What Walter Says

  • What Walter Says

    I am a huge fan of the New Yorker magazine, I look forward to receiving it all the way from New York every week, it travels about 10,000 miles into my letterbox, waiting for me to open it, and discover all the different articles, from politics, finance, and human behavior.

    The reason I like this magazine so much is that it often discusses topics about sales, not directly but in often subtle ways. As a sales person it is often helpful to collect other magazines and books that do not directly relates to the art of selling. It allows you to have a broader perspective...

    A recent article caught my eye and was once again mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell book ‘What the dog saw’

    The link to the original story New Yorker story is posted at the bottom of this article… the secret to self control… it’s a great essay… but you will need to set aside some time to read it. Like Malcolm Gladwell’s book I would recommend you have a read.

    In his book, Malcolm Gladwell talks about Walter Michel, who is a psychologist.

    He has conducted a series of experiments where he put’s young children in a room and places two cookies in front of them.

    One of the cookies is  small,  the other large, the child is told that if he wants the smaller cookie, then they only have to ring a bell and the person will return and give the cookie to them...

    If he /she want to wait for the bigger cookie, then the experimenter will return sometime within the next 20 minutes.

    The children are then videotaped, sitting in the room, by themselves, staring at the cookies, trying to persuade themselves to hang in for the big cookie. Some of the strategies  they use to take their mind off waiting is to  sing to themselves, whisper the instructions to themselves – if they hang in there then the big cookie is theirs-  other behavior  the children act out is that they  turn  their back on the cookie, swing their legs, anything to take their mind off the big cookie.

    The tapes reveal the beginnings of self discipline and self control.

    Gladwell uses this point to tell a story about Nassim Talab… an options trader in New York… discipline in the financial sector for some is a critical factor in their success.

    I notice this trait with the great sales people I meet, the ability to be disciplined, and it’s usually in these key areas

    1. Appointments setting
    2. Pricing policy
    3. Call cycles
    4. Account Management
    5. Service
    6. Client relationships
    7. Innovation

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer