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Dan P Seidman

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Three Ring Circus Disaster
By Dan P Seidman
Saturday, October 26, 2002

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(excerpt from "The Death of 20th Century Selling"
by Dan Seidman, page 125)

Scott is the ringmaster of this disaster:

My associate and I are about to do a demonstration and sales presentation of our data and information technology services to a retail client in August.

It's hot, and we're about 45 minutes early to their building, so we decide to get something to drink at the closest convenience store.

We spot a store and I buy a super large cherry frozen drink thing and my partner does the same, only a lime flavored one.

We drive back to the prospect's building and sit in the visitor's spot, mentally preparing and drinking frozen pop.

When we're ready to go I look over and his mouth, lips and tongue are BRIGHT GREEN - I mean really bright, like a clown.

Mine, of course were GLOWING RED.

We couldn't wash it off, wipe it off or anything, so we went into the sales call looking like a couple of circus clowns.

People actually laughed when we went in - we were never asked back.

POSTMORTEM: Obviously thinking more carefully about one's actions just before a sales call is important. The psychological reason a call like this fails is that you cannot gain rapport with a prospect if he or she cannot 'relate' to you as a circus creature.

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