Hello, I came across this article in the SalesDog newsletter. I especially like the tomato and Daniel Boone analogy. Enjoy!
By Michael Dalton Johnson
Set unreasonably high goals for yourself.
I subscribe to Fred Bucy’s (former president and CEO of Texas Instruments) law which states, “Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.” Become unreasonable, come on strong in this area, and have seemingly unattainable dreams. Real progress often depends on unreasonable people.
Are your goals unreasonable?
I was working with a barter broker in New York who suddenly stopped returning my phone calls. We were working on a very sweet deal for my company, and I didn’t want to lose it. I left several voice messages and sent a number of e-mail messages. Nothing.
Determined to get her attention, I sent her an expensive little plush teddy bear with a note that read, “Don’t worry, I don’t bite. We just need to talk.”
A few days later, she called me. She was gushing, “Oh I just love it. What a sweet gift! Thank you, thank you, and thank you!”
She apologized profusely for not getting back with me and offered a laundry list of reasons why she hadn’t. She promised me that she would go to work and get the deal closed. It was closed within a week. Thank you, Teddy.
Boys will be boys.
If you are a male negotiating with a male, avoid having a woman in attendance. From the schoolyard to the boardroom, boys like to appear strong to the girls. The younger and more attractive the woman, the tougher the opposition becomes. You are more likely to get what you want in negotiation if you are not fighting ingrained human nature fueled by ego and testosterone.
If the situation is reversed and two women are negotiating with a male in attendance, the same problematic situation could occur, but it is far less likely.
Intelligence versus wisdom.
I like the humorous observation that intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit while wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
You may be the world’s most intelligent person, but this doesn’t mean that you have the requisite wisdom to execute every aspect of your business plan. For example, many entrepreneurs mistakenly think that, because they got straight A’s in English literature, they have the talent to write compelling marketing copy.
You would be well advised to seek experienced and talented experts to help you execute the critical aspects of your business and marketing plan.
Look at it this way: Would you rather be lost in the woods with Albert Einstein or Daniel Boone?
This dog won’t hunt.
When you’re interviewing a candidate for a sales position, always ask, “How much money did you make last year?” If the candidate is shy about talking about the previous year’s earnings, take a pass. If the applicant is shy about talking money with you, odds are he or she will be uncomfortable talking about money with a prospect.
The ideal candidate will introduce the subject and ask, “How much can I make?” within the first 20 or 30 minutes of an interview.
If a salesperson is the least hesitant at talking money, she or he is probably not the hungry carnivore you need. This dog won’t hunt.
Keep it personal.
Your letters and marketing materials are always read by an individual. They should use your reader’s name and “you” liberally.
Use the words we, our, us, and I sparingly. Your message should be about the reader, not you. This is an especially important rule to follow in the opening paragraph of a letter. By using the word “you” along with their name, a bond is created readers, and your letter is much more likely to be read in its entirety.
Avoid phrases such as, “Our users enjoy significant savings with our product.” They won’t resonate with the reader. It is far better to begin with “You will enjoy . . .”
Good business communications are friendly and written as if for an intelligent friend. Keep it personal.
Is the price right?
Avoid charging too much or too little. Test to find your right price. What you learn may surprise you.
You may be charging too much or too little for your product or service. With most, but certainly not all products and services, there is a great deal of elasticity in the price. I once consulted a firm that had a unique informational product it sold for $49. After testing (and against very strenuous opposition from middle management), I raised the price to $249. Unit sales actually increased!