Selling is all about understanding how people feel about themselves in order to influence them. Selling is also a numbers game. With Augusta’s job on the line, selling feels less and less like a game and more like survival. She used to love the freedom of sales. While all her friends where strapped in at their desks from nine to five, Augusta hit the street, confident that the day would take her someplace grand. Now, there’s little Augusta can do to improve her odds, so she keeps at it. Once she’s finished her call sheet, Augusta makes cold calls, leaning heavily on the compliments and the cupcakes. People, even those on a diet, can’t resist a free cupcake. Assuming the customer takes the bait, she can almost set her watch to when customers miraculously perk up. She’s done her best deals between the hours of three and five in the afternoon. You’d think that after all these years, she’d have it down to a science. But selling remains very much an art, dependent on a dance of variables in the moment. It only takes an ill-timed sneeze, an eye twitch or a smear of red lipstick on her teeth to usher Augusta straight into the land of no.