How to really sell

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Jul 07

Here’s a story on how to really sell via a process of discovering hidden needs and opportunities by getting close to your customer/client.

One of my young salespeople when I was with the Ottawa Senators started his first day on the job by opening the Yellow Pages (in a land before Google). All his colleagues scoffed at this former Brick salesman but by his third year with the team, he was selling over $3 million in Sens suites, signs, sponsorships and earning over $150k for himself
and his famdamily.

He was dogged and persistent. He’d try to sell a client a $150k per year suite but if he had to, he’d sell the client a couple of 6-packs for $650 (times 2). He wouldn’t leave til he had some kind of deal…

But in the following story, this kid outdoes even the Sens salesperson. Read it through to the end to appreciate just how good this he is.

It may not be 100% safe for the office. My apologies…

Fish Hooks…

A young guy from Maine moves to Florida and goes to a big “everything under one roof” department store looking for a job.

The manager says, "Do you have any sales experience?”

The kid says, “Yeah. I was a sporting goods salesman back in Greenville

Well, the boss was unsure, but he liked the kid so he figured he’d give him
a shot, and thus he gave him the job. “You start tomorrow. I’ll come down after we close to see how you did.”

His first day on the job was rough, but he got through it. After the store
was locked up, the boss came down to the sales floor. “How many customers
bought something from you today?”

The kid frowns and looks at his shoes and mutters, “One.”

The boss says, "Just one?!!? What the heck, our sales people average sales to 20 to 30 customers a day. That will have to change, and soon, if you’d like to continue your employment here. We have very strict standards for our sales force here in Florida. One sale a day might have been acceptable in Maine, but you’re not on the pond anymore, son.”

The kid took his beating, but continued to look at the floor, so his manager felt kinda bad for chewing him out on his very first day. He asked (semi-sarcastically), “So, how much was your one sale for?”

The kid looks up at his boss and says, “$101,237.65.”

The boss, astonished, replies, ”$101,237.65?!? What the hell did you sell him?“

The kid says, "Well, first, I sold him some fish hooks. Then I sold
him a new fishing rod to go with the hooks. Then I asked him where he
was going fishing and he said down the coast, so I told him he was going to
need a boat, and some beer so we went down to the boat department, and I
sold him a twin engine Chris Craft. Then he said he didn’t think his Honda
Civic could pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and
sold him a 4×4 Expedition.”

The boss said, “A guy came in here to buy a fish hook and you sold him a
boat and a TRUCK!?”

The kid said, “No, the guy came in here to buy tampons for his wife, and I
said, ‘Dude, your weekend’s shot, you should go fishing.’”

Thanks to Don Bishop of Eganville Ontario for sending this to me.

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD, ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker, Ottawa Senators founder, Real Estate Investment and Business coach 1-613-762-8884


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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.