That’s Not A Lion… It’s A Pussycat!

That’s Not A Lion… It’s A Pussycat!

By Gene Fresco

Theorists have said that humans have retained in their psyches the need to experience the life-and-death feeling of our ancestors who went out to hunt their food and, sometimes, the food ate them.

We do this today by gambling, participating in dangerous sports and, believe it or not, by making major purchases.

The act of making a major purchase gives the buyer the same feeling that our ancestors had when they killed a lion or some other large animal.

We as salespeople don’t realize this is going on as we present an expensive product to a customer.

I have witnessed customers sweating or wringing their hands when agreeing to buy an expensive product. I’m sure you have experienced the same situation if you were involved in selling an expensive item.

Why bring this up? I want to teach you how to turn that lion into a pussycat.

There is a sales close called “The Reduction to the Ridiculous Close.”

I attended a seminar where 700 salespeople paid $60 each to learn this close from J. Douglas Edwards. Believe me, it was worth it.

I have used it ever since I learned it, and it has made me many, many dollars.

J. Douglas passed away recently, and will surely be missed. He was one of the giants in the sales training business. I was fortunate to have breakfast with him the next morning by offering him a limo ride to the airport. He had such a strong personality that he changed a habit I had had for 40 years. As the waitress poured my coffee and I added cream to it, he told the waitress to take my coffee away and bring a new cup. I asked him, “Why did you do that? Did you see a bug in it or something?” He said, “No. I saw you putting all that cream in it, and that’s why you have those love handles.” I have never put cream in my coffee since.

Let’s learn this very important sales close and use it to increase our income, close many more sales and make our customer feel better about choosing to buy.

I guess that, even by today’s standards, $5,000 is a lot of money. When asking a customer to give you that much money for a product, it is still a big deal.
How about $10,000 or $100,000? Do you think it is getting to be a bigger deal?
As a salesperson, can you see yourself selling a $100,000 product?
If you are going to succeed as a professional salesperson, you must learn to turn that lion into a pussycat. Otherwise, you will always be a sales clerk.

Don’t just sell a guitar. Sell a band a whole bandstand of equipment. Don’t sell a saxophone. Sell a high school band all of their instruments. Don’t sell a small church a $5,000 sound system. Sell a cathedral a $100,000 sound system.
People in other countries don’t understand how we in America who are just working people drive nice cars or buy comfortable homes. Simple: financing.

When I was a salesman in retail, I learned about credit. I had a financing chart in my pocket at all times, and knew what the payments would be on every product in the store. I would break the monthly payment down to weekly, so I could say, “You can buy this product for $5 a week. So, can you afford $5 a week?” Believe it or not, I said this to a club owner: “You can buy this sound system for $1,000 a week. Can you afford $1,000 a week?”

I noticed that, in car commercials, they break down the payments to daily. “You can buy this car for $6.98 a day,” one commercial proudly claimed.

That is how you turn a lion into a pussycat.

Break it down to its smallest denominator, and it is no longer a lion.

If you want to make the BIG bucks, you have to think BIG.

I want you all to realize how selling is a part of all of our lives.

Zig Ziglar says, “We are all here because a salesman named Christopher Columbus sold Isabella the queen of Spain on the idea of financing a journey to find India, and because a salesman named George Washington sold us on the idea of breaking free from English rule.”

That’s thinking BIG!
I want to thank Bill Mathews of The National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians, Inc., for his kind words about my recent column (see page 10) and for letting us know how we can help Boy Scouts in earning merit badges.

Whatever your talent, check with local councils on how you can help.

I want to say the BSA offers a merit badge called “Music Merit Badge.”

I believe we all have a little knowledge in that field.

I hope my column has inspired you to want to be successful as a salesperson, and I know the first time you use this sales close and it works, you will be hooked on using it every chance you get.

If you have any questions about selling, please e-mail Dan Ferrisi at He’ll forward your questions to me, and I’ll be glad to help.

I have always said, “We are all in this together.”

As a rep, I’ve helped my competitors when they had a sales problem. I write this column to help all of you.

I wish you good selling.

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