Written by- Avjeet Gill (Avi)
5 min read
10 sep 2018
Year 1987 George landed in Australia. A Singaporean with a very high ambition. Ambition which was vague and somewhat foggy. “As a young enthusiastic fella, I was here to make a mark. Fun, Family and Future”.
“I started working at a chicken factory, loading and unloading trucks, companies to my luck used to pay for the forklift and other licenses themselves those day. Nowadays you must pay for everything even before you look for the job”. He worked there for 3 years, made some decent money and moved to Western Australia.
Started studying Bachelor of Commerce in Finance at Murdock University. “During my studies I found a job opening at Corel reef Reality. Decent money caught my attention”. Single, fun loving, young spirit was ready to taste the first blood of Sales. George was hired. “Brent ‘o’ Connell was our sales manager and the best sales man I have ever met till date. He could sell a Zebra to run a horse race. This guy was so impressive, his dressing sense, personality and etiquette gave me inspiration to be like him one day”. His lifestyle, that he earned thru shear hard work and disciple tingled strings in George’s brain and gave him a purpose to wake up every morning.
4 of them were selected among 30 odd who applied for the job. Training lasted for 2 weeks and now 4 of them were in field. “To start off with we had 1 appointment a day, seven days a week. As we gained experience appointments increased to 3 a day, sometimes we had to travel to the remote places, gather the community and plan a seminar”.
Work was hard, exhaustive and brutal, but that is how the sales work. When George got his first pay check he knew what he was going to do this for rest of his life. “Sales is hard, unforgiving and relentless effort. You must have a very thick skin. But results far exceed the effort”.
Sales is all a numbers game, one day George might make 2 sales a day but other days he might make only 2 sales in a week. On an average he was doing 5 sales a week. “It all depends how far you can push yourself. Motivation is the key. My key to success is to wake up every morning and ask myself: what am I going to do today, what is that I want to achieve from this day? Simple and then I work towards it. I have been doing it without break for last 30 years”.
Within months he was doing so good that he was nick named “The Gun”. Unstoppable, his success rate was 99%. Other 1% was taken care off by Brent. “Everything was like a dream. Money, success, lifestyle all I ever dreamt off”.
And then one fatal night 24th August 2005, George was driving back after closing a deal. “All I remember is a very bright light and I have no recollection of that event even today. I was left in coma for 2 days, recovery took 4 months, I was left with a massive scar below my right eye. It was hit and run, don’t know even today who slammed into me on that fateful evening”.
After 4 months, company happily took him back. It was evident he was not the same, it was becoming hard for him to travel to appointments and even harder to travel back in the evenings. “My brain reconstructed the event over and over again on seeing the bright head lights of the car approaching. I was fighting on both fronts: emotional and physical”.
One evening, 13 Nov 2008 George decided to open his own company, had a chat with my other like minded people and finally found 2 who were willing to take the plunge. Within weeks they were selling like hot cross buns. “At one point we had 40 employees working for the company, we became too big too soon. The unexpected growth of the company caught us off guard and we were neither mentally prepared nor we had much of managerial experience of a large company”. They were selling stock that was going to give commission in 6-10 months’ time, but creditors wanted money then and there.
“It was better to split and manage our own individual companies. Our great 3 years adventure can to an end”. George opened his first company Greenway Investments, business went as usual and now he was selling investment properties across Australia now.
Soon after he bought a brand-new Lexus, silver, top of the line. In the day he would work hard, and in the evening party hard. All was going smooth, people were buying, and George was spending hours on the phone converting leads into sales. But God had other plans.
2008 Great depression hit the world, property market was hit the hardest. Everything came to halt. Banks stopped lending, fear crept in and market collapsed. “I had prepared myself for this day. Every 3rd sale I made during good days went into my buffer fund”. As the money in the market dried out so did the investors.
A true salesman finds opportunity in adversity. George went back to Singapore. Now, by law he could not spend more than 3 months continuously so for next 2 years he travelled to Singapore every 3 months. Did seminars and generated leads.
Singapore was a difficult market. Due to currency value, he could only sell property to rich people. Property values in Australia at that time were pretty much stagnant. Only thing that favoured him in selling the real estate. “By Australian bureau of statistics property value in capital cities of Australia doubles every 7-12 years. I was able to sell few properties, but travelling was having a toll on my body”.
Travelling was stopped, and George started operating from his mum’s house. “I started calling 5-10 potential referrers every day on regular bases, with relentless effort. In first 4 months I had almost called 500 different accountants and mortgage brokers”.
Finally, he bought his first property in Strathfield, Sydney for $500k in 2009. A big 5-bedroom house. Build his network and during all this time, “I walked under hot reeling sun, drenching rain, barbaric winds, drove my brother borrowed car but never missed an appointment”.
In 2013, he had his first shared office, had a broker and accountant in the same. Structure worked so well that he had his own office within 2 years. Now George has his own office, multiple companies, a steady stream of referrers and staff who supports and works towards the better and bigger future of the company.
A real gentleman never gives up. “Life is a stage performance, some give it their best and are remembered for years to come and some just play along and perish. Make the most of even smallest of the opportunities you get in life”.
Knowledge, attitude and persistence are keys to achieving your goals. You don’t need to master them, just respect and understand them. They will start working for you automatically. Be creative and change with time. Today’s technology is obsolete tomorrow so be flexible.
I stood tall in the face of harsh times, time and again and if you are a true gentleman you will too.
*name of the person and company has been changed to keep the identity private.
Story written and copyrighted by Avjeet Gill (Avi). Any personal and commercial use is strictly prohibited.