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who cares if it’s late? do it anyway! December 19, 2008

Posted by That Guy in Sales Floor Stories.
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This is what salespeople look like when they tell me to do something at the last minute.

This is what salespeople look like when they tell me to do something at the last minute.

When you work with salespeople, you become accustomed to things showing up late — if you’re lucky, the day before they need to be done, and if you’re not, the day of or after — and needing to not only be done right now but also needing to be the most important thing on your list, ahead of… well… anything.

At CorporateSpeak Headquarters, I work with salespeople. Things show up late all the time. We try to force a 5-7 day turnaround, but the sales managers don’t enforce it and the salespeople don’t give a damn. (It’s been a very trying few days. Pardon the negativity. Or don’t.) The orders I get often show the amount of money behind what I’m doing.

Some things I’ve noted:

  • The biggest, most complicated, most time-consuming projects have the smallest amount of money attached to them.
  • The bigger the client, the less we charge them, and the more teeny-tiny cogs there are in the process of finishing the work.
  • The small clients never complain, or if they do, they’re really understanding when something isn’t done that very instant.
  • The more work you put into something, the less the client likes it.
  • The biggest clients belong to the least-responsible salespeople, and that means you get their material at the last minute no matter what. And no matter what you do, you’re still going to get what you need five minutes before COB on the day it’s due.

I was recently tasked to put together a contest for a client. I’m not necessarily upset with the client, because once I finish this, I guarantee they’ll never look at it; they’ll just ship it to an agency. But the salesperson decided to deliver everything on Thursday at the end of the day. That left me one day — Friday — to complete a project I’ve done before, but takes three hours or so to do (there’s no way to replicate old ones because of the way it has to be done).

Yep. It was due Monday.

I got it done. But that’s no excuse. Of course, in a corporate world like ours where there’s no accountability despite the dozens of hours each work week that go into writing accountability reports, nothing will change. I fully expect another production order like this to cross my desk next Thursday at 5:55pm.

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