A Business Fable in 30 Seconds: Sales

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

A Business Fable in 30 Seconds: Sales

A man answers an ad for a sales position. The hiring manager says "We sell toothbrushes. You'll be on a 30 day probationary period. In that time you need to sell at least 100 units on average each week. If you make that goal you'll be hired on full time."

The man agrees and starts work immediately. He reports back after his first week and he's sold 250 units. The manager is impressed but thinks, "Maybe it's just beginner's luck." But the following week the new guy has sold an additional 400 units and had quickly become the company's top producer.

The manager decided to follow him to see if he could learn anything from the guy's sales technique. He followed him to a busy farmer's market where he watched the guy set up a booth. The first customer stopped by and the guy said "Hi there! I'm testing out some new kinds of chip dip and I'm wondering if you'd like a sample?" The customer agreed, took a chip, dipped it, and took a bite. "OMG THIS TASTES LIKE GARBAGE!"

"It is," said the guy. "Wanna buy a toothbrush?"


Moral of the Story: A decent salesperson sells product as something that is needed in a current situation; an exemplary salesman creates that situation.