News flash: Louis Feuer has decided to look for a job. Well, not
just any position. I want a sales representative job like the one I
hear about from business owners every week. I didn't think they
still existed, but I have been proven wrong.
I want the job where:
I do not have to do anything but minimal paperwork.
I know the owner or sales manager will probably not look at my
I can tell the owner or sales manager, “Just give me time,
more time to build relationships that generate money. A year's
worth of time would be great.”
I don't have to go to the office during the day unless I feel
I receive a cell phone, a car allowance and a big marketing
I don't need to find new accounts but can live off the success
of the company and/or the previous sales representative.
I only have to talk about one or two products and don't need to
learn about the entire business.
The boss is afraid of me, instead of my being afraid of the
I can continue to ask for and receive raises since someone is
concerned I might leave and take the business with me.
I can spend the day giving out gift items, order lunch, then
just sit back and see if that makes the telephone ring.
If there is not a job in your company like this one, you are off
the hook. You need not read any further. For the others, let's move
on. (I hesitate to call these roles a “position” since
I may be elevating the value of the work. “Job” seems
to be the best name for this too prevalent salesperson.)
Now, I already know these jobs exist in the industry. What is
annoying me is that no one has considered me for any of these jobs.
I know how to delay getting things done. I know how to do lunch. I
could easily adjust to living off the success of others, and have
always resented paying my own cell phone bill. I would enjoy a car
allowance. At the current price of gas, I would love to send those
bills to my boss, and the opportunity to threaten just one person
with the idea of my leaving.
For more than 35 years I have searched and searched for this
job, and only now have I come to realize how many of you in sales
management have the opening I am looking for.
What's going on? Are we afraid to manage? Do we become so
attached to our employees that we have little regard for their
productivity? Do we find it easier simply to pay salaries, Social
Security, withholding taxes and benefits — and not ask for
work in return?
I am wondering why I am the one getting angry. Why am I adopting
your problem? I guess I feel your pain, or, at least, what should
be your pain.
But before you start terminating salespeople, take some time to
rethink what you expect from them. Should they be making a certain
number of sales calls each day? Not just stopping by an existing
referral source to say hello, but setting up appointments, looking
for new business and generating leads?
If salespeople don't know what is expected of them, you may have
encouraged some to create a unique set of priorities that includes
having fun and flying below the radar screen while enjoying the
If you have people on the payroll who are not productive, yet
you have this burning desire to keep paying them regardless of
their unproductive ways, you are evidently not alone. I am glad
changes in the industry, accreditation and competitive bidding have
not forced you to tighten your financial belt. If you have money
you do not know what to do with, please send it here weekly. I
promise I will at least send a thank-you note.
I may be lecturing only to a small group, but, wow, do I feel
better getting this article to print and off my chest. Thanks for
reading, and, honestly, if that job does open up, call me, please!
I can do nothing as effectively as anyone else.
But if you are a sales manager who is actually managing and
monitoring, I may have to decline the position.
Louis Feuer is president of Dynamic Seminars & Consulting
Inc. and the founder and director of the DSC Teleconference Series,
a teleconference training program. He can be reached at www.DynamicSeminars.com or by phone at