This observation is apropos of nothing, but I have noticed something odd about the sales efforts of companies. They seem to be either too aggressive or downright dormant.
I answer my own phone at work, so every day I hear the parade of people calling me asking for the "person who purchases your printer supplies." Certain industries, including toner, office supplies, telecom, etc. seem to have irritatingly aggressive sales forces.
And then we have companies like Wham-O. Yes, the toy guys. We opened a new snow play area and are selling hundreds of plastic sleds a week. Unfortunately, we can't find any manufacturer to talk to us about a distribution deal. So one of my managers spends a part of each week combing every Sams Club and Wal-Mart in Northern Arizona to buy plastic sleds for resale. I have called Wham-O, a large maker of these sleds, about twenty times. I have talked to many different people. I have been referred to several different reps and even the head of the sales department. And no one will return my call, despite a plea that I want to buy hundreds of sleds a week.
It is possible that in this Wal-Mart world, volume of this size from one retail outlet is not worth pursuing, but this casualness about making a sale really amazes me. I would chalk it up to some unique circumstance at Wham-O, but I have had this experience with a number of other companies. I can't tell you how many times I have left plaintive messages to firms saying "I want to buy a bunch of your product, can someone please call me back to tell me how."
Weird. Fortunately, we finally had a Canadian company today actually returned our calls and was more than happy to sell us large lots of their product. Oops, there goes the trade deficit.