You’re probably wondering, what do business and sales have to do with Green Eggs and Ham? But yes, Dr. Seuss provided us with a few valuable selling tips in this book that sits on my boys’ bookshelf.
When the road gets bumpy and things look bleak, don’t lose hope.
For those who don’t remember, here’s a quick recap: Basically, there are two main characters. The first character is unnamed and the second is Sam. Throughout the entire book, Sam constantly tries to get the other character to try green eggs and ham. The character refuses to taste the green eggs and ham and insists he won’t like them. That doesn’t deter Sam from trying. Sam offers a whole list of choices, trying to persuade the character to taste the dish. After much persistence, the character finally agrees to taste Sam’s green eggs and ham. A great salesman indeed!
So what did Dr. Seuss teach us about business and sales?
Persistence Pays Off
Sam never gave up. He offered his prospect choice after choice, even though the prospect kept turning down those green eggs and ham. In fact, Sam offered his prospect 14 choices, until he finally closed the sale.
Now, I am not suggesting that you pester your customers and scare them away, but most unsuccessful salespeople give up way too soon in the sales process. We hear a few people say “No,” and all of a sudden we’re psyched out, and we move on to the next opportunity. Yet we’ve merely skimmed the surface of a good (possibly a great) client.
It is your responsibility as an entrepreneur, and therefore sales manager as well, to ask the customer to make a decision. You cannot expect the customer to do the work for you.
Sell With Creativity
Sam was simply selling good old fashioned, boring, green eggs and ham. Yet he sold a STORY. His choices were FUN and FUNNY. In essence, Dr. Seuss sold an EXPERIENCE – he took the ordinary and made it extraordinary. This is crucial in the sales process. Quit thinking, “Please buy my product,” and start thinking how you can creatively market your product. Sell the experience, not the product.
One Must Stay Optimistic in Business
When the road gets bumpy and things look bleak, don’t lose hope. Don’t lose your optimism. Perseverance, resilience and hard work are the backbone of business growth. Dr. Seuss showed us that even when things look dim (when Sam’s prospect wasn’t buying anything he was selling), he didn’t get psyched out. He didn’t lose his mojo. He kept steady. This point isn’t about persistence (as discussed above), this is about attitude. Rejection is our greatest gift if we don’t miss the lesson. We must turn those failures into learning experiences. Then, we go back to the drawing board better positioned for next time. I have failed too many times to count, and I’m still trying and failing all the time, but I don’t lose my spark. I experience the setback, I allow myself to grieve it, and then I move on. I don’t lose my optimism. Just like Sam I Am.
Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for your many business, sales and LIFE lessons. They are timeless.
I’d love to know, has Dr. Seuss taught YOU any life or business lessons?