Now I’m gonna start of with an apology. I wouldn’t normally but this episode of my blog is going to be a little bit niche. Aimed mainly at those (not so) hard working men and women who you’ll see in their Mondeos and Insignias on the motorway in their suits and ties. Not the ladies obviously, generally they get to wear whatever they want.
These people are Sales Reps.
OR they may carry the lofty title of Area Sales Manager or Regional Key Account Executive or Over Egotistical Jackoff. Ultimately they’re Reps and I really don’t like them much. The worst thing about them? I am one.
It’s a fine job really. It comes with a car and a phone and you can plan your week however you please but you need to be a prick to do it. I’m not sure how I’ve lasted so long because by my own admission I’m not nearly pricky enough to qualify for it, but somehow I’ve found myself in this world and I’m clinging onto it with all I’ve got.
In the few years I’ve been at it I’ve picked up a few tips and cheats that I want to pass on to you, the reader.
Maybe you’re just starting out on the road in which case this could be invaluable to you. You may be an established Prick with a few tipsof your own I’ve maybe missed out and you’ll want to share with the class. Alternatively you have nothing to do with this seedy world of people who talk loudly to show how important they are and therefore it will all wash over you. Stick with it though, I need the numbers.
- Firstly, get a job with a successful company who are raking it in and are too busy to check up on you. This frees you up to get away with murder (not literally).
- Never answer the phone first time. If people are able to get hold of you straight away you clearly can’t be busy enough and while that’s true you don’t want anyone to know that for sure. They’ll leave a voicemail if it’s urgent.
- If you do have to call someone back that you really don’t want to speak to, make sure you’re in an area with zero phone signal. That way you’ve made the effort but when they answer you’ll sound like a Dalek down a well.
- Again, if you have to call someone important and it just so happens you’re at home or shopping, wait until you’re back in the car and it’s moving. That way they can hear you’re out and about and working hard for the good of the business.
- Another phone related tip is to divert all calls to voicemail. Those ringing you will assume you’re in a bad signal area and leave you alone. Ideal if you’re having your nails done or watching a film.
- Be aware that if you’re filling up the car with fuel at the garage near your house don’t do it in the middle of the day as the date and time will show on the receipt which you’ll have to send off to get your money back (unless you have a fuel card obvs). Some Pay at the Pump reciepts print this info at the bottom so as long as you can cut straight, you can trim it off and no-one can tell the difference.
- If you have to submit a Call Plan to your boss at the start of each week DON’T stick to it. It’s likely that one day you’ll get a surprise call from them one day saying “Gary I saw you were in Manchester today so I’ve popped down to spend the day shadowing you”. At this point you can say that you’re actually in Derby because a customer needed to see you. That’s a good two hours away so odds are they’re not gonna bother you. Incidentally all Reps are called Gary. Even the females.
- Make sure if you’re in a car park you check the time limit on staying there. A lot of supermarkets vary from 90 minutes to 180 minutes. Most Service Stations are only 120 minutes. Why am I telling you this? Because if you overstay a nicely worded FINE will appear on your bosses desk saying you were sat in Tesco for four hours and you need to pay up for the privilege. What do you think your messiah is gonna say about that?? I know from experience that they aren’t chuffed about it. The best place to park up for an extended period is an entertainment complex. Somewhere with a Cinema, bowling, restaurants etc. They allow you to stay forever to do all that stuff and it’s free! (The parking not the activities)
- Carrying on from the last tip, don’t get caught speeding in an area you aren’t supposed to be because, again, the fine will be sent to your top dog who will then get a snap of you singing along to Erasure doing 38 in a 30 zone, five minutes from home in Sheffield, when you said you claimed you were in Wigan that day.
- Any time you DON’T go visiting your customers in favour of staying home for a Jeremy Kyle marathon you’ll have to make the miles up elsewhere. Maybe go for a drive with the family at the weekend or go to London for the day to spot terrorists. Otherwise when you submit your expenses at the end of the month your mileage will be all out of whack.
- If you cover an area that requires a toll to access it (ie the Severn Bridge to get into Wales) make sure you do it if only to get the receipt. Once that’s done you can do what you want. Turn round and head straight home for all I care!
- This one is a bit naughty.. If you require an overnight stay as it’s bloody miles away but you have no intention of going that far, book a hotel on something like Hotels.com or Booking.com (others are available), pay for it, get an email receipt, then cancel it. You’ll get the money back from the booking firm, you’ll claim it back from the company plus it’ll look like you’ve travelled miles and been a busy little Gary. For the record I have NEVER done this.
I’ll end it there until I think of some more helpful titbits.
Feel free to use and abuse this list and report back to me how you get on and especially if you have any of your own.
I can then add them to this list and claim it as my own.