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Can You Manage?

You're the salesperson and the boss. First thing to do? Get organized!

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This story appears in the June 1998 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

A few years ago, a sales manager at an Atlanta industrial distributor was relating the difficulties of dealing with his top salesperson, who was late to meetings, rarely completed call reports on time, ignored most sales promotions and was a general pain in the neck. In fact, it had become so bad that the two parted ways, with the salesperson deciding to represent a competitor's product line while working from home.

The salesperson admitted that, in his opinion, meetings, call reports and the like stood in the way of getting orders. If he was doing those things, he wasn't performing the one task he should be: selling. Six months of working from home, however, made him realize there was something to his old sales manager's methods. Working on his own, he could no longer count on assistants and customer service people to keep track of all the information he needed to know. The salesperson also admitted even someone as good as he occasionally needs a pep talk. In other words, he could use a sales manager.

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