had only been one month since Rick Lester had started working. He was having a
challenging time adjusting to his new job as a salesman. Rick spent his first
two weeks training and observing Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown made calling out to
customers and potential customer seem easy to Rick. Rick found it extremely
difficult to do it himself. Rick had taken a sales class the previous year. It
covered the reasons to go into sales and the disadvantages of going into sales,
all which Rick is now learning. For Rick’s third week, Mr. Brown observed
Rick’s sales presentations. Rick spent that fourth week presenting on his own
but there was still so much that Rick did not know. During the fourth week,
Rick got caught in rain and was sitting in the van waiting for rain to lighten
up. While sitting in the van, he began thinking about all the negative
connotations of being in sales. One was the fact that being in sales is
physically demanding. Rick was required to bring a 38-pound sales bag to every
presentation and calls. The sales bag contained advertising materials, new
products, sample merchandise, a stapler, and a selling portfolio. There is also
a lot of bending and lifting of the cases of merchandise from storage to
shelves. After each day of presentations and calls, Rick had to write up
reports and mail them to the home office. He also had to restock and reorganize
that van to prepare for the next day. When he was finish restocking and
reorganizing, Rick sometimes had to make phone calls. Rick was wrapped up so
much in work that his wife called him out for not spend enough time with her.
Rick’s ego took a hit again when his wife told her friends that he was public
relations rather that sales. Some of the
things that made Rick’s (or any salesperson’s) daily report were events that he
did not have control over. For example, when competitors had a special
promotion or exclusive deals. Rick had a
had time adjusting and was feeling physically and emotionally over whelmed.
Rick eventually thought it would be best if he just quit and find another job
at maybe a bank.
Lester should not “turn his keys in”. He should stick through it. It appears
that he got into a job that he was unprepared for. Mr. Brown made it look easy
because of the experience he has and the years he has on his back by toughing
through. If Rick Lester took invested the time to grow and gain more
experience, then he could make it look easy to a trainee. He could make his
wife proud to call him a “salesperson” and when he gets the hang of things, he
would be quicker at it and eventually be able to spend more time with his wife.
If Rick is not willing to do that then, he should “turn his keys in”.
There were two situations that Mr. Brown could have
handled better. The first situation is when Mr. Brown told Rick to go “buy a
raincoat”. Mr. Brown is someone that Rick looked up to and Mr. Brown could have
handed out some advice. He could have talk about some of the experiences he had
when he had just started and was in the same position as Rick rather than some
sarcastic answer. There was more to the call than just the rain. Rick was asking
for advice. Rick was still nervous and unsure and was still a beginner in the
sales profession. He still had a lot to learn which leads into the second
situation. The second situation is when Mr. Brown was not there to help and
provide some answers for Rick. Rick is still beginner. He was still trying to
learn from Mr. Brown and the fact that Mr. Brown was not there to encourage Rick
to continue. He should encourage Rick to use strengths and to not give up. He
should have mentored Rick and taught him so tricks and skills to eventually
over come some of the challenges and obstacles that Rick had encountered.
Relate some of the skills Rick must learn to everyday life.
There are many ways to reduce a high turnover rate among
new sales personnel. One is providing better training and orientation so that new
hires can adjust and become accustomed to the sales profession. There should be
many training sessions and screenings and test should be conducted to make sure
the employee is in an appropriate position for the specific sales job. The
employee should have been able to know what to expect and have to knowledge to
handle specific situations. The novice salesperson should be able to understand
and balance the profession appropriately. Also, the employer should pay
attention to what is causing such a high turnover rate and what motivates the
employees to perform well.
can do to increase the status of a salesperson is incentive, promotion, higher
pay, bragging rights- all of these make the higher status salesperson feel
proud and feeling is something that naturally increases productivity in that
specific person. With a higher status, the sales person should have some type
of leverage or bargaining power.
I think that professors should provide students with
realist job expectations and provide experiences under supervision. Professors and
advisors should help the student determine if certain internships are suitable for
a selling profession. New successful salespeople should host workshops to help student
gain some understanding and relate what they have learned to the experience in the
In conclusion, there is still a lot to learn when it comes
to fictional situations in the classrooms and real-life situations in life. For
firms to reduce a high turnover among new sales personnel, there should be a better
way for ‘Mr. Brown’s to mentor and guide and mentor the many ‘Rick Lester’s coming
in. Firms should have status levels for salespersons. Employees with a higher status
level should mentor and guide lower status employees. Firms should include more
training and more supervised sales. Firms should also send higher status sales personnel
to sales classes so teach and explain to future sales personnel what to expect.
New salespeople should expect exactly what they are told – a profession of sales
is not the effortless way out.
Absher, R. K, & Crawford G. (2013).
ABC’s of Relationship Selling Through Service. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.