make a good first impression.

As I opened the door to ask for the prospect a fake smile broke out. Under the smile was pure fear.

  • What would I say?
  • How should I say it?
  • Should I compliment the business?
  • Should I talk about the weather?

As the prospect walked towards me I muttered, “Hi, I’m Brent.” It wasn’t pretty, but at least I didn’t throw up on him.

As we walked back to his office I remember thinking to myself, “you can do this.”

Then the daggers started coming.

“You look awfully young, how long have you been in the business?” Uh oh. “One month, I replied.”

The look on his face said it all. I don’t know what he was thinking, but I am guessing it was something like, “who the heck does this guy think he is walking in my office wasting my precious time.” ”This guy is a joke.”

I tried to play it cool, but I was muttering, stuttering, stammering, and making a complete fool of myself.

I asked stupid questions like, “What do you guys do.” It was a printing company, what did I think they did?

I tried to use the sales approach that I learned in my first month on the job by building rapport, finding pains, looking for value, etc. All I really did was destroy any sliver of rapport, cause my own pains, and destroy value.

I will put it bluntly. It wasn’t pretty. It was a blood bath.

With my hands shaking, I thanked the annoyed prospect and walked out. I remember thinking, “I can’t do this.”

  • It was humiliating.
  • It was frustrating
  • It was humbling.

Looking back at this experience 13 years ago, I realize how far I have come. I also realize how far I still have to come.

I have had hundreds of appointments since that first one. Some have gone great, some were terrible.

One thing is for certain. I have learned something from every appointment.

There were days I wanted to quit and days I was on top of the world. Guess what? That is sales.

If you are new in sales, I have some amazing news.

Although you can’t control the final outcome of sales appointments, you can control your response.

Will you take every opportunity as a learning experience?
Will you pick yourself up after you get knocked down?
Will you grow from your success and failures?
How will you respond?

You control the answers to these questions. No one else has that power.

My first sales appointment was an absolute disaster. It was also the beginning of a amazing journey.

Do you have a bad sales experience? I would love to hear about it. Please share.


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