What is a “crocodile rep”? Or if you prefer your jargon more Floridian-stroke-Amazonian, then your ‘alligator’ or ‘caiman’ salesperson’? Simple;
Big Mouth, Small Ears
We’re all painfully familiar with the stereotyped bad name sellers have. Earlier this year, a chief exec was describing one of his salespeople to me and this phrase was uttered;
You’ve got two ears and one mouth.
And you should use them in that proportion.
It’s a well-known gripe.
I got thinking, which animal would be at the other end of the scale? One with huge ears and a tiny mouth? A quick surf introduced the delightful jerboa;
Other, more widespread, cute options are available. Ironically, the rabbit would be a contender, but where I grew up, to be called a rabbiter meant you never shut up!
Images like these could make a workshop cover slide for your next internal meetup. Ask your team to pick their favourite questions. Ones most likely to get the prospect happily nattering away.
Anyway, if you feel yourself being more croc than jerboa, take a step back, and just ask an open question. Then be quiet. “Where you guys headed?” can be a decent informal start.