By Dennis Jones
Creative work never ends, but sales work really never ends. At no time is that truer than at the end of each quarter, when the pressure to close business is most acute. Just ask any Sales VP. They spend those last few weeks pretty much living out of a suitcase.
That’s why Krempe’s Sales VP wasn’t exactly thrilled to be included on the engagement call this morning. First of all, nine in the morning is known universally as prime meeting time. Second of all, an earlier flight delay meant that he would already miss one of his scheduled onsites. At the time of the call, he was marooned in an out-of-the-way airport. The airport Wi-Fi was for purchase only. Not worth it.
But that meant he was stuck with cellular. And to say his carrier’s coverage at the present location was abysmal would be an understatement. He seemed to be both in a (near) dead zone and suffering from network congestion at the busy airport. When he was connected, he could barely hear what was being discussed during the engagement meeting. Then of course, there were the times when he simply dropped the call. “Being engaged,” he had thought in frustration, “don’t you at least have to be connected first?”
Eleven hours later, he had found himself back at the airport, on the other side of a long day. One that had taken him to three prospective customers and netted him four deals: two big, one OK, the other disappointing. It was about the last one that he was preparing to talk to his CEO.
To the best of his knowledge, she was still in Europe, visiting campuses when business needed to be closed. He hadn’t thought much of that decision, being a firm believer that prospective clients needed to see CEOs before signing seven-figure deals.
He was mulling how to tactfully restate that position, when he noticed that his smartphone was almost out of battery power. He’d been running a lot of apps in the background on the infamous cellular network. The user experience wasn’t optimal. And although the network congestion wasn’t as bad as it was in the morning, using cellular had killed his battery life. Unfortunately, the phone charger was in his luggage.