Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A child shall lead them?

Girl: “Daddy, can I have ten dollars?”

Father: “No.”

Girl: “Then can I have five dollars?”

Father: “No.”

Girl: “How about three dollars?”

Father: “No.”

Girl: “Two dollars?”

Father: “No.”

Girl: “Daddy, can I have one dollar?”

Father: “No.”

Girl: “When I grow up, I'm going to be a salesperson.”

Father: “Why on earth would you want to be a sales person?”

Girl: “Because I'm so used to being told ‘no' all the time, I might as well get paid for it!”

I recently came across a column written by the publisher of a well known success-oriented magazine, and I was very surprised and disappointed by what I read. Here is a short excerpt from his column:

“Children are some of the most effective salespeople there are. A child who wants ice cream or a toy in a grocery store aisle will apply every selling skill in the book, with relentless persistence, until he or she closes the sale. Children know how to overcome objections, push through stall tactics, handle rejection, seek the higher authority, not take no for an answer and continue to ask for the order until the deal is sealed.”

On the surface, the above statements may seem logical, and the argument presented by these statements, that children might make good examples for salespeople to emulate, seems to be a strong one. But is this really the case?

I believe that the column I've referenced here demonstrates what's WRONG with the sales profession today, and a quick overview of why this is will greatly benefit any salesperson who takes a moment to give it a little thought.

I'm sure you had no trouble envisioning a child battling with their parent as you read the excerpt above. We've probably all seen it, or experienced it as parents ourselves or as children when we were young.

But the idea that a childish battle with a parent represents a good example to salespeople simply reinforces the negative stereotypes of the typical salesperson which have harmed the reputation of our profession and made our jobs so much more difficult than they need to be.

Notice how the writer extols the childish traits of relentless persistence and not taking ‘no' for an answer. We know that not every prospect is a potential buyer, so if you think that utilizing these tactics shows good sales form, just exactly how much of your time, effort, energy and money do you wish to invest in attempting to sell a non-buyer?

I'm sure your answer is ‘none' or perhaps ‘as little as necessary'.

A simple application of the reasons for ‘why people buy' can cut right through to the heart of my point.

In the example above the question you have to ask yourself is, “Why would the parent give in and buy?”

There are really only two reasons in this scenario. One reason would be due to the love that parent has, and the desire to make their child happy. The other reason would be to simply shut the kid up so the parent can get on with their shopping.

So let's apply these reasons for buying to YOUR prospects.

How many of your prospects have ever loved you so much that they were willing to spend their money just because they wanted to make you happy?

So this leaves the other reason for ‘giving in' and buying, because the prospect just wants to make the salesperson go away. The problem with this reason is that once the salesperson is gone, the reason for buying no longer exists. ‘Buyers remorse' sets in, and the prospect is likely to cancel the order.

In summary, it may be true that children are effective salespeople when it comes to selling TO THEIR PARENTS, but the idea that an immature child is a good example for a professional salesperson is absurd and destructive to any salesperson who buys into that concept.

Nearly 25 years ago, when I discovered the secret of No Objection Selling and started taking ‘no' for an answer, I went from failure to success in selling almost overnight. The ironic part is that I learned this concept from the man who was, at that time, the publisher of the very magazine whose current publisher wrote the article I referenced here.


You think you have problems ...

The next time you think life is against you and you are having a rough time, think about Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

On August 6th, 1945, Mr. Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body. After spending the night in Hiroshima he then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki - just in time for the second nuclear attack!


Everyone sells!

While vacationing in New Zealand, Tom Peters met a wildly successful film director who said that early in his career he realized he had good stuff but he continually failed to close the deal.

He told Tom he realized that he was a lousy salesman and, determined to fix the problem, he read a couple dozen ‘self-help' books on selling and attended some selling workshops. In pretty short order he was closing deals, and thanks to his selling skills, he currently has of a couple of top American T.V. shows to his credit.

Tom also pointed out that as he was watching a TV show about the Italian detective Montalbano (which has English subtitles) he suddenly found himself unable to follow the storyline. The reason: The sound had suddenly been muted, and even though he does not understand the Italian language, his ability to hear the characters inflection and tone as he read the printed words in English had allowed him to understand what was going on. With the sound off, the printed words alone provided less information and made the story harder to follow. This demonstrated to Tom the power and importance of both non-verbal and extra-verbal communication.


It Could Be Worse

• In August of 1975 three men were on their way in to the Royal Bank of Scotland at Rothesay for the purpose of robbing it when they became stuck in the revolving doors. They had to be helped free by the staff and, after thanking everyone, sheepishly left the building. A few minutes later they returned and announced their intention of robbing the bank, but none of the staff believed them. When they demanded five thousand pounds in cash, the head cashier laughed at them, convinced that it was a practical joke. Then one of the men jumped over the counter, but fell to the floor, clutching his ankle. The other two tried to make their getaway, but got trapped in the revolving doors again.

• During the firemen's strike of 1978, the British Army had taken over emergency fire fighting and on the 14th of January they were called out by an elderly lady in South London to retrieve her cat which had become trapped up a tree. They arrived with impressive haste and soon discharged their duty, retrieving the stranded cat. So grateful was the lady that she invited them all in for tea. Shortly thereafter, with fond farewells completed, the crew drove away. As they did, they ran over the cat and killed it.

• While the US stock market is at an all time high, the ups and downs frighten a lot of small investors. One financial adviser at the bank was asked if he was worried and he replied that he slept like a baby.

"Really? Even in this market?"

"Yes,” he said. “I fall asleep, then every couple of hours I wake up and cry my eyes out."

In the Bible, the book of Proverbs states, “Blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth.”

This excerpt from the scripture points out that salespeople receive blessing when they're serving others through the proper application of their profession.

Imagine for a moment that it is Christmas eve and you're on your way out to pick up a Christmas gift for your spouse or one of your children. You know exactly what you're going to get because it's something that they've really wanted for a long time. You just know that they will be thrilled on Christmas day to open their gift, and you can't wait to see their face when they do so.

Upon arriving at your destination, you find that there are no salespeople, no clerks, no cashiers. No one is available to help you acquire the item that you need. You're informed that due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, you will not be able to purchase what you want, and you know that there is no other place in town that sells it. How do you feel?

Now imagine that a customer whom you've never met before tells you that they work in the store across the street and they just got in exactly what you want and will sell it to you. Now how do you feel?

As a salesperson, you have the power to give people that good feeling by helping them get what they want, and you deserve to feel good every time you do it.


Lost in Translation

The English translation of the following food items are shown as they are listed in their native menus for the benefit of their English speaking customers:

Cold shredded children and sea blubber in spicy sauce - China
Indonesian Nazi Goreng - Hong Kong
Muscles Of Marines/Lobster Thermos - Cairo
French fried ships - Cairo
Garlic Coffee - Europe
Sole Bonne Femme (Fish Landlady style) - Europe
Boiled Frogfish - Europe
Sweat from the trolley - Europe
Dreaded veal cutlet with potatoes in cream - China
Rainbow Trout, Fillet Streak, Popotoes, Chocolate Mouse - Hong Kong
Roasted duck let loose - Poland
Beef rashers beaten up in the country peoples fashion - Poland
Fried friendship - Nepal
Strawberry crap - Japan
Pork with fresh garbage - Vietnam
Toes with butter and jam - Bali
French Creeps - L.A.
Fried fishermen - Japan
Teppan Yaki - Before Your Cooked Right Eyes - Japan
Pepelea's Meat Balls - Romania