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February 15, 2010


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Larry Wenger

I loved the story Robert; the first time your stuff ever made me laugh. I could probably stand to be a little more unabashedly persistent.

Sylva Leduc, Leadership Strategist

Robert, how I wish we could have seen a video of you with all that goop on your face.

Another great story from a great storyteller. Thx!


Liz Williams

I too ended up with products from the very same stall, Robert! Perhaps we should compare the bags under our eye? ;-) That shopping center is bristling with tiny booths and aggressive salespeople. If the products had actually been made with all-natural ingredients as the salesperson said, I'd still be using them. Instead, I gave them to a neighbor.

I too love being handled by a great salesperson - it's fun to watch them work, even as I'm succumbing. It's true that persistence sells, but only once. It's the match between what the seller says and what the product is or does that brings me back.

Now I give that booth a wide berth and tell my friends to avoid it too.

Geoff Wilson

Robert: Don't feel bad. This can happen to even the most miserley/cynical/astute among us!

Like many others above, I had the same exact same experience with Dead Sea products in a downtown Glasgow shopping arcade in 2008. I ended up buying three skin care products and spending a whopping 75 pounds (somewhere over $150Cdn). Previous to this I don't think I'd spend more than $150 on skin care products in my whole life!

Two of the three products were fantastic. They lasted a long time but I've used them all up now and, annoyingly, can't buy them anywhere in my hometown.

Alyson B. Stanfield

Priceless! I could so feel for you as you were sitting there. I would have been totally sucked into all of the products. Thanks for sharing the experience and making me laugh--while teaching me a lesson.

Susan @ New Niche Finder

Too will probably be a while before I get the picture of you sitting in the middle of shopping mall covered in goop, out of my mind. LOL

Yes persistence, salesmanship but mostly your great use of story got me here commenting.

Dolores Hagen

After I stopped laughing at your story, I had to write and thank you for using a humorous story to teach a lesson. It reminded of how story-telling is such a great marketing tool that engages readers to relate to the writer.

Robert Middleton

Mike, a natural born salesperson is a myth. I am very good at selling and I promise that it was all learned and it took me a long time and I had to get through a lot of stuff to be good at it.

You need to start with the basics. If you ask an Independent Professional what they do, 75% of the time they can't tell you in a way that interests anybody.

Why? I don't know. Perhaps lack of knowledge and laziness. I can teach someone to do this in 90 minutes or less. Then I can teach someone how to answer any question someone can throw at you. Most are hopeless at this as well. It's all stuff you can learn.

An Independent Professional needs to learn different skills than a "goop salesperson" but what I admired about him is that he had learned all of this stuff step-by-step. It may have come naturally, I don't know, but it didn't come automatically.

Cheers, Robert

Mike Dalton

Great story - but unfortunately I think it only helps to reinforce the idea of the natural born sales person. Maybe the sleaziness of sales too :-)

Ruth Dubinsky

I've been gooped.

Her persistence with the Dead Sea stuff was unbelievable. She actually chased after me, till she got ahold of my hands. "See all that dirt? It's really dead skin. I know you're not a dirty person"

I told the woman she should hang this up and start selling Porsches. I bought anyway!

Jim Blanchard

Had the same experience with dead sea salt products and the sales women who had just arrived from Isreal. It does remind me how little we train as sales people. We want to be marketers or business development professionals but not sales people. I was blessed to have been trained by Xerox through PSS which I taught and still use. Thank you for a great reminder


Suzie Price

Love your story telling. Like that you're doing more of this...

This shopping mall experience is prevalent these days - I had a similar one in Atlanta.

They are definitely persistent - which is a good thing, but they use manipulation to get short term sales, preying on a perceived 'weakness' - "What about those bags?"

Or they compliment, "Hey Miss America, come over here and you'll be even more beautiful..."

While I appreciate their willingness to go the extra mile for the sale, it actually turns my stomach because it is manipulation for short term gain.

Yes you have some goop for your wife, but what do you want to bet - you'll avoid their stall (or one's that are similar) in the future. I know I avoid them now.

So while I like the point "be persistent" I don't like the method. Short term gain does not a long term business make. I want to build trust and value, not use fake compliments and smarmy language to win you for a minute.

My thoughts. (Can you tell I can't stand those stall tactics?!)

All the Best, and More!

Gary Slavin-trainer, consultant, author

I fell into the same trap under similar circumstances, but like Lyle, mine was a goop gal. I'd like to know where they get their sales training. They are extremely persistent and always have the right answers for every objection. If I wasn't so frugal I would have left the mall with too much to carry! She was so good I felt guilty for leaving with one bag under my left eye!

Charo Pinilla

Hi Robert
Couldn't stop laughing :-) Yeah I would really benefit myself from a bit more of persistence. Even though I know I have that persistence, but I use it to be persistently scared to sell what I do :-)

Oh, and since I'm a woman, back to my mirror to put some moisturizing cream on...

Thanks for your inspiration

Lyle T. Lachmuth - The Unsticking Coach

I'm more of a sucker for women sales types.

I went into Shoppers Drug Mart to buy some a new cologne to celebrate my divorce ... and walked out with moisturizer and body wash and ... well, you get the picture.

No collagen though.

Mind you, the moisturizer does smell nice and it makes my newly shaved face feel better ... or at least that's what I tell myself.


Adele Howell-Pryce

Wow! I think 90% of salespeople would have been really happy just to have made the first sale - never mind gone for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th product in their range. Thank you for an inspiring lesson in persistance!

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