And The Moral of the Story Is…

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Man holding digital keyIn tribute to the many sales managers, trainers, directors and coaches who are always in need of more creative, effective and memorable ways to relay sales training concepts, I am starting a new series called, “And the Moral of the Story is…”

Start your weekend by looking here every Friday morning at 10:00 am for some entertaining sales stories.  Like “King Kong’s Got Nothing On Me,” from Memories of a Sales Manager, some stories are funny, some are serious, but all have a strong sales message!

If you miss one, not to worry.  You can find them all in the new MTD Blog category, “Sales Stories.”  First up…The Sunday Ham

The Sunday Ham
One Sunday morning, a young mother began preparing the usual big Sunday family dinner as her young daughter looked on.  After unwrapping the huge ham shank, which was star of the show, she promptly placed it on the cutting counter, grabbed a giant meat cleaver and with one powerful, almost vicious swing, hacked off the tip, the triangle edge of the ham.

Startled, the daughter asked, “Mom, why did you do that?!”

The mother confidently replied, “Oh, it’s ok, Honey.  You have to do that because it makes the ham come out better.  It cooks better and tasted yummy!”

“Really?”  The young inquisitive child, asked, “How?  Why does it make the ham taste better?”

After a moment of deep thought, the mother replied, “You know, Sweetie, I’m not really sure.  I learned how to cook the ham from your grandmother, let me call her and ask.”  Moments later with nana on the phone, the mother asked, “Mom, you know when you make the ham and you always chop off that shank tip, why do you do that?”

The grandmother quickly and confidently responded, “Oh, well, it comes out better that way, child, you know that.”

“Yes, I know Mom, but why, how?”

Also puzzled, the grandmother said, “I don’t really know.  I learned how to cook that delicious ham from your grand, let’s ask her.”

Now on the telephone in a three-way mini family conference, the great grandmother, and three generations of family asked the question, “Mom, you know when you used to cook the ham and you would always cut off that corner shank tip?  Why did you do that?”

The great wise grand, now in her nineties, paused and matter-of-factly replied,

“Well, I had to do that…because the ham was always just too darn big to fit in that little pot I had back then.”

And the Moral Of the Story Is…
Just because you have been doing something one way for a long time does not make it right.  Remember that much of what you know about professional selling has been “passed down” from one generation to the next.  Your sales manager learned from his sales manager, who learned from her supervisor and so on.

The problem is not that those tried and true sales techniques of the past no longer work.  The problem is that those prospective buyers of the past no longer exist.  Today’s modern consumer is far more educated, sophisticated and sales savvy than ever before.  They also have a worldwide database of information at their fingertips with the Internet.

Check out my video, “Why the Modern Day Buyer Has Changed,” and if you have not yet done so, download my latest report, “The Sales Person’s Crisis,” below.

The fact is today’s prospective customer has changed from those of the past and your entire selling paradigm must change to keep pace.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 22 July, 2011

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