A changing scenario

ONLY A few years ago, people with two basic attributes were deemed fit for the post of sales representative.

The first was possession of a persuasive, yet convincing knack to sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo.

The second one was to possess a two-wheeler, preferably a motorcycle.

Well. The first requirement remains the same and will continue to be so. There now appears to be slight changes as regards the second attribute. Perhaps, to an extent, the requirement of a two-wheeler depends on the product.

The job profile of sales representatives has undergone a change.

By and large, sales representatives are appointed by manufacturers of consumer items for street-corner or door-to-door campaigning. For this, motorcycles are not a compulsory requirement.

In residential colonies in the city and suburbs, they come smartly dressed. Without the slightest of inhibition, they hold gunny bags containing the products all by themselves.

They approach the customers with all humility. If only the customers are patient enough to lend an ear, they convince the prospective buyers with their pleasing manner, assuring talk, and, most of all, attractive discounts.

They use bicycles to move from one residential locality to another. It is partly because the employers do not pay them fuel allowance.

Their monthly salaries are nothing but performance based incentives. The concept of a minimum fixed salary for sales representatives is slowly eroding.

It is also usual to see women sales representatives going about in groups, clad in uniform sarees, to prevail upon housewives to buy their products.

By Krishnamoorthy R.

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