Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Air time

FYI - my internship helping to do news at 570 KLIF also includes helping to do news for 99.5 The Wolf because the two stations share the 16th floor at 3500 Maple here in Dallas.
This morning I was listening to The Wolf's broadcast as I was putting together my week's schedule for Vector, my internship and 4th of July weekend. I wasn't really paying attention until all of the sudden I heard a story about the Wilmer-Hutchins school district that sounded really familiar. I brought up the story I had just written - including the audio clip I wanted with the story - and noticed hey! that was the story I wrote with the sound clip I wanted. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll have a voicer on the air.

We are the champions

For the past two weeks, the Lewisville office did not work out smartest and did not work our hardest. We had been in a push contest for those two weeks, and after the first week, we were losing. We were down.

We have the smallest team, but poud-for-proud, when it comes to productivity per rep, we are the best. We went into week two trailing Arlington and Dallas by at least $4,000. We had to get going. We had to pick up the pace. We had to come together.

We did.

At the conference, I won the individual sales rep push ($12,862) by about $4,000 as the Lewisville office, as the team, not a team, but THE team chanted and cheered for me. It was one of the greatest feelings ever, looking out at over 500 other sales reps and knowing I was the best. And that wasn't even the best part of the day.

Not a half-hour later, during the office push-countdown to see which was the top office, that "greatest feeling ever" was multiplied infinitely. As they counted up, and other managers stepped forward, we were in the final two. It came down to Arlington's office and us.

Arlington has an army. They have well over 100 reps who have worked with the company for more than three weeks. Our team is not only half the size, but we have a lot more inexperienced reps - and it didn't make a damn bit of a difference.

$95,000 - Dustin (the Arlington District Manager) and Brian (the Lewisville manager) stood still, waiting for the other to move first.

$96,000 - Our team was silent. We watched and hoped that the hard work we had put in over the last two weeks (but especially the past weeked) had paid off.

$97,000 - No one stepped forward and the tension grew.

$98,000 - There was a slight pause, then Dustin stepped forward. WE HAD WON! WE BEAT ARLINGTON! WE CAME BACK FROM NOWHERE TO BE THE TOP OFFICE!

$100,000 - We were the only office to top $100K for the push, finishing with $100,053 for the two-week push.

Brian, office staff members Shea, Mike, Steven, Jordy and I jumped up and down as we made our way to the front of the conference to accept the trophy with Brian. We looked out at the crowd. Every single person on our team stood tall on their chairs, cheering as hard as they could, knowing they gave it there all, and that it was worth it.

At last Thursday's team meeting, Brian said that if we were to come back and win this push, it would be one of the greatest stories the company has ever seen. We did not work our hardest. We did not bring our best for the full two weeks (or really even one week), but over the final two days, we came to play.

$100,053! Summer Conference I champs!

Lewisville Summer 2004 - the legend was born

Lewisville Summer 2005 - the dynasty continues

APPLY TO BECOME A PART OF THE LEWISVILLE TEAM! (even if you live somewhere else in the D/FW metroplex, this is the office - the team - to be a part of)(LEARN MORE ABOUT WORKING WITH VECTOR)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Remember to watch...

Look out for Brad on the soon-to-debute show:

Primieres Wednesday, July 6
10:30pm, after South Park
on Comedy Central

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Response to recent comments...

To the person who left the links to articles about the "scam" that is Vector Marketing, I have the following response:

The articles you left links to say that students were mislead about the job. As a student who has worked with the company for over a year now, I have seen first-hand how district offices are run, and I can honestly say that these articles do not come close to the truth.

One article says that when students call in about the position that they are given no details, when in fact they are told verbatim that they will be working at an "entry level customer service position...working with Cutco products."

Also, the article says that anyone who decides to work with Vector to sell Cutco is "required to buy sets of cutlery products for $145 to use" on demos. The fact of the matter is that students are putting a deposit (and a heavily discounted one at that) on the products that they can get back if they return the sample kit when they leave the job.

If someone starting with Vector doesn't want to get the sample kit, they don't have to pay $145, but they can still work with the company. Granted, you will be able to have more success if you have the product to show the customer.

Also, one of the articles cites one young man's story where he would work "five to six hours per day, and his weekly paycheck was about $100." Maybe that's the case, maybe not. But he was only making $100 a week while putting in 25-30 hours a week (or 35-42 hours if he worked weekends like some sales reps), then he was not doing the job the way he was taught to do it in training.

The company is set up to allow students to succeed, not to fail. For the company to set up its sales reps for failure would not make any sense. As far as this kids paycheck is concerned, if he ran his business (and it was his business because all Vector reps are independent contractors) the way he was instructed by his managers, he would have succeeded. I have seen firsthand for more than a year dozens of kids succeed just by doing what they are told, and their paychecks have a few more digits in them to show for it.

The articles also claim that reps were or are required to go to meetings for which they are not compensated and that they must pay to go to conferences. First off, those conferences are now free, so that is no longer a problem. Secondly, as far as these meetings, they are instructional and informative to help sales rep build their business and be successful.

I spent Thursday nights last summer at the Vector office I work for in Lewisville, TX learning how to be a better rep. No, I did not get paid for being at that meeting, but the things I would take away from that meeting would help me have more success in the following days. Basically, going to the meetings and learning to do a better job is worth it. You learn something new or how to do something better, apply it during a presentation, making a bigger sale and make more commission.

The fact remains that this company - despite what critics and unhappy students who couldn't cut it may say - does not mislead or scam its reps or its customers. The product is good. The work opportunity is better. The potential is virtually unlimited. The self-inflicted failures of a few students do not represent the company as a whole.

So please, whoever you are that left me the links to these stories, do keep in mind that this company, this "scam" as you call it, is probably the best work opportunity for students across the country.

Last summer, I made more than $10,000 as a 19-year-old college student. Every cent I earned, I was paid. Not one penny missing. I earned that through hard work of making phone calls, attending meetings, and listening to my office's management staff. Perhaps if others who work with the company did the same, I wouldn't have to respond to stupid "scam" allegations like this.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Top dog

Over the last seven days, I recorded my personal best in weekly sales for Vector: $7,049 worth of Cutco. For the first time this summer (and maybe for the first time since I was promoted to Field Sales Manager), I made the company Top 10 list for Field Sales Leader/Field Sales Manager of the Week.

Take a look:

Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bad boy Brendan Higgins

On the NBC 5 morning news show in Dallas-Ft. Worth this morning, news anchor Brendan Higgins issued the greatest line I've ever heard on a newscast. Higgins was talking about the fake-reporter squirting Tom Cruise with water a the London premier of "War of the Worlds." Cruise could be heard on the tape repeating to the fake-reported (who turned out to be working with a British Comedy Show) "You're a jerk."

It was Higgins, however, who displayed the most aggression, by issuing the following statement:
"I thought he was pretty calm, 'cause I woulda jacked the guy hard, right in the friggen face!"

Now if that doesn't make you wanna wake up and watch a 5:30am newscast on a Monday morning, not much else will.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Stupid Tsunami Sightsee-ers

Yesterday there was an earthquake - a 7.0 earthquake - just off the coast of California, prompting officials to issue a tsunami warning. On the news this morning while watching this story, they said that the warning was for the entire west coast, from Mexico to Canada.

Then the news station said "...but not everyone felt the need to evacuate," and showed a quick clip from an interview with a guy whose response to the tsunami warning can only be described as the antithesis of reason. Before he starts talking, you can hear the report clearly ask "What are you doing here tonight?" Here is what the guy said, word for word:

"Well about 9:00, 9:05 I heard uh on the news that there was a tsunami warning for the whole coast and everything so I had to come down here and check it out."
-Dean McFarland, California Resident

Now, maybe Mr. McFarland happens to live in Southern California, farther away from the epicenter of the quake than others, but I don't think that justifies his inability to comprehend what happened less than a year ago around the world.

Look, buddy. Tsunamis are dangerous. I realize that a way never hit and the warning has since been cancelled, but if you are dumb enough to want to personally go down to the beach to "check it out" then you clearly have no use for a rational brain. What the hell is going through this guys head???

Didn't the entire world just watch south Asia get decimated by a tsunami?

I have seen footage of people being washed away. We all did when it happened. We heard about people who didn't understand what was going on when the tide went out really really far and some people didn't realize why. We saw those same people, who were unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, become casualties in one of the worst natural disasters in recent history.

And now, I've seen someone express complete disregard for what happened in south Asia by having the thought of wanting to check out the tsunami first hand. Personally, I'm glad there wasn't a wave. I have a bunch of friends in California who I wouldn't want to have to deal with that type of disaster, but I wouldn't have minded if a wave came and took this one moron away.

4K in a day

Every few weeks, Vector has a two-week "push" where offices in the division and the region go all out leading up to Summer Conference I (SC I). The company gives out maybe a dozen trophies to the top sales reps of the two-week push as well as trophies for the top office in the region.

My goal for the SC I push was to sell somewhere around $10K of Cutco (which is pretty cool when you think about 50% commision). Well, here's the thing: the SC I push started yesterday and I'm already over $4K! I guess my goal was kinda weak. I guess I need to up the ante.

Here's how it all happened:

I started the day off with a demo at the biggest house I've ever been inside. I got there, put the Homemaker+8 set on her table, and she said "I'm gonna need two of those." After another gift pak, the total order came to $1803. Nice way to start the day!

CPO (amount I sold on which I get paid commision): $1803

The next appointment I had was in far far north Dallas, and unfortunately it was a no-show. Lesson to all Vector reps: listen to your manager when they say not to book a demo more than two days in advance.
CPO: $0

When I was at my 11am appointment, the lady was nice enough to give a few of her friends a call to make sure it was okay for me to set up appointments with them. I ended up booking this 3pm appointment with one of those friends of my first customer of the day.
This lady already owned the Homemaker+8 set, but when I showed her the garden tool set, the sale was on. After she decided on a first other pieces for her daughters, some kitchen tools, a pair of vegetable peelers, and a few other pieces, I was staring at a near-$700 order. But because she wanted a new whitewashed block for her knives, I told her to trade in the one she had and I'd give her the new block for free.

CPO: $608

I went back to the house of a lady I saw sunday because her daughter who's getting married this October had just got in town. I helped them set up an online gift registry worth maybe $2,000. While I didn't make a sale while I was there, I will make full commision on anything purchased from that registry.

CPO: $0

And then, the part that I couldn't even begin to comprehend...
I went over to a customer's house whose name I got from the lady at my 3pm demo. She called this friend and I set up the demo for the same night because she said that's the only time she had. I didn't really want to do a 7pm demo because of how early I have to get up for my internship (4am) but I figured "What the hell!" because it's a push week.

The lady, who described herself as the "biggest redneck in town" was so nice. She ended up buying a fishing knife, petite carver and the super shears. Then she got on the phone with one of her neighbors, asking her if I could do a demo for her. The neighbor decided to just come on over, so then I had another demo in the same house.

This lady already owned a few Cutco pieces, but it was all stuff she got from her wedding. She wanted to get a few other pieces and a few other table knives, so I helped her upgrade to a near-full set. The only problem: she was an OU fan, and I'm a USC student, so for some reason she didn't want to talk to me about this year's Orange Bowl. What's up with that???

Then the lady whose house I was in had another neighbor come over to see the knives. This lady sat down, saw the set I had on the table, acknowledged that she had never owned good knives, and said she wanted the set. I showed her the super shears that had cut a penny in half, the kitchen tools, and some other accessories (entertainers pak and garlic press) that she decided to go ahead and get.

Somehow, I had been sitting on the same couch from 7pm to 9pm and managed to make three sales.

CPO: $207
CPO: $444
CPO: $1240

When I got home, I called my district manager and asked him how much the office had sold today not including any sales I had already told him about. Brian said that the office not including me sold $5,200 for Tuesday. Then I let him have it. My exact words were Damn it! The office beat me by $900! And on the other end of the phone was something I'd never seen, a speechless Brian! It was an absolutely amazing day, and it was only the first day of the push.

The day's total CPO: $4,302

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Loud mouth

I'm at the KLIF studio right now for my internship. The past few days I've been here, I've been doing "voicers" (writing up stories and then recording them to be played on the air). I've only been doing it for practice, but apparently the two I did today were good enough for consideration. I guess we'll see what happens. It's just cool knowing that I may be on the air in a few days reading some news stories I wrote up.

I'll let you know.

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