Thursday, 21 June 2012

How to talk yourself out of a Job, and for a change it wasnt me

We sent out the above email as part of our E-mailshot Marketing campaign, I laughed when I read it as i thought to myself "How True" and it reminded me of the following incident which I am now going to recount.

I worked for a guy who was a bit of a perfectionist, now in my book that’s a great quality but even when things looked perfect to everyone else he wasn’t satisfied, constantly changing his mind in an effort to keep us one step ahead of the competition, I have to say that his mantra was working as we were selling lots of cars to people who were too busy to visit the dealership, they were satisfied with our detailed pictures, specifications and descriptions which even included service history, they would often just pay for the cars over the telephone and have us deliver them, however the constant changes created an unbelievable amount of duplicated work for the rest of the staff but that’s what he wanted doing, he was the Boss, and the Boss is always right, easy for me to say as it never created anymore work for me

The member of staff who was affected the most was in charge of photographing all the stock and updating our website, He had huge potential and his talents were wasted doing this job, it had become obvious to me that he was a very good and natural Salesman, all the customers liked and trusted him (me too) I nicknamed him Duracell because he never stopped, he would drop everything to help you, he was the hardest worker I’ve ever met, arriving early every morning and was often the last out at night, he never had a dinner hour and would always eat a pre packed lunch at his desk, our customer base was Global, so often just as we were going home for the evening a prospective client on the other side of the World would just be waking up and putting on his buying boots. This meant that Duracell's services could be called on 24/7 he took his laptop home at night and during the holidays. 

We advertised on several different websites and not just in the UK, all the cars had to be photographed in exactly the same "poses" these were big ticket items with fantastic specifications, all requiring numerous pictures and they all had to be loaded on to the sight as soon as the car came into stock, this often meant photographing them in less than ideal weather conditions, so as soon as there was a bit of blue sky breaking through the clouds, Duracell would be outside duplicating his own work and photographing them again, he made the cars look the best they could possibly look and always made sure that each image would have our digital signature on them by framing them in such a way that you could see the reflection of our signage in their gleaming paintwork, if the pictures were copied our name could never be edited out and everyone who viewed them would have our logo subliminally implanted in their brain, Duracell too was a perfectionist, and a very talented and gifted photographer. 

Unfortunately we got a call from a prospective customer, and  it came to light that whilst Duracell had been uploading a vehicle to our website and then to each advertising portal one by one he had been interupted and had inadvertantly uploaded a price which was missing a 5, the car was advertised at £2,499 instead of £24,995 obviously it was a mistake, and even the most stupid and retarded customer would realise it was an error, but not the guy who was shouting down the phone at my Boss demanding that we sell it to him at the advertised price. 

The car was advertised on our web site and 4 other advertisers sites at the correct price but Mr "Chancer" just happened to see it on the incorrect one and seized the moment, when my Boss put the phone down he was clearly riled and in temper he shouted across the showroom to Duracell "If you can’t look after our website properly, I will get someone who can" My Boss liked Duracell too and I am sure that he just said that out of frustration and had no intention of carrying out his threat. 

Duracell hadn’t been having the best of days either and took exception to my Bosses remark,  his normally jovial demeanor deserted him for a moment and he stood up and snapped back "If you can get someone who doesnt make the tiniest mistake to look after 45 cars, upload them to our web site and 5 other advertisers for what you pay me, be my guest because I have had enough"

I was standing behind the Boss and could see no way that there could be a good ending to this, I frantically gestured to Duracell the international symbol for "Enough with the Attitude, you’re cutting your own throat" I knew Duracell’s argument was extremely flawed as just the day before, me and the Boss had been in a meeting with a firm of Specialist Motor trade Website Designers
they had demonstrated to us how much time and money could be saved just by switching to their bespoke design web site with the advanced admin area.  

We had realised their admin area would be an absolute God Send to us, not only could we load all the details of a vehicle just by entering the registration number, but we could update our website and feed to all the other advertiser sites just by ticking the relevant boxes and clicking "Send" (we previously had to do the same job six times (for "we" substitute Duracell) ), each car would be displayed with an HP, Lease Purchase and PCP quotation it was interactive and the customer could tailor the quote to meet his requirements, this would without doubt improve our finance penetration and should easily pay for the cost of the web site and then some,I was having to work out numerous quotes over different terms with different deposits and it had been driving me mad, I was spending countless hours a week doing them manually it would also save me lots of time and allow me to concentrate on sales, we could control our newsletters, email campaigns, and we could see where the hits on our site were actually coming from instead of just surmising, this would allow us to spend our advertising budget where it would give us a proven return, we would also be able to use better quality un optimised high definition pictures and something extra that I had asked for and was a big believer of their powers to help clinch a deal "Videos" 

The new website would probably free up about 80% of Duracell’s time and although there was no end of things that he could do in other parts of the business I wanted him to work with me, My Boss wanted ours to be the "Best" Car Website on the Internet by far, This was my intention too, I was very excited and had loads of ideas that I wanted to put into action,
The Website Company had assured me that they could take care of the coding and incorporate them into the site (Others had said they couldn’t do it or wanted to charge a fortune ) and I knew that Duracell had lots of great Ideas of his own he was without doubt the right man to help me to achieve our common goal. 

My plan was now going down the plug hole fast, Duracell walked out leaving his half eaten Pot Noodle on the desk, and despite my best attempts to take on a “Henry Kissenger” role and negotiate a peace treaty between the two of them, pride got in the way, neither of them was prepared to give an inch, sadly Duracell never came back, The atmosphere was never the same, I knew we had lost a very valuable and in my view irreplaceable member of the team, there was no more of his sporadic "tone deaf" singing along to the radio which always cheered me up, and there was no one who would drop everything in an instant to help you out. 

Duracell now works for another Garage he is doing a fantastic job of looking after just as many cars, their website, and all their advertising, ironically they are useing one of the websites with the advanced admin area, he now has enough spare time to create fantastic videos of their stock and sell lots of cars.

Duracell wasnt a big guy but i once tweeted that if he was worth his weight in gold he should tip the scales at  20 stone.


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