Monday, June 25, 2007

Reporting on the events of last week

In my last post I believe I was anticipating two great events - a two day sales training course, and the introduction of a new member into our team. I can happily report that both happened. Woo!

A lovely woman by the name of S (need to protect identities here, you see) started with us last Monday. Of course, rather than the orientation that was given to us for our first two days when we started in April, S was dumped straight into the sales training, and probably found out a lot more about how the team works there than she would have in an orientation, because she had us for two days being rather candid about the challenges of our work. But it seems we didn't scare her off, which is good to know.

The training was pretty cool - much better than I expected. Now, I really don't have a problem with sales and marketing and using those words and concepts in relation to libraries. I think I've said it here before, but if we want to survive in a world where these things are king, "for the cultural good" is not enough of an argument any more. So I didn't go into the training thinking "this will be horrible, I'm an honourable librarian who will never sell out to these cheap tools", rather "yay! Give me more ways to convince people that we rock". Cos that's what it is about - I know that libraries rock (or at least they can - don't get me started on the current state of the profession), but other people don't, so we need to communicate that to them.

The training focused on some basic tools, which were then decorated with frills. The trainer was great, and I felt like I walked away with a good structure to use in my outreach calls with academics. I think the importance of that is underrated. When you're trying to sell a particular message, having a way to structure the meeting is vital so you don't end up babbling uselessly. So I've got a structure, I've got some tips on how to reword messages, and I've got some challenges ahead in terms of having the guts to implement some of these tricks. I'm looking forward to changing the way I do things - I'm looking forward to my meetings being quite different in, say, two months time.

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