Gil Humplestead is a 23-year-old, recent college graduate who recently got his first real job as a Junior Marketing Assistant Coordinator with Incorporated Partners & Co. Today, he chronicles his first sales call with the company.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Today was the day Gil Humplestead slated himself as an up-and-coming industry juggernaut. I finally got to go on my first sales call. I was ready to tame the the wild stallion that is whatever my company does. I’m still not exactly sure if my job title means anything. I haven’t done anything that has to do with marketing. All I’ve done is fill out spreadsheets and attend status meetings about accounts I’ve never even heard of. Then again, what exactly does a CEO do? That’s a vague job title too, so I’m in good company. I’ve been trying to tell the brass that they need to unleash the Gil! Gilbasaurus Rex! That was my nickname in middle school b-ball. I’ve been trying to bring it back for years.
So I showed up to work 15 minutes late again, because I was lathering Kiehl’s all over my body. Used up the entire bottle. I passed out on the apartment complex’s pool deck again. You’d think someone would’ve woken me up. I was hoping it would turn into a solid tan by now, but it’s only gotten worse and now it’s starting to peel. Whatev. Just looks like I’m the adventurous type who spends all his time outside, YOLO’ing his balls off. A weekend warrior. Yeah, that’s it.
The bossman called me into his office early in the morning, I don’t think he was on to me for being late. He let me know that I’d be joining one of our accounts people on a sales call in the afternoon to help with giving the 411 on the marketing side of the biz.
Oh man. This was it. I’d finally go toe-to-toe in the corporate squared circle, closing a big deal that would put this company over the top. This would be the deal that puts me at the head of the boardroom. The one that puts me on the cover of Forbes. I can see it now: “Gil Humplestead: The Next Zuckerberg?” Get ready, America. The Hump is ready for his closeup.
Gary from accounts was the lead on the pitch and seemed a little bit nervous that I was coming on the call with him. He said I was too “inexperienced” to do this. I could tell bossman Marty had no other choice. My star is on the rise. That’s right, Gare. Gil Humplestead’s comin’. Two barrels, fully loaded. No mercy, 2013.
We were meeting the client for lunch, so I figured I’d run home and bust out the big guns. A three-piece suit, sterling silver cufflinks (stole them from grandpa’s dresser at family dinner last week) and a quick run through the shower so I could slick my hair like Draper before wrapping this deal up. It took me an hour to get ready and we actually ended up being 20 minutes late for the client lunch.
The client must’ve been in a hurry, because we settled on Subway. It’s okay. Gil makes deals no matter the location. I could close a 7-11, because they’re open 24 hours a day and never close, so I could close it if it were a business deal and not a convenience store for poors.
I went with the Tuscan Chicken melt, while Gary and the client (Terry) went with footlong meatball subs. Bold move. I could see that they both meant business. From what I could gather, due to my keen observational skills, Gary and Terry went way back and this should be an in-and-out kind of deal. We had it sewn up.
Gary and Terry spent forever finishing their sandwiches, but we finally got down to business after Gary and Terry talked about their mortgages or some other garbage for a half hour. I observed for a while, but I could tell Terry was a little worried about re-upping his contract with our company, talking about “budget concerns.” I saw the opportunity to jump in and show Terry the kind of commitment our company is ready to offer him.
I started off by telling Terry about my big social media plans for his company and about how I could really “grow his brand through the power of Twitter.” Really dropped some fancy terminology like “ROI” and “outreach” on him. I could tell he was confused about nearly everything I was telling him. He wasn’t sure how social media could benefit his company’s 401k plan, but I think he was sold on my idea of how you can just buy 10,000 Twitter followers for less than $20 bucks. That’d be all he needed and he’d be on his way to financial security.
That’s when Gary cut me off. I’m pretty sure he saw that I was stealing his thunder and had my eyes on his account. The business world is a shark tank and I’m the peak predator. Gary had to go and blow my perfect pitch. Terry kept looking at me sideways like he wanted to know more about my plan to turn his company into the next big dot com giant. I feel you, big guy. Just say the word and Gil Humplestead will take you straight to the top. Terry said he’d think about what we had to offer and then get back to us by EOW, whatever that means. I’m pretty sure it’s code for “EveryOne Wins,” because I’m a winner.
Gary and I sat in silence on the car ride back to the office. He knows I’m coming for him. He knows The Hump has a take-no-prisoners attitude and the road to success is littered with thousands of schmucks just like him.
As I settled back into my corner cube at the office, I took out my 8 x 10 of Richard Branson and softly said, “You’ve taught me so much, Richie. I don’t know where I’d be without you.” Then I gave it a gentle touch and put it back into my cubby hole.
I couldn’t help but think of a quote from the great and honorable Joe Paterno as I packed up my things for the day: “Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good.” Man, was he right.
-Gil “The Hump” Humplestead