“The Introductory Benefit Statement works like magic!” our Monroe sales teacher told us, standing in front of us in a large classroom, as if a model fashioned in a worsted wool suit, starched white shirt, colorful silk tie and tasseled loafers.
“In thirty seconds or less an I.B.S. will,” he asserted, “instantly transform you from unwelcome intruder to welcome guest because you’ll represent, in his eyes, a possible answer to that perennial question of the businessman … ‘How can I boost my productivity and profitability?’ “
“Wow!” we students exclaimed in unison like sinners facing a televangelist, “that’s fantastic!
“Give us an example!” I blurted out unable to contain my enthusiasm.
What followed was the greatest, single insult to pedagogy in its long, dull history. Our teacher replied, lifting his arms then letting them flap down to his pressed, worsted wool pants, “Well, the truth is, I haven’t been able to come up with a good one yet!”
I felt so bad for the guy that I even found the inner strength to restrain myself from laughing out loud … not only that, I even viewed the poor fellow with something approaching sympathy.
But our his failings aside, the idea of the I.B.S., the concept itself, fascinated me. “That’s it! It’s pure dynamite! It’s genius … with a good I.B.S. I couldn’t fail at sales!”
I tucked that thought away somewhere in a dark recesses of my cranium where it took root, matured, ripened and was ready for picking at the precise moment I needed it … the school’s culminating event. The mock sales call!
This was our final exam. Our instructors would critique our performance based upon our employment of the finer points of their teaching.
To make it extra special, the sales call would be video taped! … a new technology we’d only heard about, never seen in person. But now, by the miracle of that new technology, we’d be able to see how we looked on TV!
This was it! This was my chance to shine! To make my boss happy! To make Canada, my new country, proud of me! To show the Monroe world I had what it took!And that’s when a ripe plum fell from my sub-conscious … a perfectly usable I.B.S.!
I began my sales presentation to the pretend-owner of a fabric store, “Would you be interested in an insurance policy that would insure that you receive an extra inch in every yard of cloth you sell.”
The make-believe owner looked up at me with strange look in his eyes, as if he were thinking “WTF? We’re selling calculators here! Where have you been?”
“That’d be great for business, wouldn’t it?” I continued.
“Yeah, um, yeah, I, I, I guess it would!” replied my still surprised, stuttering prospect.
“Well, I’ve got something that will do just that!” I exclaimed triumphantly, and dug into my Monroe sales school pitch for a mechanical calculating machine, the star of our video. After I’d made my case, I looked the faux-owner in the eye, “Remember that insurance policy I mentioned when we first met?”
“Yes. Yes. Of course I do.”
“Remember how I said the insurance policy would get you 37 inches out of each yard of cloth you sell?”
“Yes I do.”
“Well, this new calculator do just that! It’ll insure you against costly errors in your financial calculations! It’ll save you money! It’ll be like saving an inch for each yard of cloth you sell!”
Afterwards I flew home with the class sales trophy, which made all the aforementioned parties happy and proud (although, honestly, the nation of Canada failed to realize it). But I saw it for what it was … only a small pebble on life’s road. However, within a few short years, that pebble proved to be nothing less than a diamond in the rough!
DON’T MISS CHAPTER 8 OF “A NEW LIFE IN A NEW LAND” … AND IF YOU’D LIKE TO FOLLOW MY BLOG SIMPLY CLICK ON “FOLLOW” … YOU’LL FIND IT ON THE UPPER RIGHT OF THIS PAGE. I HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT!