The man who sold the Eiffel Tower by James Francis Johnson
Gregory Alan Bolcer stashed this in All the world's a stage
A friend of a friend was talking about his contract to tear down the Bay Bridge. All the time I kept thinking about one of my favorite childhood books cited above. He was able to sell the Eiffel Tower not once, but twice.
Here's his 10 commandments for being a con man.
Ten Commandments A set of instructions known as the "Ten Commandments for Con Men" has been attributed to Lustig:
- Be a patient listener (it is this, not fast talking, that gets a con man his coups).
- Never look bored.
- Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.
- Let the other person reveal religious views, then have the same ones.
- Hint at sex talk, but don't follow it up unless the other person shows a strong interest.
- Never discuss illness, unless some special concern is shown.
- Never pry into a person's personal circumstances (they'll tell you all eventually).
- Never boast - just let your importance be quietly obvious.
- Never be untidy.
- Never get drunk.
I don't think those are bad rules for being a con man, but those are probably some pretty good rules for doing "old school" sales in general. Thank goodness software is moving to a self-service model.
Some of these rules are good for selling even when you're not a con man:
1. Be a patient listener.
2. Never look bored.
3. Never boast - just let your importance be quietly obvious.
You know, those rules are good for networking, too!
I agree. The most important one in any profession: Listen to what people tell you.
Why is it so hard to listen???
(Other than, you know, that I have lots of wonderful things to say...)