A Few Stories from a Media Sales Rep
(Minghui.org) I began working full-time on the Epoch Times sales team two years ago. Before I joined The Epoch Times, I spent most of my life on school campuses because I was either a student or a teacher.
I started learning sales techniques from veteran sales reps by listening to and observing them carefully. I learned the eight steps of sales, known as the 8-step sales process which includes looking for customers, making phone calls, paying visits and making the deal.
The first time I visited a client, I told myself the fourth step was to gather the client’s requirements. The client said he was interested in buying an advertisement, but hadn’t decided on the size.
I thought, “This is the fourth step – ask questions.” I asked him a question. He wasn’t sure, and looked for a coworker. As soon as he came back and sat down, I asked him another question, which he wasn’t sure about either and left again.
Luckily, my fellow sales rep told me, “Stop asking questions. He’s about to sign the contract.” I said foolishly, “Really? But this is only the fourth step.” Sure enough, as soon as he returned my fellow sales rep briefly told him the pricing for different ad sizes, and the client happily signed a three-month contract.
This should give you some idea of how little I understood about sales at that time.
That first contract gave me a lot of confidence, and I felt that sales was not as difficult as I thought, because,
“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
I believed as long as I worked hard, Master would bring predestined people to me.
It’s easier said than done. My first year of sales was up and down – like my mood. I was happy if I signed a contract, and depressed otherwise. For a period of time, I couldn’t seal a single deal. Clients were either too busy to meet with me, or they wanted to cancel their advertisement.
One day, I went to see a client in the city, and found a spot in a large parking lot. The spot was too small, and I struggled to fit my car into the space. The car behind me honked and I panicked. I managed to park eventually, and sat in the car crying my heart out. I said, “Master, I’m sorry. I cannot do it anymore, it’s too hard.”
Quitting would be easy. I could go back to my everyday people’s job. However, would that be what I wanted? No. I remembered the distress of working an everyday people’s job, and I didn’t have much time to validate Dafa. Working for The Epoch Times, however, I could save people every day.
I wiped my tears and asked myself if I could go on for one more day. My answer was, “Yes, I can do one more day.” I asked myself the next day, “Can you do another day?” My answer was, “Yes.” I held on day by day.
When I shared this with another practitioner, she said, “You have all the skills required for sales, except for enduring hardships and getting out of your comfort zone.” I was speechless. I thought I was someone who could endure hardships and work hard.
I reflected on myself and realized that what I thought were hardships were not really hardships. For example, I thought that as long as I did the exercises every day, I was enduring hardships. The other practitioners did all five sets of exercises every day in addition to studying a lecture of the Fa.
I was exhausted after making ten phone calls, but other practitioners made dozens of phone calls a day. What seemed to be hardship to me, was actually laziness. I was startled. It turned out that I hadn't put in much effort, so therefore I got no or little return. I needed to endure more hardships and put in more effort.
“How much you put in is how much you get out.” (Chapter III, Falun Gong, 7th Translation Edition, 2016)
I adjusted my mindset and began putting in more effort at work and in cultivation. I've made some progress even though I'm still not as diligent as others.
Master Is with Us
I listened to the experience sharing articles written by fellow practitioners in China. They often mention how practitioners asked for Master’s help during difficulties or dangerous situations, and came through. I found it hard to believe, “Would Master help in all these earthly things?” What happened later changed my notions.
I was invited to attend the annual award party for an association. The room was full of well dressed westerners chatting in small groups. I was the only Chinese person there and I didn't know anyone.
My human side said, “Just leave quietly and say you’ve been there.” My practitioner side said, “Nothing is coincidental. There must be people here that I need to save. I cannot run away.”
What should I do? I suddenly thought, “Go find the people holding medals. Congratulate them first, then introduce yourself.” I chatted with several people. One person said he was interested in placing an advertisement with me.
On my way back, I couldn’t stop thinking how great the idea was, which allowed me to contact so many different businesses in the shortest amount of time. I realized Master was helping me.
One time, I was looking for clients who were willing to do a special advertisement. I was stuck and I was frustrated. I had a sudden thought, “Look for clients in other fields.” I followed the thought and made a breakthrough.
While signing the contract, the two clients told me they had never thought of placing ads in Chinese media, and they decided to give it a try.
Both experiences helped me realize that Master knows everything, even my thoughts. Master is next to me.
I asked for Master’s help once. A client wanted to do digital advertisement instead of print. I started preparing for the meeting a few days ahead of time. Digital advertisement was new to me and a lot of information was beyond my knowledge. I wasn’t sure if I could answer the client’s questions.
Before the meeting I said, “Master, I want to sell the digital advertisement, but I’m not good at it. Please help me.”
I told the client, “I just began learning digital advertisement. Even though I’m not familiar with it, we have a strong digital team. We will help you get what you want.”
To my surprise, the client said, “No problem. I just started to learn digital advertisement too. We can learn together.”
I said in my heart, “Thank you, Master!”
Clarifying the Facts at Every Moment
The biggest advantage of working at The Epoch Times was that I could clarify the facts to people I ran into. I often met with people from different walks of life and backgrounds. Truth clarification was an essential part of our conversation. As time went on, it has become a built-in mechanism.
I would clarify the facts under any circumstance and at any moment in my daily life. When I bought shoes, I told the sales person, “I try not to buy things made in China.” When she asked me why, and I started clarifying the facts to her.
While buying a cell phone, I asked the sales person, “Have you heard of what happened to Huawei?” They said they hadn’t, and I began telling them about the persecution.
When I was buying a cake, I asked the baker, “How is business?” She said, “Not good. I work from early morning to late night and cannot make much money.” I said, “Yeah. Some people don’t do much but get paid a lot.” The baker agreed. I said, “This is the problem of socialism.” I went on to tell her about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
One day, I wasn't thinking about truth clarification, but people wanted to know. I was returning to Auckland after a long trip. I sat quietly on the bus. I didn’t want to talk and just wanted to get home. The bus driver asked me nicely, “Where are you from? China? Do you often get to China?” I said, “I have a faith so I cannot go back to China. No freedom of religion exists in China.”
He responded immediately, “Oh. Falun Gong?” My tired brain suddenly woke up. I realized I could not slack off. Predestined people are everywhere waiting anxiously to hear the truth.
Many New Zealanders are very kind. Some already know of the CCP’s evildoing. When I tell them more, they all respond positively. One question they often ask is, “Why isn't the persecution covered in Western media?”
Master has been reminding us that time is running out. We must try our best to save more people at this crucial moment.
Breaking Though Fear
Fear has been following me since the first day of my sales career. At first I was afraid to make phone calls, drive on the highway, meet with clients, etc. Sometimes, if I had a meeting scheduled, I would lose sleep the night before, or have nightmares.
After sharing understandings with veteran sale rep practitioners, one practitioner quoted Master’s poem,
Dafa is what you carry everywhere,Zhen Shan Ren, rooted in the mind;A great Arhat walks the earth,Gods and demons fear with awe.” (Benevolent Might, Hong Yin, Version A)
She said, “Aren’t we saving people? How can we be afraid of them? We need to think of them as people who have predestined relationships with Dafa and waited tens of thousands of years for us to talk to them.”
I looked inside and wondered why my fear was so strong?
Master said, “Fear is also a kind of attachment.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
What was I afraid of? I realized I had fear of failure or rejection, gain – no advertisement, no income. I was afraid of financial loss. In addition, I found I had Party culture mentality of being fearful of everything.
“This is because amidst everyday people, different ordinary human attachments could interfere with her. When she cured a patient’s illness, the patient might not appreciate it. When she treated the patient, she might have removed a lot of bad things from this patient’s body. Although she healed this patient to such an extent, there might not have been any obvious changes at that time. The patient, however, would not be happy in his mind. Instead of expressing gratitude, he might accuse her of cheating. With these problems, she was undergoing psychological tribulations in this environment.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
People sometimes do not understand us, reject us or ignore us. Aren’t those opportunities for us to remove our human thoughts? Isn’t this our cultivation environment in which our human thoughts are removed?
I thought of another thing that is related to this issue, and that is how much heart one puts in. Master said,
“Actually, with whatever Dafa disciples do, if you put a bit of heart into it you’ll get twice the results with half the effort. If you ask me, it’s a question of heart. Many people say that they don’t know how to do marketing, but I would say it’s that they don’t want to put their heart into it. The key issue is that you haven’t steadily committed to it.” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”)
Balancing Family Relationships
In the beginning, my salary at The Epoch Times was lower than my everyday people’s job, in addition to increased work hours and work pressure. I knew I must handle my relationships with my non-practitioner family well. I found the experience sharing articles written by practitioners in China very helpful.
In addition, the requirements of a woman in traditional culture – a good wife and mother – have helped me realize how poorly I've done. I had been busy, leaving a lot of responsibilities to my in-laws. It looked like I did not care much for my husband and children. As a result, my husband often complained about me. I also had a hard time clarifying the facts to my family.
I wanted to make a breakthrough, so I started packing a lunch box for my husband every morning. I had never done this for him during our ten years of marriage. Instead, I used the precious time in the morning to do Fa study and exercises. I thought it was a waste of time to make a lunch for my husband. But now I felt it was something I was supposed to do.
My husband was very happy, because he no longer had to bring leftovers or get takeout for lunch.
I started paying more attention to my kids’ diet and clothing as well. I no longer forced them to do things. Gradually, the atmosphere at home improved. Even if I had to work longer or do business travel, my family doesn’t seem to mind much anymore.
When we are truly considerate of our family, sometimes even if what we did for them was very small, they feel it. They therefore understand and support us.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend this Fahui, and the opportunity to reflect on my personal cultivation while I wrote this article.
“You have learned this from your own experiences over all these years, whatever the line of work you’ve been involved in—including media work. It’s often the case that those who work hard on their own cultivation get much better results with less effort. So we mustn’t neglect our own spiritual practice. It is first and foremost.” (2018 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference)
I hope I can make a big breakthrough in my personal cultivation, and ensure my quality of Fa study and the time for exercises no matter how busy I am.
This concludes my personal understandings. Please point out anything improper.
Thank you, Master, for your merciful salvation! Thank you fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 New Zealand Fa Conference)