A killer sales tactic

A tale of a sales technique that should never have been. (Also, a way to try out what’s a new way of writing for me, a story told through correspondance.)

Subject: A radical idea to raise sales figures

From: Grant Bagshaw

To: All Staff

Date: 15.5.15

Dear valued colleagues.

As you may know, the company has been experiencing difficult times of late. People are eating more healthily, exercising and living longer. Consequently, fewer people are dying and there are fewer sales of headstones.

Unless we see a large increase in sales, soon, Groovy Gravestones Ltd will go into administration.

However, there is one course of action open to us. If each member of staff kills just one person in the area over the next four weeks, we can improve our sales a hundredfold and maintain the future of our organisation.

Please do not take this as an order to commit murder. This is just something employees may wish to consider, especially given the company-wide increase in sales targets actioned last month. Groovy Gravestones Ltd stands by its family-friendly values and as such we suggest that if you do happen to – for example – ‘accidentally’ trip while holding a kitchen knife, you do it in the vicinity of people who do not have children.

If however there is no increase in deaths, leading to an increase in sales, it’s the organisation that will be six feet under.

Please do not circulate this email outside of this office.

Grant Bagshaw

Chief Executive

Groovy Gravestones Ltd.

PS – it has been suggested that changing the organisation’s name to something more serious may help our situation. We do not think this to be the case. We believe people enjoy the more informal side of our company and that we, as they say, help put the ‘fun’ in ‘funeral’.


Subject: Re: A radical idea to raise sales figures

From: Grant Bagshaw

To: All Staff

Date: 23.5.15

Dear valued colleagues.

I notice that sales figures have not risen in the last week. Again, while I must stress that we cannot force staff to commit murder, it is something that we strongly suggest you consider.

If you are worried about potential ramifications, don’t be. The local Chief Constable is my brother-in-law, and we enjoy a pint and a packet of pork scratchings every other Friday in the Gnat and Bucket. I’m sure I can smooth over any legal wrinkles were any employees to experience difficulties as a result of company goals.

However, it is still in the best interests of the organisation that this email is not circulated outside of this office.

Grant Bagshaw

Chief Executive

Groovy Gravestones Ltd.


Subject: Re: Re: A radical idea to raise sales figures

From: Grant Bagshaw

To: All Staff

Date: 1.6.15

Dear valued colleagues.

I am pleased to note a small rise in sales over this last week. I wish to pass on my many thanks to Susan and Marcus in HR for their efforts.

To encourage others to take forward our suggestion, management are prepared to offer a one per cent pay rise to all those who take part, effective from the beginning of the next financial year.

I have heard people questioning my own commitment to our request. Please be assured that I have already ‘taken care of’ the man in the house three doors down from mine. He never did return my lawnmower, so he deserved it.

As ever, please do not circulate this email outside of this office.

Grant Bagshaw

Chief Executive

Groovy Gravestones Ltd


Subject: Re: Re: Re: A radical idea to raise sales figures

From: Grant Bagshaw

To: All Staff

Date: 11.6.15

Dear valued colleagues.

Which of you thought it would be funny to murder my wife?

Please do not circulate, etc.

Grant Bagshaw

CEO

Groovy Gravestones Ltd


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: A radical idea to raise sales figures

From: Grant Bagshaw

To: All Staff

Date: 13.6.15

Dear valued colleagues.

Apparently the murder instrument was the super-sharp envelope opener that went missing from my office last week. It was found beneath my wife’s corpse. Now the police have made me a strong suspect.

Now I’m sure I can smooth this out with my brother-in-law on Friday, but ideally the guilty party here would ‘fess up’ beforehand. A joke’s a joke and all that, but sometimes things can go too far. Plus if you want your pay rise next year, you’re going to have to tell me who you are.

Please do not, and so on.

Grant Bagshaw

Chief Executive

Groovy Gravestones Ltd


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A radical idea to raise sales figures

From: Grant Bagshaw

To: All Staff

Date: 20.6.15

Dear valued colleagues.

It appears my brother-in-law is rather more upset about the death of his sister than I anticipated. And as the prime suspect in her murder I look set to be charged any day now, unless one of you comes forth to admit your guilt.

If that person does come forward, I promise him or her a three per cent pay rise on your release from jail!

On another note, we have cancelled this year’s company summer party due to lack of funds. More of you should have got on with the killing, shouldn’t you?

To be honest, given how things are, I don’t think I really give a shit if you circulate this outside the office or not.

Grant Bagshaw

Chief Executive

Groovy Gravestones Ltd


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: A radical idea to raise sales figures

From: Grant Bagshaw

To: All Staff

Date: 22.6.15

Dear valued colleagues.

I’m looking at a 20-year stretch. Screw the lot of you.

Oh, and Susan and Marcus, I’m taking you down with me.

Circulate away.

Grant Bagshaw

Chief Executive

Groovy Gravestones Ltd


Subject: Takeover bid

From: Simon Black

To: All staff

Date 29.6.15

Dear colleagues.

I’m pleased to inform you that the company has been subject to a successful takeover bid.

We are now a subsidiary of The Distinguished Funeral Company.

I’m also pleased to inform you that there will be no redundancies, although we are now on the lookout for a replacement Chief Executive, as well as people to fill the roles now vacated by Susan and Marcus.

All staff will also receive a five per cent pay rise, backdated to the start of this financial year.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to apologise for the behaviour of our recently-departed Chief Executive and assure staff that he acted on his own volition without the prior permission of the board.

Finally, I’d like to announce that Groovy Gravestones Ltd will henceforth be changing its name to Loving Memories Headstones. Our former Chief Executive had suppressed market research reports suggesting that a name change should be strongly considered. This knowledge only came to light when his desk was cleared out yesterday afternoon.

I can only apologise for the disruption and distress caused these last few weeks, and hope that we can move forward together.

Simon Black

Chair

Loving Memories Headstones

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