A salesman walks into a doctor's office and asks the doctor to inspect his leg. The salesman says, "Here, put your ear to my knee."
The doctor puts his ear to the salesman's knee and hears very faintly, "Come on, can I have five bucks, just five bucks?"
The doctor steps back in horror, and the salesman says, "I know, but
it gets worse. Put your ear to my shin." The doctor puts his ear to the
salesman's shin and hears very faintly, "Come on, can I have ten bucks, just
Once again, the doctor stands up, very perplexed. The salesman then
says, "If that surprises you, put your ear to my ankle." The doctor puts
his ear to the salesman's ankle and hears oh so faintly, "Come on, can I
have twenty bucks, just twenty bucks?"
The doctor then stands up and says, "Well, I can I make just one conclusion. Your leg is broke in three places."
Moral of the story. True sales professionals know that in order to succeed at sales, they need to be able to quickly identify if things are broke quickly. If a prospect is broke, don't waste your time trying to selling them anything, because they can't afford to pay. If things at your company are broken, you need to establish if they can be fixed or not. If they can be fixed, is it worthwhile hanging around? If they can't be fixed, perhaps it's time to move on. And if you're broke, it's time to cut expenses and get a better paying job.
"Human beings will line up for miles to buy a bucket of catastrophes, but don't try selling sunshine and light - you'll go broke." - Chuck Jones