Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lessons From Dr. Evil and The Book Of "Zip It!"

There is a scene in an Austin Powers movie where Dr. Evil is trying to silence Scotty by using numerous versions of the phrase “Zip it”. As funny as that scene was, I couldn’t help but think about how many opportunities there are for us in sales where “Zip it” might be our best strategy.

Here is the short list:

When responding to an objection, answer the objection, redirect the conversation towards a commitment, then “Zip It!” Otherwise you hand them another objection on a platter!

Didn’t get the memo about the “Two ears and one mouth, perhaps God had a plan” thing? No problemo. Remember “Thou shall zip it so thy client thinks thou art a kick ass conversationalist”

When a client steps out of the conference room and it is just you and your team, “Zip it” otherwise they always seem to step back when you are talking about them. This helps avoid the whole “fart in church” dynamic that immediately follows when you have to abruptly stop talking about them when they come back!

When you are waiting with your team in the lobby and have the need to talk strategy or even some inappropriate topic, “Zip it”. The walls may not have ears, but that receptionist over there does!

While we are at it, Receptionist who think they can talk about anything from their fortress behind the glass, we can hear you! You might also care to “Zip it” because you aren’t exactly speaking in a cone of silence dear!

Next time you are about to say something to someone. “Zip it” long enough for that little filter between the brain and mouth to kick in.

If you are ever in my presence and you utter these words a major training company teaches “Sounds like you are looking for an unpaid consultant” “Zip it” And should you ever take a stupid pill and use that monkey style kung fu on me, you will receive a wedgy so bad, you will spend the rest of this life (and your next one) looking like a Sumo Wrestler.

Sales Managers: When you ask a rep how they are doing, “Zip it” for God’s sake! For you to immediately launch into a war story about your sales prowess back in the day doesn’t help your rep today.

For those who have diarrhea of the mouth in the weekly sales meeting, please note that the Captain has turned on the “Zip it” sign! Also, the notes that the others are taking while you speak, aren’t notes, they are letters to God asking for an advance on the heart attack he was saving for them so they can be put out of their misery.

For all the “look at me I’m important” dudes and dudettes who like to posture themselves in restaurants by talking on their cell phones. “Zip it” or take it outside. If you like, I will have all your friends sign a card for you that reinforces that you are important.

For those who like to talk on their cell phones while in the restroom, “Zip it” but by all means “Unzip it” to do your business and let the world have a place we can call sanctuary! Please check out this past blog post for a mandatory refresher!

For those who hear a story and immediately need to “one up” (yours truly is very guilty of that) “Zip it” on the one up. “Unzip” the genuine interest in the other person.

For all those who are negative these days, full of doom and gloom and infecting our ranks with thoughts that remove our body armor, “Zip it” Sales people are supposed to be the company cheerleaders!

Have the need to brag to your customers about all your other customers? “Zip it” otherwise they will either get a bad case of “client envy” or they will label you “special” and pat you on the head!

When someone asks you something that makes you uncomfortable, don’t over talk your response. Say what you need to say and then “Zip it”

Finally, if you are one of the 1.5 million Americans who have ever silent farted in a car or airplane, I want you to know that you are destroying the lives of everyone in your path. I beg of you to “Zip it” or consider Lactose free as a gas free alternative.

I would like to leave you with my favorite sales quote:

Samson killed a thousand men with the jaw bone of an ass. That many sales are killed every day with the same weapon

Please pass this along to someone who could use a laugh today and if you really want to hook Uncle Paul up please tweet this

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  1. Funny as hell Paul!

    I'm guilty of one upping and need to listen more.

    Keep up the great work!

    Andre Salindes

  2. Paul: I never pass an opportunity to see an Austin Powers video. I know almost all the lines. Still funny! There are an infinite number of ZipIt moments, however, one of the more notable was the District Sales Manager who accompanied his direct report on a sales call. He "value-added" his visit by presenting a company organization chart AT THE BEGINNING of the sales call (why would you want to do this anyway?)!

    I am sure many salespeople could add an anecdote about that. Title it "My Boss Joined Me On a Sales Call and said . . . ."

    If you can't say "ZipIt," at least you can kick someone under the table!

  3. Thank you Andre and Andrew!

    Sales Managers have to know when to zip it when joining their reps. Great point!

    Rock on!

  4. This is a really terrific post, Paul. The way you integrated the Austin Powers video clip to support your message is inspired. Your keenly honed humor is a superb teaching tool. Good on ya.

  5. O dear, I tick most of the boxes. Must try harder to zip-it.

  6. Great post Paul. I love the quote at the end. You are dead on!


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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

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