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Musings and Meanderings
Monday, January 17, 2005
Here is a cursory blow by blow of my first day at Technical Business Systems. It snowed two inches last night so I got up at 6:30 to get showered and dressed and clean off the car etc. Went ahead and did the shoveling as well as I knew it would be after dark by the time I got back.
Thank god it was MLK birthday because the roads were garbage. But because of the low traffic I was able to get to work in about 35 min, allowing me to psych up for the new job in the parking lot. The more "techie" partner arrived just after I did so I got out of the car and went into the building and the more "sales" partner was there already. His name is Randy, so it's good to remember that.
Most of all today was the beginning of what will be a huge info dump regarding networking, phone systems and other products that we sell. But we did go over other things like marketing strategies and the like.
I sat down with Randy and spent the morning beginning to go over products and services. They actually have many more things to sell than I though initially and of course that is good. We discussed sales attacks and tactics. At some point the "telemarketer" Bill came in to join us.
As we discussed things it began to dawn on me that Bill had no idea what I had really been hired for. In addition Randy did mention that Bill had been a bit pushed out of shape that he did not get a chance to at least interview for the position I filled. Randy was right however in that the man is not really qualified for outside sales yet, but he showed me to be great on the phone in the afternoon.
We went till 11:00 then I said to Bill that I wanted to chat with Randy more privately. We went over his expectations (Get him out of sales, take over sales, increase sales, then build a sales team) and I went over mine (eventual title, desire to get him out of the field, vesting in the company, the car allowance, etc.)
Being that we are an authorized IBM and HP dealer, he gets computers cheap, and I showed him how it would make more sense, because they didn't have a computer for me, to get me into a laptop so I could be more "mobile". Then around 1:00 Randy said he needed to eat and make some calls so I went out to sit with Bill and listen to him do his telemarketing thing. Asking pointed questions about how and why he did things in the guise of learning, but also so I could help make some improvements.
Then I said to Bill something to the effect "as we transition from Randy running the Leads to me running the leads I look forward to working closely with you". A total blank stare. Then he says to me "Why would you run the leads, if Randy wants out of the field, I can run the leads myself".
Oh boy. So I shut up and changed the subject. After a bit I went back into Randy's office and explained that someone had a misunderstanding as to exactly what I was doing there. I termed it in a way that it could be me that misunderstood (ie I was going to just do what Bill did and generate leads but run my own) but Randy assured me that he wanted me in the field.
Deep breath. So I suggested that Bill was not on the same sheet of music as Randy and I and that it would be cause for some problems fairly quickly unless it was ironed out. I wanted Bill to know I was there for him and to help him move along in the company too, but that I was not (as he was calling me) his "Sales Buddy". Randy agreed that once I left he would talk to Bill, after I was very clear that I didn't want it to cause Bill to quit or something rash.
Quite a first day. I like a good personnel challenge, really I do. Just wish they had brought this poor guy up to speed before I walked in the door. This is not unexpected, considering the interview process which you all pained through with me. Just something to work on in the corporate structure.