April 18, 2013 to June 16, 2013
Recently I was part of a Danish Internship Program, it’s called Praktik. Directly translated it means “practise” for a Health IT Firm in Ringsted, KLONK. Don’t ask what the name stands for it’s a sound…
At first I was sceptical as it is a start-up, granted it was founded in 2000 but still very much in start-up phase and that usually means lack of resources and manpower. I was excited though for a challenge, I have never worked in the IT industry before and certainly not the Health Sector of IT. So with my usual tenacity I rolled up my sleeves and began.
The first day I was given a new phone and computer, AWESOME!
What I quickly learned was that the true challenge would not be bringing myself up to speed in the world of IT and Digital Health Solutions but convincing the owner and his sales coach that TELEMARKETING is not a strategy…
With unqualified leads and handed a name of a Professor in Sweden saying, this is a HOT LEAD, I sensed my doom.
I promise you it takes balls… and I am a women: to tell a Consultant and Company owner that what they think, what they are trying needs to be TWEEKED big time.
By week two I knew there was no future for me, possibly not even the company but I truly can not say that because many business survive, struggling along with stressed out owners and not so satisfied workers and after all they do have an innovative product.
Then there was a shift, finally a meeting to attend for the Dansk Smerte Forum held in Esbjerg. I learned a very important lesson at this meeting, Danes don’t push their BC’s as Americans do…
Week three, FEEDBACK, GOALS – the owner of the company stated he knew it was an unrealistic mission he set me on, that within a 30day Praktik period I would be able to sell a “BUY IN” for a not yet produced product using the Marketing Method of TELEMARKETING, I need say no more! Oh and let’s not forget to mention…apparently a BUY IN doesn’t mean Investor, at least not at KLONK.
So there I was to provide a realistic goal for something I did not yet have any stats or factors to form my conclusion. You see I am not your regular Marketing Pro; I care about conversion and number 1 overall operating budget and revenue. I have an extensive and eclectic educational and professional background that gives me the WHOLE PICTURE perspective in business.
Add to this I was informed that my praktik period could be extended by the Kommune and even the Sales Coach said he would recommend it and in fact was the one who suggested I contact the Kommune to get an extension. I did fear that I insulted him by insisting new strategy be developed and preferably multiple mediums simultaneously, certainly using multiple methods. He suggested that he and I generate a new strategy and plan together, I liked that idea, I thought that with our combined expertise we would be DYNAMITE, and Danish at that ha ha!
The owner had basically said, just get me a meeting…He left for Sweden, I got to calling and emailing and BINGO, The President of the Endometriosis Association of Canada was interested and ready for a Skype or phone conference. I was excited to inform him that Monday of week 3 but instead I received this was IM from him:
mig: God morgen! Hvornår skal vi mødes idag? Hvornår holder du firma møde/project mgmt./status reports?
Sendt mandag kl. 08.48
Sendt mandag kl. 08.49
Me: Good Morning! When should we meet today? When do you hold company meetings, project mgmt/status reports?
CO. Owner: D O N O Four letters? Really? Is this a professional individual? I knew something was up and copied and pasted the IM, I knew something was about to follow and I wanted to mark the catalyst.
The owner came in shortly after and asked if we could speak, of course! As we walked down the hall he stated that it was wrong for the sales coach to negotiate with me, I said he didn’t negotiate at all, we simply agreed to re-build strategy together. That’s when he told me he didn’t want to continue?
I was blown away, something wasn’t jiving? I said I understood as I could see the financial situation of the company but mentioned that with different methods and strategy things could be a lot better. He mentioned possibly getting a new grad for the position, I said “ignorance is bliss” and it is, someone not knowing other methods would not be able to point out inefficient Strategy or be frustrated by the use of such.
He kept asking, so what now, what should we do? I made the comment, well I quess it’s on the road again for me and the tears I could feel were about to well up so I excused myself…That was the longest trip to the bathroom stall for me, I just sat there quietly crying. I had invested myself emotionally in this company, you see they work with products, healthcare IT solutions that focus on Pain Management and boy have I ever known that, being an Endo Survivor/sufferer and well I was optimistic as always and know that the world of Apps, IT and certainly Healthcare are all money making industries, I assure you it was also my logic at work giving this company a chance.
But there I sat, tears streaming down my cheeks…It has cost me a lot to make this International move, all I want is a stabile work environment so that I can come home and be the best mom I can be for my babies. Do I really need to have my own business? It is a 24/7 job if I do. Besides, that would be me perpetuating the cycle…Yet another Start-up without the necessary resources…granted I would structure the company properly and generate a THOROUGH BUSINESS<MARKETING<FINANCIAL PLAN but with my knowledge I know better.
I don’t want to be a KLONK.
I made the sacrifice of leaving LA so that I would not have to sacrifice being a mother. I am a career woman and mother and wish for a work/life balance. All of these feelings were stirred up by the fact that I was now going to be “on the road again.”
I returned to my desk, I just wanted to resume work, emailing and calling but was asked how are you? Not good I replied…it was so awkward, I got the feeling I wasn’t welcomed any longer. I thought I was obligated to work the remainder of the period agreed upon but it was made clear to me that it was probably best I leave, I was asked, is there anything you need to do? Finish up? I was a little shaken and still in shock, I said no everything is filed and easy to get to and I can send an email to the Endo Assoc. stating you will now be handling the coordination of the phone conference and leave and that’s what I did. I was preparing a marketing plan but figured now I might as well not even finish it, after all, all I was asked to do was make calls…
Business is and should always be based on factors and equations. Behaviour and emotion are variables but even they are researched for their statistical value.
Moral of the Story = Telemarketing by any other name, “International Sales and Marketing” is still just Telemarketing and as I suggested the owner requires an Account Manager not a International Sales and Marketing Manager…so, on the Road I went and develop I did…my frustration fuelled:
So I will KLONK along with the resources I have, develop more and then SUCCEED daNIcaStyle! ; ø )