JIT Toyota-Lift Blog

5 Minutes with a Pesky Salesman

  • January 11, 2016
  • Joyce Schwob

I can’t be bothered with any pesky salesman today. I’m off to fight the war!!

I don’t know where this cartoon came from or how long I’ve had it, but it’s been over 20 years. Sure it illustrates the frustration of being a sales person with a great solution and no audience. But it also reminds me as a business owner that I need to make time to consider new technologies.

Whether you are a sales professional or a purchasing agent, a well timed 5-minute conversation could have extraordinary benefits. Jason Larson, shared with me this story of one such sales call. It illustrates just how significant 5 minutes can be.

I spent months trying to get an appointment with a potential customer. One day I met up with him in the front lobby of his company.  He told me how great his current supplier was.  Even though he’s been doing business with them for years, he reluctantly agreed to give me five minutes of his time. . .but only five minutes. 

He led me through the warehouse towards his office. On the way I noted the type of forklifts he was using and observed what I could of his operation.  I noticed a large battery room and some forklifts sitting idle there. 

We sat down in his office and he abruptly said, “OK, give me your spiel”. 

I asked him one question, “Why do you have such a large battery room and forklifts sitting idle?”

He stated, “There are times where they need to work longer shifts or I have to add a shift to complete orders.”  I asked if anyone had ever talked to him about opportunity-charging or fast-charging batteries. “No, I’m not familiar with that” he replied.

I gave a quick explanation of the technology.  This solution could save him between $20,000-$30,000 the next time he ordered equipment.

I glanced down at my phone and realized that my five minutes were up. I stood up and extended of my hand and thanked him for his time. He replied, “Please sit back down. I would like to hear more of what you have to say.” 

My five-minute meeting turned into to 45 minutes. I left that day with the chance to quote a $150,000.00 forklift deal. He discovered a way to save this company $20-30,000 dollars. I guess the moral of the story is no matter what side of the desk you sit on it might benefit us both just to take five minutes.

Naturally, it was Jason’s many years of expertise that enabled him to see the opportunity. And even though the man was satisfied with his supplier, he was willing to hear a new “spiel” if only for 5 minutes.

Let our professionals see if they can help your company do more and spend less. We’ll start with 5 minutes and go from there! 

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