June 29


No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

By Celeste DeCamps

June 29, 2023

AnswerYourPhone, communication, FindYourSuccess, NoFreeLunch, OverDeliver, Sales, self improvement, SellYourself

"Whether We're Selling a Product or Service, in the End, We're Selling Ourselves."

Years ago, I took my little brother to Disney World. When I arrived, the hotel concierge mentioned discount tickets to the Seaquarium and other fun activities if I attended a timeshare meeting. I told him I didn't want to spend the day listening to a pitch I wasn't interested in. He said it would only be an hour, and there would be a free lunch. I took the information and went to the event. When I got there, I was reassured that we would only have to stay for an hour. As soon as the hour was up, I asked for the promised tickets. The salesman told me I still had to take a tour and hear more about the benefits of timesharing. I politely explained that I wasn't going to buy in. If they insisted on keeping me here longer, I would not be responsible for the Tasmanian Devil (my six-year-old brother) and the damage he would cause if we weren't allowed to leave. After talking to a manager and a supervisor, they finally acquiesced and gave us our gifts.

I still find it funny today because I never understood why any of those salespeople would think that a young woman and her little brother (who made it very clear we were only there for the discounted tickets) be interested in a timeshare. I get the idea of lead magnets and giving something of value for someone's time to listen to your pitch. What I don't believe in is the aggressive tactics these timesharing agents employed. The manager who came over to talk me into staying appeared aggravated and annoyed. How would that make me want to buy anything he was selling?

When I got into sales, I found it came easy for me. I treat my customers the way I want to be treated. I take the time to listen to what they need for their business to succeed. I always answer my phone, emails, and texts. I make appointments to meet with them in person and give them my full attention. I'm constantly surprised when I hear about people not bothering to return a call or answer a message. How do they conduct their business? If I'm trying to connect with a service to buy their product and they won't get back to me, I move on to someone else.

I believe we're all salespeople. Whether we're selling a product or service, in the end, we're selling ourselves. We buy from the people we like and trust. We hire a person we think will do a great job. We go out with someone who makes us feel good and who we can be comfortable with. Building a relationship and earning the confidence of others takes time. The more we can show dependability, keep our promises, and over-delivering, the more we gain success in our professional and personal lives.

My advice to all of you salespeople, read the room. If your customer shows no interest at all and has a Tasmanian Devil with her, let that one go.

About the author

Celeste DeCamps has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Miami. She worked in radio and television, was a professional belly dancer, drummer, percussionist, nightclub owner, and a sales rep for Southern Wine and Spirits for 12 years. Throughout her different career moves, speaking to and teaching women how to be more confident is Celeste's most fulfilling job.

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