Chapter 16

Defy Expectations

Do the opposite!

—George Costanza

 

Do you remember the great Seinfeld episode in which the erratically employed, perennially underachieving George Costanza goes on a job interview, having decided to act against his every lifelong instinct—and winds up with a dream job working for the New York Yankees? I love that episode. “Do the opposite!” becomes George's mantra. Next thing you know, the paunchy, bald man lands a date with a beautiful blonde by telling her in no uncertain terms that he's unemployed and living with his parents—instead of lying and pretending to be an architect, as he usually does. For once in his sorry life, Costanza is on to something: It can be very productive to do the opposite of everything you've been doing!

As I've said, all sales trainers instruct you to learn the script, their script, and stick to it or come running back to it, as the case may be. Me, I don't like scripts, and you won't find any in this book. Other selling systems seek to eliminate any need for improvisation on the salesman's part, but, as you know, I do the opposite. I like to live by my wits. Otherwise, where's the fun? Why would I want to work a job that's no fun? Do you?

Not long ago, one of my reps told me that I was the best salesperson he had ever seen. I was flattered, of course, but because I'm always looking to improve my game, I was genuinely curious as to why he thought so. He said, “Because when you win, it looks beautiful; and when you lose, ...

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