Ada was working as a salesperson in a big firm. The company produced and sold skincare products. Ada had 8 years’ experience as a retail client advisor in one of the regional offices. Everything was going well, the products were unique and natural and very popular at the time. Ada had no trouble meeting her sales targets as she had a solid portfolio of regular clients who also recommended her to new customers.
After 5 years, despite great sales results, Ada felt like she needed a change. During a one-to-one meeting with the branch manager, she discussed her career path and asked to be moved to a different position, which she deemed to be a step forward. A few months later, she was offered a job as a salesperson in the B2B sector. She would still be in charge of cosmetics sales, but now she would deal with businesses – spas, beauty salons, hotels.
Ada got a company phone, a car and a raise. She declined to participate in sales training as she thought she couldn’t learn anything new anyway. She started building a new client base with a positive attitude, she set up meetings and discussed the benefits of the creams. She proudly advertised how many awards were given out to the company and emphasized that the product was safe and dermatologically tested. She kept saying she used it herself. However, for some reason, the spa owners were not interested in her product. The sales results started getting much worse than in the previous job. Despite her salary being higher, she actually made less due to a lower commission. After a few months she started getting frustrated and thinking about quitting. However, she did not want to go back to her previous post.
As a retail client advisor Ada did not have any issues selling her products because when she started, the competition was fairly limited. In time, she managed to build a solid portfolio of customers and to maintain strong relationships with her clients. She always remembered to bring small gifts and samples and rewarded any clients who recommended her to others with something extra. As an advisor, she learnt the marketing tricks that got the job done – you need to welcome the client with a smile, take care of your own skin and make up as you are the face of the company, and so on. With the amount of experience she gained, she was not particularly worried about switching jobs. She was convinced that, with the brand recognition and the quality offered, B2B sales wouldn’t be that difficult. Especially because dealing with spa or beauty salon owners usually meant dealing with women, so the arguments would be the same as when selling to B2C clients. So why did Ada fail? She ticked all the boxes for a successful sale: