Sep 2017

Buy The Shrimp Farm: The Power of Negative Selling

When we first started franchising Proforma in the late 1980s, most people in our industry scoffed at our business model. So, we reached out to people outside our industry to start building our franchise concept.

In the late 1980s, there was no internet! So we relied on advertising in business publications and attending “own your own business” expos. At one of these expos at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, I met a recent immigrant named Rawi. He was a very nice man, however, he could barely speak English and was very unfamiliar with the ways of doing business in the U.S. He requested a private meeting with me for later that evening to learn more about Proforma.

During that meeting, he told me that he really loved the Proforma opportunity and had narrowed his decision down to joining Proforma or buying a shrimp farm in Vietnam for $1 million.

Wow. I liked him and I had no idea he had that type of money to invest, but I worried he would really struggle in our business. So I advised him to buy the shrimp farm. He became very upset.

The best I can tell, it was because he didn’t want to be rejected. He didn’t want to be told not to join Proforma. He didn’t want to feel like I was telling him he was not qualified. So, from that moment forward, he became obsessed with joining Proforma and owning a franchise with us. I eventually relented. I hoped his passion and determination would lead him to success.

As most would guess, he never made many sales, and eventually left Proforma and bought the shrimp farm.

What I learned from my interactions with Rawi is that negative selling can be very powerful. I was not purposefully negative selling with him. I was trying to be helpful and honest.

The truth is, most people want something no one else can have. It’s why there are so many different types of cars with so many colors and options. Negative selling can be very powerful when used correctly. Making our prospects qualify to do business with us can be very effective. The key to any effective negative selling approach is that you have to be fully honest. Prospects can easily sniff out non-authentic negative sales approaches.

Do you want positive results? Sometimes it’s best to be honestly negative to get positive results.


Read past articles in Greg’s Million Dollar Mindset at Promo Marketing Magazine