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"You're a Good Salesman"

by Dr David, Publisher / Editor

I've become more aggressive in the Saturday Market. Some weeks ago I observed Pedro Queso (Pedro the Cheese Man) inside Mercado Sano accosting folks who were walking by his stand, offering them free samples of cheese. I thought, I should do that.

My style had been to wait for someone to show a sign of interest in our shawls, before approaching them. Granted my standard for "a sign of interest" was very liberally defined. A touch or pause or even glance was sign enough for me to start my sales pitch. This Saturday, though, I took it to a new level.

I had my eye on a tall, big woman. She was wandering around the market. Three times I waited for her to come into range. But each time she passed well away from our stand. The third time, as she was walking off, her friend came close and I said to her, "We just made a number of large shawls and I really want to try one on your friend." "I'll go get her," she gamely replied.

Friendly and flirtacious by nature, I use those qualities to my advantage when selling. When the big, tall woman arrived I told her, "We just made a number of large shawls and you've got a great body for them," adding, "I want your body." She cooed her approval and bought the first shawl she tried on, a beautiful mix of reds and orange.

Then, returning from somewhere, I noticed a woman who had just passed our stand. Normally I follow a sales etiquette. When a potential customer is in front of the stand to our left or right, they are off-limits to me. That's our neighbor's opportunity to sell. But this woman was just passing by, not focusing on our neighbors display of jewelry, and still only a step or two away from me. I grabbbed a shawl and grabbed her attention and reeled her in. The yellow, coffee, brown shawl with a shot of orange in it was just her thing. My girlfriend Veronica, who designs the shawls, has a fabulous eye for color.

The trifecta was a woman in her early thirties, standing at least thirty feet in fromt of our stand, talking with great animation on her cellphone. I caught her eye and began my performance, modelling the shawl, draping it across myself in a long series of styles. She watched and continued her call. When she hungup she came over with her band of three, one husband and two friends. I continued in earnest. She told her band, "He's a good salesman. He started to sell me when I was across the room on the phone." Coming from her, it was a great compliment. That woman was a force of nature in business. She bought a shawl of two blues with a little grey and less brown in it... for her husband.

***

We use the language of the marketplace when it comes to belief. We offer something, an idea or a point of view, and they buy it or they don't. "What's he selling?" we ask cynically regarding someone's motives. We "buy into" a reality. We "buy" an excuse or story. The saying, "It's all sales," is more than a little true.

Human consciousness is embedded in narrative. Think about all those generations of our ancestors sitting around the campfire. We are told stories. We tell ourselves stories. Stories are ways of organizing information, stringing things together, identifying cause and effect. Stories are a strategy to make sense out of it all.

The problem comes when our story is not broad enough to account for all of the available information. Those realities that are not included in the story, those experiences which we deny, come back to haunt us.

I hate to complain, but by way of illustration, I didn't get enough attention as a child. I didn't know that I existed until I was in second grade. My mother hardly touched and never kissed us. As a result, as an adult I shied away from affection and cultivated difficult intimate relationships. Love had to hurt. If it didn't hurt, then it wasn't love.

I also had problems with receiving attention. I went about getting noticed in the wrong way, putting myself forward too strongly. I wasn't comfortable with, didn't trust and wasn't nourished by attention more freely given. I really shouldn't be using the past tense, because I still have these tendencies. It's just that having come to better terms with my childhood trauma, I'm not so neurotic anymore. I'm not acting it out.

As a child I couldn't understand what was happening. I was confused and hurt. As an adult I acted out the childhood trauma because I was in denial about it. In hiding from the neglect I suffered it over and over again. I say, if you don't remember your childhood, be sure that it remembers you.

Coming to terms with these psychological quirks makes us healthy, wealthy and wise. Becoming conscious of our denied experience is becoming complete; the missing pieces come into place. Weaving it all together is integration; we stop acting against our own self interest; we are in accord with ourselves. Having the whole story, a story that includes all of our self, is a good thing.

***

And now that I am more comfortable with attention, I'm stepping forward and selling something else, the opportunity to come to terms with the repressed parts of your being, the chance to get your story straight.

The idea is simple in design, elegant in execution and wonderful in its economy. It is that our lost emotions, our denied experiences, are all around us. We live them out, in a confused way every day. But, when we change our point of view, they become enlightening realities. As Zen Master Foyan admonished: "As long as you don't know how to be people in the midst of enlightening realities, you only exercise your minds in the mundane world."

But how do we change our point of view? I'm glad you asked. In a nutshell, do something for the problem, the emotions that makes you uncomfprtable, the dis-ease. Stop trying to fix , correct, convert, kill or make it go away and try getting to know it. "Art saves lives." Poetry is part of my self-therapeutic process. Writing articles like this is also.

In the market, when I'm demonstrating the many different ways to wear the shawl, the woman about to buy it often asks, flirting a little herself, "How am I ever going to remember all these many ways? Do you come with the shawl?" I tell her, "It's all on our website," and give her a card (sometimes adding, in my best Groucho Marx, "That's the best offer that I've had all day").

In terms of coming to terms with your neurosis, I tell you the same, It's all on my website. Look through my Poetry of Disease. Do it yourself. No purchase required. (For those of you who would like some help in the process, please contact me at the email below.)

Another part of my self-therapeutic process is paying attention to my dreams. Some of my dreams have a visionary, portentous quality. They really get my attention. Just recently I had another one of those. In it my mouth was stuffed full, to the point of being wedged open, with a large mass of something resembling that sesame seed candy, where the seeds are all bound together with dried honey. I had my finger in my mouth, chipping away at the solid block, removing fragments large and small. I was in the headmaster's quarters of a long-abandoned school that was going to be reopened. A ceremony to inaugurate the renovations was being prepared outside. The table for the inauguration was set with books arranged at every place, every seat.

You don't have to be Sigmund Freud to interpret that dream. There is a freeing of my power to speak, to communicate. It's time I started teaching, that is, doctoring again. Suddenly I am making great progress on designing my new website and project, Open Mind. (See more in my author bio below.)

I also associate, this dream of unstopping my mouth with my new-found capacity to reach out farther, to accost potential customers in the Saturday Market, rather than waiting for them to come to me. (Thank you, Pedro Queso.) I've got more to sell and say and, in fact, sometimes I'm just giving it away. Come by for your free sample or just to say hello; I like the attention.

**************

Dr. David:

My Open Mind Project

Buddhists masters insist that "Normal reality is enlightenment." So, if we are not okay with normal reality, if we have a problem with how things are going, then we are somehow missing the point. Our experience has a point, a point of view, and we are missing it. What we need is a new, more inclusive perspective.

Normal reality is enlightening. As I quoted above, "As long as you don't know how to be people in the midst of enlightening realities, you only exercise your minds in the mundane world." We have been conditioned to interpret our experience in certain narrow ways. We suffer because we rely on those faulty interpretations.

We shouldn't blame others for our experience: feelings, emotions, hurt... We shouldn't blame our experience, judging it as wrong or bad. We need to see things in a new light. We need an open mind to learn the lessons of our experience. Then we can graduate to other experiences, or become more comfortable, friendly, positive, enlightened with reality as it is.

That's what my Open Mind project is about.

The website is coming soon.
To learn more now write me at:

events @ sanmiguelevents.com

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