His sales manager had tried to encourage him, but to no avail. Patting him on the back, reminding him of his past successes, and trying to cheer him up did no good at all. Finally the situation got to the point that it was kill or cure.
So the sales manager asked him, "Harry, just how much work have you done during the past six weeks?"
Burke replied, "Why, you know I've been working every day. I haven't missed a day of work in over a year."
"Yes, I know that," the manager said, "but just how much work have you done? How many calls have you made? How many sales presentations have you given? How many new prospects have you secured?"
The slumping salesman began to get the drift of these remarks, but said, "I've been doing all of those things, and you know it."
The sales manager asked again— "How many?"
Harry Burke had to admit to himself and his manager too, that he had been putting in time all right, but that for many weeks he had no idea of how many work units he had performed.
The manager told him this— "Now this isn't going to be easy, Harry. But you must do one of two things. You must quit and hunt for some job as a clerk or factory worker, or get down to cases and go to work. Putting in time is no good at all. You must do the things that bring business.
"Furthermore, the results won't come very quickly. You've been off the beam for so long, that my guess is that it will take at least six weeks to turn this thing around. If you want to try it, I'll help you get organized; but it's up to you. What do you say?"
126 HONEST EFFORT IS NEVER LOST
Burke agreed to follow instructions to the letter.
Then the manager outlined his plan and told him, "We're not going to worry about the time you put in, Harry. Your whole success as a salesman is dependent on the amount and the quality of the work units you turn out. Beginning tomorrow morning, I want you to start out on your calls with a list of names, in the order you are going to call on them. I also want you to keep track of every man you see face-to-face and try to interview; also the number of sales presentations you give. I want you to work as long as it takes, every day, for you to see 14 men and give sales talks to six of them. As you go along during the day, you are to watch and get at least four names of good-looking men you can call on later. I want you to follow this schedule for the next 30 working days. Will you do it?"
Burke was flabbergasted. He hadn't made half this many calls in a day as a rule. But he agreed. During the balance of the day he and his manager had talked things over, he cleaned out his desk, got as many names as possible lined up, and made his list for calls the next day.
The next morning when Burke came to the office he looked better and the manager asked him to stop in his office. Then he said, "Harry, I'm going to tell you just one thing now as you start out on this '30 Day Test.' You are not to waste any time worrying at all—I guarantee that this plan will work. You've heard before, and I'll tell you once more—it's a law of life that honest effort is never lost. You do this work and let me do the worrying!"
Burke seemed to have a load taken off his back, braced his shoulders, smiled and said, "I'm ready and will give it all I've got."
The results were exactly as predicted. At the end of a week, there was no business. But Burke felt good because he had the