Blog – Adventures In Sales

I recently had been thinking about my old sales jobs, particularly a really bad one where I went door-to-door selling everything items.

I had replied to a newspaper add (this was 2004) and went to a job interview. I should have seen the signs early, for they didn’t exactly tell you what you were supposed to do at this job. After the interview, they wanted me to follow with someone for a day to see what they do, and if I liked it, I could come back the next day. So, guess what we did that day?

The man that drove me and another recruit had a large inventory of items in the trunk of his car. I still remember we were selling a glass Chess board, a small back massager, and a large Disney book (we would state that it had Pixar stories in it, and that it would never be reprinted because Pixar broke away from Disney (again, this was 2004).

Basically, we would drive to a town, then spend the entire day walking from business to business, trying to sell the items. The entire job was commission based, but I think you made an average (very minor) for the day amount. You could not go door-to-door at a house, because it was illegal in West Virginia, but businesses were ok unless they told us to get out, which one person did mid-sale with two of his employees.

Having nothing to go on, I went back the next day, using my car for the entire day, and being teamed up with a partner. I learned before I went out that this was ‘the easiest business to start because it required no start up capital other than a warehouse you had to rent’. All the items we sold were items that hadn’t sold for 2-3 years so they just dumped them to us (apparently for free). Essentially, we were a door-to-door Five Below.

This was definitely a pyramid scheme, as the guy in charge made a small commission from everyone’s sales that day, and a portion of my sales went to my partner (he’d been there awhile) and then the higher ups. I could eventually train someone and get a portion of their profits.

So, the 1st day I sold with my partner (or 2nd if you count the training day), but I was really annoyed that my partner had to smoke in my car every hour or so. The 2nd day (3rd) I remember the most; we chose folders with different towns on them, and made sure we didn’t go to towns we already hit, however, upon going to those two towns, we found that our group from Ohio had already been here last week, everyone had already seen the items, and no one wanted to buy anything. How is there no communication between themselves?

I drove home that night with $40.00 for a 12 hour period, and that’s not counting my gas from driving all day; so essentially, I didn’t make anything. I wasn’t going to fall for this bogus sales job. I quit the next day.

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