The Weirdest Thing That's Ever Happen To Me In Sales


When I was Sales Manager at Arnette I had a really weird sales experience that I want to share with you.

At this point in the process, we were in the early growth period of the company and were only just starting to expand distribution.

I had to go see OPSM, a big optics business my CEO had spoken to and had reached deadlock in negotiations with twice in the past with no business being done.

The woman (let's call her Judy) I was dealing with was about my age (about 26) pretty young and certainly had some pride around the position of power she held as buyer for this big company.

The meeting started well, but then things started to go pear shaped.

Judy asked "are you going to sell to sunglass hut?"

I, a little too eagerly replied "no we don't want to sell to them."

then Judy said "be careful."

I said why?

The conversation then went down this path of hypothetic legal discussion around refusal to supply which was taking us further and further away from the possibility of Judy buying from me.

After about 2 minutes of this...(and this is where it gets weird).

I stop talking and held both my hands up in a "I give up" type gesture (with a look of resignation on my face).

The silence was deafening - you could have heard a pin drop.

I didn't say anything for what seemed like an eternity and then she spoke.

I don't remember what she said but I left the OPSM office that day with a massive order and a new big client that went on to be worth millions of dollars in sales.

So lets look at why she bought.

But to do that, first,  let's look at what she wanted....

1.To be acknowledged for her power and position.

2.To feel that she had control over the situation.

3.To feel that she wasn't being dictated to or spoken down to.

By me throwing my hands in the air my body language was saying "I give up" that was enough to acknowledge that she had some power and control in the situation.

By me not continuing to arguing with her about the legal BS she felt she wasn't being dictated to or talked down.

And ultimately to feel that we were in collaboration in terms of putting our stock in her store she felt like she was in control of the situation.

Probably my one big thing that worked for me was not "taking the bait" and doing the alpha male thing and being determined to be right.


Often a sales situation (or any other type of communication for that matter) can be about so much more than buying a product or service, especially when the person you are dealing with is not the business owner as often happens.


Action Point

Look for these agenda's when you are dealing with decision makers who are not business owners and you are guaranteed to have more success in your sales.

1.To be acknowledged for her power and position.

2.To feel that she had control over the situation.

3.To feel that she wasn't being dictated to.


Take care of yourself and the ones you love.


John Blake


John Blake has been in direct sales for the past 22 years. Over this time John has been a highly successful sales person, sales manager and business owner.

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