Andris A. Zoltners
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Sales Management Courses
A shepherd was herding his flocks in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand new Jeep Cherokee advanced out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and a YSL tie leaned out of the window and asked our shepherd: "If I can tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?" The shepherd looks at the yuppie, then at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answers "sure!" The yuppie parks the car, whips out his notebook, connects it to a cell phone, surfs to a NASA page on the Internet where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system, scans the area, opens up a database and some 60 Excel spreadsheets with complex formulas.
Finally, he prints out a 150 page report on his hi-tech miniaturized printer, turns around to the shepherd and says: "you have here exactly 1,586 sheep!" "That is correct, take one of the sheep" says the shepherd. He watches the young man select an animal and bundle it in his Cherokee.
Then the shepherd says: "If I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me my sheep back?" "Okay, why not!" answers the young man. "You are a consultant" says the shepherd.
"That is correct" says the yuppie. "How did you guess that?" "Easy" answers the shepherd. "You turn up here although nobody called you, you want to be paid for the answer to a question I already knew the solution of, and you don't know anything about my business because you took my dog."
I was in the airport VIP lounge en route to Seattle a couple of weeks ago. While in there, I noticed Bill Gates sitting comfortably in the corner, enjoying a drink.
I was meeting a very important client who was also flying to Seattle, but she was running a little bit late.
Well, being a straightforward kind of guy, I approached the Microsoft chairman, introduced myself, and said, "Mr. Gates, I wonder if you would do me a favor."
"I'm sitting right over there," pointing to my seat at the bar, "and I'm waiting on a very important client. Would you be so kind when she arrives as to come walk by and just say, 'Hi Ray'?"
I shook his hand and thanked him and went back to my seat.
About ten minutes later my client showed up. We ordered a drink and started to talk business.
A couple of minutes later I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was Bill Gates.
"Hi Ray," he said.
I replied, "Screw off Gates, I'm in a meeting."
Private Jones was assigned to the Army induction center, where he was to advise new recruits about their government benefits, especially their Serviceman's Group Life Insurance (SGLI). It wasn't long before the center's Lieutenant noticed that Private Jones had almost a 100% record for insurance sales, which had never happened before. Rather than ask about this, the Lt. stood in the back of the room and listened to Jones's sales pitch.
Jones explained the basics of the SGLI to the new recruits, and then said, "If you have SGLI and go into battle and are killed, the government has to pay $200,000 to your beneficiaries. If you don't have SGLI, and you go into battle and get killed, the government has to pay only a maximum of $6,000." "Now," he concluded, "which bunch do you think they are going to send into battle first?"
An Irishman moves into a tiny village in County Kerry, walks into the pub and promptly orders three beers. The bartender raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three beers, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone. An hour later, the man has finished the three beers and orders three more.
This happens yet again. The next evening the man again orders and drinks three beers at a time, several times. Soon the entire town is whispering about the "Man Who Orders Three Beers." Finally, a week later, the bartender broaches the subject on behalf of the town. "I don't mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers?" "Tis odd, isn't it?" the man replies. "You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond."
The bartender and the whole town were pleased with this answer, and soon the "Man Who Orders Three Beers" became a local celebrity and source of pride to the village, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink. Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. The bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the rest of the evening; he orders only two beers. The word flies around town. Prayers are offered for the soul of one of the brothers.
The next day, the bartender says to the man, "Folks, around here, me first of all, want of offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know, the two beers and all."
The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, and "You'll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. It's just that I, meself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent."
A lady went to her priest one day and told him, "Father, I have a problem. I have two female parrots, but they only know how to say one thing."
"What do they say?" the priest inquired.
"They say, 'Hi, we're in sales? Do you want to have some fun?'"
"That's obscene!" the priest exclaimed. Then he thought for a moment. "You know," he said, "I may have a solution to your problem. I have two male talking parrots whom I have taught to pray and read the Bible. Bring your two parrots over to my house, and we'll put them in the cage with Francis and Job. My parrots can teach your parrots to praise and worship, and your parrots are sure to stop saying 'that' phrase in no time."
"Thank you," the woman responded, "this may very well be the solution."
The next day she brought her female parrots to the priest's house. As he ushered her in, she saw that his two male parrots were inside their cage, holding rosary beads and praying. Impressed, she walked over and placed her parrots in with them. After a few minutes, the female parrots cried out in unison: "Hi, we're in sales. Do you want to have some fun?"
There was stunned silence. Finally, one male parrot looked over at the other male parrot and exclaimed, "Put the beads away, Francis, our prayers have been answered!"
Sales manager addressing an under performing sales force at the start of a new month:
Hunters vs. Farmers: