“No room.” “Full.” “Never heard of it before.” “My humidor is loaded.” “Where am I gonna put it.” “No one is asking for it.” How many cigars do you rep?” “No money right now.” “Haven’t tried it.” “Too many cigars on order to add another one.” “Customer’s are not coming in.” “Slow part of the year.” “The selling season is over, man.” “I’m too busy.” No time right at this moment.”
Excuses, excuses, excuses. I hear ’em all the time. Everyday. But I keep walking in and walking in, and walking in. I show this cigar, that cigar, the same cigar I showed last time (some owners have poor memories), I show, I show, I show.
I leave samples, some smoke the samples, some ignore the samples, some are polite and light the sample and then go into the busy mode. I hand out samples to the regulars with permission. I get their opinions. Good and bad. I’m like a record, I just keep on going around and around and around.
I’m used to it. But I also believe in my brands so I continue to introduce them over and over and over and over again. You gotta have thick skin in this business. You gotta keep your head held high and then…and then it happens.
It sells! The cigar sells! Why does it take so long sometimes? I do not know. But for some shop owners it does take a long, long time to make a decision to bring in a new cigar and today it happened to me TWICE! I’ve been poking my head in these two stores for weeks, calling on the phone, leaving more samples. And then to happen TWICE in one day?!!
I can’t tell you how much adrenaline coursed throughout my body. I was stoked. I was ebullient. Not only because I made the sales, but because these two stores have been dragging their feet for what seemed an eternity. At one point I thought it was a lost cause. But did I throw out the butane can? No, I didn’t. Yes, sometimes I feel like I got a ball and chain on my leg and I have to force myself into the stores to go over my informal presentation just one more time. I always feel that if I work hard enough I will turn that corner and today was my corner-turning day. Sing it out loud baby. Just like Janis Joplin in her unforgettable performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 when she was an unknown. She sizzled. It sticks with me. It energizes me. It pushes me. It’s that feeling I yearn for and when it happens it’s worth every minute of effort I exerted.
E-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e m-i-n-u-t-e.