In one of the classic scenes of the 70s sitcom “Happy Days,” Richie Cunningham is on a dating dry spell and his self-confidence is hovering at an all-time low. He enlists his pal and womanizer Fonzie for help to jump-start his love life but to no avail. When Fonzie instructs him to approach a pretty girl in a booth at the local greasy spoon, he responds with an opening line of “You don’t want to go out with me do you?”
Some folks are simply not salespeople – whether selling themselves or services. Throughout my career I have met more than a few of what I would call “platinum-level” salespeople. During a brief job tenure at a health club chain many years ago, the head of sales was a sultry, turquoise-eyed redhead named Joan, who literally could market a lifetime membership to the folks starring in the reality show “my 600-pound life.”
With a husky voice reminiscent of a prime Lauren Bacall and the body of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, she had most drooling male members signing on the dotted line within minutes. And truth be told, she was equally effective with potential female members as well. It was no surprise she easily led the company in sales year after year.
Ditto for a salesman at a local car dealership. While my wife and I waited “on deck” to be waited on, I watched as he not only closed a deal in minutes but got a young couple to agree to every conceivable upgrade that model could offer. The dealership manager later confided to us that the man sold 267 vehicles the prior year, which comes out to 1 sale every 1.4 days.
Sadly, salesmanship is not a skill that most CPAs possess.