Sales is a complex task. Sometimes your work is to change minds, even when they do not want to be changed. It is marred with dirty competition. You have to keep your cards close to your chest for you know not when an agent from rival company is going to hit. The desire to perform the best is everywhere and the insurance industry is no different. This drove me all the way from Nairobi to close a record deal I had been working on for months.
The stage was set in a high-end hotel in the heart of Kisumu City. For efficiency I was booked in the same hotel. I checked into my room and left pretty much immediately because the maiden appointment was in half an hour. Walking into the hotel lobby, an email popped up on my phone. It was rather a heart-wrenching one. The meeting was cancelled indefinitely just a few minutes to the scheduled time.
Filled with fury, I cursed all I could. For a moment the world stopped and I was grappling with disappointment. This industry is like a checkerboard, you get wiped if you hesitate to move. Well, misery loves company; I had to find a comeback even if it meant venting over a drink. I couldn’t let the awful situation ruin my Wednesday evening. On a whim, I went straight to the hotel’s bar. There were just a few people inside, so I had the opportunity to take my favorite corner table.
A lady about twenty-four with an oval shaped face, large blue eyes, a good nose and mouth walked into the executive bar and hoisted herself on a high stool next to the counter. She gave the hem of the figure hugging dress that emphasized her shapely hips a little tug to hide her beautiful knees. “Luckily” the damage was already done. Her long legs would leave any man drooling. I got caught in the moment and didn’t notice that the waiter was standing for my order. At the point drink wasn’t an issue; I had to cast my charm before her. I stalled the order and the waiter walked away. A salesman is a true alchemist and I was about to make my day great again.
I got on my feet and walked up to her. “Hey…. Do you know what they say about ladies with blue eyes like yours?”
“What about them?” She replied with her eyes dilated. An indication that question did great in grabbing her attention. I was keen to use it to my advantage.
“I am not going to tell you just yet…….. I just won’t be able to forgive myself if I left this place without getting to know you……. What is your name?”
With a spontaneous smile, she replied, “Carolyne.”
The bar understands the art of music. The sounds of Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber on their song I Don’t Care were playing in the background. The lyrics- we are at a party we don’t wanna be at– punctuated the conversation. I offered to buy a drink but she turned down. Explaining that she came inside to buy time before a business meeting that was about to get underway in the hotel’s conference room.
“It seems a pity you have to leave. Would you like to come back after the meeting? We could spend the evening together.”
She laughed and said, “You are not serious, are you?” Then added, “sure, I’ll come back only if you promise no drama.” She gave me a card with her contact and walked off.
Drama! “How is drama connected with spending the evening with her?” I had questions in mind trying to understand how the “concept drama” made it to that conversation. Was it a low-key statement to secure her presence in terms of unforeseen lady?
It is inherent that ladies don’t ask direct questions. It was an intelligent statement that was more of a question. She wasn’t going to ask a direct question to establish that I wasn’t with a female company. So she opted for an open-ended statement.
This is ladies’ innate strength in seeing through things. Open-ended questions allow for back and forth. You risk implicating yourself as a man if you are not careful. Men must get smart with answers too. For example; if you are with your lady in a mall and she pose this question, “Isn’t that the most beautiful diamond bracelet?” This is the kind that will get most men off balance. My brother don’t panic, relax. Look her straight in the eyes and say these words after me, “that bracelet would look beautiful on you, one day when we have the cash, we’ll buy it for you.”
PS: Caro came back and we found out we liked each other.