ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Old School Marketing and Career Luck

Updated on May 20, 2014

Simple is often Best

Old School Marketing Strategy had it's Limitations but Complexity was not one of them

When I first got out of college I stumbled into a job that I was wholly unqualified for but certainly grateful to have. I was newly married and we were flat broke. I only bring this up because I'm trying garner a little sympathy that I hope will last through this entire post (and maybe on to the next post if someone, anyone, out in Hub land reads this and gives me even the slightest bit of encouragement).

My job was inventory control for a distribution company. It was back in the day when we kept manual records. As I tried to figure out this job on the fly I quickly came to realize that sales guys and customers really didn't like it when we were out of stuff and my boss really didn't iike it when we had too much stuff. Since this was a manual system what it really amounted to was a sales guy would call and say "do we have four 36-567s? And my answer was yes or no or we have 2 not 4..you get the idea. Bonus - anyone who can accurately tell me what a 36-567 is (and it's gotta be the same as what I'm talking about!) gets special recognition. For those of you who have trouble sleeping and way too much free time the hint is............. mid-1970s appliance. I probably should have googled this first to see if it's tricky enough but what the heck, let it fly.

I'm doing this inventory control job and I get pretty decent at it. Everything worked great as long as I was the first guy at work, last to leave and never took a lunch or a day off. Everybody but me was o.k. with that arrangement. I decided I needed to get promoted or moved sideways or something because I was way too young to die from stress.



The Move....

After I had a particularly good week, I told one of my favorite sales guys,Pic, to put a bug in the bosses ear that I wanted to go into sales. Pic was my favorite because I would squirrel away some product for his best customers and he would sneak me lunch pretty regularly.

What happens the very next week? I get invited to a Sales Meeting! I wouldn't have been more exited if I had gotten invited to the White House.......But actually, I worked about a mile from the White House so it wasn't that big a deal.

Now in this sales meeting the guys are all complaining about our big competitor XYZ Co. XYZ Co. was doing this thing and that and getting some of our customers..yada, yada, you know sales guys.

So finally the sales manager, Jimmy, stops the meeting and announces "in 2 weeks we are rolling out a completely new sales and marketing strategy." That quiets them down and Jimmy adjourns the meeting. I had a bit of a blank look on my face since this was my first sales meeting and it didn't seem like we accomplished very much.

The very next day Jimmy calls me into his office and the conversation goes something like this:

Jimmy, "That sales meeting yesterday was a disaster, you're kind of new here, those guys think they have all the answers. I'm looking for someone who doesn't have the answers, is that you?"

Me, "Yes, sir. I don't know anything"

Jimmy, "Good, you seem like you have half a brain, am I right?"

Me, "Yes, sir I have half a brain."

Jimmy, "Good, I want you to have a new sales plan on my desk by Monday."

Me, "Uhhh, yessir, I can do that"

Jimmy, "Good how are you going to do it? (Darn it, he trapped me!)"

Me, "You'll know Monday but can you give me any advice on direction?"

Jimmy, "Do you know what the competitor is doing?"

Me, "I don't know anything but I can find out."

Jimmy, "Then unless you have a better idea we should do what XZY Co is doing until you get a better idea."

Me, "What if XYZ Co gets a better idea before I get a better idea?"

Jimmy, "Then I'll fire you and hire their guy. Good luck, talk to you Monday"

There you have it. I got some info and we copied them. XYZ Co. decided to change their sales strategy because we were copying them and they changed to a new, but thankfully, bone head idea. We kept doing what they showed us how to do and had a very successful run. I soon got the sales job I wanted where I could sleep late and have breakfast at Sieble's in Burtonsville every morning (that's another hint).


Moral of the Story - Old School Simplified Marketing

Copying good ideas is often the best idea until you think of a better idea. Just doing nothing and waiting for a better idea is probably a bad idea.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • BizVT34 profile imageAUTHOR

      BizVT34 

      5 years ago from USA

      Smart Alex - thanks for stopping by and commenting... btw think residential a/c unit.

    • Smart Alex profile image

      Smart Alex 

      5 years ago from New York

      Again... really good hub. Oh by the way....Carbide tipped countersink? Thank you Sincerely Alex

    • BizVT34 profile imageAUTHOR

      BizVT34 

      6 years ago from USA

      Tireless - part mind reader is right. Asking a salesman for a sales forecast is like asking a drunk how many beers he wants..... need to temper the answer a bit. :-) Thanks for stopping by my Hub.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Managing inventory in the manual days you had to be part mind reader. Good hub.

    • profile image

      Mark 

      6 years ago

      The more I enter the business world, the more I see it is an art rather than a science, especially when you can apply Picasso's famous quote to what your post's thesis: "Good artists borrow, great artists steal."

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)