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The pitch…

July marked the 50 year anniversary of the Apollo 11 flight to the moon. Do you remember who the salesman was?  You to remember his sales pitch?

Abraham Lincoln; Vince Lombardi; Lee Iacocca – what were these men selling?  How about these women – Clara Barton and Mother Theresa?

They weren’t sales people you say?

Nothing happens until someone sells something. 

Henry Ford

I too believe whatever the idea; the product; the service; the vision; the cause… well, this excerpt has a better sales pitch than mine:

“The Noble Art”

Salespeople Are the Knights of Business

With permission – by Scott DeGarmo

…noble means pre-eminent and selling is the pre-eminent business skill.  You can have every other element in place, but without sales you have nothing.  A Dun & Bradstreet study of the cause of business failure puts “inadequate sales” at the top of the list.

     Noble also means “of the nobility”, and salespeople are the knights of business.  While their colleagues skulk about the castle, salesmen and saleswomen get out there and make results happen in the real world.

    Like the noble knight, the salesperson has a mission, a crusade.  Belief in his product is his creed.  He knows it can work miracles for his customers.  He venerates his mission, aware that the more he learns about what he is selling, the more he can believe in it – and the more he believes in it, the more convincing he will be.  Not only does he collect great sales stories, he learns the best way to tell them…

     One who is noble is above petty concerns.  Salespeople act nobly when they keep their eyes on the goal despite the most ghastly frustrations.  Where mere commoners would react with anger, resentment, or dismay, the noble salesperson has the inner steel to be gracious and the ruthless resolve to remain ever sensitive to the client’s needs.  His concentration doesn’t waver when he is under attack.  Ego never gets in his way.  When necessary, he adroitly sacrifices real or perceived power in order to move the sale forward…

     Whatever is an art is also beyond the ability of another to fully dissect or reduce to a formula.  It smacks of individual virtuosity and creativity.

     It’s best when you don’t actually see the art involved in selling…  The individual actions of a salesperson, taken separately, may appear outwardly unremarkable.  Yet, the unseen talent used to weave together all the countless elements of a sale may be so ingenious as to …

     Scientists use the word “elegant” to describe their experiments, meaning they have no wasted steps.  Selling can be elegant in this sense when it concentrates the energy of the salesperson, when it eliminates needless activity in the selling process.  Salespeople can be brilliant at stitching together a day of phone calls, lunches, presentations, and follow-up letters.  The casual banter that elicits a piece of vital information can be a master stroke.  What a shame when salespeople are badgered and second-guessed by pettifogging managers, who could be much more effective if they encouraged, assisted, and pointed the way.

     A poem we once published had thoughts along the following lines:  A salesperson must have the quickness of an athlete, the fluency of an orator, the flair of an actor, the courage of a warrior, the acumen of a litigator, the insight of a psychiatrist, and the endurance of a saint…

What are we trying to make happen?  What’s our sales pitch to our children; our neighbors; our communities?

GAP

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