Two Words Made Him A Millionaire


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In every sale there’s more money to be made than the seller thinks. And yes, that means you and your deals. Here’s an interesting story which illustrates the point, but before we get into the tale, lets agree every sale is made at a point where buyer and seller agree to contract for a given scope, at an agreed price. And that’s where the opportunity to make more money is hiding.

Sales people who focus only on price, and agree to give the customer whatever she wants, are missing a trick. Agreeing a price and minimising the scope is a legitimate approach to negotiation. And, probably, easier to achieve than a higher price.

Leaving stuff out of the scope sets an opportunity for upselling later, when the customer is locked in and less concerned about price.

OK, so lets get on with the story.

The call came through just as the CEO passed his administrators desk. She’d stepped out for a few minutes, so he picked up the phone.

The caller introduced himself as a marketing consultant with an idea which would double the company’s sales, virtually overnight. He wanted a meeting to sell this idea to the CEO.

The company boss had heard this sort of claim before, from numerous marketing types. He was too busy to waste time on more of the nonsense. He demanded to hear the pitch, there and then, on the phone.

The consultant refused. He wanted to sell the idea, not bid for a future assignment. He suggested a short meeting at which he would give the CEO two words. This short phrase would double the businesses revenue, and would only cost it $1 million.

The idea was laughable of course, but nevertheless intriguing. Where could the harm be in taking a ten minute meeting, grabbing anything new and throwing the guy out? The pair agreed a date and a time.

At the appointed hour the consultant called on the CEO, to find him and his Chief Marketing Officer waiting for him. They wanted to hear the pitch, but they had no intention of paying for the two words.

The consultant explained he didn’t have time to waste. There were other places he could sell the idea. If this company didn’t want to pay, he wasn’t going to play. He would explain the idea only once the CEO and CMO agreed to pay the $1 million fee if they ever used it.

So they did.

He asked them to bring him the standard label for their product. The once which said ‘Wet hair thoroughly, massage into the scalp, and rinse’.

Now was the time to expose his idea. He insisted on written confirmation they would pay up if they used it. They agreed. The price didn’t matter, because they would never use it.

Once the agreement was signed, the consultant pointed to the label and explained they should add the two words to the end of the user instructions.

Those two words were ‘And Repeat’. And they made him a millionaire.

Did this story make you smile, or even think.

If so you’ll enjoy some of our other Sales Manager War Stories – short tales which make big statements about sales and prospects and customers.

And check out our downloadable eBook Succeeding in Sales Management for insight and suggestions on strategies, tactics, processes and tools for getting the most from sales operations.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Reeves
Consultant, author, software entrepreneur, business development professional, aspiring saxophonist, busy publishing insight and ideas. Boomer turned Zoomer - thirty year sales professional with experience selling everything from debt collection to outsourcing and milking machines to mainframes. Blogger at Successful Sales Management. Head cook and bottle washer at Front Office Box.


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