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When Less Is Better

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business”When Less Is Better” is the thirteenth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.

by Joseph Tom Riach

    In my early days in business I enroled in and attended training courses in various disciplines relevant to my self-employed status. It was a good move. The schooling helped to supplement and accelerate the on-job learning which was coming at me thick and fast!

    One memorable course was that in 'Sales And Selling'. The class master was an accomplished sales professional of some renown. Max Roberts had made a name for himself publishing and selling encyclopedias. What he had to say carried considerable weight. His lessons were indeed eye-openers for all. One module he presented was titled, “When Less Is Better!”

    He opened his presentation to the class with the demand, “Where's your spirit?” … then followed up with, “And I'm not talking about the whisky flask in your back pocket Drooth!” At which he'd pointedly identify with a fixed stare the unfortunate pupil who he knew to enjoy a sly nip between sessions.

    His next question (and note he was questioning, not telling) was to ask, “Why do you want to sell?” Then he'd pick a pupil to give their answer. A common response at this point would be, “To give my customers something useful.”

    “Wrong!” Bob would roar back. “That's logic. Out front and ten press-ups!” Yes he did that. He understood that physical discipline enforces intellectual learning, and vice versa.

    Then he turned to his next pupil/victim and repeated his question, “Why do you want to sell?”

    More thought would typically be given by this student before maybe stuttering out a slightly uncertain, “To make more money?”

    “Wrong again! That's emotion. Out front, give me ten.” Male, female. No-one was spared the physical torture.

    Eventually he turned his attention to me, seated at the front of the class (the best location when learning) and eager to answer.

    “You, yes you Riach. Why do you want to sell?”

    I knew exactly why I wanted to sell. It was the whole reason that I was there in the class. Without any delay I retorted quite confidently. “It's because I'm determined to succeed!”

    Bob looked at me carefully. He paused, a smile slowly spreading across his face.

    “That's right!” he eventually exclaimed. “That is spirit!”

    “Spirit you see,” he went on, again addressing the whole class, “Is what defines success. You need logic. You must learn your subject, know the facts, be able to express them. Even more, you must recognise emotion within yourself and within your customers. That's what creates sales. But without spirit, without unqualified dedication to succeed, you will never achieve anything in any area of life or business. Bloody-minded determination is what defines success. It separates the winners from the also rans.

    So my friends, logic, emotion and spirit, let's call it L.E.S. A case, if you like, of 'less' really is better!

    Better still reverse the order. Call it S.E.L. That makes 'Sell'! This is the correct sequence. Spirit comes first, without it you are and will be nothing. Next is emotion. Display it, feel it, use it, appeal to it. Lastly, apply the logic to cement the sale. Remember - L.E.S. in order to S.E.L.!"

    With those easy memory prompts embedded in my mind I've never forgotten Max - and I've never forgotten when 'less is better'. How could I?

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal. 

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WHEN LESS IS BETTER  is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this short article and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.
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  • Top Video Contributor

    This is not what I was expecting, it is so much better.  Thank you, Tom.

  • Top Member

    Absolutely fantastic advice and I agree with you Tom Riach and I love the way your teacher made his point. He did it the best way to make you know how to be successful in all areas of your life (personal and business).

    When I saw your title, it caught my attention and I didn't know what you were going to be talking about. I knew it was good because I expect it from you, and the brilliance you shared will make your point a memorable one. You are gifted with words my friend. Have a blessed day.

    • Top Commentor

      Thanks Terri. Yes, the life and business message is a 'biggie'. It takes the same attributes to succeed in each/both. Once you fully get it that the same principles apply universally, then the door to living and/or doing business well is kicked wide open. 

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