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Dan P Seidman

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Salesman shoves foot down throat, dies in front of client
By Dan P Seidman
Saturday, October 26, 2002



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SALESMAN SHOVES FOOT SO FAR DOWN HIS THROAT, HE DIES IN FRONT OF THE CLIENT
(excerpt from "The Death of 20th Century Selling"
by Dan Seidman, page 26)

Rick sells printing services in Chicago. He isn't as good as he is persistent. It took six months of phone calls and mailed literature to finally get into the President's office of a company that he wanted to sell very badly. Rick describes how it took less than thirty seconds to undo half a year of his time and effort:

"I'd finally nailed this guy down to an appointment and wanted to make a really good first impression. I figured that this President would look at me as either a strong, persistent salesman or a pest. He would dispose of a pest as quickly as he could. So as I walked into his office, I looked for something on the wall or on his desk which I could use for a little opening small-talk.

'John Madden!' I cried, pointing at an 8x10 photograph on his credenza. Every football fan knows the 300-plus pound football commentator. He's probably the best announcer around, in spite of an ugly mug that could stop a bus. 'How did you get a photograph of yourself with your arm around John Madden?'

My rapport-building efforts crashed in flames as the shocked company President slowly answered, 'that's... my... wife.'"

POSTMORTEM: Our poor salesman, Rick, used an old-fashioned approach to the initial contact with a prospect. Are you like this? Do you look for that fish on the wall, the trophy on the shelf, the picture on the desk? We're often taught to comment on these items to 'break the ice.' Being ordinary like this is not the best way to distinguish yourself, is it? Here's a suggestion for that initial contact that many sales pros use today. Recognize that your prospects just don't have the time to chat like they used to. Simply respect the prospect's time and review what you agreed upon when you got the appointment. "Mr. Prospect, I want to respect your commitment to the time we have. When we talked on the phone you said we'd have 45 minutes to talk. Is that right? Good, what was the reason you felt it was important to invite me in today?" As a salesperson, you have now honored someone's busy schedule and gotten right to business. Best of all, the prospect is about to do most of the talking.

       Web Site: Sales Horror Stories!

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The Frugal Book Promoter: Second Edition by Carolyn HowardJohnson

Bestselling, multi award-winning and Dan Poynter recommended book, The Frugal Book Promoter, is available as paperback (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) or e-book (www.budurl.com/Frug..  
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