Sunday, August 27, 2006

Make the Sale--Then Zip the Lip

During my five years as Vice President for Development of Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina, I became acquainted with Joe Pinner, who was a beloved TV personality with Columbia's WIS-TV. Joe served as a charter member of the college's Board of Visitors, and we established a lasting friendship.

Not only did Joe maintain a long,distinguished media career--with the same station, which is unique in his business--he used his regional fame to support many humanitarian causes. His honors and volunteer record gave him great credibility among his viewers and other admirers.

As I said, Joe and I have kept in touch. In response to my recent blog about sales expert George Harned of Office Depot, Joe shared this gem from his experience:

I have mentioned to you about the time as WIS-TV's Mr. Knozit, Walt Disney World had invited me to Florida to be their guest for what I recall was their 10th Anniversary. I presented my case to the General Sales Manager asking for the permission I doubted would come, as the station usually did not allow such things. I must have been initially convincing about my going by suggesting taping segments for my children's show because when I finished, he simply said "O.K, sounds good"!

Taken aback, I then began to embellish what I could do while on this free junket when he abruptly interrupted me and quietly said, "You would NEVER be a good salesman!" Well, as you can imagine, my enthusiasm was immediately quelled and I rather meekly asked why and he simply said "If you keep going on talking , you might just talk yourself out of going. When I said 'O.K., sounds good', you should have said 'thank you very much' , turned on your heels and left! The same thing goes when a client signs the contract, say 'thank you very much' , turn on your heels and get the hell outta there!"

You're right, Joe. When you have made the sale, zip your lip.

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