In 2013 I finished a job at a temp. agency and had still two and a half months before I moved away for another year of college. Scrolling through the craigslist job ads, I came across one on Monday that talked about a new office opening up that needed staffing. Not a whole lot of information. No business name listed, no address, not specific on anything really. It did say they were offering a $1700 salary. I called the number listed, scheduled an interview, and went in the next day after they gave me the address. The interview was very short and I still didn't get any information really. I was told to call back that evening from which I was informed I made the job. I was very excited to land another job just 4 days after leaving my last job, but was still wondering what exactly the company was and what I'll be doing. Since going to the interview at the business location I had the name of the company, but couldn't find any information about it online.
Wednesday was the first day of orientation. I walk in to see that they hired about 25 people all about my age between 18 and 25 or so - first flag of suspicion. I'm looking at the white board full of writing and information and the phrase that stood out to me was "advertising techniques." That's when I put it all together. Based on the mannerisms and attitude of the interviewer and now orientation instructor guy, the withholding of details, the kind of people they hired, and the "advertising techniques," I figured this was a sales job. I still wasn't 100% sure what kind of sales it was and what I would be doing though. I never wanted anything to do with sales. I hate the job and usually dislike salespeople - not them as a person (usually), but because of my experiences with them trying to hustle me for a sale. It's annoying! Also, several have been known to do some shady things do to get a sale. Anyways, I thought I'd at least give it a try and keep an open mind before immediately walking out then and there. Maybe I could be good at it (later in life I learned I'm not. I'm a terrible sales person).
By the end of the first day of orientation I still wasn't even sure what I'd be doing exactly besides working with Kirby vacuum machines and getting them sold. I didn't know what a typical day on the job would be like and the pay systems or much of anything. Much of the first day of orientation was just talking about how much money we can make if we work hard. Money, money, money. Being rich, owning fancy cars, houses, boats, bling, going on lavish vacations, winning fantastic prizes, and all this jabber about vanity, possessions, wealth, and all the vain things people covet to show off how they're better than the people that went to school for a good job and have to pay off student loans. Yeah this is great to dream about, since a vast majority of people in the room are uneducated, probably have some debts to pay, and just struggle for any money really. Doing the math with figures they presented, I saw that even if all is going well, you're only making thirty to sixty thousand a year. That sounds good for anyone at our point in life, but how much of a future is there in this? Surely you can't be doing this kind of sales forever unless you switch to some other kind of sales or become a part of the business management/corporate office type work. Most of the money earned, will be spent leaving you in the same place you were at the start. My instructor seemed to be doing well for now, but I respect that he admitted that outside of this company he's only worth 9, 10, or 11 dollars an hour. Giving it thought, it's the money that motivates people because sales jobs typically suck, but it's worth it if you do get the money.
During the second day of orientation I got a better idea of what's going on. People are offered a free service like carpet cleaning, but it’s really just an invitation to a lengthy sales demonstration in which the carpets are cleaned in the process of the demonstration. I would be the guy that goes into houses to do the demonstration and also have to find people occasionally to make appointments with. By the way, that $1700 salary that was “guaranteed,” isn’t. Someone asked about it and the instructor wasn’t very straight-forward about the pay. The salary is only paid if you perform a set amount of demonstrations. For example if it was 60 demonstrations that had to be met, he said that you easily do 80 or so demonstrations. It’s not a problem. Performing under 60 demonstrations is working part-time, so no salary. I wasn’t willing to make that gamble on my pay even with the good odds. It’s still more of a gamble than I prefer. Reflecting back on that now I know it was a lie or misleading at best. The whole thing was pretty scuzzy. I mean, do the math. It might've been less than 60 demonstrations as the requirement, but how many do you really expect to be doing each day or week? The money made would only come from selling the very expensive machines. You have to sell A LOT to make anything meaningful.
So after the second day of orientation I was giving myself a headache trying to decide if I was willing to go through with this and give it a try, or walk out now before any more time is wasted. They did make the appearance of people finding success in this, but ultimately, I decided to not show up the next day for orientation. I quit this scam and started looking for a real job elsewhere. I’m sure sales works for some people and some think they’re all scams. I personally will never work sales.
One of the analogies used in the presentation was that most people would be willing to scrub toilets for $1,000 a week, so why not do this job for $1,000 a week? The idea is that scrubbing toilets is looked at with contempt. It’s a gross, terrible job. If you’d do a job of that kind because of great pay, then sales shouldn’t be beneath you.
I don’t know if I fully understand that analogy or not, but it’s not that I think sales is below me. I just don’t want to do it no matter. I hate trying to keep people’s attention for something I don’t think they really need, I don’t like feeling or knowing I’m wasting their time, and I just don’t like doing any kind of door-to-door or cold calling. I’m not above it or think it’s all a deceiving practice. I just don’t want to do it, it’s a job I wouldn’t enjoy doing, and I know I'm terrible at it when I try sell stuff on craigslist or facebook marketplace.
Another observation I made during the orientation/training process, is that they either tell the stories of successful people, or they bring in the successful person to give a little speech about how it’s possible to become rich in this business. What it looked like to me was that only a few people make it big through sales somehow. As a side note again - unless that money is invested, saved, and managed correctly, they will lose those hundreds of thousands and start all over again. It’s not a consistent, steady job. These successful sales people have become more of a use as inspirational speakers to get the lower-end people motivated. It’s not that loads of people are getting wealthy through sales, but a few have and are just circulated around as examples.
For my last point, when someone is successful at sales, is it really hard work, or were they just lucky getting the right customers, or are they really talented salespeople, or a combination of both? They preach about the harder you work, the more money you make, but I will have to disagree – to a point. In sales, you can’t simply earn more money by putting in more time and effort. You only make money if people are buying from you. You can work two days a week and make 10 sales, or you can work 7 days a week and make only 3 sales. Putting more time in or “hard work” only increases the probability of getting sales and earning commission/bonus. It doesn’t correlate to immediate pay for the time worked. Though you increase the probability, it’s still just probability – chance or luck that you meet with the right customers.
Think about what it means to be a good salesperson. You’re good at convincing someone to buy something. If the product is really that good, it shouldn’t need much convincing. People generally don’t like salespeople because it’s basically their job to trick, manipulate, and convince you to buy from them. This, of course, is being said by someone (me) bitter about the subject and had bad experiences.
This wasn't my only experience with these sales job "recruitment rallies" I'll call them. In fact, the very next year I kept hearing a coworker talk about some financial stuff he was getting into and it was interesting to me since I was taking finance classes at college. I like the subject. He invited me to an event to learn more, which I attended one evening and was annoyed to be met with a similar experience: room full of people in their late teens to mid twenties, current pop music hits playing, flashy presentation about sticking it to the normal people getting normal jobs when you can be rich from doing this and "helping people." It was Primerica. Primerica insurance sales stuff. They tried to get me to sign up a the end of the meeting, right then and there and it would cost $100! Definitely not. They tried giving me all the "why not" scenarios and tried coaxing me into giving it a try and I just wouldn't budge. I'm not wasting a hundred bucks on this. I'm not doing this. I don't want any part in it.
One more time in 2017 I got tricked into one of these is when I struck up conversation with a random person I met at the grocery store. I don't even remember what we talked about anymore, but we talked about some business stuff that I was already a little familiar with in the realm of online businesses and affiliate marketing. I agreed to meet them somewhere to meet this business partner and hear more, but was actually upset to see, once again, the same demographics and same scene being set up; but this time, They were all professionally dressed in suits. The people here were weird though. A few people made similar statements to me about being "accountable," hard working, and other nonsense.that's like, well yeah I'm not a lazy loser or something whatever the alternative is to what you're asking. I just said I wasn't interested and left after that, never contacting them again. This one was Amway's Worldwide Group. This might be a good plug for being anti MLM, but I don't want to go there right now.
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