Last week we looked at the top tips in Pitching with Conviction. With the emphasis on problem solving we are hoping that you can see the difference in approach to bygone eras. In the 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin schools the middle-aged men on how to sell. His instruction begins with derision, as he questions their masculinity and pelts them with profanities. From there, he moves to fear. “We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest,” he says, “As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wants to see second prize?” He holds up a package. “Second prize’s a set of steak knives.” He pauses. Third prize is you’re fired. You get the picture?”
“A-B-C he explains. “A-always. B-be. C-closing. Always be closing.” This is he cornerstone of the sales cathedral. It’s simplicity makes it understandable, it’s alphabelticality makes it memorable. And it can be constructive advice, keeping sellers focused on a deal’s end even during its beginning and middle. Yet it’s prescription now seems as dated as the electric typewriters and Rolodex cards that dot the office in the movie.