A bored salesman spots a fly one day while eating his lunch at his desk at work. For personal entertainment he catches the fly and decides to train it to do a few tricks.
For the next couple of years, and thousands of hours at this desk, he
worked with the insect. The salesman taught the fly to walk across a
miniature high wire, ride a tiny one-wheel bike, balance on a pair of
stilts and sing songs from his favorite musical, Phantom of the Opera.
For motivation, the salesman told the little fly each day, "When you
and I are ready, we're going to tour all the hot nightspots and make a
Finally the day had arrived. The salesman knew that any additional
rehearsals were just a waste of time. The fly was ready! So the
salesman tucked the little fly in his little matchbox home, and he
carefully placed the matchbox in his front pocket. It was off now, to
the first bar and their destiny.
When he got to his first bar, the salesman brought out his trick
fly. On cue the fly started moonwalking, just like in rehearsal. "What
about this fly, eh?" the salesman exclaimed to the bartender.
In one swift motion, the bartender reached his copy of the newspaper, rolled it up and squashed the fly with a mighty swipe.
"Glad you saw it," muttered the bartender. "Blasted things are everywhere!"
Moral of the story. True sales professionals know that they cannot
rely on tricks to improve their presentations. Rather than practicing
tricks, true sales professionals spend their time, setting up the
meeting, working out an agenda agreeable to all attendees, and letting
the prospect know just what sort of presentation they should be
expecting. Put in these sorts of preparations before any presentation
and you won't have to worry about a prospect shooing you towards the
door with a newspaper! Pop a surprise presentation on a prospect these
days and who knows what sort of collateral damage could occur. Just remember, cheap tricks, don't fly!
"Our work is the presentation of our capabilities." - Edward Gibbon