What’s in it for them, not what’s in it for you

By Jeremy Blake on October 3, 2019

This follows my previous Blog following my trip to see a terrific revival of Arthur Miller’s play.  See https://www.realitytraining.com/death-salesman-blog-series 

In a scene that is crippling in embarrassment, Willy Lomas our titular salesman goes to see his boss Howard.

He puts it to Howard that he is tired and wishes to stop travelling selling the company’s wares. Willy plays on the fact he knew Howard’s father and that he had been instrumental in him being called Howard.

Since this is met with no compassion from Howard, Willy offers to reduce the amount he earns to come off the road, “I need only 40 dollars to set my table.”

If you want to change your position and remain with your existing employer you can only ever put it in terms of what the benefit will be to them and the company.  Your needs should be hidden.

Even if your sales director can work out what’s in it for you, your reasoning must still tip the balance in their favour.

Isn’t this what you are doing each and every day as a salesperson? Your job is making the buyer feel that the balance is in their favour by purchasing what you’re selling in exchange for the money they part with.

No one ever buys, with regular frequency something they deem to have less value than the money they paid for it.

Willy loses sight of this basic sales law and it is another nail in his coffin. As Willy turns to shuffle from his office, Howard reminds him to drop off his samples…