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Sales Leadership and Hot Dogs

First let me state this: I did not write this week's blog.

As sales leaders we have three things we must focus on: The role we play, the strategic side of our job, and the day-to-day tactics. The story below describes what the role of our jobs are -- that is, the culture and motivational aspects of sales leadership. I believe reading it will help every salesperson fight through the tough times and mental challenges we face every day.

Recently, a 22-year-old year man won the U.S. Open. A month ago, he went into the last day leading the Masters and lost. He fought through not only the physical side of his profession but also the mental side. I hope you enjoy "The Man Who Sold Hot Dogs."

There was a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers. But he sold good hot dogs. He put up signs on the highway telling how good they were. He stood by the side of the road and cried, "Buy a hot dog, Mister."

People bought. He increased his meat and roll orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade. He finally got his son home from college to help him out. But then something happened. His son said: "Father, haven't you been listening to the radio? There's a big recession coming on. The Middle East situation is terrible. The domestic situation is worse."

That made his father think: "Well, my son's been to college, he reads the papers, and he listens to the radio, he ought to know."

So the father cut down on his meat and rolls orders, took down his advertising signs and no longer bothered to stand on the highway to sell his good hot dogs. Sales fell fast, almost overnight.

"You're right son," the father said to the boy. "We are certainly in the middle of a great recession. There just isn't any business."

Need we point out the moral? And by the way, this was received in 1974...before e-mail.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on June 27, 2011 at 11:59 AM


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