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David Squires

Chemical Help For Your Sales Slump

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THE COMPETITION will scream, and the purists will grumble. But if your batting average is down and you’re no longer hitting home runs on the sales floor, these newly developed top-secret phramaceutical products will turn your weakest staffer into an artifically-enhanced sales superstar. Remember: nice guys finish last … and drive 1974 Ford Pintos.

SYMPATH-EYES

WHAT IS IT: Emotion-enhancing contact lenses.
WORKS AGAINST: Lack of empathy/romance defecit.
YOU NEED IT IF … Teenaged customers asking for “friendship rings” make you laugh uncontrollably; a man celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary suddenly decides, after meeting you, that a Cuisinart is a better gift than jewelry.
NATURAL ALTERNATIVE: Onions

THE BUY DETECTOR

WHAT IS IT: Context-sensitive hearing aid.
WORKS AGAINST: Situational deafness blocking obvious buying signals.
YOU NEED IT IF … A customer says, “Wow, I can’t wait until my hubby sees me in this diamond necklace!” and you answer: “Yes … and we’ve got some other very nice designs here in our costume-jewelry department.”
NATURAL ALTERNATIVE: A whack in the head from your boss.

SELLUM

WHAT IS IT: Sales-boosting multi-vitamin.
WORKS AGAINST: General lethargy on the sales floor.
YOU NEED IT IF … You’ve had more than two absences in the last month; asking for add-on sales “just doesn’t seem worth it”; and when asked about phoning customers, you answer “Hey, if they need jewelry, they know where to find me.”
NATURAL ALTERNATIVE: A large credit card payment falling due.

SLO-GO!

WHAT IS IT: Performance-enhancing liquid herbal supplement.
WORKS AGAINST: Premature ejaculation (of the verbal variety).
YOU NEED IT IF … Someone comes into the store and says, “I’m looking for a really gorgeous brooch or necklace to wear to the big country-club dance next month”, and you can’t help blurting out, “Will that be cash or charge?”
NATURAL ALTERNATIVE: Think of baseball scores.

AURA

WHAT IS IT: Confidence-lifting body spray.
WORKS AGAINST: Poor attitude resulting from sales slumps.
YOU NEED IT IF … Your best current prospect is the relative of a recently deceased Nigerian cabinet minister who contacted you yesterday via email; your boss suggests that you might benefit from some sales training — adding that McDonald’s has a great program.
NATURAL ALTERNATIVE: Ask family members if they could use some jewelry.

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MORE SALES-BOOSTERS

Here are some other new sales-boosting products to keep your eyes open for:

CLOSES UP

Timed-release tooth paste contains pockets of “sweet air” — yes, actual nitrous oxide just like the dentists use. Just get real close and exhale while you make your final sales pitch. Result: easy sales to woozily happy customers.

THICK SKIN

Suit of objection-proof head-to-toe Kevlar body armor for the salesperson who’s terrified of rejection. Available in bone, mauve, and Belvedere Cream.

GINGKO BALBOA

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Newly discovered herb discovered to be effective at erasing all residual dialogue from Rocky movies — e.g. “Cut me, Mick, cut me” — from the memories of male salespeople. Newly available memory space allows staff to retain additional product features and benefits, not to mention the complete text of the Spring 2007 through Winter 2011 editions of Gems + Gemology.

THE SMILER

Adjustable dental prosthetic for salespeople who just can’t bring themselves to put on a happy face. Select expressions ranging from bemused to gleeful to Jack Nicholson in the original Batman.

This article originally appeared in INSTORE in August 2004.

David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.

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