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December, 2019 Edition
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A Meaningful Dialog

There is an old saying in sales, "The very best salesman are in jail, they are called con-men." A venerable salesman, with over 35 years of experience in his field pointed this out to me. Based on his sales totals, he was the number one salesman for the company which we both represented at the time.

To understand his perspective you need to know a little about this salesman. He didn't live in a big city, as a matter of fact, he resided in a community with a population of fewer than 2000 people. His territory did not include one community with over 20,000 residents. In spite of this, he was the number one salesman in the country for over two decades.

I met him at a convention as he neared retirement. He was working part-time and maintained sales that exceeded 75% of his associates. Of course, I wanted to know his secret. He told me that his biggest fear was to lead one of his clients astray. He had built such a reputation over the years that many of his customers did whatever he suggested. He told me that while this sounded good, it also added a huge amount of pressure to do what was right for each customer. He stated that he had worked very hard over the years, to be honest with each customer. His goal was to start a meaningful dialog about the solutions he offered for their problems.

He maintained that even the smallest misstatement could ruin all that he had worked for. That is why he reminded me, and the other young salespeople that had gathered around him, that good salespeople are not slick or clever, and they never mislead anyone, they are direct and honest. Now that was a meaningful dialog.  

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  • Introducing myself to new boyfriends parents: "Hi, I usually don't make it this far."
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