My First Day Selling Direct Media – And I Survived to Tell the Tale

My First Day Selling Direct Media – And I Survived to Tell the Tale

Mike Brunel has recently spent weeks in India training sales managers on how to fine tune their operations. Here’s a series of blogs from his time away.

Sitting in airport lounges is one of the hazards you face when you are racing around the world doing what you love – training and selling sales programmes to media sales people.

It looks like my flight to Singapore then Delhi is a little late. Therefore I thought I would tap out this blog while I was waiting.

This trip it’s back toIndia, to help some sales managers fine tune their sales operations.

I remember even now after 25 years, the first day on the job as a Sales Manager.

I was terrified; I remember getting the job after working in media sales for only 3 years. I caught the eye of a well known consultant, who then became my business partner for 20 years.

He saw potential, as he liked to remark some years later, a little green, but potential. More importantly he believed in me and convinced me that I could be a sales manager, and a good one.

The truth was that I did not have a clue how to run a media company let alone a large sales team. I had never managed anyone really, except for a short time managing a carpet cleaning company in London as part of my overseas travel when I was twenty something.

If I picked up any skills in that job, it was to do it for a short time, make as much money as I could to save for a campervan so I could go touring Europe, a sort of rite of passage for many antipodeans. However, I digress.

The first day started like this – as part of the salary package I got a car. The only problem? It was at the media company where I was going to work, 2 hours away. I decided to get a bus, with all my worldly goods I bought a one way ticket to my new sales manager’s job down the road. Excited, nervous, terrified, I did not know what to expect.

Instead of dropping me off at my hotel , the bus driver insisted he could drop me off at the media company, at the front door actually. “Okay” I thought, that should be okay.

The New Guy

As we approached the destination, I remember seeing a bunch of people standing outside the front. As the bus drew closer I realised that this might be the sales team I was about to manage. I remember stumbling off the bus, dragging my entire luggage off and loading it off on the sidewalk. Meantime I got the feeling that about 12 sets of eyes were staring at me, watching my every move, thinking I am sure “is this the new guy?”.

What made it worse was that the ex-sales manager was also there. He had been removed a week before for non performance, but the manager at the time was not prepared to go all the way and remove him completely. A big mistake, as I was about to find out.

Finally someone asked me if they could help. “You will keep your job for a wee while longer son”, I thought.

“Sure”, I said in my deepest ‘New Sales Managers voice’.

As I ascended the stairs, who should be waiting at the top? My friendly consultant, with the biggest smile on his face. Behind me, the sales team, following the new guy up the stairs. I think I heard him say as I took his outstretched hand “I see you have met the sales team Mike, great bunch don’t you think”.

“Hmmm great bunch indeed”, I think I replied.

My first day, one of fear, uncertainty, and excitement. A new journey, one I hope to take my Managers and Sales Managers here in India on over the next few weeks.

Good selling.

PHOTO – dmtoddma


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5 Responses to My First Day Selling Direct Media – And I Survived to Tell the Tale

  1. Good to see you survived Mike. We’ve all had a first day. I remember mine distinctly. A country kid I was asked to go get the mail. Having never driven in the city before I ran a guy off the road in the van with the radio station’s name written all over it. Whoops. Love to hear some other ‘first days’

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