By Chuck Cusumano and Jillian Broaddus
Great leaders learn from great leaders, and great salespeople learn from great salespeople! I firmly believe in keeping a stocked bookshelf, filled with words of wisdom from those who have walked the same path before us. A few of my favorite sales books include “Selling 101” by Zig Ziglar, “Little Red Book of Selling” by Jeremy Gitomer, and “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino. However, I believe the greatest sales book ever written is an arrangement of only 50 words, written by the one and only Dr. Seuss.
Don’t believe me? Here are the best sales lessons you can learn from Green Eggs and Ham:
Start with a Personal Introduction: Your introduction may not be quite as original as Sam’s – perched on his dog’s back in a red top hat! – but you can learn from his straightforward and personal approach.
Don’t Give Up: Sam had many opportunities to give up and walk away, just as any salesperson does. In fact, Sam is told 67 times that his sales target “does not like green eggs and ham.” The key here is persistence and follow-through!
It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: If you never ask, you’ll never know! Sam asks his unnamed target – we’ll call “IT” – 16 times, and eventually finds the answer he is hoping for.
Communication is Key: Approximately 70 to 90% of information conveyed from one person to another comes in the form of non-verbal communication. When Sam is selling to IT, you will notice that he is always facing him, always smiling, and always reacting with an aptly shocked facial expression when denied. Make sure that what you are feeling is what you are saying in a non-verbal way!
Build Value: With each “no,” Sam introduced new methods, aspects, and ideas that could enhance the deal. He never tried to get IT to change his mind, challenge his answer, or question his reasoning; He never asked, “Why won’t you try them in a house?!” Rather, he offered new information to help IT make a new decision.
Have the Right Motive: There is no mention of “buying,” money, or commission. Sam merely wants IT to try the dish because he knows he will enjoy the meal. The best motives are at the hearts of the best salespeople.
Be Positive: Either Sam’s upbeat demeanor or IT’s negative attitude was going to rub off on the other eventually. Make sure your positivity is the one that always wins the day!
There you have it – sixty-two pages of pure sales ingenuity!