Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why You Should Never Doubt Mark Potter

CANVAS Magazine Publisher Mark Potter recently shared the following in his newsletter. It's a great story that I hope you take the time read.

Last week, our company had the opportunity to support a local football team, Stephenson High School, and help raise money for their program. Specifically, we created a game day program for the lower income school that was playing Parkview, a perennial powerhouse from a much more affluent area. As we walked into the game, which was played in a small college stadium, it was explicitly clear which side was which.

We watched the game, with every intention of leaving at halftime so I could get my daughter to bed at a decent hour. However, I noticed that the Stephenson group was not selling the programs to the best of their ability. I even heard three cheerleaders, who were charged with selling, say something like “OMG, nobody’s going to buy a program”.

I took my salesperson over to the booster lead. I said, “Has anyone tried to sell programs on the Parkview side? Their roster is inside and I am sure they might give us a couple of bucks for that.” She looked at me quizzically and started to chuckle. She called her friends over and said something like “This fella here thinks he can sell our programs on the Parkview side?” They seemed to have difficulty catching their breath from laughing so hard. One woman said to me “Nobody will buy a program from you over there.” She was still laughing when she added, “And I’m not letting you in here when you come back with your tail between your legs!”

Game on! I took my daughter by the hand, grabbed a stack of programs and we made our way to the other side. When I got there, I received more resistance and sarcasm. However, they let me in for 10 minutes to try and sell Stephenson programs to the Parkview faithfuls. Ten minutes later, I was out of programs and my daughter was holding a wad of cash.

I had carved my way through the stands, holding the programs high in the air and enthusiastically letting everyone know that this was what they needed at this time. Their roster was in the program and they could now identify the kids by jersey number. Interestingly enough, when one fan bought a program, another one jumped on the bandwagon. The dominos fell and suddenly I was the one laughing.

When I returned to the Stephenson side, I couldn’t help but strut my way back to the booster table. With their jaws on the ground, I threw down the wad of cash and repeatedly said “Never doubt me”. They gave me and my daughter big hugs and wanted to know how I did it. I simply stated that “Enthusiasm and confidence come from a belief in your product and yourself.”

Anyone who doesn’t want to hold up their product high in the air and claim that it is the best--- will fail. The greatest salespeople and the greatest brands in the world, take the time to tell everyone about how much they believe in their offering. They are constantly selling or advertising their wares because they know you cannot be bashful about something you believe in. If you don’t scream it at the mountaintops, then you simply don’t believe in what you have to offer. That is the truth and never doubt me!

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