Saturday, December 15, 2012

Learning Some Simple Trades Can Keep You Employed In Tough Times. Transition From Food Service To Sales.

The Benefit Of Learning Multiple Trades

In the course of a person's life, a lot of things will happen, changes will never truly stop happening in the lives of any of us, and in order to be prepared to adapt to new situations, it is best to have some things to fall back on.
One never knows when they'll face an uncertain future from winding up jobless, and from there, any number of things might happen. One may be forced to relocate, or move to a new home, accept a lower budget or lifestyle. Divorces happen, marriages happen, children are born.
Sometimes things happen in life that we are unprepared to face - our spouse or our partner might pass away unexpectedly, or succumb to disease, forcing a very unwelcome change in our economic circumstances. While life isn't about earning money - the situation for the largest majority of us is dependent upon our being able to generate some income through work.
We have to be ready for changes, we must roll with those changes, and be able to provide for ourselves no matter the situation, and there are some skills that we may learn that will forever make us available and attractive to employers in various and sundry industries. I'm going to discuss a few here that have proved beneficial to me in my life. It should be obvious that the more industries that you have experience in, the better off you will be.

Food Service Industry

No matter your race, creed, religion, or nationality, and no matter where on Earth you live, there is food service. Food, of course, being one of the things most essential to life, has many applications, and many outlets for the person willing and able to work in that industry.
If you've never worked in a restaurant in your life, well, you've just missed out. Is there a more pressing need on a daily bases for more people than eating? I doubt it. This industry is vast, it is so vast and so huge that nobody can rightly keep track of it, and Forbes magazine online lists food service as the world's largest industry, and who could doubt that?
Besides food service being the world's most necessary and largest industry, it is just as vast in terms of positions available. I know a guy that I graduated with that is the head chef at a resort hotel in Hawaii, needless to say, the man makes a very nice living for himself. I also know people that work at fast food places, and people that just wash dishes. As for myself, I used to deliver pizza.
The food service industry, as you should guess, isn't a single trade one can learn, but a HUGE number of trades working together to provide the single most needed thing a human can need, a meal.

Service With A Smile.

Now that is a  pretty waitress!  Sales with a smile!
Now that is a pretty waitress! Sales with a smile!

Positions Within, And Benefits Of Working In The Food Service Industry.

Why do people like to go out to eat? Well, some folks don't enjoy cooking so well as others do, but regardless, most everyone likes to feel treated from time to time, and that is the service end of the industry. From the people designing the meals, the people preparing the meals, to the folks serving the meals, and the managers of it all, right on down to the folks washing dishes - the industry is all about service.
While learning to cook or run a kitchen are both very valuable skills that will never become obsolete, the real gem of the food service industry is that of the wait staff. What is a waiter or a waitress but a salesperson? How often have you heard the attractive young waiter or waitress say something like,
"Would you like to try our new key lime margaritas?"
Sales is all about service, and waitstaff at a restaurant are entry level sales persons that should they learn to smile, and recognize moods in order to satisfy needs, and become friendly with diverse persons - they'll soon find themselves with a skill that transcends any pathetic licensing or registration, and is applicable the world over towards their own benefit, be it economic, or otherwise.
When I delivered pizzas back when gasoline was affordable, and I was younger, and probably better looking, I learned very quickly to smile, and to find something to compliment the customer on, always. Were I taking pizza to someone and a matronly lady greeted me at the door, I might say something about how pretty were her flowers along the porch of the house. It never mattered that I didn't know what kind of flowers they were, what mattered was the customer only expected some bored pizza delivery person, and I gave them something MORE than just a pizza. Often, this bit of being positive and more friendly than was required to do the job led to tips, if it did not lead to tips, it at least lead to a lot more business, and it certainly created a customer that would remember my face, and be even more gracious towards me, and my employer in any or all future transactions.

The Salesman.

At my desk at Doug Stanley Ford...
At my desk at Doug Stanley Ford...


Sales is an integral part of virtually every industry on the planet. From the recruiter in the military to the politician, all the way down to the wait staff at your favorite restaurant or pub, there is someone selling something, be it a margarita, a career, or an agenda to vote for or against.
There is no foreseeable future when goods and services, ideas and agendas, and all human transactions under the Sun do not involve some sort of sales. No not everything is sold with money; but with smiles, handshakes, and random acts of kindness - all these things are forms of sales too.
If you aren't selling a thing for money, then you are certainly selling yourself, or your agenda - we as a people can hardly seem to help it. We do not as a people always do a thing regarding it as sales, but yet we are selling something just the same. Very few human transactions are done without some manner or form of attempting to influence another towards an end.
Yes, I realize this all sounds gloomy or somewhat nefarious, but were not Jesus and his disciples also salesmen? They had no material product to offer, and weren't much interested in economics at all - but to be a salesman, is to be a person that uses their appeal, their manners, and their person to person skills to influence another person towards an end.
Becoming a sales person starts with knowing how to interact with other humans favorably. Quite simply, a salesperson has to be liked and likable first and foremost. No one is likely to purchase a thing from a person they do not like when there is another person they do like offering the same goods or services at comparable rates of monetary exchange.
I didn't go from delivering pizza to being a salesman straight away, but I think that someone that had been a waiter or waitress would find the transition to becoming a salesperson a pretty natural progression. Rather than serving food and prompting the daily meal or drink specials, the salesperson is offering a product or a service, and is on the front lines of business transaction. A salesperson has to be attentive just as a waitstaff person, and the salesperson had surely best be friendly, preferably smiling, and always responding to the customer's requests and concerns in regards to the product or service being inquired about.
In my years up to present, I've sold commercial trucks and trailers, Ford cars and trucks, electricity, air conditioners, AT&T's U-verse, relocation and storage jobs, and of course, pizza.
Lets make no mistakes about it - right here and right now, I am selling you something. I'm selling you this webpage, my writing, my experiences, my thoughts, and some of my time.
Its an old conundrum: You can't get a job without experience....well, you have to start somewhere, and starting from the bottom, as a waiter or waitress at your local greasy spoon might just be all you need to get yourself an interview for your first sales job. You can't get hired anywhere if you don't knock on some doors, or get online and fill out an application. Once you do have some experience in sales, then all there is to do is to learn the product or service being offered inside and out, and learn to work whatever system is in place for you, be it calling people on the phone, or knocking on doors.
I hope this has proved motivational for someone. Thanks very much for your time.


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