In the southern part of the United States, an old man with a rowboat
ferries passengers across a mile-wide river for ten cents.
Asked how many times a day he does this, the boatman said," As many
times as I can because the more I go, the more I get. And, if I don't
go, I don't get.'
That's all you need to know-all there is to know-about selling.
2. Ask Your Customers...
An American dog food company held monthly sales promotion meetings,
but the chairman was frustrated with the bombastic theories and stale
ideas that came forth.
In the hope of fresh thinking he invited some young trainees to the
next meeting, and casually asked one of them what he had to say.
"Sir, we want to sell dog food and therefore, we should ask the dogs
what they like," the trainee said. Uproarious laughter erupted, but the
chairman said, "Let's give it a try."
To the astonishment of all, a few dogs were brought in and different
varieties of dog food placed before them. The dogs sniffed at all of
them, and then zeroed in on two or three.
The company concentrated its efforts on marketing those few
formulations. Within six months, market share registered a 10 percent
3. Judge by Sales, Not by Reports
A recently employed area salesman in the farm machinery industry
wrote his first report to head office. It stunned the sales manager, as
it was obvious the new man was almost illiterate :
Before the illiterate could be terminated another note from him came
from Northern Ireland :
Not knowing what do do, the sales manager dumped the problem in the
chairman's lap. The next morning the salesman's letters were posted on
the noticed board, along with this memo from the chairman.
4. Where You Hear a Door Close, I Hear It Open ...
A salesman was sent to an island to explore the possibility of
He did not find a single person wearing shoes on the island, and
sent a gloomy report back to the head office that there was no prospect
of shoe sales there as no one wore shoes.
The organisation was reluctant to give up and sent their ace
salesman to the same island.
Within days he was back at head office with a twinkle in his eye:
the untapped potential for selling shoes is enormous, he reported.
5. The War Was Lost Because of A Nail
Centuries ago, a battle was fought which changed the destiny of a
state and the people living in it. This state had an excellent army that
On the day of the battle, the king was ploughing through the enemy's
forces when suddenly his horse tumbled because the shoe on its front
foot came off. That was it : the king fell, his forces fled, and the
battle was lost.
When the opposing king analysed the reasons for his unexpected
victory, he found that though the king's horse had excellent armor, the
nails in his shoes were worn out.
He learned the lesson : a chain is only as strong as its weakest
A large sale may be lost because the pages of the quotation were
wrongly stapled and thus did not make any sense.
6. Be Clear About Your Market Segment
A man went into an insurance office to have his life insured.
The agent asked, "Do you drive the car a great deal?"
"No," the man replied.
"Do you fly much?" the agent continued.
"No," replied the applicant.
"Sorry, sir," said the agent. "We no longer insure pedestrians."
7. Salesmen Are Not Order-Takers
A young lady walked into a stored and asked for a hairclip. She
selected one and was told it cost Rs. 4. "Your price is too high," she
said, and proceeded to haggle.
After a lot of back and forth the salesman brought down the price to
Rs. 2. "Oh, no, not at all," said the lady, and he dropped it to Rs. 1.
"You must be joking," said the lady.
Irritated, the salesman said, "Madam, please spare me- you may take
it free." The lady's reply? "Well, in that case, give me two!"
Everyone is looking for bargains in life. Poor salespeople are too
easily intimidated by customers' price objections and give in to get the
These people are not salespeople; they are order-takers. And as is
rightly said : Anyone can sell a one dollar article for 99 cents
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