What's Now 86'd?

I came across this American hospitality argot via reports of a 'lost in showbiz' incident. A talkshow host being barred from an NYC restaurant for being the rudest customer they'd ever suffered.

A "tiny cretin of a man" to boot.

After the publicity, a "profuse" apology followed and second chance ensued.

The proprietor announced their decision using this new-to-me term; 86'd.

To "86 a customer" is apparently the local industry term for refusing to serve someone.

In more general service use, the number alone can also indicate that an item is out of stock.

Subsequent searching revealed the origins are thought to be as early-20th Century rhyming slang for 'nix'. A word itself from the English phonetical of the German for 'nothing'; 'nichts'.

Which the online Cambridge dictionary defines nowadays as;

to stop, prevent, or refuse to accept something.

This all led me to realise there's plenty of scope for 86-ing all sorts of nasty elements within our Sales space. Here's a trio for starters.

Perhaps the most prominent entry might just be a customer cull. Not all clients are created equal. And there is on occasion one that drains too much vital energy from your business. Maybe expectations are misaligned, maybe you're being used as political football, maybe they're just plain rude. Whatever the reason, sometimes you are well advised to simply walk away. Where to terminate is to be released.

In some (many?) cases, such a situation can be averted before it occurs. We've all been tempted to take on a deal we know deep down has potential to cause trouble. Whether we're stretching the 'fit', are bedazzled by misplaced kudos or sense post-sale firefighting of inordinate nature is likely. There could even be a singular red flag which needs to become an immutable showstopper. More robust qualification is the key to sustained harmony.

Finally, there's attitudes you may wish to dispel internally. Drag anchors, excuse departments, the status quo. And more besides. To highlight them is to expose them. Alter their perspective. Remove their undue influence.

86 your way to respect, rejuvenation and reward.

Subscribe to Salespodder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.