By Mike Parker
I am not a salesman, I’m a consultant.
One day I walked into a Used Car sales office with a 3 ring binder in my hand and the husky guy behind the desk took one look at me and his face quickly turned sour.
“What are you trying to sell me?” he asked gruffly.
In this situation most business representatives with the latest widget or service would break into a cold sweat and start back pedaling looking for the door, but a smile came to my face.
“I am not a salesman, I’m a consultant.” I replied.
He wasn’t expecting this to be my response; I think he expected me to scurry away like a cockroach when the lights are turned on.
His face changed from the executioner to one of puzzle.
“What’s the difference?” He asked.
“Well I can best explain it by telling you a short story, do you have a minute?” I said.
“Ya, I’d like to hear this.” He smiled.
One day a farmer named Bill decided his old pick-up truck needed to be replaced and the small town that he lived near really did not have many options for him.
So he drove into the big city where he didn’t know his way around.
Getting lost, he pulled onto a Mini Cooper sales lot to get directions, where he was greeted by Tim.
Tim was a nice young man with a true desire to help this gentleman.
Tim listened to Bill as he explained why he was there and what his needs were.
Now if Tim was a salesman he would have been thinking of how he could do what his boss had told him to do…Move some iron, put his butt behind the wheel of a Mini with a hitch and a trailer and send him down the highway.
But Tim is not a salesman, he is a consultant.
Tim pulled out his cell phone and called his friend Mark, who is the sales manager of the Ford Dealer down the road.
Tim asked Bill to wait for just a moment while he went in to talk to his boss, and when he came out he told Bill to follow him.
They drove down to the Ford store where Tim introduced Bill to Mark and then explained what Bill was looking for.
Tim told Bill that Mark will take good care of him and it was a pleasure to meet him but he had to get back to work.
About an hour and a half later Bill stopped by to show Tim his brand new F350 long-bed dually pick-up truck that he bought and to thank him for his kindness.
Mark called Tim to let him know that he had a “bird dog” check waiting for him to pick up and thank him for the help.
About a week later Bill showed up at the lot where he had met Tim, he had a pie for him that his wife Marge had made in gratitude for his kindness and help.
Bill also had his 2 daughters with him, and now they are both driving new Mini Coopers.
“So that’s the difference, I’m not a salesman I’m a consultant.
My name is Mike can I ask you a couple of questions about your business?”
Attitude is everything.
A post script to this story is that gruff sales manager’s name is Jerry and his wife Sue makes a great pie.
OK…Here is my Disclaimer:
This has been a work of fiction…at no time were any pies exchanged.