Creative Selling

by RJ on June 25, 2012

Creative Selling



If you were selling small computer systems, copiers, or some other products, you could spend all year in the Empire State Building. There are 102 stories, has its own zip code and is 1467 feet high to the top of the tower.


One of our salesmen did just that, making calls in the Empire State Building, floor by floor. Gerry, a successful salesman for a major computer company systematically called on every company floor by floor looking for potential buyers of a small business computer system. If they were not interested or in the market at this time, Gerry would ask if they knew of anyone else who was looking for such a system. Don’t forget, they may not be in the market today but maybe next time they would remember Gerry when he followed up again. One man told him that a friend of his on the 28th floor was just about to order a similar system for a competitor.


After several unsuccessful attempts to reach the owner of the company, Gerry decided to make a visit and get to meet the receptionist in person. The receptionist told Gerry that the owner was in and could not see him today because he was completely booked up. When Gerry tried to make an appointment for tomorrow the receptionist told him that she had to check with the owner later tonight. When Gerry called the next day, the receptionist told Gerry that he was still quite busy. Gerry did not want this to go on much longer without an appointment fearing that the owner might sign with the other company. He decided to wait in the waiting room until the owner could meet with him even if it was for a few minutes. The receptionist informed the owner that Gerry was going to wait in the waiting room because he had some urgent information for him concerning his upcoming purchase.


If you have not worked in New York City you might have been devastated with the following response from the owner. The owner came out into the reception area and told the receptionist in front of Gerry “Tell the salesman that I am not in and if I was I don’t see salesmen unless I ask them to come in” and started to walk back into his office. Gerry jumped out of his chair and went after the owner before he closed his door to his office. Gerry very quickly said “Saul downstairs told me you are going to buy a small business computer system from my competitor but my system is better, faster, smaller, more reliable, less expensive and we have a technician in the building. Please give me 5 minutes of your time to show you how to get the best buy for your money.” The owner agreed and told Gerry that he will only give him 5 minutes because he had to catch a train to Connecticut.


During Gerry’s presentation the owner was packing up his briefcase and watching the clock. Gerry knew he had to talk fast and to the point. Gerry was prepared because he knew his product and knew just what to say to a VIP. The owner looked down at Gerry’s shirt cuffs and said your competitor had two cufflinks on each French shirt cuff. He asked Gerry if he had ever seen such a shirt. Gerry said no and continued with his presentation, but was interrupted again by the owner who said he had to leave or would miss his train. Gerry offered to walk with him to his train and talk a bit more. The owner agreed and during the walk agreed to see Gerry again tomorrow for a short visit. Gerry thanked him and ran back to the receptionist to get a set time for him to come in. Gerry had an idea as he walked back to his office and stopped in at a local shop. Before the owner’s office opened the next morning Gerry was outside the front door with coffee and bagels for the receptionist and the rest of the staff. When the owner came in he was surprised by Gerry’s promptness and of course the bagels and coffee. The owner invited Gerry back into his office while they ate and talked casually. When Gerry started to present his product he made sure the client noticed his cuffs. The owner burst out laughing when he saw that Gerry had three sets of cuff links. Gerry had the Custom Shirt Shop make him a French cuff shirt with three holes on each cuff. The owner said anyone who would go through that much effort to present his product must be heard. The owner then asked Gerry to come back tomorrow to present his product to his whole staff. Gerry was at the front door again before they opened with not only coffee and bagels but with his best systems expert. The owner agreed that Gerry had the right product for his business and that Gerry was the kind of guy he wanted to do business with for a long time. The owner also introduced Gerry to several others in the building who eventually became clients also.


Sometimes you just have to be creative and never give up. How many times have you walked away and gave up because the customer said no or would not see you. Never give up because you think you lost the sale or the customer was not interested yet.



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