Treasure trove of recession-defying selling secrets

by Mark Dresner

Treasure trove of recession-defying selling secrets

discovered in Saturday morning cartoon show

As a kid Saturday mornings had a very strict ritual – a cartoon ritual.

From 6 o’clock in the morning to noon, my brother and I sat hypnotized in front of the TV. And we were only barely aware that anything existed beyond the glow of the gigantic 19-inch black and white tube.

Of course we each had our favorites. Mine were Rocky and Bullwinkle, Mr. Peabody and Sherman and – my most favorite – Aesop and Son.

Little did I know that I was actually getting sales training each Saturday morning throughout these formative years.

Subliminal sales training?

I mention one of my favorites cartoons was Aesop and Son.It was an adaptation of classic Aesop’s Fables except it always had a comical twist.

Each story takes a kids-eye view of one of Aesop’s famous fables, including the moral at the end. What a sneaky way for our parents to tech 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: Become a 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 at the end.

My most valuable discovery was the realization that Aesop’s fables could actually improve my selling. Dramatically!

These are just a few of the selling benefits bestowed upon me:

  • Rock solid client relationships – where I have transitioned from salesperson, to trusted advisor, and then to valued friend.
  • Delighted Clients – because every expectation is met or exceeded and my client became an enthusiastic advocate of my company (and me)
  • High margins and price stability – because the value received far exceeds the price paid, in the minds of my clients.
  • Immunity from all competition – well served clients receiving quality products or services of high-perceived value – from experts in their field – have absolutely no reason to shop anywhere else.

Five specific examples of Aesop’s selling genius

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.

1.  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.

2.  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 the client becomes angry or disappointed and we become just another salesperson.Don’t unrealistically oversell yourself, your product or your company – ever.

3.  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.Meaning, make sure that the customer is delighted and the bills get paid. After all, you do earn a commission, right?

4.  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.This may mean you’ve sold features rather than the benefits. So get back in there!

5.  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.

Previous post:

Next post: