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Was "Green Eggs & Ham" a Book on Sales?

So, let’s have a little fun with this week’s message and pass it on to those people on the sales side of the business! Most of us have either read Dr. Suess’s “Green Eggs and Ham” (1960) to a child or had it read to us. In some cases—both. I bet you never considered the fact that this book has been used in some circles as a training tool! The following is Delena Kelley’s take on Green Eggs and Ham:

  • Sam creates top of mind awareness. He readily introduces himself and keeps up the repetition of his name. Are you using every opportunity (business card, email, LinkedIn) to repeat you name? Prospects need consistent exposure to feel comfortable with you.

  • The “Grinch” (prospect) has an initial and automatic resistance to Sam (salesperson). “That Sam I am, I do not like that Sam I am.” We buy from people we like. We buy from people who are like us. Note that Sam doesn’t ask for an order until he has made contact three times. It requires more than one call to build a relationship. The prospect’s initial response is natural – defensive. But Sam does not take the objection personally and keeps moving forward.

  • What’s wrong with asking the prospect to sample your product or service? Low commitment – no risk. “Eat them! Eat them! Here they are.” Reminder: make sure you make it easy for the prospect to sample your product or service. Sam had his product with him at all times. And offer a guarantee.

  • Tell your prospect what to do. Make it clear what the next step is, and then make it easy to get started. Sometimes clients just need you to say the word.

  • Give them assurance. “You may like them. You will see.” And we’re talking assurance that your product or service, even you, will deliver. Assurance that it’s the right thing to do. Assurance that they will be better off moving forward. And assurance that they will be missing the benefits of your product of your service if they don’t.

  • Persistence is powerful. Sam asked for the order 14 times, giving the Grinch lots of choices. Each was structured as a qualifying question. Ask yourself, when was the last time you asked 14 times? Finally, “If you will let me be, I will try them!” YES!

  • Who wouldn’t love to have a happy customer? “Thank you! Thank you, Sam I am.” First of all, it reaffirms your belief in your product, service and yourself.

The warm fuzzies. Secondly, you’re pretty much assured of repeat business. And what about those referrals?

  • The word that stops most salespeople cold: rejection. Sam got 13 “no” responses. Interestingly, Sam asked for the order 14 times. It’s all in direct proportion. Maybe he knew going in he was not going to close on the first, second, or third “ask”. He found a way to accept a no, not take it personally, and keep going. After all, how many times have you actually had a prospect say to your face: “I do not like that Sam-I-am (or your name here)”? Now that’s personal.

  • Let’s make a case for enthusiasm and attitude. Sam is pictured 30 times in the book. Of those, he is smiling 24 times. Even when he’s being told “no”, his expression is one of puzzlement and not dejection. He just hasn’t found the right answer yet. So he keeps going.

  • Finally, we have to ask ourselves why the Grinch said “yes”? Did Sam wear him down? Did he build a relationship? Did he arrive at the right solution? Was it something else that wasn’t apparent in the story? I don’t know. And I think in the end, we never know the real reason a client buys. It’s just enough that they do.

There is an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Whether you selling green eggs and ham, or someone on taking a job or a multi-million contract, you must find a way to create value for your prospect and move them through the decision process. Do your people make 14 attempts at doing business with someone? In our articles we talk often about those three little words: in the habit.

At Butler Street, we are seasoned sales professionals who understand the concept of building a system of reinforcing activities creating positive habits to drive growth. We can customize a program for you including consultative selling skills, how to leverage social networking and how to sell to senior executives. As a company, you are only as good as you are represented by your people. Click on the Contact button or give us a call today to start creating positive habits

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