Sushi Chefs & Salespeople

I love watching a great sushi chef at work, so I sit at the sushi bar. They are masterful, food artisans that create with exquisite detail, care, and enthusiasm. The sushi chef knows that’s why you’re sitting at their bar, and usually, the patrons at the bar get better cuts, and a more decorative presentation, and ornately cut oranges for dessert. The chef’s tip jar gets filled and they get a big smiley arigato as an added bonus. Sushi Chef

I love a great sales pitch. Most sales professionals and executives do too. Unfortunately, I hear very few these days and a call this morning prompted this post. But when I hear a great presentation, I stand up, pay attention, give a compliment, and sometimes make a purchase that I had not intended. There were many times customers told me that they made the purchase simply because of my presentation.

These are symbiotic relationships. They feed off of each other. There is much more going on than an exchange of money for food, a service, or a product. This is entertainment that fulfils an emotional need.

Most purchases are made to fulfill an emotional or psychological need. Most of what we buy, we can live without. No one needs a 5,000 sq. foot home, a Mercedes or Lexus, $2,000 suits, or garages filled with unused stuff instead of cars. We buy stuff to make ourselves feel better and the decisions we make are steered by the presentations.

“Enthusiasm is by far the highest paid quality on earth, probably because it is one of the rarest; yet, it is one of the most contagious.” – Frank Bettger

Enthusiasm triggers optimism and positive emotions that build faith and confidence. Before learning how to sell or reading books on sales, my natural enthusiasm filled the gap for my neophyte sales process. When I sat forward with a little animation and emotion in my voice, my audience responded the same way. They leaned forward with open eyes and open ears, and I made sales.

In a tough economy or a sales slump, it’s easy to get down and allow that to be expressed in your presentation. When that happens, you’re dead before you begin.

If you say, “I believe our product will increase your productivity 20%” with a slow cadence in a monotone voice, slouched back in a chair, you are conveying an incongruent message. Your body language disqualifies your words and you will not be believed.

But if you truly believe that their productivity will increase 20% and you say it with emotion and conviction in your voice and body, you will be believed. Your contagious enthusiasm will be caught and acted upon.

How much enthusiasm is enough?

Practice your key points in a mirror with a tape recorder, use your webcam if you have one, present to your sales manager, another salesperson, or your life partner. Practicing in my car on the way to a meeting was super preparation.

“Nothing but the determination to act enthusiastic increased my income 700% in 10 days.” – Frank Bettger

I promise you this. When you act enthusiastic, you’ll become enthusiastic, and your customers and audience will catch it too. 

Next up; more on what sushi chefs and salespeople have in common.