Sales Meetings

Aug 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

The Holmes sales meetings were both quiet and noisy, depending on the hour of day or night. Every year the sales reps were called together to hear of new products being considered, along with a renewed advertising program and other valuable information. And this was all before the Internet, cell phones and direct distance dialing, so the field reps were ordinarily isolated from one another and the Holmes headquarters in Chattanooga. We eagerly attended, listened carefully during the daily meetings and renewed friendships in the evening — when the real action took place.

For example, a highlight of every sales meeting was an evening cruise on Ernest’s boat. One night to our great surprise one of the reps (I will not say who) fell overboard. Just as several of us were stripping down to “save” our buddy, he stood up and said “Don’t jump, the water’s only waist deep.” On another occasion, long after the midnight hour, a couple of reps got together to have a cup of coffee but the restaurant was closed and the only coffee pot they had was the kind you placed on the stove. So, without a stove, they tramped through the woods picked up sticks and built a campfire near the motel and cooked their pot of coffee but almost set the woods afire in the process.

But the best of them all was the year I shared a room with Val Reich. First, we had a card game with lots of cigarette and cigar smoking in our room. Next, Val entertained us with his “stories” that he catalogued in his black book by subject. Finally, everybody ran out of smokes and time and left Val and I to retire. Once in bed with the room lights out, Val would say “Have you heard the one about…?” At first, I said “no” so he would go on to tell the joke. I soon learned to say “yes, you told me that one earlier” but he would still go on to tell the same joke again.

Good days, good people, good company, good equipment.