Friday after a long week of recovering from a long week of preparation and work during the sales meeting... and a cold beer hasn't tasted so good in a very long time.
I know I've touched on all the tedious details before, but now that I have finally gone through the process for myself I have a firsthand understanding of those tedious details. Sure, I had a pretty good idea of what the process is like since it isn't really any different from other companies I've been with before. After all, a sales meeting is a sales meeting is a sales meeting...
However, I have to say (and man, this is gonna sound like I'm kissing the collective asses of my bosses) this was the most fun I have had at a sales meeting and all of the stress involved with pulling it off was well worth it in the end. Obviously, I'm in a business that sells fun and exercise, so how bad could it be anyway? Still, this company and the people who are associated with it have a passion and commitment to the brand(s) that is really refreshing to see. I'm not going to pretend that everybody has the same think-about-it-all-night-long-in-their-sleep passion that I do (I have a sickness, I admit it), but the level of professionalism is great to work with.
We're not even close to being out of the woods yet either, since show season is on the way now and we get to roll out new bikes and sales programs and then build advertising and marketing around all of that as well. Really things are just getting started, but the initial momentum generated by the sales meeting really sets the tone for the entire season and I see that much clearer now. Our VP of Sales is a great guy and he was pretty much a full-blown stress monkey heading into last week, but he pulled it off. As he said to me early in the process of building the sales meeting- he's the Executive Producer and the rest of us (product managers, sales managers and marketing manager) are the Directors for our niches. He poured his passion into producing something really cool and providing a stage (quite literally) for us to present our individual passions on. It may sound hokie, but that's the less than glamorous truth.
Honestly, as I've said before, I get the privilege of working in a business where my job is to talk about and sell bicycles. Bicycles I happen to think are really exceptional- and not just because I'm paid to think so. I tried for 3 years to get this job and now I'm pretty much living out a dream. One of my biggest struggles each day is deciding which incredible bike I am going to ride during my lunchtime ride. (And they pay me to do this?)
It's nice to be done with the kickoff and start playing the game. Coach- I'm ready to go in!