This Store is Now Closed
Each and every day I would arrive to my job at The Computer Outlet and settle in for a long day of standing on my feet, talking and saying the same things over and over again, trying to justify why people were better of buying what I was selling.
We were actually located across the road from a Harvey Norman 2nd hand computer seller, and it wasn’t long before they noticed we were there. And so began a series of very poor behaviour between the staff at the two stores.
We would regularly send team members to their store to write down prices of what they had to compare what we had and adjust our prices accordingly. They would do the same. In fact, one time the manager of our store bought a couple of their cheap computers and brought them to our store to sell at an inflated cost.
We’d put up advertising signs, they’d pull them down. The council fined us for having a sign on our footpath because someone reported it. They’d put up signs, we’d pull them down. We’d report them to council for having signs on the footpath and so on and so forth.
During this time there was also sales going on. And during this time, I had a couple of episodes that made the store manager decide I wasn’t ever going to be a real salesman.
One of them was him listening to me on a phone call. I was discussing with a potential customer a purchase of multiple machines for his business, and I heavily discounted the price to make the sale. It was a large sale of 15 computers and my commission because of the discount wasn’t going to be very much.
The manager asked me afterwards why I discounted the price so much even though I was sacrificing the commission and I told him it was because I didn’t care about the commission, I just wanted the sale. I didn’t elaborate on my thoughts but actually, I knew at the time, it was a new business, it needed to make sales, and so I should be doing anything I could to help grow the business. The caller had promised repeat business and referrals if I did well by him and so I was giving him an amazing price for the purpose of helping the business grow.
The second one was during a sales training session. The same manager was pushing the sales guys to make more sales, frankly we couldn’t beat Harvey Norman and the store wasn’t doing very well. And the other guys were saying, maybe if we earned more we would be more enthused to make sales. I became angry and said I make enough money, we should just be making more sales.
The manager didn’t like that because as a sales person, I should be chasing money. But really, again, I was concerned actually for the business, and making sure the business did well. I wasn’t wrapped up in myself and was more into the whole idea of being invested in the business.
The issue with this is, actually, sales people should be all wrapped up in themselves. They shouldn’t be concerned with staff, team member morale, performance of the business and so on. Actually, they should be only caring about their bonuses. Because if they are making sales, and making bonuses, the business will thrive.
I didn’t understand this at the time, but I do now. I wasn’t a good salesman at The Computer Outlet because I wasn’t in it for myself.
Anyways, it pottered along for a couple of years before eventually the Computer Outlet closed down. Such was that.