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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Moving On Soon


At the channel meeting this morning I redeemed my other balloon and won a case of beer. Out on turf I immediately ran into an old guy who I was increasingly weary of selling to. After finding out that he didn't have a phone number for vero I asked if anyone he knew had a number we could use - any relatives or friends to which he said, "they're all dead."

Things went from bad to worse. As I went along I got a bad credit then rounded the corner to see a girl coming up the hill screaming and swearing angrily. I just figured she was being dramatic but I quickly discovered that there was reason for this - someone had been stabbed. I later found that this is actually a common occurrence in this area. After another bad credit I continued along and got rejected for the rest of the day. People were either jaded by the FOUR other reps that had been there recently, "happy" with the one they had signed up with, or wanted to take the information that I was offering and look things up for themselves. After work I rode back to the hostel, ate some cake for a coworkers birthday, had a drink and then some pasta with steak that Danny prepared.


Today I found out that we were back on the same turf as the last couple days. Right off I thought maybe it would be okay as I got a woman signing up and on vero. She passed the credit check but then decided she didn't want her name on the bill. I continued on in the pouring rain and dealt with the same rejections as yesterday. At one house I almost got eaten by a dog - he and his buddy were sitting on a porch, I waved to them to see if they were nice and they slowly lumbered over like any nice dog would. The big one came to the fence first and looked nice but, to be certain of this, I put my hand through to give him a pat on the head... that's when he turned evil. The dog immediately bared his teeth and lunged for my hand, fortunately I was quick to pull out as the now ravenous, blood thirsty creature went mental on the gate between us. Not the best experience I've ever had with a dog. A while after that I walked past a bus stop and a girl asked me what I was up to. I told her, "just here signing people up with cheaper retailers."

She asked if I would stop by and sign her up and, of course, I agreed. Later on, after finally making a sale to a nice couple down in a court, I met some refuges from Iran. They had been prosecuted back home and had left to try life in Australia. They were keen to save money but, as I discovered, they didn't actually pay their electricity - Red Cross did. Next I went to meet the girl from the bus stop but she wasn't home. The rest of the day was a bust and she never did return.

Back at the hostel I did a detail shift, made dinner then had a drink out on the balcony with Ralph and his coworkers. Having seen a job posting earlier I had a good discussion about the pros and cons of our jobs in sales. On one hand, I meet interesting people, gain experience and the days generally go by pretty quickly. On the other hand, a normal job would mean better pay, more free time after work, and much less stress. The thing is that the new job would be boring and have absolutely no possibility of progression while my current job provides opportunity for advancement and is generally pretty interesting if not overly so. Maybe I'll look into the other job and see how things go in the next week or two doing sales.


Today I had another slow day. I had no sales as most people were already jaded from eight other door knockers that month but at about 4:30p I had a lady wanting to sign. On the vero call they asked to do the credit check and that's when she freaked out. She told me nothing more than that she had to think about it and closed the door on me. Odd as that was I wasn't in the mood to care either way because the only thought on my mind all day has been about the other job that I could do instead. At about 5:45p I finally got a sale with a lady who works at Big W. She didn't put up much of a fuss - just verified that I was saving her money and went on with it. On the phone I got one of the nicer reps and decided to ask about any openings there and, as it turns out, he was keen to inform me of an opening posted on seek. After that sale I went over to an appointment where I found that they were getting 20% off their Origin bill so I called my brother David and told him to check that since he's with Origin.


Today a few of us were called in about our slow week - hopefully I get off this turf before it gets me fired. Fortunately, I was able to make two sales today - both were English transplants.


Today I had another donut (no sales). I had a guy at one point signing up, he asked me about the contract and I told him that there was one but that we guarantee the best deal - if he finds a better deal he can leave with no fees. During the vero call the rep told him about the contract and the guy freaked out saying that I hadn't told him about a contract... After that I went on talking to other people until I stumbled upon a friend from the meetings! I spoke with her and her husband and found that they were already getting a pretty good discount from Origin so I let it go. We did manage to find another possible job for me though - selling pharmaceuticals. While I don't relish the idea of going from my current job to another sales job, I may not have a choice the way things are going. Back in the city everyone went out for work drinks at The Elephant pub and I had a schnitzel


Today I worked two shifts in a row at the hostel then got ready for Rugby but didn't end up going. After going to meeting hall I headed to Hungry Jacks with Pillar and a couple others where we used three of my coupons to get six burgers.


Today we went to Clarence's house for a brekky meeting then to meeting hall where I ate my third burger from the night before.. I was sure I had food poisoning but as the day went on I realized that the food here really is healthier than the US. This day old burger was fine while a couple burgers only recently bought from a Maccas in the US made me deathly ill...


Today we went to new turf up in the hills and I made three sales.
The first was to a German lady who moved here 20 years ago. The next was to a local girl who was actually visibly excited about the deal. The last guy was an Englishman, also in sales, who heard me out and liked the deal as well. After work the newbie Erica offered me some information on a room for rent at $95/week ($42 if I can find a roommate).

Today the weather was nice and sunny but the turf was hilly and spread apart. At 3p I had only spoken to 15 people and only a couple had been willing to even show me their bills. One lady showed me her bill, explained that she was definitely looking for a better deal but turned me down when I offered to sort it out for her. After a few more unusual rejections I finally found a lady who was, not only looking to save some money on her electricity, but was actually in a position to save thousands of dollars on it. After sorting her out I went back down to a mansion where I had made an appointment to return but the guy didn't even give me a moment to speak. Fortunately, just up the road a bit I found a lady who was absolutely on the ball. She had done her research, found a good deal but still didn't sign a contract in case a better deal like mine came along. She had already heard of us and with our lower rates and offer to match any deal she was happy as ever to sign up. She also had her daughter sign up and called a friend who was then interested to sign up as well. In the end I didn't have time to help her friend out but this did finish me on three sales - all within 1.5 hours!


Today I made a sale at three then with another I was extremely compliant in explaining that she was signing a contract but on the vero call, after I filled out all the paperwork, she decided that she didn't understand about the contract and wasn't willing to take responsibility. I left frustrated - some people seem to think that they're doing us a favor by signing up. A guy on Monday disapproved of my using the word "retailer" as opposed to the word "provider." I feel that a "supplier" also provides and therefore, to avoid confusion, I prefer the word "retailer" when describing what the company does. We don't supply/provide electricity, we simply bill for it so instead of playing his little game I decided it best to just leave.
At about 5p I was on just the one sale and starting to feel the pressure. Fortunately I found a lady who had spent some time in the UK. Even though she was technically Australian, she still showed the same interest that most English seem to. After selling to her I headed over to an appointment where I caught a couple who loved to bargain. After selling to them I listening to the lady tell me how she spent two weeks bargaining to get a good deal on her car I thanked them for not taking two weeks with me and headed back to the van. After picking everyone up we found that we had hit our target and went for pizza.


Today I started out early with a sale to a nice couple who asked me some good questions and agreed to the savings. Another guy allowed me to crunch the numbers and show him exactly how much he would be saving but wasn't too keen to sign anything. A lady later on allowed me to start the paperwork but then decided to wait for her husband to come home... tomorrow. Finally, at the end of the day I had many appointments and ran to all of them. Most didn't answer the door, one was existing and another thought I was a con artist.


I spoke with a lot of nice people today but none of them bought from me. One lady seemed very keen but then after getting all the info from me she sent me on my way. Another lady was on her way out but, after we talked about the bug on her door a bit, she agreed to sign if I was still around when she got back.
Finally one guy actually used to be a representative for Simply Energy and I was sure he would go for the deal I was offering bu he was signed up with AGL and not interested in changing... odd considering that he worked in the industry - he should know better. For an hour at the end of the day Brendan walked with me to show me how to make the sales in this area but unfortunately he couldn't make any progress on my turf either.


After work today I went to check out the room that Arika told me about. The room was really spacious - especially considering that it's only $95/week! After chatting with Hugh for a bit he told me about a dish washing job paying $24/hour and offered to give my number to his friend who runs the place. Next I headed back to the hostel and made a tasty meal of three eggs, 2 snags (hot dogs), hash browns (two potatoes) - all smothered with cheese.


Today at the meeting hall we woke up at 7:30a and went to breakfast at Clarence's house. We ate porridge again like last week but this time with all the bamboo and roots mixed in and some bread chunks on top. After the meeting I cycled over to David's, James' then caught a bus to Mt Barker to meet up with the girl from my sale on Wednesday. It turned out to be an hour and a half ride followed by a 5km walk only to arrive in the wrong place...


Today I finally got some of my prizes from balloon pops including a $20 gift card, $50 gift card, a carton of beers, and a box of no-doz. My first sale today was to a guy who used to be a chef. He gave me a recipe for tasty apple whip and we talked electricity over a cup of South African Tea. We talked it over with his wife there as well and they decided it was worth trying. I signed them up and he sent me off with a variety box of different teas. The next guy was just chilling on his porch with a cup of coffee and after discussing some things about his solar and the way electricity works he was good to sign up as well. Finally I met a guy who was eager to talk politics and stuff but not so keen on the topic of electricity.

Today I made four sales, the first was to a nice English couple who had arrived just three days before I did. They made me a cup of tea and I fixed them up while talking about travel in Australia and New Zealand. Having been where I am before, they advised me to save up while in Australia in order to properly enjoy New Zealand when I go there. New Zealand jobs pay less and the fun things cost more so I'll have to pay to really get the most out of my time there. My second sale was to a Canadian guy who moved here many years ago and started a painting business while on a working holiday visa like me. My third sale was to another English guy who makes a living as an electrician. Finally, it was getting late but I managed to sell to a guy even though he was extremely paranoid. As he put up his concerns about me stealing his information, signing him up for higher rates, and invading his home I calmly explained about the government body monitoring door knockers, the rates/discount I would be providing, and that I was not in any way a dangerous person. To my astonishment he actually accepted my explanations and allowed me to sign him up. After work I finally decided to send some money back to my American account in the amount of $3000.


Today I made two sales. The first one was to a couple people who had recently signed up with Alinta. As I explained the benefits to my company we got to talking about travel and various political/cultural things. As we talked they gave me a cup of tea, a beer and offered to take me hunting. After a bit it was time to move on so we made plans to hang out again and I moved on. At about 5p I managed another sale to a guy who used to work for Alinta. After I explained what he pretty much already knew, he signed up. A few houses down I started to knock on a door while listening to the conversation going on inside but then realized that it was a Simply Energy rep making a sale. This guy had been pillaging my turf all day but he was just doing his job so I let it be. Back at the hostel I did some bleaching, which makes me sick, and some sanding for Wayne.


Today Matt figured it would be good to get rid of "cherry picking" - only knocking doors with cars and signs of life for the first part of the day. The whole channel did worse than it has ever done before. I still managed three sales so tomorrow the whole channel has to be in at 9:30a but I don't have to be in until 10:30 since I hit KPI (Key Performance Index). My first sale today was to a lady who signed by impulse then realized she should have spoke to her husband so I had to reassure her with the cool down period to keep her from backing out. My next sale was to a guy at the end of the day who went along with the process without any fuss. My final sale was unexpected - I had gone to several appointments and really wasn't expecting anything from the last door. They answered the door and, before I could say much of anything, they welcomed me in to see their bill and sign them up just as Vero was closing. We talked about Seattle a bit and it turns out the Pike Place Market is more famous than I really knew - the guy was even familiar with the FISH! philosophy. On the way back I was looking ahead as we drove down the freeway at 80kph and just noticed the approaching light turning red before coming to a screeching halt. Brendan, having been in two accidents in the last few months, clutched his chest in fear while staring ahead and breathing shallow, panicked breaths.


Today we went just out of the city and started knocking at 11:30a yet I was only able to manage one sale to a lady who, after checking reviews on the web, was weary of our company. Of course, I asked her the obvious question, "do you ever go online to brag about your energy retailer?" - no retailer has good reviews...

Later on I had a guy who seemed keen but as I was filling in the paperwork he went to help his dad with something and came back with dumbphone in hand having read the reviews on Lumo... I told him the same thing I told the other lady and he allowed me to continue the paperwork only to come back a minute later and tell me it just wasn't a good time.

At another door a girl told me she didn't speak English but just to be sure I said, "that's fine, I'm just here about the pink elephant, go grab me a bill and I'll check that out for you."

As my day was coming to an end I was invited into a party. After discussing the host's bill we found that it wasn't really worth it to him at this time so he poured me a drink and we talked a bit. Back at the van Brendan told everyone to just enjoy the weekend and not worry about scores. At the office Danny had a borrowed bicycle from city bikes so we raced to the pub where everyone met up and had a couple drinks. I had a mountain of Nachos and we all headed over to the Little Bar on Hindley Street for Ben's birthday.


Today I worked at the hostel then headed over to the Bailey Reserve to try my hand at Rugby with Fred from the bar the other week. When I got there a guy named Owen set me up with some cleats, shorts and a jersey and I bought some team socks. Out on the oval they explained the rules a bit while watching the teams play and at the end they put me in. It wasn't long until I found myself with the ball running towards the opposition. After a short sprint I pushed into a couple of the guys and found myself flipped over, ball still in hand. After a couple more plays a couple of the guys got into a brawl yet the game went on.. for one more play as the biggest guy from our team (a seven foot tall monster) bee-lined it for one of the offenders and laid him out. At this point the ref called the game, we shook hands and headed back.


Today Daniel and Sam got me up for eggs, ham/bacon, avocado and toast at the brekky meeting. At the meeting hall Arika from work and her friend Circle showed up for the meeting. Afterward Arika and Circle went back to their share house to say goodbye to some of the others and I went with Pillar for lunch. After lunch I rode over to James' house to do some weeding for him and found a blue tongued lizard!
Next I headed into the city to check on my job application at the Kings Head Bar. They had lost my resume and started to say how they didn't need anybody anyways but when I mentioned that I was just there for the dishwasher position they perked up and invited me to reapply.


Today I went for pants but, even though mine were ripped in the crotch and down on the shin, I couldn't find anything better. At work I received another slab of beer for one of the balloons I popped a couple weeks ago. Out on turf I only made one sale to a lady who was relatively apathetic but nice. Back at the hostel after work Stephen gave me some steak and eggs in exchange for one of my beers.


Today I made first sale but that was it. The guy I sold to was a programmer and was very logical in considering what I had to offer. After leaving there I saw many bills and talked to many people, I even had another sale started by about 2p but they backed out when I clarified that there was a contract. They gave me cookies and coffee as I worked on the paperwork but in the end they decided to talk to their landlord first...


Today I got a balloon for making the first sale in the channel yesterday. Having made just the one sale I didn't feel like I earned it. On turf I saw some pretty interesting homes but didn't make any sales till around 4p.
The sale I made was to an Indian couple and it took about an hour because their NMI was from another property. I could have let that slide but I decided to do the right thing and make sure it matched up. They were pretty excited about the deal even though they originally weren't interested in signing a contract. Back at the van Brendan had the defrost running and lights on so, of course, the van battery died and we had to get one of the local residents to jump the battery. After picking everyone up it became apparent that nobody did very well so "pitzer" (pizza) Wednesday" was out of the question. Back at the hostel I was eating when a guy I met named Don showed up again and said that a pruning job paying $200-400/day was available so I decided to hand in my resignation at KK Sales.