Arm Yourself

Had one too many with a few pals the other night, two of whom were once reps in the paper trade.  From various sources, they had alarming evidence that 2009 may prove more economically traumatic than most might have feared.

Possibly Europe’s largest supplier was in the process of eliminating half its entire capacity.  There was the firm that regularly takes £160k daily over its web order system from contracts, yet for the past six weeks was running at less than a quarter of that amount.  Another was shedding 84 of its 320 salespeople.

One of my friends also noted that he was trying to recruit an Account Director, a person needed to ensure the smooth running of half the division’s business.  This was a c£50k Basic role.  Yet all his applicants, after years of seemingly successful stints heading up sales teams, were now on the street surplus to requirements. 

My pal was depressed for two reasons.  Firstly he couldn’t get his head around how people that claimed to have been so lofty, could appear bereft of talent.  Secondly, he worked out that the average Basic they claimed to earn previously was c£80k.  An eye-watering 60% more than he could offer.  He deduced that they were clearly desperate to have any income, but worried that when things picked up again, or even way before, they’d be off at the first sign of a better offer and leave him potentially much worse off.

If you’re in a similar position to the aforementioned 84, then a spot of pre-interview practice may be in order.  I found a small piece of test-help at The Times which fits the bill, and as I found, can help you think how to Game the system.

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