Friday, March 07, 2014

Is Selling Simple? (This guy says so...)

In memory of Yehuda ben Yaakov - Karl Bach - whose yahrzeit was this week.
The purpose of this email is to promote greater connections at the Shabbat table... Please print and share

In 1937, Karl Bach was a penniless Jewish immigrant fleeing Nazi Germany.

His only professional training had been in his father's butcher shop in Germany.

When he landed in New York, he found his training useless. No union card, no work.
Someone evidently told him, "Go west, young man".

That's what he did. All the way to California.

Evidently the Fuller Brush Company either saw something special in this twenty-year-old immigrant who spoke broken English or else they were desperate for salesmen.

Or perhaps it was a match made in Heaven.

For Bach's part, he was perhaps lucky he arrived a decade before Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman could dissuade him.

For in two months he became the most productive salesman Fuller had ever had.

With either innate genius or divine inspiration, he rejected much of the received sales wisdom and developed on his own irresistible techniques.

He then applied those methods and insights to the life insurance business.

Within three years, he became one of the most successful life insurance producers in the United States of America.

He founded the San Francisco Life Insurance Company, which eventually merged with the Philadelphia Life Insurance Company.

Fortunately for us, he decided to share his wisdom on selling - and human nature - in a wonderful book, Selling is Simple...If You Don't Make it Complicated. (Here's the amazon link.)

The first part is called, "Selling is never work - it is fun".


Hard for me to get past such a title. Hard to imagine selling being fun. I hate selling.

But as I read the book, I started to see his wisdom emerge as a very Jewish theme.

The whole book seems to revolve around Chapter 7 -  "Who Will Be For Me If I Am Only For Myself? Thus said Hillel, a great Jewish teacher"

There, Bach declares that "selfish thinking (hatred, jeaslousy, greed, dishonesty - indeed everything negative - are the greatest enemies ofeman who wants to excel and succeed."

Strike the word "salesman" from that sentence and substitute "person".

This isn't a book about selling. This is a book about living.

Let's skip to the conclusion and listen to this gem:

"What greater reward in life can there be than to make others happy?....If you can enjoy helping people, regardless of what they do for you, this too will help you to grow - not only in business, but as a human being....But never expect perfection. Never expect Utopia. It can never come. Just as there is rain and snow as well as sunshine, you have to keep in mind that beyond the clouds, the sun is always shining" (p. 176-177).

For your table, here are Bach's "Ten Challenges" - try asking these at your table:

1. Are you willing to pay the price of success?
2. Are you willing to listen to the ideas of other successful people in order to reach your goal without repeating mistakes?
3. Are you willing to share your experiences with others?
4. Are you willing to work hard and, in the early years, long hours?
5. Are you willing to do the things that unsuccessful people will not do, the things the successful people will do?
6. Can you operate your business in such a way as to make your peers proud of you?
7. Do you express your ideas in language they understand?
8. Do you advise your prospect as you would advise yourself?
9. Are you willing to call in an expert when needed?
10. Do you have the courage to make yourself see enough people to give yourself a fair chance to succeed?

Shabbat Shalom


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