The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Different is good…

Just returned from Boston where I had the pleasure of working with a group of young people we hired right out of college – their first foray into the sales profession.  We focused on listening; clarifying; and problem-solving skills. 

Everyone had a chance to practice client-centric selling (unusual in the marketplace today).  Prospective clients prefer the rare, client-centric approach vs. facing the pervasive “Death by PowerPoint”, “Death by Demo”, vendor-centric approaches, seemingly based on the premise that the client will buy just to get the sales rep to leave!  Client-centric selling is different; and being different is good. 

Businesses face real problems today and executives appreciate the sales professional who can shed light on solutions for them vs. just presenting “company image” slides and demoing product features.  In his book Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play, Mahan Khalsa states: 

“How we sell is a free sample of how we solve” 

To solve is to be curious.  Curiosity is one trait in successful sales professionals – it’s different and it helps us stand out.  Although the fable may suggest that curiosity killed the cat, I believe in our profession, curiosity leads to uncovering real value and separates us from our competition.  But curiosity only works when combined with listening and clarification skills. 

Here’s an example of what poor listening and clarification might look like: 

After every flight, pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, which conveys to the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction.  The mechanics read and correct the problem, and then respond in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken, and the pilot reviews the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humor.  Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints and problems as submitted by pilots and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers. 

(By the way, this airline is the only major airline that has never had an accident.)  

P = The Problem logged by the pilot.

S = The Solution and action taken by the engineers.    

P:  Left inside main tire almost needs replacement. 

S:  Almost replaced the inside main tire. 

P:  Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.    

S:  Auto-land not installed on this aircraft. 

P:  Something loose in cockpit.  

S:  Something tightened in cockpit. 

P:  Dead bugs on windshield.

S:  Live bugs on backorder. 

P:  Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per    

    minute descent.

S:  Cannot reproduce problem on ground. 

P:  Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.    

S:  Evidence removed. 

P:  DME volume unbelievably loud.

S:  DME volume set to more believable level. 

P:  Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.  

S:  That’s what they’re there for. 

P:  IFF inoperative.   

S:  IFF always inoperative in OFF mode. 

P:  Suspected crack in windshield.   

S:  Suspect you’re right. 

P:  Number 3 engine missing.

S:  Engine found on right wing after brief search. 

P:  Aircraft handles funny. 

S:  Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be


P:  Target radar hums. 

S:  Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics. 

P:  Mouse in cockpit.  

S:  Cat installed. 

P:  Noise coming from under instrument panel.  Sounds

    like an elf pounding on something with a hammer.

S:  Took hammer away from elf.    

Unknown Sage 

Curious – when was the last time a prospective client told you your approach to winning their business was “different”?  


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.


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