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Home  > Article

My Cousin Vinnie: The Salesman

By Jim Meisenheimer

It's important for you to be in top physical condition. But that's not what this article is about. This article is about increasing your sales. What kind of "Shape" is your sales presentation in?

Actually, Vinnie isn't my Cousin - but he is a genuine salesman.

I've got a question for you. Are you in shape? Are you in really good shape? If not, why not?

It's important for you to be in top physical condition. But that's not what this article is about. This article is about increasing your sales. What kind of "Shape" is your sales presentation in?

I love to watch salespeople in action. I can't help it. So, when our cruise ship arrived in St. Thomas, I had the opportunity to observe more than a dozen salespeople. Bernadette, my wife, loves to shop. She came prepared with a list of gifts we needed to buy for the upcoming holidays.

I don't remember how many jewelry stores we visited. I do remember, however, one in particular. The store's name is Dazzlers, a duty-free shop, within two blocks of our ship the Golden Princess. Vinnie was our salesman. Here are several observations:

He was friendly.

He was very patient.

He smiled and gestured easily.

He asked good sales questions and kept showing Bernadette different pieces of jewelry.

He took the initiative and walked briskly from display case to display case.

He never asked for permission and he just kept bringing more things for my wife to see, touch, and try on, each time getting closer to what she was looking for.

He called another store and asked them to rush over another piece of jewelry that Bernadette asked about.

He said would take three to five minutes for the piece to be delivered to his store.

Bernadette said, "We'll go for a beer and come back in a half-hour." In what seemed to be "Faster than a speeding bullet" Vinnie reaches under the counter and takes out two ice-cold cans of Coors light.

That was one very smooth move. I told Vinnie the last time I saw a move like that was in 1969.

While stationed in Vietnam, I had the opportunity to take R & R in Hong Kong. I told him, while having two suits made, the tailor opened his bar and offered me a drink.

Vinnie told us his life story including how his father during the 1960s was a tailor in Hong Kong and how he used to serve his customers cocktails while they were waiting. It really is a small world.

Vinnie did a good job and we rewarded him with two sales. His sales presentation was in good shape. What kind of shape is your sales presentation in? Can you recite the Pledge of Allegiance?

Of course you can. Can you recite your favorite poem, psalm, or song? Of course you can, and why is that? It's probably because you know the words. No one ad-libs the words to the "Pledge" or the words to their favorite song. It's unthinkable.

Can you recite how you make sales appointments when using the telephone?

Can you recite your ten best open-ended questions?

Can you recite four benefits of your key products.

Can you recite how you deal with the price objection?

Can you recite how you ask for the business?

There's a huge difference between being prepared and sounding canned - huge! You're more likely to sound canned when you don't prepare, because everyone usually says the same thing in similar situations.

The Gettysburg address was not an improvisation.

The Lord's prayer is not an improvisation.

The Pledge of Allegiance is not an improvisation.

Wouldn't you sound better if your entire sales presentation was not an improvisation?

In the military you often hear "You'd better shape up or ship out."

If you shape up your sales presentation you won't have to worry about shipping out unless of course you decide to book a cruise to St. Thomas.

Give my regards to Vinnie when you see him.

The best way to increase sales is to ask better questions.

About the Author:
Jim Meisenheimer is the former Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Baxter International and is the creator of No-Brainer Sales Training. His sales techniques and selling skills focus on practical ideas that get immediate results.

SalesTrax is a national recruiting company uniting sales people and sales opportunities through career fairs and a sales-specific job board. We specialize in pharmaceutical sales positions but represent many other entry and mid-level sales opportunities as well. Visit for more information.

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