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Sell Yourself First

Herman Adcox

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When you are attempting to sell a product/program to a buyer, sell yourself first. I know one very successful salesman who made it a practice to become familiar with a new prospect, telling about his company and products; finding what the prospects liked to do outside of work, during lunch where possible.

When making follow up calls from that point on, he never emphasized his company and products, instead he talked about what they like to do; be it sports, hunting, fishing, whatever he had learned from the primary meeting.

Every follow up call included a gift of something he had copied from articles pertaining to the new customer's business. He provided something free that was of value on every call.

He couldn't begin to estimate how many of the prospects turned into friendly customers, many times insisting on ordering something just because he had taken time to come see them.

Another example was related to me by a man who had been in Labor Relations with an airline. One of his favorite subjects was talking about selling yourself to the labor organizations as a person who was honest and worthy of your trust.

During negotiations, he took small, one or two word notes that he used in later years to accurately recall the discussion that had led to a new word or paragraph in the agreement. Union members could also recall the discussions after he had explained the subject matter to them. He had their trust.

Another example cited was when he was visiting the President of another airline when their meeting was interrupted by an airline mechanic wanting the President to come meet with them at a time when they were having a difficult time during negotiations.

The President asked the visiting labor relations person to accompany him to the board room. When they arrived, the company union committee told the International Union Agent to leave the room. He unhappily agreed and left the room.

Then the President took off his coat and tie, rolled up his shirt sleeves, sat down and asked what he could do to help.

Ten minutes later the two men left the board room and its satisfied union workers. This was all made possible, because the employees knew the President to be honest and could be counted on to be fair in his decisions.

Yes, good things happen when you sell yourself first.

Herman Adcox


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