1The Mysterious Brown Bag

It is the dim haze of mystery that adds enchantment to pursuit.

—Antoine Rivarol

At the young age of 23, Art had just landed a huge promotion or, in his words, “Somebody left the company, and I got lucky.”

As a lease sales representative, he worked with complex, long-cycle deals, not the typical sales role handed to wet-behind-the-ears 23-year-olds. Fortunately, Art had two things in his favor: an unequaled drive to succeed and a great mentor.

His mentor and sales manager was a company legend. Joe had his name etched on pretty much every award the company bestowed and on many of the largest customers in the organization's account base. Joe appreciated Art's willingness to learn and took him under his wing.

“To me, at that young age, Joe looked ancient,” Art jokes. “He'd been around forever. But he knew the answers to every question and where to find any tidbit of information; and, boy, did he know how to talk to customers.”

It was Joe who taught Art one of the most valuable lessons of his young career: You must learn to speak your prospect's language, because people buy for their reasons, not yours.

The Lesson of a Lifetime

Art had been working on a deal with a local bakery. Everything was going along without a hitch until Art presented his pricing.

“Mr. Colaizzi, the owner, was adamant that my rates were too high, and he wouldn't budge from his position. I'd been going back and forth trying to convince him that, even though my rates were a little ...

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