Something about Mary

Written by  on May 27, 2004 

Ah ha, so there is something about Mary

Now Mary is a person I know (not her real name, but you know how it goes) May is a high powered executive and she likes everyone to know it. In actual fact she is a sales rep doing it tough in a male oriented environment. Now she does well because she is skilled at her job and she backs herself when she’s “on the job” Big sales mean big money and she has it all but put her in her “after work” environment and she is a different person. She can’t even go out because she is embarrassed to be seen. I coach her on her business activities. Man, she is good, sell sand to the Arabs or ice to the Eskimos… and she can do it with both hands tied behind her back.

Today, as I drove down from Sydney to Canberra, a three hour drive, she rang and wanted to have a conversation around the subject of emotion and how to “stop” being emotional. Now this was new to me, up to now it had been all business and creating the close. Emotion was something that was taboo as far as her coaching was concerned. She spilled the beans on her life and had a desire to be like Matt, who had his whole life together, was calm confident and in control

Now this was of interest for me as I had just finished a conversation with another rep, Matt, who I also coach from the same company who wishes to base his whole career and life around Mary and her success. He views her life as perfect. She is so together and her skills are complete and she has a fantastic life outside work. Now Matt is the eternal bachelor (as he calls himself) His life is a mess, so he tells me, and his debts outweigh his assets.

Huh? What? Now wait a minute… Two people, two ideas about the other and both are completely at odds with each other. Yet they want to be just like the other person. You see, how we look at others is always is never quite the truth as it isn’t us that is living that life. Here we have two people who are wishing to be like the other and yet each of them feels that their own life is a mess.

Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Mate

I actually arrived in Canberra about 2pm after 2 and a half uneventful hours and one very eventful half hour. Canberra is suffering from a few years of drought. A couple of years ago, 500 houses were lost in bush fires that ravaged the city. They are still rebuilding the areas burnt out. Now bush fires are a common occurrence in Australia. As I drove down here, smoke was covering the highway from a bushfire just 100 meters off.

Now the Sydney to Canberra highway is a divided road, two lanes in each direction. Put the car on cruise control and let her rip. As I hit the smoke, I caught sight of a kangaroo bouncing along the edge of the road. Now this guy was about 5 foot sitting on his back legs (for those of you who don’t know, that’s a pretty big fella) As I emerged from the smoke, the ‘roo decided that it would be safer to cross over than to carry on his merry way down the side of the road. Kangaroos aren’t known to frequent the highway in the middle of the day but the smoke and fire must have confused this one. So from sitting on cruise control at about 110 kph (60 mph) I hit the brakes only to have the ‘roo stop, turn to face me and I watched the eyeballs get closer as I screeched to a halt. We both sat looking at each other for what seemed like an eternity until the next car came flying past

He nonchalantly waltzed off to the side of the road and disappeared into the bush.

I still haven’t decided who won the game of chicken but I could have sworn there was a quiet little snigger from the roo as he hopped away.

Selling verses Solving

I am up in Canberra as part of the work we do in schools and a couple of universities up this way. Over dinner a couple of the coaches that work for us were discussing the necessity to close the sale and what was a good sales pitch.

It is my belief that if you have to resort to a sales pitch, you are missing the vital ingredient in people, and that is that they want someone to relate to them. If they go into a hardware store, they aren’t going in to buy a drill, they are wanting to have their problem solved. The problem, in this case, is they require a hole in a wall to fit a picture hook so they can hang a picture. If you can solve this for them, they will buy.

Think about the things you have bought that haven’t solved your problem and the things that have. What did you think of the help you received? People want to be understood and part of a sale is understanding and solving, whatever you sell.

Cheers…. Bill

Bill is a Business Coach. Working with Individuals, Businesses and Organisations to create better environments and to develop and enhance business ”potential”, into successful business practices.

Sydney, Australia

Ph +61 413 949 521

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