A small balding salesman stormed into a local bar and demanded, "Gimme a double of the strongest whiskey you got! I'm so mad I can't even see straight!" The bartender, noticing that the little salesman is a bit the worse for wear, pours him a DOUBLE.
The salesman swilled down the drink and demanded, "Gimme another ONE!"
bartender pours the drink, but said, "Now, before I give you this, why
don't you let off a little steam and tell me WHY you're so upset?"
the salesman begins his tale: "Well, I am a salesman for this company that makes fancy goose down pillows. I got an order and took several samples to an apartment in this
neighborhood. I knock on the door and this woman opens the door. Now,
the lady can't make up her mind, so she asks me to take the samples to
the bedroom and check them there. As I get into the bedroom I hear some
keys jingling, and SOMEONE starts fumbling with the door."
the woman says, "Oh no! It's my BOYFRIEND! He must have lost his
WRESTLING match today. He's gonna be REAL MAD! He won't believe that you
are just a salesman. Quick, HIDE!"
"So, I opened at the CLOSET,
but I figured that was probably the FIRST place he would look, so I
didn't hide there. Then I looked under the bed, but no, I figured he's
bound to look there, too. By now I could hear the key in the lock. I
noticed the window was open, so I climbed out and was hanging there by
my FINGERS praying that the guy WOULDN'T see me."
The bartender says "Well I can see how you might be a BIT FRUSTRATED at this point."
"Well, yeah, but I hear the guy finally get the door open and he yells out, 'Tell me, who you been seeing now?'"
girl said, 'Nobody, honey, now have a glass of water and calm down.'
Well the guy starts TEARING up the room. I hear him tear the door off
the closet and throw it across the room. I'm thinking, 'Boy, I'm glad I
didn't hide in there.' Then I hear him lift up the bed and throw it
across the room. Good thing I didn't hide under there either."
I heard him say, 'What's that over there by the WINDOW?' I think 'Oh
boy, I'm dead meat now!' But the woman by now is trying real hard to
distract him and convince him to stop looking."
"Well, I hear the
guy go into the bathroom, and I hear water running for a long time, and
I figure maybe he's gonna take a bath or something, when all of a
sudden the guy pours a pitcher of scalding HOT WATER out of the window
right on top of my head! I mean look at this! I got second degree burns
all over my scalp and shoulders!"
The bartender said, "Oh man, that would have made me real mad for SURE."
the salesman replied, "that didn't really BOTHER me. Next the guy
starts slamming the window shut over and over on my hands. I mean, look
at my fingers. They're such a bloody mess, I can hardly hold onto this
The bartender looks at the guy's hands and agreed, "Yeah, buddy, I can understand why you are so UPSET."
"No, that WASN'T what really made me upset."
The bartender then asked in exasperation, "Well, then, what DID finally make you mad?"
"Well, I was hanging there for hours, and I turned around and looked down, and I WAS ONLY ABOUT 6 INCHES OFF THE GROUND!"
Moral of the story. True sales professionals know that in order to succeed in business, they must always know how much margin they have to work with. Not knowing exactly how low you can safely go, when dropping prices, can cause either your margins to take a beating or your ability to negotiate with customers, to become all wet. Don't leave yourself hanging. Always know your costs.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius