“It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish” – Lyrics from Dorothy Fields in Seesaw
A stockbroker called me recently, based on a lead he had. I sell for a living, too, so I have empathy for others who sell. In no time flat, however, this young man exhausted whatever goodwill existed.
“Are you familiar with Apple?”, he asked. I was tempted to ask, “The fruit?”. He went on to explain that a company he was touting was a potential Apple supplier. “Let’s start small. Say 1,000 shares.” When I didn’t immediately shout, “Sold!”, he asked, in so many words, if that was too rich for my blood. He then went on to explain that he, not I, would be the one at risk. “How so?”, I inquired (although having been through this drill countless times, I knew the answer). “Well, if I don’t make money for you, you will drop me as your broker. I’ll lose your account. You see, I will be taking the risk of losing you as a client”
Why, you ask, did I not hang up at this point? Maybe I just wanted a diversion from some headache-inducing work.
Sensing he was losing me, the broker went on to explain that he had years of experience in “the market”. “How many?”, I asked. “Seven”, was his reply. He then burnished his credentials by telling me that he was 27 years old, “clean-cut and good looking”. Suppressing an urge to laugh, I explained to him that while he had 7 years of selling experience, I had nearly 40 more years of selling experience than he.
I suggested that my 23 year-old daughter Orly, also in sales, has a better manner of dealing with potential clients than he was displaying. Perhaps he should rethink his approach.
Did he feel rebuffed? Apparently not, for he responded, “You will buy from me!”.
And then it was back to the headache-inducing work, as I gently placed the phone back in its cradle.