I am involved in sales in the small business that I work for, and that means when a big deal is in the offing it is hard to hide the excitement from the other workers. Soon everyone picks up on the news and understandably because they will have to get involved in the deal they want to know the details. When does the job start, what is its value, how will we ensure it doesn’t unhelpfully impact on the running of the company. Then someone (because I am not the first salesperson they have met) will ask the telling question. Do we have a purchase order? Have they actually put in writing their wishes to buy from us. It is at that point that reality re enters the room.
According to his own website “Digby Jones was born into business. Some of his earliest memories are of life in a busy corner shop where he lived with his Mother and Father and older Sister. The shop was, he says, “within a spanner’s throw of the Austin” in Alvechurch, just outside Birmingham. He remembers fondly pressing his nose against the shop window watching the new Minis as they left the factory, destined for showrooms across the UK and the world. It was here he learnt the first rudiments of business and its role in society – important values that were never to leave him.” Reading on we discover less an involvement in business, more one in the legal profession “Digby’s graduation from University College London was followed by 20 years with Edge & Ellison, a Birmingham-based firm of lawyers, where he worked his way up from Articled Clerk to Senior Partner. During these years, not only was he involved in many major corporate transactions but he was intimately involved in all aspects of business from “running the firm as a business” to recruiting and managing several hundred employees. It was here that he developed a vision of business and its role in society, and began to believe firmly in socially inclusive wealth creation.”
I have no idea what Digby would do if he worked in a business which involved sales and transactions of that nature. I suspect he would as a lawyer be even more suspicious of over enthusiastic salespeople than some of my colleagues. One imagines as a lawyer he would refuse to order the celebration pizzas and open the bottle of coke until we had a purchase order on the system. However perhaps I have misjudged him based on the tweet above. Maybe the first indication from the customer that they want to do business with us would be sufficient to satisfy him that the deal is in the bag? That would make him the best boss a salesman could hope to wish for.
One of the elements of Digby Jones tweet that I find a bit cheeky is his reference to remoaners. It is rather like me calling the people in our office moaners because they don’t get as excited as I do as soon as I see the body language from our next potential client. My colleagues are not moaners, they are realists. Perhaps Mr Jones should refer to the 16M or so people who don’t want to leave the EU as realists. We are not moaning about the Brexit, some of us just find promises like this one from the side
of the Brexit bus as a bit unrealistic, just like it is unrealistic to assume that the US and Australia have actually signed up to a Trade Agreement. As most lawyers would argue, the devil is in the detail of any Trade Agreement, particularly in the case of an agreement with the USA given its history on Trade Agreements.