This was taken from an old Rank Xerox monthly newsletter. One of many sporting events held by the company.
Jim Riley was a salesman at XEROX when I was there. He was not only a great salesman but a master at managing his expenses. He got promoted to manager of Hamilton branch and I was told by many visitors that Jim was always doing his expenses sheet when they arrived. He always was a good manipulator.
Jim and I became great mates as we were both aspiring business people and we always had deals going on. At one time XEROX had a sponsored sailing boat and we started silk screening T shirts for sale to the crew.
A manager higher up the chain in the company by the name of Denis Thalman started chewing Jim’s head off about our enterprise. He did not approve however we did it anyway and ended up manufacturing many screened T shirts for all sorts of things in my garage at home.
Jim was a good manager (not like me) and he was a great salesman. He could sell refrigerators to Eskimos and when Xerox introduced the SPIN® sales technique Jim understood the principle from day one.
Jim Riley was a good cricketer and he played for Auckland at one time, he was an opening batsman and he was able to use his sporting talent to enter many difficult customers offices. I had one company that really did need a new machine and I was having serious difficulty getting to the decision maker. I asked for Jim’s help and all it took was a simple phone call. When the prospect knew Riley was coming it was a piece of cake and from memory this particular case plus a couple of other shifty moves got me a trip to New Caledonia. The company always ran incentives and I was right into any of that.
Jim went on to bigger things, after he left Xerox in New Zealand he immigrated to the USA where is worked for Xerox Corporation in Los Angeles. When he was there I visited him on my way to the Xerox training centre in Leesburg Virginia. It was on this trip that my fate was sealed; Jim showed me a pair of HIFI speakers (Miller and Kreisel) he had just purchased and I was so taken with their performance I got Jim to drive me to the manufacturer. I convinced them I could make these things in New Zealand and the rest was history for me. I left Xerox not long after and set up a plant in New Zealand. This took me on a 25 to 30 year ride in the HIFI and consumer electronic industry. (More on that later).
Jim Riley was also a good athlete, not long afterward he also stumbled on the opportunity of a lifetime where he got involved manufacturing sports clothing for tri-athletes. Tinley and Sub four were two of the brands he was involved with and Jim ended up selling his interest out to Reebok in the USA.
Jim is now semi retired in a stunning place just north of Sandiego, his passion for selling has never waived and he has acres of Palm trees he sells to wealthy land owners throughout the states.