Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sales Joke of the Day (March 18) The Brush Off.

A toothbrush manufacturer was in the market for a new sales rep.   They had a posting up for awhile with no takers.  Not too many people want to sell toothbrushes these days especially when they are so readily available at retail stores like Walmart and pharmacies.

Alas, they did get one applicant who actually showed up for the interview.  But he just didn't look like a professional salesperson.  His shoes were worn, he looked like he was starving and his suit was falling apart at the seams.  This rep could barely see through his coke-bottle glasses and he even spoke with a lisp.

But the sales manager wasn't getting other takers for the position so "Lucky," as he was known around the office, got hired.

The first day on the job the sales manager sent Lucky out on the road with a wooden table and huge box of 500 toothbrushes in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes.   He told Lucky not to come back into the office until they were all sold.  He also sent him out with his commission in advance of $500 or $1 per toothbrush.  The selling price was set at $2.50.   The last sales rep to take on this challenge never came back to the office, kept his commission, and his lifetime supply of toothbrushes.

Lucky thanked his boss for the great opportunity and told him he'd be back soon.   The boss felt a little guilty for sending this guy out into a no win situation with little chance of success but what else could he do?

The next morning the boss arrived at work only to see Lucky already there with a grin on his face and $1,250. in his hands.  "Here you go boss," said Lucky.   "Sold out!   I'll have to move to a new spot today but I think I can do a bit better."   The sales manager didn't know what to say.   He packed up 1000 toothbrushes for Lucky to sell and sent him on his way.

The sales manager was suspicious.   No one could sell 500 toothbrushes in a day!    He had to figure out what Lucky was up to!   Lucky had told him he'd be setting up at the Mall just outside of town so the manager thought he'd check up on his star rep later in the afternoon.

When he got to the Mall, sure enough there was Lucky.   It looked like he had already sold through 500 toothbrushes and was well into the second box.   When the manager approached the table, Lucky greeted him with a smile and said hey boss pretty good day so far.  You owe me $612 dollars already!

The sales manager was dumbfounded when he got up to Lucky's display table.  He noticed a bowl of chips beside a small bowl of brown dip.    "Hey Lucky what is this display all about?" he asked. 

"Just chips and a little dip boss!  Would you like to try one?"

"Sure Lucky!" replied his sales manager. 
"Would you like some dip with that boss?"

"Sure Lucky.  Thanks Lucky.   Awwww!   This stuff is awful this dip tastes like **c-r-a-p**!"

"That's what it is boss!   100% liquefied horse **c-r-a-p**!    Want to buy a toothbrush?"

Moral of the Story.    Pure economic theorists would say that it is impossible to create demand.   Desperate sales professionals know otherwise.

"Treat your password like your toothbrush.  Don't let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months."    -  Clifford  Stoll