You Can’t Sell Anything UNLESS….

In the early stages of my career I was blessed to work under one of the greatest Sales Men I’ll ever know – Al Frink. He taught me a lot of The first lesson in salesthings, but one of the first lessons was:

“You can’t sell anything unless you are willing to walk away from the table.”

That doesn’t mean you want to walk away, or that you go in with a plan to walk away. You go in with a plan to bring value to your client. You go in with a plan to convince them that your product or service will help them. You go in with a plan to walk out with a sale. But, you must be willing to walk out without one if you are going to be successful.

You see, Al built his company with a tagline that he lived by “Quality without Compromise.” He believed, deeply and passionately, in his product. He would never, ever undervalue it. He was nearly always successful in making believers out of his clients, but if he couldn’t bring them to believe in it he was never willing to compromise price or service to bring them on.

Your customers can sense whether you have the same commitment to the value of your product; they can smell your lack of confidence if it’s there. If you aren’t fully committed to your product they never will be. You must be willing to get up from the table and walk away if they can’t or won’t be convinced of the value of your product. When you are certain of that fact, walk away and move on to someone who is open to all you offer.

  • I learned that lesson early in my former career in showbiz!

    A true story:

    I was young wide-eyed kid is the tv business, working with a pro in what was then the very hot and popular world of television movies.

    He cast an unknown to play the lead in an ABC TV movie, with their approval. She auditioned, got the part. After the first couple of days of filming, ABC via one primary executive wanted to fire this actress. The guy I worked for believed in her and was willing to LOSE the movie – e.g. walk away – rather than fire this actress and replace her. ABC threatened and threatened. Eventually they backed down.

    It was Sissy Spacek’s first role…

  • WOW. What a story Bruce! But then, I’m sure you have lots of them 🙂

  • Boom! Nailed it! If you aren’t willing to walk away, you never really brought anything to the table in the first place. Poignant insight.

  • Thanks Doug:) One of the first things I learned when I really learned how to sell.