by Tom Crouser
Case of Style Over
inety percent of us inhibit our own success wearing a sweater with elbow patches. Also there is a hole
because of Sales Call Reluctance. Last month in the sweater. And I see him as being word bound in the
we discussed how owners hamper their perfor- jargon of his discipline. Is he a Hyper-Pro? Quite possibly
mance based on rejecting the role of selling in he is. It takes a lot of time to look as he does.
the first place. This month, we look at a condition which is Remember the hippie culture? Would a hippie wear an
similar but different. It is described by behavioral scientists Armani suit? Of course not. They would be wearing beads,
George Dudley and Shannon Goodson as Hyper-Pro Call beards, and affect certain mannerisms and speech pat-
Reluctance. This is an owner who works hard to create terns. It takes work to keep that up.
and maintain an image of what they want to be, all the Think of the high school Goths today. Do they wear red?
while secretly doubting their worthiness of that image and No. They wear black, all black. Black shirts, black pants,
wasting valuable time and energy doing everything except black sneakers, and often paint their fingernails black. It
what it actually takes to become what they want to be-- takes work to collect a wardrobe of all black like that, let
and that means selling. alone stay that way all the time.
One business owner in the Midwest said that he couldn’t Now let’s bring it to our world. One owner in the mid-
possibly make a sales call on another business owner 1990s, who had every digital do-dad known to mankind
because that owner would think “we needed money.” And at the time, told Pamela and me, “I want to only deal with
although the business needed sales and there’s nothing customers who are digitally sophisticated.”And that was
wrong with asking someone to buy from you, here the in the 1990s when no one was that digitally sophisticated.
need to maintain an image of a successful owner turned There he was, limiting his sales because he had an image
deadly. The owner did not make sales calls because of it. that he was trying to live up to: the digitally sophisticated
print shop owner.
Wait a Minute! Watch two IT types meet for the first time. What do they
If you are in business of any type, by definition, you sell do? They are polite, but talk in jargon to see if the other
something to someone. Everyone knows that. But many person can keep up. And that’s because if the other