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September 28, 2011

Sales men are submissive and will inevitably have a dog!

Sales career is the toughest among all careers. Sales men are seen as parasites and they are, frankly barely tolerated. One can’t really blame the sales people. In many cases they sell or market products that are not purchased willingly. In other words if the product can get sold by themselves there is no need for sales men. 

Sales people thus acquire cunningness and ability to play the underdog – always. They appear to be the most submissive of all the people. But that is a just a front. A sales man hears about his targets early in the morning. The not so polite boss minces no words in letting the sales man know that getting the target is sacrosanct. 

On the road the salesman has to grin and bear with the heavy traffic. He does not want to lose his temper lest it affects his ‘getting into the zone’ mood (the psyching up or getting prepared for the sales pitch).

At the prospect’s office, the sales man has to deal with the tough security, go through the drill, bear getting his things examined and get a visitors pass. Then starts the waiting at the reception. The sale man can’t show his impatience. There are watching eyes always watching and ready to report. Getting past the determined and tough gatekeepers (the secretaries) is an art in itself. 

Once inside the sales man has to play his cards well. The prospect behaves like a know all. The prospect preens about his knowledge and stops the sales man dead on his tracks. Sales men have to bear with interruptions, sudden objections and many and sundry colleagues of the prospect joining in the discussion and dragging it in many other directions.

The salesman is not sure of the sale till it happens. The prospect argues on all items including the price, the guarantee, the delivery period and the payment process. The training of the sales man comes into the fore at this juncture. He very carefully and subtly gets his work done that is to get the order.

But his travails are not yet over. He has to play the submissive role at his dealer’s office too. The dealer/distributor has many reasons not to generate the sale that is expected but comes out with demands of early delivery of material and late payments. The sales person has to be wary of not rustling the feathers of the dealer/distributor. So he cajoles and wheedles his way through the dealer and sees that his work is transacted satisfactorily.

Back at the office the boss is not very happy. He is not satisfied with the quantum of discount that the sales man had offered. The boss Complains about the delivery date and lack of advance payment. He grudgingly accepts the order as if he is favoring the sales person. The concerned data entry operator who has to key in the order also plays his role. He shouts at the sales person on his late arrival. He makes snide comments about sales men who can’t manage their time.

Tired and worn out the sales man returns to his home. He takes off his shoes and whistles at his dog (all sales people have dogs). This is the moment that the sales man was waiting for. He talks to his dog in a confident and dominant way. The dog listens carefully and wags his tail. The sales man’s day has ended happily. For the sales man his dog is the only thing that can be dominated by him.

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