It was like any other day…

After getting my first cup of coffee from the break room, I take the leisurely stroll back to my office. Knowing I have a light schedule today, I’m ready to settle in and contemplate all the ways I can be socially awesome. I’m sure there is a plethora of witty comments I can leave, and a few people left who are still ok with me talking about myself.

“Dorman, get in here”

Screams the boss, “did you see last month’s numbers?” Ha, did I see them, I’m living them; talking about stating the obvious…..ok, maybe that big deal didn’t happen, but I should probably remind ‘boss man’ how popular I have become online……priceless…..

“I am removing the chair from your office immediately, your lazy ass has become way too comfortable in there”. “Damn,” I reply; “are you sure we can’t go two out of three before we start removing furniture?”

“Plus” he says, “I want you to grab your gear and go make 10 new cold calls today and let me know the results by the end of the day; comprende?”

Damn, doesn’t he know who I am?

Maybe if I show him how many followers I have he will be impressed. I’m sure he doesn’t think I’m wearing the Burger King crown just for the fun of it; I AM social media.

Well, if I must go out, there was one business that looked pretty nice and big out by the Interstate; maybe I’ll go pay them a visit. XYZ Industrial is pretty visible and they do have that nice new office and warehouse with lots of cars.

Let’s Google them first; at least if I know the owners name I won’t have to walk in like this is actually a cold call. I can’t believe a 20 year old gatekeeper is controlling my greatness. Maybe I should tell her what a big deal I am in social…..

Ok, let’s see; here they are. Oh great, they have the owner’s name listed as William. WTH, what if he goes by Bill or Billy or Will? If I call him the wrong name I will be exposed as a saleman and the receptionist will know, I might as well walk in naked. Man, I hate being at her mercy; too much stress.

Here I go

After finding out who the officers are, number of employees, line of work, competing businesses, etc, etc, etc; I guess I have done all the research I can do. Plus, since I don’t have a chair anymore I’m not really diggin’ doing all this research standing up.

Ok, time for action. Here’s the place and looks like there is a parking spot right in front, sweet. Hey wait a second, who are those suits getting out of that car? It looks like insurance guys to me and there are two of them, crap. How silly would that be if we both walked in the door at the same time? Maybe I better ride around the block a few times; it will probably be better to try after lunch anyway…..yeah, that’s the ticket.

After a very nutritious Whopper & fries I have my courage back firing on all cylinders; I am somebody and ready to make the call. As I pull back in to the parking lot, I notice the ‘suits’ car is finally gone. Thank goodness, how awkward would that have been?

I look in the mirror; yep, hair is looking good, grab the notebook and a business card and it’s on baby.

As I approach the door I see a sign that says ‘no soliciting’. What? That surely can’t mean me; I just want to meet the president. I wonder if the gatekeeper will give me a hard time for breaking their law? Is that considered trespassing? What if William really goes by his middle name? Maybe I better go around the block again and think about this some more…..I sure am sweating; I’m glad I wore a T-shirt too.

Moment of truth

Ok, enough driving, it’s already 4:30 pm, my gas is low and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to all 10 of my calls today. If I can just get up enough courage to walk in XYZ Industrial today will be a win; here goes.

I pull back in the space one more time; do the hair and teeth check and all looks good. I go into my mantra you are special, you are somebody, you are a winner several times and now I’m ready to go.

I walk into the reception area put down my card and in my most confident, professional voice I say “hi, I’m Bill Dorman from Lanier Upshaw here to see Bill Miller; is he available?’

The receptionist raises her head and with a startled look responds “sir, did you know your fly is open and is that bird poop on your shirt?” “And why are you wearing a Burger King crown?”

Oh well, they always teach us to differentiate ourselves so sometimes we have to dig really deep, huh?

It was like any other day……


65 thoughts on “It was like any other day…

    • You didn’t answer the atspniam question correctly, your comment was not saved. Press “Back” and answer the question better.Just to be sure that your message won’t be lost – copy it now to the clipboard. 搞得我很紧张来着.. 特地来留言测试一下下….果然..是啥子插件啊?压根都木有问题出来

  1. Gosh Bill I do all that and never leave my house!! My stomach was queasy just riding in the car with you and damn I wish I had the Whopper right now (even though it’s only 8:52)! Oh and if I ever see you in the Burger King crown – all bets are off – the seat goes to an Elvis impersonator I know OK?! (BK crown scares the bird poop out of me … it’s what every kid’s (and adult’s) nightmares are made of. In fact … cold calling much reminds me of that!

    He, he!! I looove this story! Now, I have to get on those damn phones and make stuff happen … I don’t know if you helped me or scared the bird poop out of me! I’ll report to you later.

    Here’s to banging it out today!


  2. Good yarn Bill although I think you must have had too much cheese before you fell asleep and written down the contents of your vivid dreams!

    The social media part is definitely easier as no one can see how you look and if your fly is open (just checked, I’m OK) but your tale is a reminder that we need to retain the skills to step out into the real world occasionally to be truly social 🙂

    • I probably ‘cut’ some cheese……..

      And I’m sitting here in my skivvies responding, so we can do anything we want on social, huh?

      Sometimes real world seems a lot scarier than it is when you try to ‘over’ analyze everything. ‘They’ say the best profile for these positions are someone athletic who has played some sports and probably a ‘B’ student in school. They aren’t smart enough to ‘over’ analyze the whole process; probably why this has been a good profession for me….:)

    • Thanks sir; I had a lot of ‘real life’ experience to draw from……and I have circled a business a time or two because I wasn’t getting the ‘right’ vibe……..:)

  3. Whenever a gatekeeper tries to prevent me from seeing the boss I tell them that I just hit his/her car and that I need to speak with them about insurance.

    Damn, if I actually sold insurance that would be a great lead in to the conversation.

  4. Dang boss took your chair away – funny!

    In my younger days I managed broker dealers, some with upwards of 1,000 sales people on the floor and if anyone left their seat during driving hours (calling) the seat was replaced by someone else within minutes.

    Just reminiscing 😛

    You kill me Bill!

    • We have actually talked about the chairs before so people don’t get too comfortable and more incentive to get out to the office. Trust me, the majority of this ‘tale’ had a lot more truth than not……..:)

    • Glad you liked it; the biggest challenge in sales is trying to over-analyze everything to create the perfect scenario. The reality is, just pick up the phone or walk in the door; how else can you practice if you don’t give yourself some ‘at bats?’ So good to see you; thanks for stopping by….

  5. Great story Bill so have you ever felt like that in your life? You know, perhaps the early years? Heck, I can imagine feeling that way in the beginning just talking to prospects on the phone because trust me, I’m NO salesman.

    I was actually picturing you standing there with that crown on too. That cracked me up and I needed that so thank you!

    Yep, get to writing that book. It’s going to be a winner. You’re great with stories.


    • I have experienced ALL of those ‘call reluctance’ items at one point or another; it is much funnier on this end making light of it now.

      Thanks for your kind words; this was fun to write, especially since I knew the topic very well.

  6. Okay, maybe I’m in luck. The commenting gods like me today?

    You mean insurance people actually have to sell things? LOL.

    This reminds me of an episode of “The Office.” Well, minus the bird poop, maybe. Guess the 20 something boss didn’t realize how HUGE you are on social media.

    Loved the Bill, Billy, Will thing. Ah, the complicated choices we must make, especially when we make the wrong one and it gives our “outsiderness” away.

    • In luck indeed; so good you made it. I’ve even had some difficulties replying at time….. WTH?

      I think if you walk in with the crown it lends to more credibility and less explaining…………..:).

      Trust me, I have way over-analyzed many a call; sometimes you just have to be fat, dumb and happy and plow through it all.

      So good to see you, hope your day was well.

    • Don’t tell anybody, but I have actually driven around a few times trying to get in the ‘zone’ before I got out of the car……..

      Good to see you, thanks for stopping by.

      • You know, that reminds me of some movie or a show. I can’t think of what it is right now but the husband drives around the block a couple of times before actually going home for the night to prep for his crazy house full of kids. Oh, it’s Everybody Love Raymond! That’s what you just made me think of:)

    • You are trying to get in the ‘zone’ and you want all the planets to be aligned; it can be funny how one little thing can take you out of your game and make your circle the block one more time………it doesn’t happen often, but I have done it………..:)

  7. Let me guess…You sealed the deal by letting him wear your Burger King Crown for 60 seconds. Or did you have to throw in the bird poop too?

    Can’t wait for the next saga of Bill, King of All (Social) Media!

    • That’s right, they surely don’t mean us; I’m no damn candy salesman…..:). I can honestly say in all the ‘cold’ calls I have made I can count the really rude people on one hand…..and I keyed their car on the way back to mine………..:)

    • Maybe I can come in a dominate your market, huh? My wife is a beach person however, she might not dig the cold……unless I was making more money than I could spend, huh?

      Good to see you.

  8. I would have told you nothing and sent you in to the boss, fly open and all. And then get a huge laugh at the watering hole over the fool with bird crap on his shirt. Then I would quote Annie’s post about how American men are too rough in bed, noting your open fly and the Burger king hat on your head, thinking you are some perv that probably came out of the BK restroom after a romp with a Greek hairy armpit woman.

    We would get a big laugh at you that Friday.

    Have a great weekend. 🙂


    • And that is something I could laugh right along with and of course I would call you out after leaving the boss’s office for letting me walk in there like that…………..really………..:).

      Hola you; hope all is well over on the left coast. Our weather is awesome right now, it’s a good day to be in F L A.

  9. Bill… dude… I totally get why you’re so loved.

    Epic story-telling man.


    A story, fit for a (burger) king.

    If you don’t mind me taking the liberty:

    “I’m taking the fact that you noticed means you’re… interested.” I quipped.

    The receptionist blushed crimson, paused, and then asked what I wanted.

    “William wants to see me.”

    “Um, don’t you mean Bill? And do you have an appointment?” she bristled, still flustered from my earlier charm.

    “Hah, cute, no, it’s William. He and I go way back, and though I’ve been off the radar for awhile, since we were kids it’s always been William.” I left it at that, ignoring the ‘appointment’ comment.

    I thought it wasn’t possible for her color to deepen… and then it did.

    Um, who should I tell him is here for him.

    “Tell him it’s Bill, from when we were kids.”

    Her eyes widened when I dropped my name.

    “Yeah, that’s right, *I’m* Bill. And if you play your cards right, WE might have dinner some time. ”

    And she hit a shade somewhere near wine-red.

    Then she looked at me, looked down, picked up the phone and started to dial.

    • I love it; and there is a certain amount of boldness to it that would actually get you an audience, past the gatekeeper.

      Thanks for the kind words and thanks for the creative lesson; I still have plenty to learn but certainly enjoying the journey.

      Good to see you and thanks for the visit.

  10. Bill,

    You never fail to give me flashbacks to my days (years? decades?) in insurance, so thanks for that 🙂

    That is a great story, and I remember MANY a call with salespeople both new and experienced where I almost passed out from the ridiculous things that happened.

    If Jack’s thing doesn’t work out try asking your guide team to get with the contact’s guide team ahead of time and line things up for you. I know it’s a stretch for you but I swear it works 🙂

    • We all know the most challenging part of sales is getting the appointment. Most people I know feel they have plenty of ‘game,’ but the biggest disconnect is setting the appointments and having enough of them to keep your pipeline full. Therefore, whatever little ‘knack’ you have, run with it.

      I’m equally social offline as much as online; I am very, very comfortable ‘networking’. However, and some will disagree with this method, but I use the networking almost exclusively to just meet people and let them get to know me before I ‘make the call.’

      Because commercial insurance is usually longer term relationships, you won’t swing a deal just because you ‘know’ somebody. Appointments are pretty easy for me to get, but finding enough threats that aren’t being addressed by their current guy is much more challenging.

      I used to ride shotgun with a commercial bond guy and he was quite the character. We used to have a lot of fun and we would always end the day with some pretty good stories.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and adding your thoughts; all suggestions are certainly welcome………:)

  11. I remember someone saying once “gatekeepers are for the competition.” Heaven knows, they certainly aren’t for King Billy! I mean, you’re kind of a big deal, right? 🙂

    I love how you interweave real life with social in your stories Bill. It is intenresting how wide the disconnect between the two worlds can be, and you showed it in a funny and self-effacing way.

    • Big deal Bill….I like it; goes right along w/ dollar bill, huh?

      So, how was SoSlam; did you get to meet some of your social friends IRL for the first time? Any of them more impressive than me?……doh…

      Hope it was a good trip for you; I would like to make one of them. Let me know if it was more than a meet and greet and it was beneficial. I’m ok with it being a ‘tweet up’ on steroids…………..:).

      Hope all is well.

      • It was great! And definitely more than a meet and greet — though the “meeting and greeting” was still the best part.

        The content was really top quality. Lots of takeaways — you can get a number of them from all of the recap posts. However, being there live was worth it. Mark Schaefer deserves a lot of props for putting on such a quality event at such a low price. Hope we can both be there next year!

  12. Do you have a boss? That’s weird, I have always thought that you were at the top (the ruler of them all) 🙂

    You need to scale your business, and start something in Norway. I’ll be your first customer for sure.

    • I’m an owner and don’t have a boss per se, but technically our Pres is the majority owner and he can hire and fire whoever he wants to. But I have total freedom, so it’s all good…

      Norway, huh? How many golf days a year?

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