Jerry Seinfeld teaches Showmanship (Lesson for People in Sales)

I am sure I’m not the only one whom Jerry Seinfeld has inspired in so many ways. Apart from the fun of experiencing his craft on screen, there’re so many gems in form of lessons one can consume and make use of.

I would like to take one particular example – this is more applicable to all the people who’re wearing the Sales hat.

In the Seinfeld episode dated March 19, 1998, the character George Costanza devises a new plan to end every conversation on a “high note” and “leave them wanting more” after Jerry comments about showmanship.

Wikipedia says “Showmen aim to display goods with tact in order to sell.”

Effective sales people do not go overboard. When you’re in a meeting with a new prospect, the best thing you can do is first listen, and give the right dosage of your pitch. If their response echoes good impression, just leave. Most of the people fall in the trap of getting overwhelmed by the positive reaction, and they “continue” their selling. Overselling, if you will. It’s no longer a dialogue after the first high note. It becomes a boring monologue with “rejection” sprayed all over.

And most times, your introspection comes up with the wrong reasons for the unfavorable outcome.

Was the PPT not correct? Was the attire not blending in? Was my accent okay? Was my breath fine?

Nobody feels that they should have stopped and taken it slow after the first “applause.” Higher engagement comes with pauses at the right places. Allow your prospects to “breathe” in between the high notes you’re playing.

Just like music. The absence of notes at the right intervals defines the melody.

I have certainly found the inspiration usable for my sales persona.

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta is a UX professional, hands-on designer and coder. He is a consultant to product companies in San Francisco Bay Area. He loves to play chess and design solutions in spare time. He ran a UX company, IDYeah Creations for six years in India. His expressions can be found on popular platforms like UX Booth, Technorati and SAP Community Network.

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