It’s a deal, it’s a steal…it’s the Sale of the fucking Century! A whole side of pork for how much? That’s bloody amazing, I’d like to buy ten. No, shit, make it a round twenty and I’ll throw a party in your name.
That’s pretty much the reaction I want when offering our pork, chicken, eggs and honey for sale. And if you’re lucky enough to be invited to buy some, then I expect you to be forever grateful to be included in such a privileged and happy few. So quit your whinging and pay up.
At least that’s what I feel like saying when I’m thrust into the role of salesman. You see I’m not a natural salesman. In fact, you could go so far as to say I’m an anti-geezer. I don’t so much wheel and deal, as shuffle uncomfortably and undersell myself rather than risk the embarrassment of asking you for money. That manifests itself in ways that make it damn hard to corner the market in organic farm produce. You see, when I know that my product is so far superior to anything else it’s practically Aryan, I can’t help but form the unreasonable opinion that I shouldn’t have to sell it at all. Customers should be beating a path to my door, thrusting handfuls of cash and images of their grubby children under my nose while begging me to sell them pork to feed to their malnourished little Jasper who would otherwise have to subsist on Pop Tarts and Cheez Whizz.
Of course it’s all subconscious avoidance of having to sell. It’s kind of ironic since in my day job I’m in charge of global sales and marketing for a software company. Our software products are bloody amazing too and should sell themselves as well, but at least at work I’ve overcome my reluctance to sell, sell, sell and have got to grips with it. So why can’t I get into the swing of hawking our wares for our delicious, wholesome farm produce?
The hard truth is I have the overpowering, deeply ingrained image of a salesman as some kind of sleazy Swiss Charlie, happy to take your last dollar and underpants with a smile and no remorse for leaving you stood butt naked and penniless with nothing to cover your tonker except a poorly manufactured set of decorative plates and a Certificate of Authenticity that, on closer examination, appears to have been printed earlier that day on a dot-matrix printer circa 1982.
Needless to say, I’m not enthusiastic about either becoming that sleaze, or having other people perceive me like that. So, as I’m sure all you psychologists can see, my avoidance stems from a deep seated need to be socially accepted and held in esteem. Shit, blog writing really is therapeutic. Unfortunately, that little revelation probably cost me a lie down on a cool leather sofa and the opportunity to drop into conversation that “I’ll have to talk to my therapist about that”, but on the plus side it might have saved me a hefty stack of cash and a punch in the face.
So, what I’ve decided to do to overcome this particular barrier is to channel the power of Monty Python. Like Harry the beard seller in The Life Of Brian, I’m going to introduce some humour into my selling. No, no, no. Ten? You’re supposed to argue. “Ten for that, you must be mad!”
I’ll be bigging up our pork, waxing lyrical about our honey (bad pun, sorry), giving it large for our monster chickens. And if you’re not sure or try to haggle without a sense of humour, then be prepared for an unexpected gourd and a fake beard made of goat hair. Whatever happens, you’ll be left with something better than a hand-painted plate.