What Do You Sell?


This pic is where I had a tremendous haircut, deep in Singapore’s Chinatown earlier this year.

The other day I went to an old-school South African barbers.

Strangely, both cost exactly the same. Dry cut short back and sides, US$4.

After the usual inane starters about the weather (a glorious Spring day) he asked me what I did for a living. I typically avoid this kind of nonsense. “I tell people how to run their businesses,” I deflected with a smile, “and some of them even listen“. But he persisted. His next line was;

What do you sell?

I was quite taken with this.

I have a drawer of stock responses. In part inspired by the wisdom of Simon Sinek and his Golden Circle.

The vibe I like to lead with (when in proper networking mode at this time) talks of

What gets me bounding out of bed
Is changing the world step by step
To help salespeople
And their customers
Around the new products they so often push
Yet which are so often misunderstood
So that both can prosper

As a sidenote, if you were a master networker, you’d likely add at the end something like, “…and I’m looking to meet people that have just launched or are about to launch a key new product…” and for the Americans, you can finish with, “…and might want to know how to up the chances of success from the dire 10% industry norm.”

I regularly ask solution salespeople what they sell.

Try it yourself. Ask a colleague to tell you about a recent, or brand new, product.

In my experience, you nearly always get subjected to mere waffle.

So here’s a hint.

Make sure you mention the problem you resolve.

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