So I’m on my road trip and I’ve made appointments to see various shops along the way. So I go to my first stop and all is well. The owner is there. The buyer is there. The sales manager for one of the brands I represent is there. And we’re sitting around smoking cigars. Then I get the news. The cigar buyer leans over and tells me another rep is on his way. Called about a half hour ago and would like to stop in. OK. Stuff like that happens. Not often but it’s part of the business.
Then the cigar buyer leans over again and informs me that another rep is stopping in as well. Hmmm. That’s unusual. But I figure we can get our business done before either of them arrive and wrap it up and let them have their time with the powers that be. So we’re talking for a few more miinutes, smoking our cigars and lo and behold, one of the unscheduled reps walks in. He knows me. I know him. We shake each other’s hands and now it becomes a waiting game. When will the other…shazam! The other rep walks in only a few minutes later. Same scenario, we know each other greet and now the shop has three reps and a sales manager all trying to sell different cigars. What do you do? Pout?
Notdhing you can do. You’ve got to coexist. Both of the unscheduled guys are great guys. They always have news, tidbits of industry information, stories. They’ve been in the industry for ages. So you kind of wait your turn. Eventually one rep talks to the other rep They begin a conversation with me. Hey, it’s a party. I mean I meet other cigar reps all the time in the field, but two in the same day at the same shop in the same state. Unprecedented.
But it all evens out. Each has something he wants to show or tell about. So we all politely let the converstion flow. A bit truncated admittedly. The first guy gets his business done, the second guy he eventually leaves to go to another shop and we’re left there, the sales manager, me, the owner and the buyer. But guess what? Time has a habit of slipping by when you’re having a good time and this was no exception. We have other shops to visit. So do we officially get to present our cigars? Not really. You give out some samples, the buyer tells us he has to go, the owner has to make an appointment – so he has to fly.
So I hit the loo, say our good byes and leave as well. Was it a wasted trip? Not at all. We did what we set out to do, we got our cigars into the hands of the owner and the buyer. Was the wind taken out of our sales? A bit. But you know something, even though we we weren’t able to have the full attention of the owner and buyer, we still made our appearance, left some cigars. I’ll pick up where we left off the next trip in. It’s like the military you simply have to adapt in order to survive.