The Mousetrap

A long time ago when I was a young guy, I was working a multi-day trade show and was getting more than a little bored.  When you get bored and lazy at a show, you start looking at your watch, and handing out brochures instead of engaging potential customers.

My boss at the time caught me at it and pulled me out of the booth for a first class bawl-out.

“When you’re with customers, YOU’RE ALWAYS A 10!  I don’t care how you feel, YOU’RE ON STAGE RIGHT NOW, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT??!!”

He then told me the story of the Agatha Christie play, The Mousetrap.  It opened in London in 1952 with a plan to run for, at best, eight months.  Today, it’s still going and has passed its 25,000th performance.  The original actors stayed with the play for over a decade.

“How do you think those actors felt after year five?  Do you think they felt like performing the same role every night?  Do you think they were sometimes mad or sad or upset or bored or going through personal struggles?  OF COURSE THEY WERE!  But do you think their audience ever knew?  OF COURSE NOT!”

“WHEN YOU’RE IN SALES, YOUR ATTITUDE IS ALWAYS A 10! YOUR CUSTOMERS DON’T CARE ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL!  THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU!” He bawled, scarlet-faced in my ear.

I’ve never forgotten it.  You shouldn’t either,

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