February 5, 2019
How to chase people away, by selling them something
If you've ever been somewhere in public, and are annoyed by someone who wants to talk to you when you don't - I have a magical solution for that: sell them something.
I'm usually a sociable person, but sometimes I really do just want to be left alone, maybe thinking peaceful thoughts staring out of the window of a coffee shop. Or, more commonly with me, at the gym doing my workout. And if someone walks up to me, and won't shut up, I've always had the solution - I try to sell them something.
Back in the '90s, when I first started doing software training, I always carried my cards with me, but they weren't always necessary. I'd listen a bit to them, say, "That's interesting! And would you be interested in starting a new career in computer graphics?" Most of the time these people would suddenly remember an urgent appointment, and leave me in peace. I considered it the best "bore repellent" that I'd ever found. Of course if they were actually interested in learning Adobe software, I had a subject that I did want to discuss with them. And I would continue doing sales, and trial closes until I had either made the sale, or the person had politely said that they weren't interested. And then I could go back to sipping my coffee, and looking out the window.
Now that I've retired my business, I kind of miss the cards. I now carry around cards for my hobby, and it seems to work just as well. As soon as someone hears me mention something like that, and especially if I have a card, they immediately think that I'm trying to sell them something. In a way I am, if they're the correct prospect. Now I mostly say, "follow me on Instagram!"
I always have had something to sell, even if it's just an idea. I'm a good salesperson, which means that I'm tenacious. I will just keep going back and back and back. Either someone buys from me, or they wander off. I don't grab their coattails!
In the gym, my "sales technique" is to get people to help me. I can always use a spot, and if nothing else I like to have people just stand there cheering me on. Why someone would want to be my own personal cheerleader at the gym is beyond me, but people will sometimes do it, mostly because they're bored, and just need to kill some times. For the people who came to the gym to workout, they figure it out pretty quickly, and go back to their workout. If they need a spot from me, of course I'll help, but I don't go to the gym to talk, or to be someone's cheerleader. Sorry.
Sales, and persuasion, is an art form, and I've met some people who are very good at it. I'm always up for more practice, if someone wants to practice with me. I've met some really good people at sales and it's fun to fence a bit with them. They understand! Most people, of course, are just talking, and talking, and talking. I'm always interested in learning something new, but I'm not a very good passive audience, as you can tell.
So find a subject that you're passionate about, and when people start talking, and talking, and talking, sell them on the idea, whatever it is!
Posted by Brad Hall