Introduction to Relationship Selling
ebook ∣ Reaching the Top One Percent of Your Field
By Jim Cathcart
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The year was 1969, the place was Little Rock, Arkansas. I was a 22-year old salesman still wet behind the ears with no prior experience or training. It was the end of the month and our motorcycle dealership could earn a special bonus award if we would just sell a few more bikes before the end of the business day. An acquaintance of mine who wanted to get back into motorcycling came in after work and test rode one of our best models. It was a Suzuki T120 dual-purpose bike, one good for off road as well as street riding. We had a special reduced price on that model that was only in effect until the end of that day. He was in a position to buy it and the product suited his needs. I was the salesman, but I wasn’t selling. In fact, I was pushing! Without knowing any other way, I pressured and cajoled the prospect until he finally left in frustration. Upon reflection I realize that my selling style was not only too pushy, but it also made me appear too desperate to make the sale. What I saw as a "sense of urgency" was seen by the prospective buyer as a desperate attempt to get the sale now. But, the real problem was not my pushiness; my pushiness was a symptom of the underlying problem: my mindset. I was focused on selling the motorcycle, not on helping the customer decide to buy.