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You would have to be from Mars to not know of or remember the HBO hit show “The Sopranos,” which featured an inside look at some of the alleged New Jersey mob figures. One evening while watching a rerun of the show, I began to wonder, “What if Tony Soprano was your HVAC sales manager?”
I realize that there “is no mafia” as every Italian family member has told me so passionately. I also know that crime doesn’t pay in the long run and by all means I don’t wish to glorify any illegal enterprise. But let’s face facts. Business is business. So in that spirit, let’s think about what would happen if “T” was guiding your HVAC business on your path to sales success.
How would Tony address these sales challenges?
1. Comfort advisor tells Tony that he lost a sale and that he is depressed. Tony would say, “Business is business. Fuh-geddabout it.”
I think he would also add, “What’s wit you? Work is no place to get your needs met, so stop your whining and get back to being the earner [person who brings the boss the money each week] you’ve always been for me, capiche?” [Do you understand?]
2. Service tech calls Tony to lower the price to get a job. I think “T” wouldn’t put up with that one for sure. He would probably say something like, “Whoa [the reaction that any guy from New Jersey has when he is surprised by what he hears] what do you think I am, Fort Knox? Grow some stugots and learn how to handle objections before I have some friends of ours ‘visit’ you and take you for a swim.” [Throw you in the ocean off the back of Tony’s boat with cinder blocks chained around your ankles]
3. Sales Person blames lack of sales on the weather. Tony’s response: “This thing ours [the business of the mob or HVAC] only works if you work it. I don’t care if it’s caldo [cold] or boliente [hot] outside. Stop acting like you’re mezzo morta [half dead] and just bring your tribute in like we agreed or I’m gonna have to lower your points [cut your pay] and do some spring cleaning around here [get rid of evidence that you ever existed].”
Would Tony Soprano succeed?
Actually, I think Tony would have some good attributes along with his obvious dysfunctions as a manager. His organization values revolve around taking care of his own, which indicates his loyalty to giving people a chance as long as they are loyal and give their best effort.
I think that Tony understands perfectly clear that even though you may be a made man, your crew can still make or break you. Even though this article was written tongue in cheek, you as an underboss [sales manager] can still learn a few lessons. Ciao, ciao for now!