Chapter 33: Figuring It Out

Monday morning:

Bob: Welcome, Jane and John. You’re the latest recruits to our sales team and I just need to say a few words to you before you start, which you’ll do in about ten minutes. You’ll spend your first four days out in the country. Your two areas are near enough identical in size and numbers of potential customers. Friday is your day for operating in town, where you’re likely to make more calls than on any other day, but your success rate will probably be relatively low because the townies are fairly resistant to salespeople. As you know, we have only one product, the Goodypak, and owing to production problems, we must for the time being limit sales to one per customer.

Each week we give a prize to our most successful newcomer, so on this occasion that will obviously go to one of you. You need to know that the main criterion is not the number of calls you make, but the rate of conversion to sales. The reason is that you get generous travel expenses, so as far as we’re concerned, the less motoring you do, the better. For example, four weeks ago we had two fellows in contention. One made only fifty calls in the week, but he got thirty sales. His rival made ninety calls and thirty-four sales. The first chap got the prize because he’d clocked up barely half the mileage that the second one did. That’s all I have to say. Now, off you go. We’ll meet here again after you finish work on Thursday.

Thursday evening:

Bob. Hello, Jane and John. Nice to see you. Now, we have a most interesting situation here. You’ve each recorded sixty calls and twenty-eight sales. Good work. As you’re running neck and neck I’m really looking forward to what you achieve tomorrow. We’ll get together when you’ve finished your day’s work. Good luck.

Friday evening:

Bob: Here we are again, Jane and John. You’ve got through your first week and both of you have performed well. You’ll remember that you were level-pegging when we met yesterday and I now have to deal with your figures for today. John, you made thirty-six calls and got four sales. Jane, you made twenty-seven calls and got only one sale. So, the prize must go to you, John. Step forward and –

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