Nick Danger, Geo-salesguy

“Look kid, I’m a busy man. What’s does mapping software got to do with my business?”  His New York, no-nonsense accent told me my time was limited.

Murray had a lot on his mind. It was nearing month end.  Product had to get out the door.  And it looked like the nicotine gum he was chewing was about a year overdue for a refresh. 

“I appreciate your time today Murray.  I won’t be long,” I stammered. “We’ve got an easy-to-use web-based,” that was as far as I got with my pitch when Murray interrupted spitting cream-cheese on my lapel.

“Kid, my wife’s divorcing me, my sales are in the toilet, and my dog’s got fleas the size of Peking Raviolis.   If you can’t tell me what you’re going to do for me right now, there’s the door.”  He looked back at his PC and began typing an email with heavy, semi-angry fingers.  I swiped at my lapel with a paper napkin.

“Your sales are off where?” I asked.

“Every where. It’s a recession. Remember?” Murray was kind enough to point out.

“But if you don’t know where and by how much,” I continued “than you can’t do anything about it. Have you got a list of reps, or accounts where your sales are off?”

“I’ve got this year’s list by manufacture’s rep, and last year’s list by rep. Here, I’ll put ‘em on a USB thingy.”  He tossed me the thingy saying, “Knock yourself out.  And thanks for the Bagel. Next time pumpernickel.” 

“Duly noted,” I assured Murray. Next time, I thought.  There’s hope.  Innocently shifting my laptop so Murray could watch, I carefully inserted the thingy. I then quickly imported his sales records, symbolized his reps, and color-coded his sales by territory – zip and county.  I even attached a few notes to some obviously tanking accounts. Murray pretended to work on his email, and I let him pretend.  But I could see he was eyeballing my laptop.  Earlier I had overlaid sales numbers by city for Murray’s major product line – disposable medical test strips or DMT’s.

“Well,” I said.  “It’s clear that last year was down over all. But I also see a problem in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Las Vegas.  But I’m sure you know about those. You can see the counties and zip-codes where the problem is very evident. I highlighted them in Red.” 

“Vegas & Chicago? What’s wrong with those territories?” Murray chortled through his bagel, locks and cream-cheese.

“Well, based on previous year sales compared to this year, see the pie charts? Those accounts fall way below average.  And look at the trend for DMT strips overall.  They’re up.  And looking at it by county, you can see it is certain counties that reflect most of the shortfall.  I smell a sales rep issue.  If your DMT strips were actually failing, I think the sales shortfall would be reflected in more places across the country.”

“How much is that web-thingy tool you got there, Nick?” Murray probed skeptically raising a couple of hairy eyebrows so high some particularly rogue brow hairs appeared to be scanning for extraterrestrial life. 

“Murray, for $150 bucks per year you get this application and all its geospatial goodness. The bagels are $10.00. Just kidding!”

“Kid, maybe you’re on to something.”  Murray was hooked. “I suppose I could import this list of potential customers by address.  Can I generate a mailing list by region and export to Excel?”

“You’re getting it now Murray.” I was smiling inside. “Import the list. Click on the radius search button and drop a point. Drag out the miles you want to check.  Save the list with a name and export to Excel.”

“Son-of-a-[WordPress Edit]!” he suddenly screamed. 

“Yeah!” I chimed in, raising my wide open high-five hand high.

“What are you doing? I spilled my coffee you dimwit. Muriel!” While Murray waited for Muriel to come clean up his desk I sent a quick link to our trial page.  (

In the end Murray thanked me.  We shook hands as I started out the door.

“Murray.” I said. “This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

“Kid,” Murray said in his best crotchety, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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