The two sales meetings were typical at best. “Sell more of our stuff”. No matter what the agenda the message is always the same. Don’t get me wrong, these things usually are informative but sometimes they get drawn out for multiple days only to end with the same message. All in all both meetings were fine and I may possibly pick up some additional territory for one of the lines which is never a bad thing. I usually enjoy sales meetings because it means usually two things….traveling with Co-workers (normally I am by myself in some crappy hotel in the middle of nowhere) and above average meals.
A lot of thing have taken place since my last posting….Two sales meetings for work that amounted to over a full week of travel, long and boring trip into Kansas for a meeting with one of my OEM’s and a devastating tornado that affected multiple members of my family. It’s been a long, long couple of weeks.
If I am lucky, normal road food for me is Applebee’s. I ALWAYS sit at the bar if possible. If it’s full I leave and go somewhere else. Why? It just looks funny taking up a whole table for one person. People with families always give me strange looks…as if I am some lonely drifter just passing though. In reality they have hit the nail on the head. I feel more at home with the multiple other salesmen surrounding the bar who also have the fortunate task of prospecting various towns in the Midwest. We are all just really at some horrible eatery for one reason…to sell some widget and propel our income into the next tax bracket. Every now and then I get to talk with one of the other “Guys” and it’s always funny how these conversation starts up. Both of us generally gauge each other and snoop around to see what’s going on…really trying to find out if we are competitors or if we can have civilized conversation about how traveling through these barren lands will ever be profitable. I am not one to pound my chest about prior sales achievements and multimillion dollar projects sold to this company or another. I tend to keep that stuff close to the chest but there is a certain demographic that feels totally fine telling you all about their history and the one project that made them a ton of money. Can you guess this Demo? Usually these guys are older than my dad. They almost always don shined penny loafers and sport coat. Also, they must always drive a Cadillac (I have one of these….but you will never will catch me in loafers and a sport coat). It’s not that any of that is a bad thing…it’s just the older guys have a way of doing things that the younger generation has either rejected or not figured out yet. Usually I can get a life story in the time it takes to devour a Black and Blue burger and a very crappy Cesar salad. I usually like to listen more than talk. Not exactly the model salesman but I have figured out how to make it work for me.
Back to the sales meetings…..I enjoy traveling with my co-workers. We are sort of an odd family where everyone gets along and can talk freely about whatever. Most of us have kids and relate not only on that level but generally have the same outlook on life. Just to give you an idea of what and how we typically operate…. Each guy covers his own nugget of the map and maintains his own profit center. So a normal day or week consists of all five of us moving around trying figure out how to put another dollar in our pocket. There usually is not much if any conversation that you would think happens in a typical office. Most of the time we hardly ever see each other within a given week because everyone maintains their own schedule of travel and whatnot…so any time we get together for a few days is rare and usually is a good time. We usually have a number of good stories to hang on to and this past meeting in Tulsa is no different. There were a number of things that went right on this trip after months of disappointment and frustration (none of this I will air openly). We had a lot of things to celebrate and did so to the extreme. Personally for me it was a huge outlet to blow off some steam after dealing with the devastation of the recent storms. I won’t go in to huge detail other than my side still hurts almost two weeks after from an apparent “Flair Chop” to the rib cage.
Look for upcoming posts about a few things….the tornado and all the details involving that nightmare for my brother, grandmother and aunt as well as the postponed Easter cookout.