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Try harder to stay awake

By Mike Resetarits, Fractionation Research Inc. (FRI) |

Nobody would have ever called Denny proactive. He wasn’t even reactive. He was barely active in any sense of the word. A majority of his acquaintances would have, in fact, called him inactive. Nevertheless, Denny was on our sales team, albeit the junior member. Dan was the division vice president. If Dan ever smiled, I don’t remember it. He wasn’t very inspiring. In fact, when he spoke, he usually depressed us, at least until bowling night. Denny, Dan and I went to an oil city to talk to an angry oil company about a highest-cost bid we had submitted. It was my job to convince the oil company engineers that ours was truly the only viable option. It was not my job to talk cost or price. Our salespeople were instructed to keep the technical experts clean — uncontaminated by cost/price negotiations. I was truly convinced that ours was the only option. I gave a one-hour presentation attempting to prove it. Thereafter, the oil company engineers put me through a ringer. I kept my cool. I had most of the answers. I explained my answers to their apparent satisfaction. Then, they said, “Now let’s talk about your ridiculous price.” I turned to Denny, who had been sitting patiently in a corner. Dan and…
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