Welcome to my first blog article! I’m Rosanne Burke, owner of Keji Consulting. I am a Sales and Marketing Consultant and my passion is helping you create strategies that will grow your business, increase sales and nurture relationships.
I struggled to come up with a topic for this first article. I thought “what could I possibly share that people would want to read about?” I understand that many people are afraid to put themselves out there and feel that they have nothing to say. I’m no different. As I was trying to think of a topic, I thought to myself, c’mon, what do you know about? The answer came to me: career transitions and relationships. It seems like a good place to start.
Most of us go through at least one, if not several, career changes in our lifetime. I’m on my fourth. First as a dietitian, second as a fundraiser, third as a medical sales representative and now as an entrepreneur and business owner. They’ve all been very different but there has been one consistent factor and that is relationships.
In 2002, I was working as a fundraiser and knew I needed a change. I had been working with health charities for nearly 8 years. I wanted to do something different but didn’t know what. I reconnected with a friend who was working as a medical sales representative and she took me on the road with her. She popped in and out of doctors’ offices, having conversations with doctors around the benefits of products that she was selling. This is fun and pretty cool I thought.
I told my mom and dad that I wanted to go into medical sales. They supported me and thought it sounded like a good job. A few months went by. Then my mom asked “are you looking for that new job that you wanted?” I replied “nah, I changed my mind. Sales reps have to do a lot of driving and that isn’t for me.” Was that the truth? Nope. I still coveted the thought of getting a job in the medical sales industry. Why did I lie? Fear. Fear was holding me back from pursuing my dream. I couldn’t possibly be smart enough or good enough to have conversations with doctors. They’re really smart people and I’ll look like a fool. And I’ve never sold anything in my life! I don’t have the skills necessary to succeed at sales.
Well, I got over my fear and pushed myself to find the courage to pursue that career goal because I knew that was what I wanted to do. After a lot of networking and interviews, I finally landed a job as a Medical Sales Representative.
Over the next twelve years, I went on to develop a successful sales career and learned a lot including:
- Sales is not about being pushy or aggressive.
- You do not need to be an extrovert to succeed at sales.
- You do not need to be born with extra special sales talents.
I also learned that sales is about:
- Providing excellent customer service.
- Being there for your customers.
- Solving your customers’ problems.
I discovered that I have a knack for building customer relationships, understanding customers’ needs and providing superior service. The result was that I exceeded annual sales targets each year. I grew the business within my territory and the bottom line for the company. I had fun doing it because I was focused on my customers and their needs. Their goals were my goals.
What I remember most fondly about that role are the people I had the pleasure of serving. Everyone is busy and to let a sales rep into your day is a privilege that I took seriously. I strove to provide value during each interaction. I was authentic and genuine, giving my customers information that would help solve their problems; information that was founded in medical facts and research. Ultimately, I wanted to make their jobs easier and improve the lives of their patients.
Fast forward to today. I’m going through another transition. I have left the corporate world and decided to start my own consulting business. As a Sales and Marketing Consultant, I believe it is an extreme privilege to be let into your busy day and to help you with your struggles and goals.
Do I have fears like I did 14 years ago? Yes. Have there been days that I think to myself “Are you smart enough and good enough to help other business owners?” You bet. But just like 14 years ago, I know in my heart that I have value to offer and that helping other people with their business is what I am here to do.
There are opportunities and challenges ahead of me as I make this next career transition. Whatever comes along, I know relationships will be at the core of what I do, who I serve and how I help. I look forward to meeting you, getting to know you, learning about you and hopefully working with you to achieve your goals. With each interaction, I will be working to provide value and to earn your trust.
Let me begin by asking: What do you struggle with most as a small business owner? What help do you need from a trusted partner? Thanks for letting me into your busy day!