Back in my college and immediate post college days I was a bartender. I actually fell back on bartending on and off for 15 years as I traveled around the world.
I had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings from nightclubs to restaurants, to pubs, to bars, to comedy clubs… I even worked on the party boats out of Boston Harbor and casinos in Las Vegas.
I knew how to make drinks. Recipes didn’t change unless you were in a restaurant that created all their own drink names and recipes (Thanks TGI Fridays for too many blender drinks.)
A speed rail was a speed rail, no matter what bar you walked into (back then… hopefully it’s still the same.) The cheap vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, whisky, bourbon, and scotch were always in the same place. You could glance at the more expensive liquor bottles and get a general idea of where everything was, and as a ticker tape of drink orders started coming in it was fairly easy to still make a great drink and get it out fast.
So, while teaching me the exact ingredients of drinks was not needed, and I was an “out of the box” solution for a bar or restaurant, it didn’t mean there wasn’t a “break-in” period.
With each new job, and believe me in Las Vegas there were many due to the transient nature of Las Vegas, not only did you have a new restaurant, bar or casino culture to learn – you had to get to know the other products that were offered besides just your standard drinks, you had to learn how to meet and greet people, you had to learn how to up-sell them and what the unique proposition was of each new bar, you had to gain the trust of the servers, bartenders, and management around you, and you had to learn about the company culture so that you could integrate.
Just coming in with knowledge of how to make drinks was a great start, but it wasn’t the be all and end all of learning a new place. I could be the best bartender in the whole world, (And believe me I thought I was.) But if I walked in with the attitude that I was going to change everything and move everything around to fit my own needs, I wasn’t going to be there long.
There is always training, learning, and growth that happens with any new job. Being open to training, learning the company culture, and working within a framework that exists is important. It is only then that you can begin to evaluate what works, what doesn’t work, gain trust, show results, and then make suggestions on how to make things better.
In the world of online sales for new home builders, you may know the tools like the speed rail, you may have great techniques and people skills, but each builder is different, and there is a break-in period to ramp up and learn all the quirks, ins, and outs of each builder. Being open to training is an important part of growth. We are all always learning. There’s not a single bar I worked in where I didn’t come away with new information, even if it was about who I did and didn’t want to work for. Ask me about Tequila Red some time or Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
Builders may want out of the box solutions but there almost always needs to be training, parameters, and expectations that come from the company. Even with new programs it’s important to have some say in how that online sales program will be run which means investing in training to allow your OSC to learn what is important to you. There is always a ramp up period. Proper training and guidance will make a strong online sales program.