Picture me having a nice full breakfast at an outdoor Italian restaurant waiting for a mate to rock up in an hour or so.
Enjoying the background music, the morning breeze, browsing through an e-book and slowly becoming aware of someone nearby, talking. Not your usual restaurant murmuring, but real intentional talking, like people do in a Beirut souk.
I glanced at the table a couple of metres away and there he was: A salesman; a salesman in full salesman battle dress at full throttle. Straight from a night on the town, hair all over, unshaven, spills on his shirt and spit on his lip.
I didn’t eavesdrop. But I couldn’t filter out the noise of battle. I didn’t move because I had the only table available. I had to put up with him.
THE THREE STOOGES COULDN’T HAVE BEEN MORE RIDICULOUS
He was hilarious. He didn’t mean to be but he was so incompetent it was like watching the three stooges at a bun fight all wrapped up in one guy.
I gathered from the overall chaos that he was trying to get the victi – prospect to strew some money into an unidentifiable investment plan or two. It looked like a case of surrender or perish.
A PAPER CHASE
The tiny table was festooned with brochures and proposal documents, four or five open at once, with more being shuffled and waved at. The wind was flapping them open and shut in rhythm with the flapping of his gums. He kept smacking them down and once flicked the tea spoon onto the table next to him but after a quick, ‘Sorry!’, he kept banging on – banging both the pages, and the table.
A WORD FIGHT
I sat through 50+ minutes until my friend arrived and together we sat through another 20 minutes before the victim left the battle ground. We were amused and horrified at the same time. I reckon the man of the moment didn’t stop talking for the whole 70 minutes.
ALL ABOUT HIMSELF
He kept saying things like,
‘We put $x in this one and it’s returned y%’
‘This is a good one. I’m pulling in 7% year on year.’
‘My lady of the moment loves me for putting her super in this.’
And yes, he even threw in, ‘If you were my own brother I’d give you the same advice my broker gave me.’
NOT A QUESTION IN SIGHT
If he did ask any questions, he must have answered them himself because I didn’t hear his poor prospect say a word. He did get up and order two more coffees (to stay awake? I thought) and went to the loo twice (one visit seemed to take a l-o-o-o-n-g) time. That didn’t bother Captain Lipflap. He got straight on the phone and told his next prospect he was already at the restaurant waiting for him with a great deal.
CEASE-FIRE TO EXTRICATE THE WOUNDED
Relief troops arrived just before the prospect died of word-shot wounds and he hobbled his way off the field, with an offer to re-engage ‘sometime in the new year’. Captain Lipflap turned his guns on the next contingent and repeated the process; brochures, charts, hand signals, tea-spoon missiles, spit bubbles, computer mis-connections, and verbal mortar bombardments.
Again, no effect on the prospect.
OH, THE HORROR OF IT ALL
Like Pierre Bezhoukov in War and Peace, I stayed to watch the battle play out.
Pointlessness. Prospect wasted.
Fence was empty. Nothing pasted.
Funny and sad, both apply
Prospect still needy, high and dry.
I thought to myself, He’s not the only one. They might not all look as shoddy. Many are handsome, pretty, well dressed, well spoken. But they are still out there; untrained, unskilled, under performing. Thousands of them. On the road. In shops. Their managers would love to have control, confidence and clarity but instead they are probably unhappy, unimpressed and uncertain. Some even own their own businesses and in this case their partners are unhappy, unimpressed and uncertain.
CAN I HELP YOU?
I don’t know yet. We haven’t spoken. I can’t prejudge what challenges you are facing with your sales. You’ll have to tell me. Use this email to fill me in. Email with this link and ask for a phone call.
I can say this though; I’ve hardly met a business owner or sales manager who doesn’t want
- more sales with profit to match,
- more recognition for having a successful business,
- a sales system that runs like clockwork,
- a whole lot more peace of mind because they know their salespeople know how to sell.
We all want a sales team that feels like this:
So this story is to say, come investigate the ‘Sell more, easier, faster’ online course and let me turn your salespeople into stars, so good they get noticed. So successful they make you money. So effective you get repeat business and bags of referrals.