Bob The Salesman: A Parable

sleazy-salesmanThis is a story about a salesman we’ll call “Bob” (although his real name is Frank). Each morning Bob would get up at the crack of nine to get ready for his day. His morning routine was consistent: brushing his face, combing his teeth, and shaving his hair (Bob was really not much of a morning person).

On his drive to work Bob enjoyed multi-tasking. This meant listening to Howard Stern, eating an Egg McMuffin, sipping a caramel latte, and texting his “girlfriend” (they hadn’t technically spoken since the Reagan administration, but Bob still held out hope, even though she was married these last seven years).

As was his custom during the latter part of the drive, five minutes before arriving at his sales office (promptly at 10:20), Bob would occupy himself with his warm-up routine. This included self-talk (“I might sell a home today; I might sell a home today”) and practicing his best opening lines (“Hi, is this your first time here?”).

At the office, Bob would complete his preparation by reaching into his desk drawer for his most coveted of sales weapons: Brylcream and a gold medallion. With his tresses perfectly slicked back and his medallion regularly tugging on his chest hair, Bob was ready for action.

He strode to his models with his usual cocky swagger, all the while practicing his best closing lines. “What’s it gonna take to get you to buy a home today?” “I’ve got a couple of other buyers on the line, but I like your style.” “This baby’s a beaut – and you two were made for each other!”

He proceeded to unlock his three models, The Larry, The Moe, and The Curly. These were not, of course, the original names as labeled by the Sales and Marketing Director. But Bob always had a special affection for the trio, and besides – the Director hadn’t been out to visit the community since Brett Favre was a rookie; he hardly would have noticed.

While in The Curly, Bob noticed something…different. He couldn’t quite put his finger on what was making him uncomfortable, but something was definitely amiss. Was it the smell? No, that was just yesterday’s re-heated Kung Po chicken. Was it the lighting? No, more than half the light bulbs were working just fine. Was it the music? Certainly not, that was Bob’s usual selection – Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits CD (Volume 1).

But something was unusual this morning. It just felt different. Odd. Not quite right. Spooky, even.

And for some reason that he could not properly figure out, Bob really did not want to go into the family room. Something in his soul said that the source of the trouble was right around that corner. He summoned all his courage as he crept slowly, hugging the wall of the hallway as he made his way to the back of the home.

With one last step he rounded the corner into the family room, and there he saw….

(Dear reader – I can’t decide yet whether I’m going to publish part 2 of this story. If you’d like to know what Bob saw in the family room, please indicate below. If enough people want to read more, we’ll print more. The story is now in your hands.)


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.