Don’t Be A Badger

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Deep in the servers of YouTube, there’s a thigh high, furry little omnivore who exemplifies everything we love and hate in obnoxious salespeople. His name is Grady the Badger, and his shenanigans will be our teacher today.

Grady is the creation of The Martin Agency, which used him in a series of 12 advertisements forJohnson Automotive, a chain of car dealerships in Maryland, North Carolina and Florida. A harsh, pushy, suit-wearing badger who sounds like a lawnmower in a sandbox, Grady does a brilliant job of offending, disparaging and scaring away customers. At the end of each clip, the narrator asks, “Tired of being badgered? Come to Johnson…”

Grady is a reminder of the counterproductive emotions, techniques and hypocrisies that can creep into our sales game. Let’s analyze a few of his best moments and take away some useful lessons.

1. We Aim To Please 

With a mouth full of food, Grady calls a customer who recently purchased a car from his dealership. He tells the customer, “We just want to know how your experience was.” The lady answers, “It was terrible,” and fires off a laundry list of complaints, during which Grady murmurs an intermittent “uh huh…uh huh.” Finally, he interrupts with, “We aim to please,” as if the customer were satisfied.

It’s the classic case where a salesperson feigns concern but really doesn’t care. “We aim to please” is not unlike the lofty mission statements you see on company websites. Today, what company doesn’t claim something like, “We obsess over customers,” “We ‘wow’ our customers” or “We’re customer-centric”?

Read the rest on Forbes.

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