Monday, June 1, 2009

Adventures In Direct Sales: Um....okay?

Yesterday was a disaster. We usually don't work on Sundays, but I didn't work on Saturday, so I said I'd take a couple of appointments on Sunday to make up for it. The first one I went to, the lady said she had told the person on the phone that she wasn't interested in seeing a presentation. So, whatever, didn't do that one. The second one was even worse. As I pulled up to the house, the family was actually getting into their car. I introduced myself to the husband, who was just locking the front door. He told me that they had changed their mind, because his wife said it sounded like a scam. (As scamtastic as the employment practices have turned out to be, I'll give this company credit for the fact that the products themselves are good, and their sales practices aren't scams. They never fuck with the customers, just the employees. :P) Anyway, I said, "Okay, can I just use your phone for a minute to let the office know I won't be doing this appointment, then?" He said no, and ordered me off the property.

I called the office from my cell phone. As I was calling, the family pulled out of the driveway and drove away. C answered. I told her what was happening. I could hear J in the background yelling, "oh, what the fuck is it this time?" Because, you know, it's totally my fault when I can't get into demos. C told him what was up, and he started yelling, "Oh, that's bullshit. If that happens, she needs to call us from their phone, and she knows that. This is total bullshit." C told him that they wouldn't let me use the phone. She was about to say that they had left already, and J cut in with, "then she can call from her cell and put one of them on the damn phone so we know she actually talked to them. This is fucking bullshit." C told him that they had ordered me off the property and left, and J continued ranting in the background. Then he got on the phone and told me I could do an evening appointment. Now, keep in mind, Sundays are extra and optional to begin with, and just the other day J said that we never do Sunday evening appointments. When I said no, he got all pissed off and hung up on me.

Fast forward to this morning's meeting. The first little bit was fine. But S, N and I were all coughing. N had it the worst, coughing so hard he could barely talk. He looked pretty rough. J told S that he didn't want to send him to someone's house if he was sick, so he should just go home and rest. Then he said to N and I, "you two aren't allowed to be sick. Take some cough syrup and get over it." Yep, the white guy got sent home to rest, and the brown guy and the girl get told to "just get over it."

As the meeting was wrapping up, J asked me to stick around for a few minutes after everyone left. He told me that he was giving me a "promotion" of sorts. Basically, certain regions of the province are now going to be my areas. It means more travel, but I also got bumped up a level on the pay scale-better commission and bigger bonuses, plus (obviously) more gas money and pay for mileage and such. I just said thank you, but I was really wondering why he was giving me whole regions of my own after yesterday's fiasco. I'm thinking maybe it's so I don't sue him or something. :P

What really pissed me off, though, was when we finished talking about this new position and I asked about my equity term coming to an end soon. Hoo, boy.

A little background-if I make a full-price sale that's paid by cheque, cash or credit card, I get full commission, obviously. If it's financed, and the customer gets approved on what's called "A-line," basically meaning they have spectacular credit, I also get full commission. But a discounted sale, or a full price one on B or C line financing, cuts into my commission. I don't care so much about that, but the important thing to note is that with B or C line financing, the finance company only gives J a portion of the money right out, and that's why it reduces our commission.

What I didn't realize was that my final system, the one that I have to sell to get my account paid off, has to be either cash, cheque, credit card or A-line financing. I was under the impression that any full-price sale of the final system would work, but now I find out that it doesn't work that way. Yeah, thanks for telling me that right out of the gate, J. Seriously, it's 10 weeks this week, so I'll be working on that final sale starting, I believe, Thursday. But in the entire 10 weeks I've only sold 1 full-price system on one of the "acceptable" payment methods. So I'm stuck here until I duplicate that feat. So now the pressure is on, and I'm pissed off.

Speaking of sales, J and I were talking about one customer of mine who didn't get approved at first, but was getting a co-signer. I have to go back to her house tomorrow to get signatures and stuff. J asked if she was black. I said no. He asked, "well then, what is she?" Yeah, he's classy like that. After I glared at him a little bit, I replied, "she's First Nations." His response? "Well, then, I hope you're not counting on that commission for anything. In my entire career, I've only seen one indian get approved, even with a co-signer." Seriously, I could just kill him right now.

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