"Gee, Ma'am for a.............you sure don't.................." TOP 10 THINGS I LEARNED AT (OR NEAR) THE BURROUGHS CORPORATION SALES SCHOOL. 
Sunday, July 14, 2019, 03:25 PM
Posted by Administrator
Hey you! I'm going to proofread this soon. In the meantime, if you see any grammatical or spelling errors or inaccuracies, PLEASE let me know.

Likely, I have already written in the Blog about Ralph, my instructor at the Burroughs Corporation Sales School, which, in the 70s when it existed, was located next to the Sheraton Hotel in Southfield, Michigan. Tom Ciurczak, the other new-hire salesman at the Kingston, NY Burroughs branch that hired me (my first post-college job) and I were flown to Detroit and put up at the Sheraton for two weeks. This morning, with something Ralph told us rattling around in my head, I emailed Tom (who lives in Southern California now and, last I heard, is the owner of at least one Japanese light bulb company---and was always a much better salesman than I---and much better looking)and asked him if he remembered what Ralph had said.

He emailed me back. He didn't remember. 40+ years had dulled his memory....but not mine. And, I thought to myself, it is time for another TOP TEN LIST (again, thanks Dave!):

10. Detroit was (still is ?) a dangerous place. I realized this during my first trip to the local mall where the security guards carried guns. They didn't carry guns here so, I figured something was up.

9. Because of #10, there were a lot of people who wanted to get out of Detroit. One way for women to do it, at the time, was to go to the disco (yes,a disco---it was the 70s) in the basement of the Southfield Sheraton (where we were staying) and find a man to marry (I don't mean to be sexist,here, it was-------again-----the 70s). My immediate boss at Burroughs, a few months after Tom and I went, did find a woman at the disco and did marry her (he divorced the wife he already had---she had MS---to do it).

8) To pick up a woman at the disco in the basement of the Southfield Sheraton, you need to wear a suit. Ralph,the sales instructor, told me this after I complained to him that I had not been picked up by a woman at the disco the night before. He had promised, on the first day of class, that all of the students would be picked up. He said "Were you wearing a suit?"

7) It is uncomfortable to feel outclassed. The day after Ralph's advice, Tom was picked by a local policewoman. The woman who picked me up that night (the police woman's friend) was the daughter of a local doctor and the sister of another doctor. Since, I guess, I ticked all of her boxes (Jewish, wore a suit, did not live anywhere around Detroit), she invited me to go out to dinner with her parents (and brother?). They talked about owning the local hospital and traveling. I had traveled some (e.g. Rutland, VT, a few national parks). But, when their subject turned to a snobby discussion of their recent trip to Rio, I got uncomfortable.

6) Turn objections into questions and answer the question (it looks hard to learn how to use it--turns into--if it were easy to use, would you be willing to buy it now?); give prospects a choice of options (would you like your new computer in red or green?) and avoid allowing them a "yes" or "no"; whoever talks first loses (ask the prospect to buy now and then say nothing until they answer-------people like to fill silence with noise and, if they like you, they won't want to give you a "no"--so SHUT UP and wait for the love). .......other misc.sales techniques? You betcha. I'm wrapping them all into #6.

5) Mormons, when they die, get to be god or goddess of their own universe for eternity. I learned this while ascending the 76 story Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit in a glass elevator attached to tracks screwed into the outside of the building. I was cowering in the back of the elevator, praying that the tracks would not come loose from the outside wall and cause the elevator to be rocketed into the Detroit River. Julie, a (Sale Lake City) new hire told me this. It's why Mormons own all of the genealogical records-----they can actually convert their dead ancestors to Mormon and make them a god or goddess. The great deal they get upon death may be why Mormons are willing to believe that Jesus returned to earth and preached to American Indians or that an angel named Moroni delivered a book of scriptures made up of golden plates to a 22 year old man in upstate New York. Anyway, read Jon Krakauer's UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN if you're interested in this stuff..........or, stop one of those white kids you always see riding bicycles while wearing white shirts and black ties. Oh, and Mormons stopped being polygamous when President Grant said he'd have the Army take over Utah if they didn't...mainstream Mormons giving up multiple wives was not a religious thing.

Note that, by all this, I am not being critical of Mormonism....though I find polygamy to be unhelpful to men in search of a bride.

4) You can drive your car through a tunnel in downtown Detroit and land up in Windsor, Canada where there is good BBQ at the Tunnel BBQ. I believe this is the only place on earth where you can travel to another country by tunnel and emerge from the tunnel next to good BBQ (or where you could take a tunnel from a perfectly nice Canadian city---Windsor---and land up in downtown Detroit). The Tunnel BBQ still exists------I just looked googled it (which is something you could never do on a Burroughs computer).

3) The THIRD PARTY COMPLIMENT: You and I are talking about Jim and I tell you "I really like the tie Jim was wearing, yesterday." The next day, you see Jim and you tell him "Steve and I were talking yesterday and he told me that he really liked the tie you were wearing two days ago."

Why is this better than my telling Jim "Hey, Jim, nice tie."?

a) If I tell Jim that I like this tie, he will think I am just sucking up to him.
b) But.......in the THIRD PARTY COMPLIMENT, Jim is so important that you and I are talking about him....and saying nice things...even when he is not around. Even though he wasn't there, he is still so important that he is in our thoughts.
c) And, I remembered what a great tie it was.....so it MUST have been a great tie. And, I thought so much about the tie that I felt I HAD to tell you.
d) You think so much of Jim that you remembered our conversation and, since the conversation about him was all good, you were comfortable mentioning it to him.

Think about it. How can YOU use the THIRD PARTY COMPLIMENT? (Note: I will soon write a blog entry to be called Put It In A Box and Throw It In The Garbage in which I will complain about people who can't take a good idea, use a little creativity and put the idea to their own good use.)

2) I decided to give #2 to Tom Ciurczak. I asked him to read this entry and to tell me what he remembered learning. Tom is around 65, now, and a very serious man. He emailed me back: "You had to sell a pencil! You hooked up with the little girl and went to meet her parents (true con man from the start) we met Dave Copy Ex-Lions fulllback who was gay and was telling us that they didn't call Ken "the snake" Stabler "the snake" because he was sneaky."

Note: Tom didn't remember the police woman and he didn't remember what Ralph had said....though he agreed that Ralph's line was one of the most quotable lines he had heard.......ever.

We all learn different things.

1) Deal with the decision maker. In other words, don't make your sales pitch to the receptionist----he/she doesn't have the power to make big decisions and can't write you a check. On the other hand, the receptionist does have the power to tell you who the decision maker is and to let you in to see him/her. So, you need to make friends with the receptionist. Back in the 70s, receptionists were almost always women and the title of this piece refers to something Ralph, the instructor said that he this was an idea of what to say to make friends with the receptionist. But.....he said it long ago when life was simple and political correctness has, by now, reared its (sometimes) ugly head.

Contact me and I'll tell you what it was. Likely, you won't be impressed.
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