Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sales Joke of the Day (March 20) The Rat Race.

Visiting New York City for a medical convention, a doctor from the University of Utah was getting tired of the trade show floor and all the salesmen.  So he decided to take the afternoon off to do some shopping.  Wandering into a little antique shop, he came across a curious brass sculpture of a rat and inquired as to the price.

"I have to tell you the truth," said the proprietor.  "I've sold that piece twice and it's been returned twice, so I'll let you have it for four hundred dollars.  It's very old."

The doctor paid and headed out with his purchase in a bag under his arm.  Not much later he noticed the shadowy forms of hundreds of live rats scuttling along in the gutters.  A little while later the rats had swelled in number to several thousand, and it became evident they were following him!  The doctor's astonishment turned to disgust and alarm as the rat pack grew to fill up the whole street, so he picked up speed and headed east.  When the doctor reached the river, he chucked the brass rat right in, and to his considerable relief, the horde of rats followed it to a watery death.

The next morning the doctor was the very first customer in the antique shop.

"No way, buddy, I'm not taking that brass rat back for a third time," said the owner.

"Relax," said the doctor.  "I'm not looking to bring anything back.  Do you by any chance have a brass salesman?"

Moral of the story.  True sales professionals know that at trade shows and conventions you need to stand out from the crowd.  Don't just glad hand and hand out brochures.  Take a genuine interest in everyone that drops by.  Ask questions.  Find out where they're from.  Find out what they were hoping to gain from the show and if there is anything specific they were looking for.  Then simply try to be of assistance, even if what they are looking for has nothing at all to do with your product.   Beware however.   If a pack of sales reps starts to form after the regular show hours and it heads in one direction.   Don't follow!   They could be headed to the river.  Or the local watering hole where they'll just be drowning their sorrows.  Besides, your time is much better spent in the company of prospective clients and current customers.

"The trouble with the rate race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."   - Lily Tomlin