Lessons in Selling From Dr. Seuss

“I am Sam. Sam I am. Do you like green eggs and ham?  Would you like them here or there?  Would you like them in a box, would you like them with a fox?”

One of my favorite books as a child was the Dr. Seuss tale Green Eggs & Ham.  After all, who doesn’t admire the persistence of the main character “Sam I Am”!   However, it was only after reading the book to my children as an adult that it dawned on me that this story has tremendous relevance to the selling profession.  Ever since then I have made a point to read the story to my retail reps periodically.  Let’s review Dr. Seuss’ secrets to selling success.

Ask For the Order Early and Often:

Sam understands that as soon as you get a buying signal from your customer you need to ask for the order.  In this case the customer say’s that he is not interested, but the fact that he keeps talking about the product (green eggs!) actually shows that he has interest.  Sam knows this and keeps moving forward!

The Selling Begins When the Customer Says “No”

Sam understands that in order to be a true sales professional he needs to uncover and handle the customer’s objection.  If selling was easy we would not need sales people.  Sam continues to seek new ways to show the customer the benefits of his product and comes up with new answers to the objections.

Persistence is Critical to Winning

Take a lesson from Sam and learn the importance of polite persistence. The most successful sales people ask for the sale seven or eight times and don't give up at the first sign of resistance. Research has shown that these individuals consistently earn more than their coworkers and peers.

Use the Alternate Choice Close

Sam consistently offers the prospect a choice when trying to close the sale.  In fact Sam offered this customer fourteen different options before finally closing the sale.  Sam understands that he has a responsibility to help his customer make the right decision….the decision to buy his product.

You have to be Aggressive in Order to Sell Your Slow Movers

 Sam understands that he HAS to sell his green eggs and ham.  If he doesn’t move that product it will spoil and he will be out the money he spent on it.  We all buy a dog of a product from time to time.  If you do not push hard on those slow movers you will ultimately have to take an inventory write down, so sell them now!

Sam is not the Perfect Salesperson

IN reviewing this story with my retail reps I loved talking about Sam’s persistence and his “killer” sales attitude.  But I also make sure to talk about Sam’s challenges.  Specifically, he needed to ask a few questions of the customer.  Perhaps if he had asked three or four questions earlier in the process he might have saved a lot of time.  Sam also failed to accessorize his sale….where was the “Green” orange juice?  Once he got the customer to say “yes” he needed to keep going.  In our business that means when you sell the handset you need to make sure to sell the CLA, case, and extra travel charger.

The Moral of the Story

Winners find a way to win.  Sam was able to find a way to move his product.  He presented it aggressively and effectively.  He asked for the order and was not intimidated by the customer’s objections.  If Sam can do it so can you!

Now it is Your Turn

Coach your team members on the value of persistence in the selling process.  The post-holiday selling season is rife with opportunities for improving your top-line, driving gross margin, and building profits.  Retail Training Services offers engaging and relevant courseware that can help you get a jump on the new year!