Saturday, June 04, 2011

Job Training

My son's friend called me (on my son's phone lol) and told me that he has started a new job selling cutlery. He said he is in training, and asked if he could give me a presentation as part of his training. I told him that I wouldn't be able to buy the product, but I would be willing to let him give me the presentation. He is graduating from high school this week, and this is his first job.

I have to say that it was hard for me to keep from smiling during the presentation. I felt like I had gone back in time to the 1950's, and that he was a teenager from that time period. He had a script that he followed, and at the appropriate times he called me "Mrs.". He even used the nice pen they gave him to point at the pictures. I think as far as a salesman went, he did a very good job. He certainly was enthusiastic, and it made me smile. It was just so dang cute! :)

I feel kind of sorry for him though. The product he is selling is actually an excellent product, and I would love to own some. But the problem is that it is incredibly expensive!! Imagine a set of top grade cutting knives, in a top of the line wooden knife block. Imagine a knife that can cut through raw carrots like they were cooked one. Now imagine that you too can own this set of 6 cooking knives, and 8 dinner knives for ONLY $1,000.00! Now imagine how I was able to keep from guffawing when he told me the price!

The worst part of the presentation was when he told me that he isn't allowed to go door to door, but is required to rely on people like me for referral names. He said I would only need to give him 10 or 12 names. pfftttt.... I thanked him for his time, and told him he did a good job. But then I told him I wouldn't feel comfortable giving any names without talking to the person first. I told him I'd let him know if anyone I knew was interested. Poor kid. He's just trying to earn some money! But I do have to tell you that after all was said and done he quietly said to me, "I don't know how much longer I"m going to be doing this...." Well, I do think he got quite a training out of this afterall, don't you? :)


Grannymar said...

I bet he did. I knew a young man in a similar situation - young with a need to earn a crust. He was supposed to keep the sales pitch going until he had seven refusals - and that was cold calling on the phone for an appointment! When a face to face took place he had to hang in there with the prepared patter for seven refusals before admitting defeat. He stuck with it for a month and said it was a terrific lesson in how 'not to sell' anything!

Rummuser said...

I was a salesman Delirious, and have faced the kind of problems that your young salesman faces. When you start as a salesman, it is quantity, in terms of the number of calls that you make. The more you make, the more your chances of making some sales. With practice and confidence, the quality of the pitch improves and the instinct to tackle likely prospects rather than just numbers kicks in and the hit rate goes up. The lad needs a good mentor and a Supervisor who can channelise his enthusiasm properly.

Delirious said...

The problems I see for this young man's success are that 1. the product is too expensive, and 2. he has to rely solely upon the people he contacts to get referrals. People like me don't want to give out their friends' names!

Mr. Giggles said...

I will stick with knives that cut raw carrots like they are raw carrots. For $1,000, my knives should be able to do more than cut!

And hard sales are called hard for a reason. If he doesn't believe in his product, he at least needs to believe in himself!