FEATURE 

Meet Janet, John’s new salesperson

Janet is bright and ambitious and John had high hopes for her. Sadly, though, things didn’t work out…

By James Evelegh

Meet Janet, John’s new salesperson
Janet. Photograph: Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash.

John hired Janet six weeks ago.

His first hiring and a statement of intent. John’s magazine, Fish Tanks Gazette (FTG), was growing fast and he needed help.

First impressions were good. She was confident and outgoing; seemed to pick up the specialist fish tanks market really quickly and was not afraid to pick up the phone.

John was initially confident he’d made the right decision, but then things started to go badly wrong.

First, there was that unfortunate episode with the inside front cover. Janet sold it to a big blue chip supplier – first time they’d advertised with FTG and a full year series booking, at rate card, to boot. But that position had already gone! Janet should have realised. True, John hadn’t marked it up on the flat-plan, but it’s a premium position for goodness sake. She really should have double-checked. To make matter worse, when told of the mix-up, the supplier decided to pull their advertising altogether.

Then there’d been that important call-back that Janet had completely forgotten about. That was definitely her fault, no excuses. John had given her a box of post-it notes and told her the importance of sticking reminders around the edge of her computer. He’d even shared with her his own fail-safe of leaving reminders on scraps of paper by his bed. Yet, she’d clearly done none of these things and now another client was threatening to pull.

Also, come to think of it, she’d been pretty unsuccessful selling on that filter manufacturers supplement. John had helpfully printed out a list of every company that had ever advertised anything in FTG since it launched ten years ago. It was a really big list and there were bound to be some filter manufacturers in there somewhere, but it had all proved very slow going. Frankly, John had expected better.

And the last straw… that late booking she’d sold. Good money too. Yes, she had told him and yes, she had emailed him the signed order form. They’d even had a virtual drink to celebrate. But, and this is what’s so disappointing, she hadn’t reminded him the next day and it had been missed. John is an extremely busy man and Janet should have known that. Was a reminder really too much to expect?

Shame. Janet showed promise, but John feels he’s got no choice but to let her go.

Yet, yet. He holds back. He can’t shift a niggling feeling that it might not be entirely her fault. Maybe give her a second chance? And that thing she’d said about there being software systems out there that could help avoid these mix-ups in future. Sounds unlikely, but maybe worth checking out…

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