Sales and Up-Selling is No Joke

Don Doman

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Everyday in addition to the basic spam of email, friends send me jokes. Some are funny, some are not. Those that are truly funny have a nugget of wisdom or enlightenment within. Here's a story that I like and it not only makes sense, but delivers a common sense sales message that we can all learn from. And, that's no laughing matter.

A young guy from South Dakota moves to Florida and goes to a big “everything under one roof" department store looking for a job. The Manager says, “Do you have any sales experience?" The kid says, “Yea, I was a salesman back in South Dakota. "

Well, the boss liked the kid and gave him the job. “You start tomorrow. I'll come down after we close and see how you did. "

His first day on the job was rough but he got through it. After the store was locked up the boss came down.

"How many customers bought something from you today?

The kid says, “One".

The boss says, “Just one? Our sales people average 20 to 30 customers a day. How much was the sale for?"

The kid says, “$101,237.65".

The boss says, “$101,237.65!!" What the heck did you sell?"

The kid says, “First I sold him a small fishhook. Then I sold him a medium fishhook. Then I sold him a larger fishhook. Then I sold him a new fishing rod. Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down the coast, so I told him he was going to need a boat, so we went down to the boat department and I sold him a twin engine cabin cruiser. Then he said he didn't think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that 4x4 Expedition. Ah, that was all. "

The boss said, “A guy came in here to buy a fishhook and you sold him a BOAT and a TRUCK?"

The kid said, “No the guy came in here to buy Tampons for his wife and I said, “Dude, your weekend's shot - you should go fishing. "

In sales, like in life one thing leads to another. It's simple. If we know our customers, we can help them. There's an educational video series on sales called The Principles of Sales and Marketing: The Power of Ethical Selling. The series outlines the principles that should underlie all sales and marketing transactions. Each program contains solid advice and concrete lessons that teach effective skills. My favorite is called Keep It Simple, which is really the essence of sales and up-selling.

"Customers are constantly bombarded with all kinds of information, misinformation, or jargon, which is used to cover for the absence of information. The successful salesperson is the one who can communicate most directly and simply the benefits to the customer of the product or service being offered. This program explains the advantages of keeping things simple, how to find an information level at which to work with customers, how salespeople can develop a better understanding of their own product, and how they can communicate their own knowledge effectively to their customers. "
- Informational copy from Keep It Simple

The more we talk to our clients and interact, the better we can serve them. And the better we can serve them, the more chance we have of seeing customer satisfaction. Happy customers mean we are successful and will be rewarded.

When the punch line is the bottom line, sales and up-selling is no joke.

Don Doman is a published author, video producer, and corporate trainer. He owns the business training site Ideas and Training ( ), which he says is the home of the no-hassle “free preview" for business training videos. He also owns Human Resources Radio ( ), which broadcasts HR and business training information, program previews, and training samples from some of the world's great training speakers twenty-four hours a day. You can listen and learn on Human Resources Radio.


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