There are dozens of skills I acquired over my life. Salesmanship....with one exception....was a big zero.
At some point, around my 17th year in the Air Force....my boss needed someone to serve as 'snacko' for the shop. This was typically a person who had a refrigerator in the breakroom....bought snacks....controlled the money.....and occasionally did some positive things like run a burger-day for the office. I ended up with the job for about 4.5 years.
The first problem I came to face was an Air Force regulation that says if you hold more than X-amount of money....you have to have a 'club'....records....and a bunch of extra problems. In those days, it was roughly an income of $100 a month or more....that would get you into some hassle. Just in man-hours, you could figure three man-hours a month on paperwork, meetings, bank-episodes (they wanted you to run an account with the credit union). One of my golden rules in life was to avoid paperwork at all costs
At the end of six weeks of operation, I found that I had around $200 in profit. I did something the previous guy didn't think much over.....I bought only when items were on discount at the commissary, and bought in bulk. I bought larger selections.....ten to twelve different sodas, and various health-drinks.
So to avoid profit, I spent as quickly as possible.....this meant a full-up hamburger bar-b-q with everything free of charge.
By the end of the second month, I decided to dive into frozen food offerings and odd snacks. Within ninety days....I had almost $400 as profit, and then started bar-b-q's every two to four weeks to dump the profit.
I had the BX drink truck start pulling up to front door and buying bulk. I got to know the commissary guys and the various sales that they ran....and would buy cases of Pop-Tars and various snack foods.
I walked in on one afternoon to find Pop-Tarts at half-price, and bought roughly 120 boxes of Pop-Tarts.
When summer came.....I bought cheap ice cream via the commissary at discounted prices, and was turning $15 a week just on ice cream profits.
When the Micheal Jackson Mystery Drink came out (ever so brief), I bought a case of it and even tried to sell it (the only thing that I ever lost money on).
Over a period or roughly 55 months.....I ran this fund and probably arranged for forty bar-b-q's. I had the most profitable unprofitable snacko fund that you could imagine. Almost every single soda that I bought over the period....was on discount price...so I barely paid 25 cents for it at the BX or commissary, and resold it at 50 cents.
So when I came to retire from the Air Force....I handed the snacko fund over to another NCO....and in less than three months....it dissolved. They couldn't sustain the profit....they started accepting IOU's (a habit I refused), and they were buying mostly diet drinks (don't ever let the healthy folks operate a snacko fund).
It was my brief play into business operations and the one thing that I could brag about. Every profit I made.....dissolved into burgers and grilled chicken. In the end....I was still worth zero, but I had enhanced the morale of the office by leaps and bounds. I never lost a penny....which is kinda remarkable (well....except for the Micheal Jackson Mystery Drink).