Three lessons on courage, from sales jokes

Courage brother; do not stumble over aggressive or angry persons and limit your performance.

If you had ‘Njaanuary’  (no-money January) as your excuse not to sell, here’s something to lighten up your spirits- sales jokes from which we can learn the importance of courage when selling.

Joke 1: The insurance agent tells the prospective buyer:  “Don’t let me frighten you into a quick decision. Sleep on it tonight. If you actually wake up in the morning, give me a call then, and let me know.” This joke reminds of an actual insurance agent in the nineties who used to move about with a miniature carving of a coffin. His most intimidating pitch would be, “When you are here (pointing at the coffin), what will your children be eating? (Or, who will be paying their fees?) In case you are wondering, he was wildly successful. Does this mean you should go out intimidating clients to buy? Not necessarily. It does mean though that you should be courageous enough to let them know that, “Unfortunately, until you pay up all your 60-180 day debts, we are unable to supply you with more tyres.”

Joke 2:  I was in a job interview today when the manager handed me his laptop and said, “I want you to try and sell this to me.” So I put it under my arm, walked out of the building and went home.

Eventually he called my mobile and said, “Bring it back here right now!” I said, “Ten thousand shillings and it’s yours.” If a competent sales manager were the interviewer, he would have hired him immediately. However, if it was someone from human resources she would likely have labelled it “insubordinate behaviour unbecoming of our values on integrity”. Selling is fluid; organizational rules are solid. The courageous seller is guided more by his conscious than the rules.  So what is seen as breaking, he sees as bending. “I know the documentation is not complete; but because their payroll closes tomorrow, let’s open the account today and commit his salary to come in and I’ll get the pending documentation tomorrow.”

Joke 3: “No, no, no!” said the enraged businessman to the persistent salesman. “I cannot see you today!” “That’s fine,” said the salesman, “I’m selling spectacles.” Selling can be rough.  You will not always be embraced. In fact, the joke is, ‘the more cordial the buyer’s secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.’ Courage brother; do not stumble over aggressive or angry persons and limit your performance. Remain assertive like seller Francis (RIP); when the executive he had happened upon thundered, “I said I don’t want to see anyone from your organization! Your colleague lied to me. You are all liars!” Francis: “Sir! If you had a salesperson in your company that lied, what would you do?” Startled executive: “I’d fire him!” Francis: “That’s what happened sir, and I was hired. (Pause) So, based on your need I have two proposals I’d like to share with you…”

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