Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Failure Coach VIII

September book release

The quarterly meeting is at the Chamber conference room for old time sake. Lunch is from Russo’s. The caterer is setting up hot soup, salad and a variety of finger sandwiches.  “Wow nice spread, Russo’s is great. I saw the van out front and realized it’s been a while. I used to eat there at least once a month when I had a client near Russo’s Page Road restaurant outlet.” Bob is animated and seems genuinely enthusiastic about the lunch fare. (A decidedly upgraded offering from the usual for a typical AE meeting.)

“Hang on Bob-O, they just got here. Grab a soda, coffee or tea and sit down. We’ll break in about 30 minutes.”

The Chamber office is buzzing. The receptionist, pr coordinator and a couple of volunteers are busy answering questions about a golf outing and already making plans for the fourth quarter holiday event. The added activity of the AE meeting is something they take in stride. Alan is a member and has been generous with his time as speaker. 

Already assembled in the conference room: Laurie is ready with her dashboard spreadsheet of key financial indicators: Jan has an updated status report and Dan is sketching on a pad of layout paper from Art Mart.The meeting business kicks off with Bob’s arrival. Alan sets the stage with an overview and an agenda hand out. 
“The 110% book is ready to launch and my publisher seems to think it will do well enough. They sure aren’t acting like it though. There is just about 18 months between releases and I'm not sure the failure fans will stay with us. That first book had a lot going for it. The prelaunch reviews for It’s not easy being anybody got a lot of traction and triggered bulk orders: group and corporate sales. I’m just not going to sweat this. I’ve already raked in incredible notoriety, if not profits over the last year. The royalty checks add up to six figures and that gave me a little room to pursue the marketing stuff for Alan Edgewater Failure Coach LLC.” Alan is in an unusually reflective mood as he addresses his go-to advisers.”I’ve always tried to be transparent with the fab four. I am so grateful for this group.”

And at Mahoney Hall on the campus of the University of Miami, Johnny Appleseed is smoking pot with his roommate Steve. “No shit man, you got a full ride to the U from something called the Alan Edgewater Failure First Scholarship Fund that was started with money your high school football coach won in a lottery. That is so righteous.”

Meanwhile in Red Bud, Illinois, Coach Siena is in his home office looking at some Sazerac regional sales numbers on his desktop computer screen. He can see that things look pretty good in most segments versus a year ago (YAG) when his phone rings. It is a land line with a loud bell ring. It isn’t a rotary dial, but if it was it would not seem out of place on the Coach’s big and cluttered desk. His wife, Irene, is forbidden to touch anything in his office. This is the policy left over from his coaching days. Every scrap is valuable and might have an unstoppable play diagram or scouting nugget that will provide an edge. Now, that same system is part of how he deals with his network of distributors and key account sales people. Every niche is important. The smaller liquor stores are better margins than national accounts like Costco. That is where he has a better opportunity to have an impact anyway so that is where he places his focus. His deal with Fontenot is as an independent contractor anyhow and he has a straight, albeit dotted line to Fontenot.

And at the bar at Tavern on the Park in New Orleans, “In addition to award-winning bourbons, our distilleries produce some of the highest quality rye whiskies. Our Rye Whiskies have garnered numerous awards. Sazerac is proud to offer these unique, award-winning rye whiskies that help spearhead the current revival of Rye Whiskey. Our American blended whiskies are distilled, aged and bottled to create high quality whiskies for value conscious consumers.” Fontenot is polishing his pitch to another out-of-towner who found his favorite bar. Chances are this guy from Cleveland will be a Sazerac convert, especially if he takes the Robert Siena business card and follows up on an opportunity to get a product sample pack sent to his home. “Make sure you tell him you met with Fontenot in N.O. and I know he’ll take care of you. Hey, have you heard of Failure Coach Alan Edgewater? That dude is amazing…”

And at that very moment, at 50 Public Square in Cleveland the first books are making their way to local bookstores in the arcade mall adjacent to the Terminal Tower. A cut-out of Alan Edgewater in a business suit is smiling as he holds a copy of You can’t give 110%! next to pull out quotes from The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Columbus Dispatch and the Detroit Free Press.      

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