In a recent clearout of ancient files, I could hardly believe my eyes that I still had a couple of mags someone had given me from 1993. Such hoarding would normally be inexcusable, but on this occasion they were part of a box crammed with sales advice I collected from early in my career. This particular publication has long since disappeared from our shelves and as my copies are headed to the recycle plant, here’s a couple of anecdotes saved for posterity that struck me as ‘kinda neat’:
A 90% Close Rate
A schoolgirl managed to sell an incredible 40,000 cookies in a fundraising drive by first outright begging for her target to buy two raffle tickets at $95. After apparently lots of emotional pressure and continual nagging, she relented and said “well, how about buying these cookies for just $2 instead then?” Nine out of ten immediately stumped up the cash.
Plant Hire Increase
A chap selling mechanical diggers was getting nowhere trying to convince people on-site to hire his bright yellow machines. So he changed his audience and went after the surveyors in their offices. Nothing unusual about that, but what he took was radical for their time. He got a load of miniature toy diggers. He found that when he popped a couple on the desk, surveyors would play with them. They’d do things like grab a pile of paper clips and see if the diggers could pick them up. They even made ‘vroom vroom’ noises pushing them around their desks. As a result he got to talk in detail about his product’s capabilities and found that not only did his sales figures rise, but that more technically advanced and higher-charge vehicles were taken.