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Daily RICHual #37: Sam Spade and the One Liner

As I was watching The Maltese Falcon for the umpteenth time Sunday, I anxiously awaited the “showdown” scene between Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) and Brigid O’Shaughnessy (Mary Astor). After a rough and rocky relationship (both business AND personal), Spade let’s her know that he’s turning her in for murder, even though he loves her.  “I hope they don’t hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. Yes, angel, I’m gonna send you over. The chances are you’ll get off with life. That means if you’re a good girl, you’ll be out in 20 years. I’ll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I’ll always remember you.”

Like Actors and politicians, salespeople are great at the one liner, the soundbite, the quip.

Maybe for the non customeroriented or ego driven salesperson, this “works.” For someone bent on building relationships, the cornerstone of effective sales, it comes off mean spirited, defensive, or just plain nasty. How about, instead, think about 3 things: