Sep 17, 2007

Nostalgia for earlier times

Diptakirti, a batchmate from my B School reminisces about some phrases. Even I in 1996 during my short-lived sales tenure have been guilty of "Push-Selling" (ie. load the dealer with enough goods and you will get sales) Are such times really over? Over to Dipta

Boss, company is not understanding the problem…
When I started off in FMCG sales, it was a time without mobile phones and with floppy drives.
Companies wanted to sell irrational amounts of soap, toilet cleaners and other such products of eternal consequence. And they had already convinced a large group of MBAs to execute the plan. These MBAs – with their data interpretation and presentation skills – in turn, convinced another group of lesser mortals. The guys who repeated this problem to me some 482 times were these lesser mortals.
We would be at the depot, trying to invoice truckloads of stock without too much of an idea what the Madhubani distributors would do with 330 cases of soap (which can bathe all of Madhubani for about 7 months). And when all pleas not to do so would fall on deaf ears (mine), this phrase would come out with a deep sigh!
This statement of despair did not deter them from their duties, as they would still do what the company required of them but made this small complaint anyway. Companies no longer believe in those kinds of absurd billing nowadays. And in any case, I have moved out of frontline sales.
I miss that statement because it was a momentary despair of a soldier. He would still fight. He would probably win as well. But his wisdom and profound experience forced him to make that one note of protest before he moved on.
I miss the loyalty, tenacity and the cynicism of those guys.