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This Sailor Might Have Been Able to Sail, But He Definitely Could Not SELL

By TIM COE Published 24th Jul 2013
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How many times in the past week have you had to utilise your sales skills to accomplish something? More than you might think when you get down to it.

Persuasion, negotiating and closing [it should be known as opening] are essential is most aspects of our lives if you stop to think about it. Your partner would not go out with you on that first date if you didn't sell yourself and demonstrate value [of some kind!]. The service you receive in a shop can often be dictated by how you sell yourself as a congenial customer when you open the conversation.


This article was triggered and inspired by an incident this morning as I took my boat out of the water on Lymington slipway. I'd been positioning my 'vroomy vessel' on the trailer for no more than about three minutes when I heard an obnoxious voice bleat, "How much longer are you going to be?"

About 25 feet away on the opposite side of the slipway stood a man in his mid 70's up to his knees in the water, decked out head to toe in his full sailing regalia and holding a small sailing dingy.

Considering this ignorant, stuck-up yachty ponce wanted co-operation from me, just what background did he evolve from to think his opening line was going to be greeted with anything less than a backlash?

He wished for me to move out of the water immediately so he could use the same space I was occupying so you'd have assumed a level of decorum would be utilised when speaking to me. Not at all.


The result? I made extra checks and took longer than usual. It felt good to inconvenience the tactless twit! I cannot abide rudeness, especially in an environment like the water. All, or the majority, of boat users tend to respect each other. Many even wave as they pass other's boats, much like VW Camper Van and VW Beetle drivers do.

I am intrigued as to what this man's working life consisted of. Evidently, nothing of value or importance ever hung on him receiving assistance from others. He was about as friendly as the policeman you see at foreign airports.


Doesn't it make you think how naturally most of us sell even when not in a business situation? I am always debating how to go about asking for this or what words to use when requesting that. Like it or not, words, and more importantly, how you use them, are vital to you progressing through life. Do you notice how some people always appear to get what they want in life because what they say feels right and easy to go along with? We all know someone like that.

I believe the degree to which you can influence the outcome of events in your life is the determining factor of your success. No matter who you are, or what you do, you're selling something. A sale is made in every exchange in communications or ideas. Sadly for our 'stupid-sailor', he failed abysmally in selling me anything.

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264 weeks ago, by Jackie
Everything in marketing and communications is about objectives. If your rude sailor had really thought about his objective (i.e. getting you to move out of the way more quickly) there were better ways of achieving that (e.g. asking you nicely). Sadly, as your article suggests, most people don't think that way.
264 weeks ago, by James
It's true, all relationships involve selling. I've seen enquiries where people fill out the form where it asks for a telephone number with 000 000000 or put 'only contact me by email' but don't fill out the box which asks for details about the enquiry. It seems to require a degree of psychic ability on your part.

If I get 10 enquiries a day and one of them is like that then they may get left to last, or in some cases (gmail address) ignored.

Some will say that selling is the wrong word but it works.
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