20 years ago, in December of 1999, I was selling Cutco knives in Minnesota. I was part of the Division office and we were in the running for a big award; the sword of Excalibur. If your office sold over $500,000 for the year you got this beautiful sword, mounted on a large frame for display. Needless to say, my 19-year-old self REALLY wanted that sword, as did some of the other guys in the office.
Going into the second week of December we were at $473,000. A normal week of sales in the winter was only like $3,000 which meant we were definitely not on track to hit our goal. With the holidays coming up we knew it was going to be extra challenging to get appointments before the New Year too. You probably know the objections as well as we did. ‘Call me after the holidays.’ ‘I’m busy.’ ‘I’ve already done all my shopping.’ Most people would have resigned themselves to the fact that it was not going to happen. But there was a sword at stake, and we weren’t about to quit. If nothing else, we wanted to know that we left it all on the field so to speak.
So my friends Tim, Kevin and I put our thinking caps on. How could we make this happen? Well, the office kept old customer records. So we dug through all the old orders and organized them by neighborhood. We then went out, door to door, to offer free sharpening services prior to the holiday to all of the past customers. It was cold, and snowing. Like 20º below zero cold! We probably hammed it up a bit and acted like we were colder than we were, but I’m sure the cold helped us out with getting in the door. We sharpened knives for anyone that would let us, and of course, like good salespeople, we showed them new items and gift sets that they could get as last-minute holiday presents.
At the end of the second week we tallied the numbers. Between the three of us, we sold $23,500, and that with the other $4,000 the office did, we finished our year at $500,500. I’ve never been so proud of an accomplishment in my life.
Whether you are on track for your goals, behind on them, or you’ve blown them away, it’s never over until you quit. Get out there and crush your December! I’d love to hear some success stories next time I see you!