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The Kiwi bailiff who says he can’t sell …

I’m writing to you from New Zealand, having left Sydney yesterday, returning this week.

I’ve been invited to speak at a large conference of distributors for a major pool manufacturer where I’ll be sharing breakthrough strategies of how my clients engage in new sales conversations, without ever experiencing resistance (yes, that is possible).

Seems all of a sudden, creating trusting relationships in business has become fashionable again.

Trust in selling has been the pillar of what I’ve been teaching for over a decade…so it’s interesting that with the gyrations happening in our economy, business leaders are going back to what always works: creating trust with prospects so they become happy paying clients.

During my flight from Sydney, I sat next to a friendly gentleman named John who is a court bailiff in New Zealand.

I mentioned to him that I teach a unique system of selling that is being successfully used all over the world and he said to me “Oh, I’m the last person in the world who could ever sell.”

I said “What do you mean?” and he said “I just don’t have the personality for it and it’s just not me.”

In my travels I hear this a lot.

So I changed the subject and started asking him about his job as a bailiff out of genuine interest.

He shared that his responsibilities include collecting unpaid fines issued by the courts.
Apparently, there are lots of people who have “forgotten” that they were fined for doing something unlawful (i.e. speeding and other minor infractions) and they are overdue on their debt to the court.

John continues to tell me that he spends his day driving to these people’s homes, knocking on their doors, introducing himself and asking them to make good on their debt.

“I go unarmed and without backup to some pretty seedy areas of town”, he said.

“Wow” I said, “that’s pretty brave, what do you say when they open the door and see you?”

John preceded to share with me his approach to creating a connection, building trust and getting them comfortable with paying off their debt.

And he says he doesn’t know how to sell!!

What you’re about to read is his “sales approach” to how he gets these folks to trust him and give him the money they owe…

If you find yourself battling with letting go of the old traditional way of selling, you’ll find this refreshing and insightful.
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   John told me that when they open their front door, he says “Hi, my name is John and I’m with the county court’s bailiff office and I’m hoping you can help me out for a moment?”

He continues to tell me that he waits until they respond with “Yes, what can I help you with?”

Then he says, “I’ve got an issue that I’m hoping you can help me solve. You’re late in re-payment of your fee to the court and I’m certainly open to any ideas you might have as to how we can resolve this together.”

WOW.

I asked him, what was his thinking behind his approach, and he told me, “My goal is to build a connection with them at the human level. I don’t want to intimidate them or come across like someone who only cares about collecting their payment at the expense of their current situation. I want to be a facilitator to helping them solve their problem. I care about people, and if you approach them in a non-confrontational way, they usually treat you with respect and work with you.

As I was listening to him describe his mindset as to how he approaches his “clients” as he calls them, I felt like I had found my long lost brother. 🙂

He was articulating his thoughts about creating trust in an eerily similar way to how I teach my Inner Circle members to approach new potential clients in the sales process.

I asked him what his success rate of collecting the fees were, and he says he is the highest “performer” in the office.

WOW again.

Of course I then asked him if he would like to work for me :), but he said he still would have no idea how to sell anything!

Fascinating.

Someone who views himself as not a “sales person” is selling in a trusting way to help his clients solve their problems…and he is doing it with grace and elegance.

Grace and elegance are two words you’d be hard pressed to find in traditional sales books and CDs.

Why can’t most business owners and sales people think like John?

Here’s the reason: because they have only been exposed to one way of selling, the old way, with the main goal of “closing the sale” — instead of creating trust.

That sort of thinking is what created the whole negative “sales person” stereotype in the first place.

The world has changed around us.

And if you’re still selling the way you did before the world changed, you’re asking for a mountain of frustration.

Now is the time to clear your mind, break away from the way you’ve been “trained”, and join our community of business people and sales people who refuse to treat people as “targets” for their own gain.

Your comments are always welcome below.

To your success,

Ari Galper

Ari Galper

Ari Galper is the world’s number one authority on trust-based selling and is the most sought-after sales conversion expert for Business Owners. His newest book, “Unlock The Sales Game”, has become an instant best-seller worldwide. Ari has been featured in CEO Magazine, Forbes, INC Magazine and the Australian Financial Review. He is considered a contrarian in the sales industry and in his book, everything you learned about selling will be turned upside down. No more chasing, no pressure, no closing.

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13 Comments

  1. Mark Holland,

    We provide insurance and risk management solutions for business.

    A person with this approach and attitude would make a lot of money in our industry.

    Thanks for sharing his story.

    Oklahoma City, OK

  2. Johnson

    Wonderful tip

    Kochi. India

  3. Stewart Hydes

    Gidday Ari – welcome to NZ – hope you enjoyed your stay. Love your work. Just in case you use it (“it” being the Maori name for New Zealand) elsewhere, I just wanted to correct Grant’s typo. It’s spelt “Aotearoa”, popularly translated as “The Land of the Long White Cloud” (as cloud often hangs over particularly NZ’s mountains). It is pronounced ‘ow-tee-a-row-a’. Take care, Stewart

    Christchurch, New Zealand

  4. Chris Davidson

    From a long-time fan. Ari you are indeed the PIONEER of modern trust-based marketing. Your ground-breaking perspective and ability to articulate it well has been a powerful influence in the world of selling. Saluting you.

    Nederland, CO

  5. Khalid Joraid

    Interesting, I think initially he is trusted himself, secondly he communicates with others in the same way that he wants others to communicate with him.

    Khalid,

    Saudi Arabia

  6. Paul Burns

    Initiating things by enquiring “I’m hoping you can help me” generally comes quite easy to Kiwis, because otherwise if a fellow kiwi proudly boasts to be the know-it-all smart guy with all the answers, he tends to get knocked down a rung or two.

    Lower Hutt, Wellington NZ

  7. Paulette

    Hi Ari,
    I so loved the story about the Bailiff. His approach touches the heart of the hearer. I so want that. Thanks for sharing the story. Please let the Bailiff know how he affected those who read the story.
    Paulette

    Golden Valley, MN

  8. Michael

    I like it!

    Temple City, CA USA

  9. Shel Horowitz

    Hi Ari, yes, isn’t it wonderful that the ethical, collaborative approach that you and I both advocate (you in sales, me in marketing) is fashionable again. Of course, we’re out there plugging away when it’s in fashion and when it’s not, because not only is it the right thing, but it also happens to work better. 🙂 Shel Horowitz, award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing that Puts People First and founder of the Business Ethics Pledge, http://www.business-ethics-pledge.org

    Ethical Marketing Expert, Hadley, MA US

  10. C.J.

    Great Stuff! In addition to building trust for the opening, I do see the applications for handling unhappy customers, or diffusing other explosive situation.

    Shanghai, China

  11. Roy

    So true. People who know me from when I was younger still say “You’re in sales?” Actually, if sales has its own box, no I’m not in sales but everyday when I go to a customer I am selling. 🙂 (Technically, I am the problem solver.) I still hear that customers come into our store to buy because of how I treated them. I do sell as well, but I haven’t had to go ‘cold calling’ in 5 years though I quite like making new calls. It’s nice to find other like minded sales people. I’ll carry your bags for you next time! 🙂

    Canada

  12. Grant Dempsey

    Hi Ari, welcome to Aotearoa, New Zealand. Unfortunately we have turned on some rotten weather for you, you’ll probably have a lot of people say, ‘you should have been here last week, we had fantastic sunny days’, we say that a lot to visitors. I enjoyed your discussion with the bailiff, he faces a lot more resistance and hostility to his calls than most of us do so we can certainly learn from his ‘invitations to conversations’ (you can use that if you like). Enjoy your stay. Grant

    Timaru, New Zealand

  13. Archie Maderazo

    I would want to work with you Ari!
    Thank you for helping us set the right mindset in dealing with people…

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