As I mentioned in my lengthy introduction, when demo lady goes away...I come out to play. Every once and a while I substitute when she goes on break but those shifts never exceed 20 minutes. One weekend she decided to take 2 days off and to my astonishment they put ME on the schedule. I would be working an 8.5 hour shift selling bread and cheese. I am a very outgoing person but not considered "loud" by any standard. Demo lady on the other hand has a voice that can project from coast to coast. I had some pretty big shoes to fill. My co-workers told me they didn't believe that I could yell and the cupcake boy (demoing samples of homemade cupcakes across from me...delicious!) was egging me on and yelling for customers to try his product and then come see me for a bread sample. After a half hour, I knew what I had to do...GET LOUD! It was a little awkward at first and I generated a bit scene having a screaming match with cupcake boy, but it was a decision that I was glad I made. I found when you call people over it not only strikes their interest but makes them feel invited and welcomed.
"COME ON OVER AND TRY OUR WONDERFUL BREAD AND CHEESE PAIRING TODAY!!! WE HAVE BUCHERON, A GOAT'S MILK CHEESE FROM FRANCE, PAIRED WITH OUR TRIPLE OLIVE LOAF, BAKED RIGHT HERE IN OUR BEAUTIFUL OVEN!!" After the initial announcement I would proceed to explain the flavor sensation and why the bread and cheese worked together. ("Goats milk cheese tends to have a tangy flavor to it so when you pair it with something like salty/buttery olives it brings out a nice sweetness.") The best phrase I heard all day was "Okay, you SOLD me." It warmed my heart each time I heard it, not because I was doing my job to increase sales, but because I had inspired them to try something new and they liked it just as much as I did.
I only took a 30 minute break for lunch the entire time. I was IN LOVE with educating and talking to the customers. Talking for 8 hours is not an easy task, I was exhausted and my head pounded but at the end of my shift I was on cloud nine. I felt that I had really made a difference and considered my day a success. I think in any sales position it is essential to believe in the product you are selling and be able to express excitement about it. I love bread, I love cheese, I love discovering how flavors interact and I love sharing my knowledge with others. If passion is what leads to a successful career, my summer job may be more influential to my future than my entire college experience. I only hope that I can find a profession that allows me to continue doing what I love after graduation.
Rest your voice and be heard,