November 2008


The Fisherman’s Parable

@ oldie but goodie indeed.  You may have heard this before or may not have.  Either way, it’s always a great read.  This short story puts our feet back on the ground and puts life in check.  Whether your agency is small or large, domestic or international, urban or rural the message is the same.  Neither am I a big-stage motivational speaker nor have I been invited back to speak to my junior high for that matter.  But this story has a large message to a broad group that brings many things into focus.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.  The Mexican replied only a little while.  The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? 

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.  The American then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time?

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you.  You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat, with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.  Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery.  You would control the product, processing, and distribution.

You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA, and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then, senor?"

The American laughed and said, "That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions, senor?  Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."  -anonymous


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Rainmaker Part 2: Heed the Biggest Buy Signal

If you enjoyed part 1 from Jeffrey Fox’s book, How To Become A Rainmaker, you’ll enjoy part 2 just as much.  Reading "buy signals" from prospects is key to understanding which ‘hot button’ you’ve hit.  Sometimes it’s subtle but other times you have to be listening to their words as well as their body language.  However, the most important "buy signal" is winning the appointment.  So Mr. Fox will take it from here…

 "A "buy signal" is something a customer does that indicates his or her willingness to purchase.  When you ask a group of salespeople to state the biggest (most important) buy signals, they will usually list "the customer smiles," " the customer asks about terms, " "the customer asks technical questions," " the customer says yes," and so on.  These are all important buy signals.  But the biggest buy signal is when the customer agrees to see you.  The biggest buy signal is the sales call appointment. 

Today’s decision makers are usually too busy to see a salesperson unless the customer has a problem.  Busy customers will not see a salesperson to chat, or talk about baseball.  Busy customers are not doing a survey on the latest fashions salespeople are wearing.  If the customer agrees to see you, it is because the customer wants something, needs something, has a problem.  It is our job – the Rainmaker’s job – to find out what that is. 

You find out what the customer wants on a sales call.  When the customer agrees to see you, he or she knows it is a sales call, knows that you are a salesperson.  The customer knows something about your product.  The customer knows something about you competition.  Consequently, the agreement to see you is a setting of the table to do business. 

Rainmakers understand this reality, and it gives them bedrock confidence to make the sale. 

And always show up.  Never blow off a sales call.  Never be late."  – villageChief


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