A couple of weeks back, a friend of mine from Pennsylvania called to say, “I am overnighting you the most fabulous book on selling I’ve ever read!” He is a very successful business man, so I was intrigued. “It’ll be there in the morning”, said my friend. “Gotta go”. A click and a dial tone. My friend is not easily excitable, so needless to say, I was anxiously awaiting for FedEx to arrive the next day.
The truck arrived about 8:30 the next morning, so I headed for the Waffle House for a cup of coffee with my package in hand. As soon as I sat down, I tore open the package and stared in disbelief. The book I was looking at was “Green Eggs and Ham”, by Dr. Seuss! My friend will pay for this, I mutter.
Dr. Seuss books are whimsically seductive, and part of me is still 8 years old!
Unconsciously, I began to read, and then suddenly I was ashamed of my anger toward my friend. It hit me all at once! My friend is not a practical joker at all. He is, in fact, a genius! Green Eggs and Ham is nothing less than a story of the greatest salesman who never lived! I speak of none other than the mythical, immortal, and legendary character Sam-I-Am.
“Will you eat them in a box? Would you eat them with a fox? Would you? Could you? In a car? Eat them! Here they are!”
Sam-I-am asks the customer no less than sixteen times to try his green eggs and ham! Why? Because Sam-I-am knows the average sale is made when the customer has been asked five times whether he/she would like to buy the product or service. Yet, in the real world, the average service person will only ask twice.
When a customer tells you “they will think about it”, what they are often really saying is, “I don’t have any questions yet. Check with me later.” Sadly, few ever do.
Ask yourself these questions:
#1) Is the fear of being perceived as “pesky” causing you to deliver poor service to your customers?
#2) Are you expecting the customer to walk up to you and say, “I’m not thinking about it anymore. Now I’m ready to ask questions.”
If you think this will happen, I suggest you buy a copy of Green Eggs and Ham and pay special attention to the end of the story, where the previously reluctant customer exclaims with wide-eyed excitement, “I do like green eggs and ham! Thank you!
Thank you, Sam-I-am!”
Here is a Trivia Question for you:
A publisher for Random House bet Dr Seuss $50.00 that he couldn’t write a book using just 50 words. Dr. Seuss won the bet by writing which book?
If you guessed “Green Eggs and Ham”, you are correct!
Ray “Rambo” Moody