What Salespeople Can Learn From Dogs

We called her Bloomie the Dog. She was in my office every day for the last 14 years except on those occasions when she was in the hospital for a ruptured intestine, abscess on the brain, lymphoma, old dog syndrome, and other medical maladies. On more than one occasion, my wife, Deborah, lived in the hospital cage with Bloomie and literally willed her back to life. Bloomie passed away today and we are quite sad and distressed.

This evening, memories of Bloomie, most from her younger days, flooded my mind. We laughed about the day she wandered onto a construction site and returned, covered in hardened cement. We chuckled over her multiple extreme weather escapes, including a blizzard and a hurricane. We smiled when we recalled her puppy days when she would join us at the kitchen table, seated in a chair like a human, eating from her bowl. We couldn’t stop laughing about the weed block she dug up from our neighbor’s perfectly manicured flower beds. He traced the shredded and torn weed block all the way back to her dog house. But the memories that returned to me, over and over tonight, were those of her salesmanship.

Many salespeople could learn the art of timing from Bloomie. Back in the days when I was the primary producer for my company, Bloomie would join me in the conference room for every sales call. At the point in time where I had my prospects feeling most uncomfortable with their situations, Bloomie would awaken from her slumber, wiggle her butt in the air, make some hilarious sounds, wait for the prospect to laugh, and then lay down and go back to sleep.

Bloomie had learned, at a fairly young age, how to take the edge off of a sales call. She was also really good at developing relationships and making prospects comfortable. She helped me to appear more down to earth than the sales expert that could be so intimidating. And she wouldn’t let anyone leave unless they did business. (OK, I made up that last line.) She mastered the art of sensing and reducing pressure in a sales call, a skill at which most salespeople could improve. Not many salespeople understand how to create pressure or urgency without making it seem like they caused it. Most of them also don’t know when or how to relieve that pressure so the prospect will be comfortable enough to buy. It’s an incredible talent and Bloomie did it better than anyone.

I’ll miss taking you out. You helped me break up my day and made me more patient. I’ll miss you begging for popcorn. It was great to see which clients would give it up for you. I’ll miss lifting you into the SUV. It reminded me how dependent you were despite your tremendous independence. I’ll miss feeding you each morning. Your wagging tail and morning kiss made it worth waking up early for you. Rest in peace Bloomie.