-All these deals are lost but I can’t delete them in Salesforce. What should I do?
-Just push everything to December. By the time they find out it will be somebody else’s problem...
In corporate sales, the year is divided in quarters. The end of a quarter is usually hectic: more calls, more reporting, and more pressure. Management is desperate to close as many deals as possible before the quarter ends. This year, the sales numbers at Shitty Sugar were, well…especially shitty.
Management had implemented a new sales incentive plan. It made getting bonuses more difficult; you sneaky bastards. The salesforce complained about it but nothing happened. Consequently, motivation dropped, employees slacked off, and results plummeted. We were approaching the end of Q1 and I had lots of reporting to do. That exact week, my electric setup in the van stopped working. Karma is not a bitch, timing is.
Fixing my office was an emergency. I was in the middle of a legal battle with Shitty Sugar and any interruption in my work could play against me. While working from a café in la Punta, I overheard a conversation about solar energy. A couple of phone calls later, I met Manuel, a friendly and short Mexican electrician.
Manuel unplugged my batteries and took them to his home in Tierra Blanca for testing. The next day, Lukas, Marco and I went to visit him. Tierra Blanca was a secluded beach 20km south of Puerto Escondido. It turned out that my topnotch, lifelong Rolls batteries could not handle the heat. Marketing bullshit is everywhere. If you’re travelling to a hot place, don’t buy Rolls batteries. That mistake cost me $700.
It sucked but I was relieved to get my office back. Besides, Tierra Blanca was a beautiful secluded tropical beach. It was safe to camp and we had good internet reception. Manuel invited us to stay as long as we wanted. Chido!
The last days before the quarter closed, my boss was running around like a headless chicken. She harassed us with the same message by phone, emails and voicemails: “close more deals”. She was so desperate that she tried to offer last minute gifts like… a day off. It was pathetic but satisfying. I pictured her in a gloomy cubicle while I buried my toes in the warm sand. Yeah yeah, I’m on it.
We packed up on groceries and came back to Tierra Blanca, where Lukas wanted to spend his last days in Mexico. We had a beach to ourselves, fresh food, cold drinks, and quality drugs. We surfed, swung golf on the beach, got drunk, napped, and I used the little time left to close more deals.
The three of us split the taks based on preferences and skills. I had the pleasure of building the fire. There is something delicate about that. Too strong and the wood burns too quickly. Too weak and it doesn’t catch. When the right combo of wood, wind and tinder is reached, the show is mesmerizing. The heat, the dancing flames, the ephemeral beauty. Fire commands respect.
Marco is a Frenchman from Lyon, the world capital of gastronomy. He was our chef and lived up to Lyon’s reputation. Lukas assisted him with the preparation. An hour, two beers and a joint later, we were hungry and excited. Our labor was a piece of art. We had chorizo tacos, stirred zucchinis with mushrooms and fresh veggies as toppings. Diner was delicious. The climax of our combined efforts, a true culinary masterpiece.
We stayed three days in Tierra Blanca. The beach was our playground. We chilled and watched the sun from our hammocks. As I was finishing my sales report, I reflected on our success as a team. Everyone focused on their tasks and relied on others’ to carry theirs. In trust we worked toward a common goal. This is how performance is attained. This is how it should always be.
If Shitty Sugar trusted their employees, the numbers would be less shitty. Instead, they were ripping them off with sneaky sales plans. As a result, people did not care. And most bitter actively campaigned against them. Based on a wise colleague’s recommendation, I pushed all my deals to December, lying in all my forecasts and reports. Shitty Sugar served us bullshit on a plate. I returned it with a smile and it felt right.
The cycle was complete.