Excerpts from Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

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About Salesmanship and Customer Service

  • Knowing something about your customer is just as important as knowing everything about your product.
  • The Mackay 66

    A unique tool for converting yourself and your company from an adversary to a colleague of the people you are dealing with, and for getting the jump on your competition.

  • It’s not how much it’s worth…it’s how much people think it’s worth. Marketing is not the art of selling. It’s not the simple business of convincing someone to buy. It is the art of creating conditions by which the buyer convinces himself. And nothing is more convincing than evidence that others want the same thing.
  • What every salesperson – and not enough entrepreneurs – know. The sweetest sound in the world to you, and to your customer, is the sound of your own name on someone else’s lips.

About Management

  • The single greatest mistake a manager can make is not getting out of the way! Provide goals, resources, and leadership. Your people don’t want restrictions – or someone telling them what to do – or rules. Knowing when to get out of the way is the key.
  • Little things don’t mean a lot. They mean everything. In a business, there are 1,001 ways to screw up every day, and almost all of them can be avoided with a little more attention to detail or common courtesy. If you’re in charge, your job is to minimize the mistakes.
  • How to spot a winner. Winners surround themselves with other winners. Learn how to do it.
  • Know thine enemy. Knowing your competition is just as important as knowing your customer.  The 12 P’s Competitive File used by MackayMitchell Envelope Company is an excellent tool.
  • How many salespeople do you have? MackayMitchell Envelope has 600. How many employees at MackayMitchell Envelope? 600. Think about it.

About Negotiation

  • Smile and say “no” until your tongue bleeds. Be prepared to say “no.” Nobody ever went broke because he said “no” too often. And the most powerful tool in any deal is information. In the long run, instincts are no match for information.
  • The single most powerful tool in winning a negotiation is the ability to walk away from the table without a deal. Don’t deceive yourself into believing that just because it’s negotiable, it has to be negotiated. Deals seldom get worse when you walk away from the table.
  • Make your decisions with your heart and what you’ll end up with is heart disease. Never make a significant decision deal that is proposed to you on the spur of the moment. There is no more certain a recipe for disaster than a decision based on emotion.
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