Youre Hired... I Think
I'm not a fan of "The Donald" and I had never seen his hit show until last week. Bernadette, my wife, seems hooked on "The Apprentice" and makes a habit of watching every Thursday while I usually go off to our den to read a book. Each week, she encourages me to watch - and each week I decline. I keep telling her she is probably the only person over 35 to be interested in his show. "Oh, I think you'd be surprised," she tells me.
Last week I referred to the Runaway Bride in my newsletter and told Bernadette I was amazed at the responses I got from readers. "Why don't you write about The Apprentice," she asks. "You'll be amazed at all the selling insights you can cull from each episode. See what kind of response you get."
So, reluctantly I watched the show. However, while I watched, it was through the lens of the sales trainer that I am. When I conduct a Sales Training Seminar, I often ask salespeople and sales managers to name their most important tool - one they rely on every selling day. Surgeons have a scalpel, sculptors their hands, cooks their favorite knives: "What is the ultimate selling tool you rely on," I ask them? They never get the right answer. I hear: palm pilot, cell phone, support staff, products, yada yada yada, etc.
However, the most important tool for the sales professional is"words." It is the "words" you use that sets you apart from others and determines your level of success. So as I watched Tana - the street smart one - and Kendra - the book smart one, I listened to their words. Both Tana and Kendra claim to have sales backgrounds so they should be savvy in the use of words.
Here's a sampling of what I heard.
Tana: I have the Three Stooges working for me
I can't count on these people
I won't hesitate to get rid of these people
How can I depend on three idiots
I've f------ had it
There was no love on this project
I did this on my own
I want to punch somebody
I have a bunch of knuckleheads on my team
I can run with the wolves
Kendra: Don't be sorry - just make it good
My team worked harder for me than they did for their own
Pleasing the sponsors was our number one priority
I want to inspire people to action
I'm so proud of everybody
We did it as a team
Bye you guys (hugs)
We had our differences in the past, but I can't
remember what they were
These people believed in me
I don't need Caroline and George to help me decide who to hire. Tana had a brochure that wasn't ready on time and when it was ready it was discovered that it hadn't been proofread! Poor Governor George Pataki didn't have an American flag to carry in the parade of flags, but Tana did offer him a donut and coffee; and the entire event did not start on time. She wouldn't get my vote.
I hate to do it, but I guess I'm going to have to tune in this week to see if "The Donald" agrees with me. I know what words he'll use: To one he'll say "Your fired," and of course to the other he'll say "Your hired."
In sales, I believe, if you listen to their (The customers') words they'll buy from you. If after you listen to their words and you deliver a presentation based on what they told you (Their words) - they will buy even more from you.
When you come right down to it, you have a choice between using the right words and the wrong words. Sure everyone I talk to thinks they're doing okay in this department. If you'd like to be as sure as the rising sun, that you don't sound pathetic, you might want to listen to my new CD, "How To Avoid Sounding Pathetic During A Sales Call," - 33 phrases that you should immediately banish from your vocabulary.
As broadcaster Bill O'Reilly likes to say, "So what say you? Who would you hire?"
Now go out and take care of business . . .
Guru No-Brainer Selling Skills