Welcome to the next episode in our adventures and the music I was listening too back in 1990… that is still on my playlist today.
On a ferry trip in Portsmouth with my mother 1990
It is 1990 and I am 37 years old. Work was going well and I was now Advertising Sales Manager for the paper I worked for, bringing a fair bit of stress but nothing that I could not handle. I had a full-time telesales team during the day and part-time team that came in until 9.00pm each evening and all day Saturday selling private property and car adverts. This meant that I tended to be in the office from 8.00 a.m. to 7pm each weekday and on call on Saturdays. I had some great supervisors thankfully which meant I rarely received a call. It was also pre-mobile phone days which meant that if we had headed off to London to the cinema they had to make the decisions on their own.
There were some interesting moments at work as keeping 25 young telesales staff motivated enough to achieve the tough weekly targets we were given was challenging. Rejection is part of the package in outbound cold calling and we focused on building up regular advertisers who booked weekly. They were offered incentives of course for longer- term bookings and there were bonuses for those sales people who managed to obtain these preferred customers.
This did not always involve spot prizes such as money, cinema or theatre tickets. It also involved some personal forfeits by their sales manager. On one occasion I promised that if they hit a particularly heavy weekly target that I would do the splits; a skill left over from my ballet days at age seven. To be honest I did not expect that this target handed down from head office was achievable despite my team’s best efforts, and it was in desperation that I put my well-being on the line. Bless them they pulled out all the stops and at the eleventh hour they overtook the target in spectacular style. I am a firm believer in keeping promises and despite being a fairly hefty 15 stone at the time I honoured my commitment and descended into the splits. They of course were delighted but it did take three of the more substantial lads to get me back up into a standing position!