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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Third prize is... You're Fired!

Posted on October 20, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Blake: The good news is -- you're fired. The bad news is you've got, all you got, just one week to regain your jobs, starting tonight. Starting with tonight's sit. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. 'Cause we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anyone want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. You get the picture? You laughing now?

We YouTubed Alec Baldwin's awesome speech from Glengarry Glen Ross the other day, and now it has been stuck in my head like a stack of gold leads. If your line of work involves selling anything -- real estate, cars, high-end audio video -- you could argue that it would be difficult to be truly successful -- or even completely understand the sales "game" -- if you haven't watched this movie. From Pacino's scene in the diner where he slowly mesmerizes the guy into his web by "not" selling him anything -- "maybe we're talkin' about buying real estate or maybe we're just talkin', I'm not even sure any more..." -- to the terrific "motivational" rant from Baldwin/Blake -- "Guy doesn't walk on the lot unless he wants to buy. Sitting out there waiting to give you their money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it?" -- this movie is a salesman's dream (or nightmare). There is certainly a lot to be learned for selling high-end gear from this; the way to development relationships and the psychology of closing that big sale.

If you haven't seen the movie -- or more importantly THE scene, here it is.  Be warned; the language is kinda NSF...

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So, Third Prize got me to thinking about a rather depressing little factoid that our salesperson pointed out to me a while ago when sales were really slow. He turned to me and said, "You know, I think I would actually make MORE money if you fired me."

We laughed and then he said, "No. Really. I mean it. I think I'd make more money if you fired me."

"No," I said. "There's no way that can be true."

So we started doing a little looking and researching on the Compuwebs and Holy Depression, Batman! With the majority of his paycheck being made up of commission, on many weeks while we were slow he WOULD make nearly as much money by being fired and living off unemployment. What a sad state! Where an able bodied, ready to work person is actually better off to NOT work and to suckle at the Obama teat.

But then it got worse. Inspired by the promise of Obama moneys, he did some more looking and when you factor in unemployment AND Medicaid AND foodstamps AND WIC (Women, Infants and Children; he has a wife and two kids...) he would actually be making MORE money if I fired him. To sit at home. And spend time with his kids. Doing whatever he wanted. So, semi-joking he said, "So, be a pal will you. And fire me."

Obviously, there are the many OTHER weeks where his paycheck trounces unemployment so I declined his offer. (Though some times a good firin' is just what a body needs.) And my motivation for HIM is that being commissioned he has an unlimited ceiling as to how much he could earn. There are those $5,000 weeks... (Also, the motivation for ME is that when it is slow, he isn't costing as much to keep around, and hopefully the hunger/low paycheck motivator will be enough to keep him all Eye of the Tiger.)

The thing is, that for some people -- the lazy, the unmotivated, the Gils of the world -- it is too easy a way out. Why work? Why do the 40 hour slag? Why not just stay home with the family and do whatever you want? Why be motivated to earn a *little* more. Why not just let the coffee drinking closers pick up the slack. I'm all for helping out the needy and those that can't help themselves, and those that are really down on their luck or that CAN'T find a job, but when being fired looks like a viable career alternative, something is wrong... For the others, here's some tips on crafting your ultimate "Will work for..." sign.

Categories: October 2010, CTA, Rants

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