Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sold For A Punchline


FIRESTONE: Few could touch the late Harvey F.Stone when it came to salesmanship. Once when he was touring the West along with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, Ford,
--no mean salesman himself—challenged his ability. Each man would try to sell his product. Edison set the terms: Each man would try to sell his product to a certain wealthy Indian. For an hour, Ford spoke eloquently to the Indian about his car but returned without making a sale, since the Indian had no car and would not waste his money on a car when there were better ways of utilizing the funds. Firestone’s proposal to sell him his tyres seemed futile.
Undaunted, Firestone took the man aside and in a few minutes returned to his friends wearing a broad smile. He had sold the Indian a tyre—to be used as a swing by his son.

LIPTON: On one occasion, tea baron Lipton was on a steamer that went underground. The captain ordered some of the cargo to be jettisoned. While the other passengers hurriedly grabbed their belongings, Lipton spent the time stenciling “Drink Lipton Tea”
on every bale that would float.

BROOKE BOND: Brooke Bond employed a very large number of marine engineers in his tea factories. It was really intriguing why on earth a tea factory needs the services of marine engineers. It was found out that many of the company’s tea factories were located in far off places to which access was difficult. The mechanical engineers working in tea factories located in the city were used to a system where, if something went wrong, they could contact someone for advice and fix the problem.
A marine engineer, however, if some problem came up, could hardly ask someone for help when he was out in the middle of the sea and had to solve everything on his own. So he was the right sort of person to be sent to far off tea factories.

REMINGTON RAND: James Rand of Remington Rand was at the outset of his career, was a salesman for a bank equipment firm. Frank Munsey, the eccentric publisher and financier, was about to open banks in Baltimore and Washington. Rand called upon Munsey to sell him his typewriters and other equipment and the publisher cross-questioned him minutely as to the merits and demerits, desirability and undesirability of all types of equipment. Finally he said “All right, I will give you a letter to my Washington Manager. You can go to him for the order”.
Delighted, Rand took the letter and hastened to Washington. He talked to the Manager and got an order for equipment worth 25,000 dollars. In his zeal, he forgot all about the letter and did not even present it.
Back in New York, several days later, Rand suddenly found the letter in his pocket. Curious, he opened it. Munsey’s instruction to his manager had been “Learn all you can from this man about salesmanship but don’t buy anything from him, if you can help it”

SELLING FANS TO ESKIMOS: There was a braggart salesman who claimed that he could sell ice boxes to the Eskimos. His boss finally took him at his word and sent him to the Arctic with a consignment of electric fans.
The salesman went from igloo to igloo trying to sell the fans and at each place he was confronted by the same reaction: ‘Fans? What do we need a fan for here? It is forty degrees below zero here”
“Yes” said the salesman “but since the weather goes on fluctuating what guarantee is there that it won’t jump to zero tomorrow?”
The fans were immediately sold.

SELLING INSURANCE: A shy young man came to the office of a dynamic Sales Manager. Timidly approaching his desk, he mumbled “You don’t want to take out any insurance, do you?”
“No” was the brusque reply.
“I was afraid not” said the embarrassed visitor, starting back towards the door.
“Wait a minute!” reclaimed the Sales Manager “I have dealt with several salesmen all my life, and you are the worst I have ever seen. As a salesman, you have to inspire confidence and to do that you have got to have the confidence yourself. Just to give you confidence that you can make a sale I will sign for a policy for 10,000 dollars”
Signing the application, the Sales Manager said “What you have to do is to learn some good techniques and use them”
“Oh! But I have” returned the salesman. “I have an approach for almost every type of businessman. The one I just used was my standard approach for Sales Managers”.

SELLING SAUCERS: An American was very fond of collecting antiques. One day he went to a famous curios shop in America where he had picked up valuable collections to his gallery. Browsing around, he saw nothing of interest. When he was about to leave the shop, just at the exit point he saw a cat lapping milk out of a saucer. One glance told him that the saucer was a priceless antique. With the fond hope that the shop owner was unaware of its value, he said to the shopkeeper “That is a nice cat you have there. Would you sell him to me?”
“Well” said the proprietor “I would be willing to sell him for 5 dollars”.
The American paid 5 dollars, put the cat under his arms and added “I will take the saucer along with the cat. Probably the cat is used to drinking from it”
“Oh! No” said the shopkeeper “I can’t give the saucer”.
“Then, I will buy it” said the American
“No, I can’t sell it to you” said the shopkeeper.
“That is ridiculous, sir. Why can’t you sell me the old saucer?” asked the American.
“Because” replied the shopkeeper “From that old saucer I have already sold 139 cats”


ARTICLE NO. 434---Business Acumen and Marketing Strategy
Created: Friday, February 29, 2008 8:39 PM


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