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Lessons from the 100 Acre Wood that we can build on.

November 1, 2011

This past weekend I was watching the new Winnie the Pooh with my daughter. I have seen numerous Winnie the Pooh features in the past with her, but this time it was different. This time I actually observed the characters and the different personalities they possess. It made me recall something I read in the past.
Years ago I read a book about what kind of personality you possess according to the characters of Winnie the Pooh. (I have scoured the internet to give credit to who wrote it and came up empty.) As I watched the movie, I recalled what types of personalities each character represented according to this book. Then I noticed how each character represented sales people and styles I have encountered in the past. Then I carefully studied each character’s attributes and what they bring to the table. After I discovered the pros and cons of each character, I realized that two characters possess qualities need in order to be successful in sales.
So let’s take a look at Owl, Pooh, Piglet, Eeyor, Tigger, Rabbit, and yes Kanga and Roo.
On the surface he seems a well-educated confident fellow, but when you listen carefully you realize he is nothing of the sort. Owl seems to have all the answers but he is just full of hot air. Give him any topic and he you realize that he is just bloviating to end. He sounds good but he really has no content or knowledge. If this is you sales strategy, then you will have a very short shelf life. You customers will catch on faster than you realize.
Pooh wanders through life off of instinct. He has no real plan, but to wake up in the morning and see what the day brings him. He is successful due to luck and the work of the people around him. Unfortunately, this is the majority of people in sales. They are not organized, have no plan, and work on the game plan of Hope. They meet the minimum sales expectations but will not strive for more. If your chosen profession is sales, then you must take a proactive approach to your craft. Athletes practice and have a game plan. So should you.
This little gent has no confidence, nervous beyond belief, and is scared of a rustling leaf blowing across the yard. I love seeing Piglet sale people in public. You can spot them at a mixer from a mile away. They are either in the bathroom vomiting from nerves or glued to the wall and look like they are in front of a firing squad. I know you have seen these people. They provide comic relief, but it really is tragic that they are out in public representing your company or product.
I retract my earlier statement that the majority of sales people are Pooh. I would say out of the majority, half are Pooh and half are Eeyor. These are the sales people that go through their as victims. They complain about their job, product, sales, and niche. No matter what company they move to or what product they have, it is never good enough. They have lackluster results and bring down the rest of the team with their attitude. One word describes this person, and that word is Cancer.

You have to love Tigger. He is so full of energy and zest for life. He makes everything exciting and fun. Do not confuse him with the details. He just wants to get out there and go go go. This type of sales person has very little or no product knowledge, and usually over promises and under delivers. Training and some organization will help this type of sales style.
Rabbit is organized to the point of OCD. He has tons of product knowledge and has no problem sharing it. His down fall is people skills. He feels if he knows it so should you. He is a very intelligent unlike Owl who fakes it until he makes it. Rabbit is also a little short on patience. If you are Rabbit then you would benefit from a book called “Type Talk at Work”. Read it. It will change your world.Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/42g765n
Kanga is our mothers who gave us a deficit out of the gate to be sales people.
Kanga Says:
“Do not talk to Strangers.” Strike one for us.
“Do not speak until spoken to.” Strike two.
“Wait your turn.” Mom must have never studied market share stats. Strike three.
And last but not least. “Wait to be introduced.” There is no strike four, but this is to make sure we strike out should we skip one of the above.
Poor Roo. He represents our future sales force screwed up by the advice from Mom.

Woozles: Do not get me started with Woozels. You know who they are.

None of these characters make a good sales person individually. So, what do we do? We create a hybrid. We combine two of the above mentioned characters into one. I feel the two best candidates for this integration are Rabbit and Tigger. Rabbit has is neat, organized, punctual, and has a ton of product knowledge. Tigger is likable, enthusiastic, passionate, and tireless. If you were to create this hybrid you will have an unstoppable pipeline and an unbelievable income stream. I will call this new animal a Tiggit. If you have a better suggestions please leave it below. I am not a cryptozoologist.

  1. November 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Great post, I like to think I am a hybrid too but it’s good to stop and think about it. Amazing what you can learn from a childs movie. Thanks for sharing

  1. November 8, 2011 at 5:19 pm
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