A tramp walks into a hardware shop and asks the salesman behind the counter for a bottle of Methylated Spirits.
"I'm sorry sir," says the man, "but I can't sell you that."
"Why not?" asks the tramp.
"Because you're going to drink it," replies the salesman.
"No, no, I'm not - I've been doing some painting and need to clean my
brushes," says the tramp.
The salesman looks him up and down, notices his disheveled and generally
dirty appearance and, once again says "I'm sorry, I can't sell you meths,
I think you're going to drink it."
The tramp, clearly hurt by this assumption, starts to plead with the
salesman: "OK, I know I might look a bit on the rough side and I admit
I've had my low times, but I'm pulling myself back up. The Council have just
given me a flat and it was in a bit of a state, so I've started decorating, to
make it a bit more homely. I can't afford to buy new brushes, so I need some
meths to clean the old ones I've got. Please, please, sell me some meths!"
So, feeling sympathetic, the salesman takes down a bottle of meths from the
shelf and hands it to the tramp.
"Oh," he says, "haven't you got a cold one?"
Moral of the story. True sales professionals know that in order to succeed at sales, sometimes you have to turn down business. Why? Because over the long haul, you never want to sell something to someone that will cause them to be less satisfied or less healthy than they were before they started doing business with you. That means as a sales professional, you would never sell something to someone they didn't need, or something that they did not now how to use, or something that you knew in advance would harm them. There is one more thing in your sales career you should never put a price on, and that would be your integrity. Do the right thing, and business will come your way. Take short cuts for quick short term gains, and it will eventually catch up with you.
"A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy."
- John Sawhill