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Old Feb 1, 2013, 08:46 PM   #1
vrDrew
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What's in it for me?

One of the managers of the company I work for returned from a Sales Convention, to announce a new sales promotion the company was having.

In short this promotion involves an across-the-board 15% discount for a certain class of customers. And that the sales staff was expected to heavily promote this our customers.

After hearing the guy out, I asked the question: "Whats in it for me?"

To which, predictably, he had absolutely no answer.

Bear in mind, our sales staff receives absolutely zero incentive pay, commissions, etc. of any kind. Increasing the sales of any single class of item results in precisely zero increase in our compensation. And furthermore, the company seems recently to have been on a cost-cutting binge that focuses, almost without exception, on cutting sales work hours.

I'm no communist, socialist, or even a particularly strong fan of organized labor. But this seems to have stretched, beyond the breaking point, the fundamental social contract.

This episode illustrates, to me at least, the congenital defect in modern American business. I honestly couldn't give a two-penny jizz about the district manager's bonus, let alone the corporate CEO's stock options.

Are these clowns so utterly lacking in empathy (the single most important factor in effective salesmanship) that they couldn't even be bothered to consider the interests of their salespeople when coming up with this scheme? Or do they really expect that the people listening to their b/s will tolerate it, forever, without stopping to consider that they probably could make more money working for Wal-Mart or McDonalds.

A pox on their houses.

Rant over.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 09:05 PM   #2
citizenzen
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Rant over.
Personal story ...

Over thirty years ago I was washing dishes in a restaurant. Any night the receipts were over $500 I got a $5 bonus and another $5 for every $100 over that.

That one little gesture completely changed my outlook. Instead of cursing busy nights I relished them. It couldn't get busy enough for me because I had some stake in the game.

It's a shame that so few people running businesses seem to understand this simple principle that you allude to.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:40 PM   #3
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A story from a company I used to work for, doing touring family shows.

One of our crew doubled as a truck driver. Which means that after we did our shows and spent hours taking the show down and packing it up, he was one of the truck drivers getting it to the next city, then working to set it up.

One day, the company needed a trailer moved during what would be his time off. He basically said "Okay...that's $200." They balked at such a thing, and refused to pay it. Instead, they hired a private trucking company to come in and move it...for several times more than he asked for.

Now, to the root of the reasoning: if he did it, it came out of the show's budget, and the show manager was paid a bonus based on how much he was on budget. If a private company did it, then it came out of the "general transportation" budget of the company, and didn't affect the show budget.

So basically, they said "screw you, you should do it for us since you're our employee", and paid someone else to do it instead. Sometimes you wonder if companies think that we owe them a debt of gratitude for simply employing us.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:45 PM   #4
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And furthermore, the company seems recently to have been on a cost-cutting binge that focuses, almost without exception, on cutting sales work hours.
I think they should give you more to encourage you to sell more, but this here is what's in it for you. Since if they are cutting costs by cutting worker's hours my guess is the more sales you make for them the more likely you are to get as many hours as you want.
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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:53 PM   #5
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Supposedly a musical training video (so bad it can't be real) ...

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Old Feb 1, 2013, 11:59 PM   #6
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Supposedly a musical training video (so bad it can't be real) ...

YouTube: video
What was that?????
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 12:07 AM   #7
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What was that?????
vrDrew's nightmare.

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Old Feb 2, 2013, 03:33 AM   #8
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Supposedly a musical training video (so bad it can't be real) ...

YouTube: video
What just happened

Hoody girl at end was kinda funky
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 04:18 AM   #9
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If I close my eyes, the music conjures up images of 70's porn.

The on the ground worker in the U.S. has become a disposable commodity. And this trend precedes the economic downturn. Humans respond better to incintivization than threats of being canned. In addition, most corporate climates reflect the "2 % mentality" in society in general. The CEO of your company likely is incentivized with bonuses and if sacked will likely have a decent severance.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 05:06 AM   #10
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vrDrew's nightmare.
Almost. But not quite..

Wincingly bad as the video was, I'd cut the makers a little slack. The company that made it is obviously a small operation, so I'll give them credit for at least trying to put a little humor, a "human face" if you will, on their sales training process.

I'm not so forgiving towards the company I work for. A Fortune 500 company that makes billions in profits, pays its CEO tens of millions, and lavishly rewards its other top management staff.

Maybe this sales promotion they cooked up will juice revenues and profits by a couple of percentage points. And if it does it'll put hundreds of thousands of extra dollars into their pockets. But pardon me for reacting with less-than-fulsome enthusiasm when they can't even be bothered to put something on the table (an occasional free lunch, a bag of chips?) for the peons who are expected to carry it out.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 06:28 AM   #11
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I've started to wonder if issues like this can be ascribed to having a "management class." People today get degrees in business and management, and they are then hired into managerial positions in companies that they're not familiar with. From what I've heard, back in "the good ol' days" almost everyone started out working at an entry-level job for the company, and some would then be promoted to management. They knew what it was like to work at the lower levels of the company and they also understand the people and culture behind the company. Having risen through the ranks, they also understood the business of the company from many angles. Having spent a lot of time with the company, the success of the company is personal and goes beyond pleasing shareholders or getting a million-dollar bonus for gutting the company.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 08:07 AM   #12
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 08:19 AM   #13
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It's the baby-boomer/60ies generation. All their ******** about changing the social framework ultimately was a shallow disguise for what has amounted to be the most ego-maniacal, selfish generation in human history. As a German citizen I watch the videos Rudi Dutschke generation blab about socialism and Mao and the same morons now milk the system for what it's worth.... the parent generation may have been Nazi followers but at least they had some semblance of a sense of community when compared to that human waste.... the often used term of "The Worst Generation" for the Baby Boomers is certainly well picked. It also applies for their kids, the "Millenials", who have a the questionable pleasure of dealing with in the workplace now...
Gee, worse than Nazis ? You are a pretty harsh judge of generations-- we will see how your generation does in the selfishness department. If I had to guess, I would guess that human nature will not have changed much. How about on the individual level -- ever met any baby boomers that you like?
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 08:31 AM   #14
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 09:38 AM   #15
citizenzen
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It's the baby-boomer/60ies generation. All their ******** about changing the social framework ultimately was a shallow disguise for what has amounted to be the most ego-maniacal, selfish generation in human history.
I'm going to agree with you on some levels.

I remember when Reagan was elected I thought that surely his conservative policies would re-ignite the progressive movement. It was disappointing to see many raised in the the counter-culture of the 60's co-opted and turned into the Me Generation of SUV-driving Gordon Gekko wanna-bees in the 80's.

In ways you are correct in your assessment of the Boomers.

However, I am not a believer in sweeping a broad brush to write-off entire generations. Each comes with those who contribute to the progress of society and those who hold it back. Each is a product of its time and of preceding generations and cannot—or should not—be solely blamed for what you perceive as their shortcomings.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 10:21 AM   #16
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We had free pizza day at work yesterday. Sometimes, it's the little things.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 11:58 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by vrDrew View Post
..... And furthermore, the company seems recently to have been on a cost-cutting binge that focuses, almost without exception, on cutting sales work hours.....

.....Or do they really expect that the people listening to their b/s will tolerate it, forever, without stopping to consider that they probably could make more money working for Wal-Mart or McDonalds.
....
hmmmm, I suspect you've just made it easier for them to help you move on to Wal-Mart or McDonalds
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 12:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrDrew View Post
One of the managers of the company I work for returned from a Sales Convention, to announce a new sales promotion the company was having.

In short this promotion involves an across-the-board 15% discount for a certain class of customers. And that the sales staff was expected to heavily promote this our customers.

After hearing the guy out, I asked the question: "Whats in it for me?"

To which, predictably, he had absolutely no answer.

Bear in mind, our sales staff receives absolutely zero incentive pay, commissions, etc. of any kind. Increasing the sales of any single class of item results in precisely zero increase in our compensation. And furthermore, the company seems recently to have been on a cost-cutting binge that focuses, almost without exception, on cutting sales work hours.

I'm no communist, socialist, or even a particularly strong fan of organized labor. But this seems to have stretched, beyond the breaking point, the fundamental social contract.

This episode illustrates, to me at least, the congenital defect in modern American business. I honestly couldn't give a two-penny jizz about the district manager's bonus, let alone the corporate CEO's stock options.

Are these clowns so utterly lacking in empathy (the single most important factor in effective salesmanship) that they couldn't even be bothered to consider the interests of their salespeople when coming up with this scheme? Or do they really expect that the people listening to their b/s will tolerate it, forever, without stopping to consider that they probably could make more money working for Wal-Mart or McDonalds.

A pox on their houses.

Rant over.

Whats in it for you is your employment...or start your own company...Why do most here feel they are owed something more than they begged for when you first got the job....
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 12:32 PM   #19
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Personal story ...

Over thirty years ago I was washing dishes in a restaurant. Any night the receipts were over $500 I got a $5 bonus and another $5 for every $100 over that.

That one little gesture completely changed my outlook. Instead of cursing busy nights I relished them. It couldn't get busy enough for me because I had some stake in the game.

It's a shame that so few people running businesses seem to understand this simple principle that you allude to.
This.

Take a look at Circuit City. When they had commissioned salespeople in the late 90's and early 2000's (I was one of them) they thrived. Phil Schoonover came in and took over and sent out a company email saying that he can pay people $8 an hour to do the same job he's paying people $50k - $60k+ a year to do and did away with commission by firing anyone who made over $15 an hour in average commissioned sales: aka his best salespeople.

Now look where Circuit City is at...oh wait...

Workers need an incentive to do more than just the baseline job required.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 12:34 PM   #20
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I'm no...particularly strong fan of organized labor.
Maybe you should be?
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 01:23 PM   #21
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Maybe you should be?
Yes, learn to do less for more money.....
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 02:22 PM   #22
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Yes, learn to do less for more money.....
A specious characterization at best, although it strikes me more as inflammatory.

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Old Feb 2, 2013, 02:29 PM   #23
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.Why do most here feel they are owed something more than they begged for when you first got the job....:
Because they are fundamentally altering the deal they made when I accepted the job: They've cut my hours (and hence my pay.) Now - despite recording significant increases in company profitability, I'm expected to do more, for less money.

Look, companies do this sort of thing because they can get away with it. Unemployment is still two or three points too high, and they know that, if push came to shove, they could replace most of the people who work there. There would be some cost to the company (ie. lost sales while they recruited new people, training costs, etc.) - but unless the entire sales staff quit en masse (pretty unlikely) the departure of any single salesperson, no matter how talented and productive, is no big deal.

Companies "get away with" this sort abuse all the time. But there is, I believe, a long-term cost. People have a long memory, and they remember who has treated them well, and who hasn't. I'll do a good job as long as I'm employed there. But the moment a better opportunity comes along, I won't suffer any pangs of guilt about quitting.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 02:38 PM   #24
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But the moment a better opportunity comes along, I won't suffer any pangs of guilt about quitting.
Just to clarify when would anybody EVER not leave if a better opportunity came along? I don't go to work for the social life. Companies today get away with much because of the economic climate. Each year the cost of living goes up, yet the salaries stay the same. People get made redundant, and their responsibilities become yours. Your reward for this? You get to keep your job. The world sucks. But at least we have jobs/food/houses!
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 03:32 PM   #25
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Because they are fundamentally altering the deal they made when I accepted the job: They've cut my hours (and hence my pay.) Now - despite recording significant increases in company profitability, I'm expected to do more, for less money.

Look, companies do this sort of thing because they can get away with it. Unemployment is still two or three points too high, and they know that, if push came to shove, they could replace most of the people who work there. There would be some cost to the company (ie. lost sales while they recruited new people, training costs, etc.) - but unless the entire sales staff quit en masse (pretty unlikely) the departure of any single salesperson, no matter how talented and productive, is no big deal.

Companies "get away with" this sort abuse all the time. But there is, I believe, a long-term cost. People have a long memory, and they remember who has treated them well, and who hasn't. I'll do a good job as long as I'm employed there. But the moment a better opportunity comes along, I won't suffer any pangs of guilt about quitting.
Sorry, I just dont see it as "abuse"..I see it as the company having to change the biz model to keep up with the times, sure it sucks, but until you start your own company and "abuse" your own workers you have to roll with it...You can be sure your boss's already know you would quit for a better opportunity, which is why they are not offering any to you...
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