I have just started a new job in sales. Sales is nothing new to me, as I have been in sales all of my career. Being able to talk well and handling troublesome clients are not an issue. However, this is not exactly a job that many people are keen about, especially in the industry I am in. Getting started can be tough, and the beginnings were not exactly a bed of roses. You see, I am not a super duper salesperson, if the measurement of a good salesperson is aggressiveness and being pushy. Plus the product in question is something quite taboo for many Chinese. Thus approaching clients can be as tough as trying to close them.
Even though as Buddhists, we learn that life is impermanent, nothing lasts forever, yet we as suffering deluded beings, still hang on dearly to this precious life of ours like death will never come. And for someone to broach the subject about death, it can be tricky if one is not sensitive enough. To be frank, I have been hesitant about the nature of this job from the start, and have met plenty of rejection and awkwardness from clients... cold, aloof, dodgy, pretentious etc... However, at the end of the day, what kept me going is the motivation that I keep reminding myself of... to benefit others in making the decision of the final journey of their lives and the lives of their loved ones. I keep reminding myself that in helping clients, I made a friend even if I do not make a sale. I did managed to meet many supportive people and benefactors.
Today, my team and I were prospecting a few clients. I found out soon enough that one client, E, is from the same buddhist centre I am from, even though I do not know her personally. Coming from the same buddhist centre, with the same guru, the same teachings, the same religion and practice, it was much easier to relate to each other. Quite quickly, at a certain point, E made her choice and decided on the purchase. Afterwards, when E saw the huge Buddha in the premise, she began to cry uncontrollably. She could not contained her emotions. I understood how she felt. She felt so relieved at having finally found what she was looking for and at having made a choice, for the benefit of her father and family. They were tears of joy and relief, at having done something right. There was no need to push the sale. When I saw her off at the drop off point, she again apologised for her breakdown earlier on. I reassured her it was ok and that I was grateful to her too. Then she held my hand tightly and kept thanking me profusely. She told me she was glad she met me today (that reaffirmed her decision and my sale). I was not only happy because I made a sale. I was even happier because my team and I had helped her with something which was bothering her for a long time. I am glad to have been able to help a Dharma sister. This is what brings satisfaction to a job.
Coincidentally, the night before, I had a dream. I was sleeping in my bedroom. I usually hang a towel on a hanger outside my window. When the wind blows, sometimes it knocks against the window with a "tock, tock, tock". In the dream last night, I was sleeping and I heard my hanger banging furiously against my window. There were strong gusts of wind and threatened to blow my towel away. I woke up and wanted to bring in my towel. I saw from my window, outside, there were very beautiful and blue skies in front of me. It was extremely blue and an awesome sight. End of dream.
Earlier in the evening, when I attended a puja, I wrote in the dedication card to dedicate the merits to E and her family. Tonight at 11.50pm, I received a sms from E. She wrote, "I was the girl who cried this afternoon in front of Buddha. I want to thank you and your team for helping me today. I will see you again next week. Thank you so much. Buddha is blessing us all. Rejoice!"
This made my day. And my first sale.