As a kid Saturday mornings had a very strict ritual - a cartoon ritual.
My brother and I sat hypnotized in front of the black and white TV from 6AM until noon. We were immovable objects - only barely aware that anything existing beyond the glow of the gigantic 19" tube.
There were a list of favorites including; Rocky and Bullwinkle, Mr. Peabody and Sherman and - my most favorite - Aesop and Son.
Little did I know that I was actually get sales training each Saturday morning throughout my formative years.
Subliminal Sales Training?
I mention one of my favorites was Aesop and Son - a funny recreation of the classic Aesop's Fables.
Each story took a kids-eye view of one on Aesop's famous stories, including the moral at the end. What a sneaky way for our parents to teach us values!
Much later in life I rediscovered these lost classics (the fables, not the cartoons) and recognized their value in selling.
Here's what I mean.
The Fable Factor: The Philosopher Salesman
Aesop is about as deep into philosophy as I can go. Each of his fables is pretty short with a really hard-hitting moral.
My real discovery was to relate many of the morals to sales tactics that actually improved my selling.
By applying Aesop's lessons I gained:
- Rock solid client relationships - where I was able to transition from salesperson to trusted advisor to friend.
- Delighted Clients - where every expectation was met and exceeded and the client became an enthusiastic advocate of our company (and me)
- High margins and price stability.
- Complete Immunity from all competition.
5 Ingredients to Aesop's Secret Sauce.
Aesop compiled hundreds of fables. I'll spare the actual fable and pick a few morals and show how I've applied them to my selling.Of course you may take away something different for a given moral - and that is okay.
- A person is known by the company he keeps, or - (Birds of a feather flock together). It's important to work for a company with integrity and a good reputation - and to maintain your own good reputation. Do not compromise yourself for any one sale - it's not worth it in the long run.
- Promises may get friends, but it's performances that keep them. Aesop said this in a couple of different ways. Essentially I take this to mean ‘Talk is Cheap, Walk the Walk", etc). Often we want please a client and so we tell him/her what we think they want to hear. However, if we can't deliver then the client is angry and we're just another slimy salesperson. Don't oversell yourself, your product or your company- ever. It will come back to haunt you.
- Do not count your chickens before they are hatched. It's not a sale until you get an order AND the client has paid his bill. Do not ever let up on the project or the client until the project is over - in that the customer is delighted and the bills are paid. After all, you do earn a commission, right?
- We may view ourselves of more consequence than others view us. Loving your product is a must - if you don't believe in what you're selling it's really hard - to be successful. But remember to sell the benefits of the product in terms of the customers’ needs. It's gotta pass the “so what" test - after you're done presenting if the customer says (out loud or to himself) “so what" - you're sunk.
- Those who seek to please everybody please nobody. Figure out your niche or specialization - for yourself and your product - and become an expert. Niche specialists and niche product (the more tightly focused the better) sell for higher margins and have less price sensitivity.
The Moral of THIS Story.
There are valuable sales, business and life lessons to be learned in unexpected places. All that is required is an open mind and a desire to learn.
Mark Dresner is founder of FreeBusinessBookClub.com - the free membership service that delivers free digital downloads to subscribers each month including; free business books and audiobooks, expert interviews, special reports and other business tools and information - all for free.
Mark is also a sales and marketing marketing consultant with 30 years of direct selling experience to both small companies and global enterprises. During his career he has a built and run 3 technology service companies and 2 Internet focused companies.
Free subscriptions and classic ebook starter downloads are available at http://www.FreeBusinessBookClub.com
Contact Mark Dresner at: mark@DigitalEdgeMarketing.com