One of my friends tells the story of Thanksgiving at his mother’s house. She, being from the school that there isn’t enough food on the table unless one of the table legs breaks, would fill her husband, and her children, and their families with breads, and turkey, and stuffing, three different kinds of potatoes, four different fresh vegetables, and pies… several pies… for dessert. It was a question of who groaned most: the table, when the food was laid down, or the family after they had finished mother’s Thanksgiving dinner.
It was the family tradition, then, to retire to the living room to watch Thanksgiving Day football. With bellies full and belts loosened, soporific and sedentary, they would snooze and watch the games as they digested their dinners.
He said, “and then, a couple of hours later, she would appear at the living room door with a platter piled high with food, singing out,’ I’ve got sandwiches.'” Nowhere to run…
I married into a family with a matriarch cut from the same bolt of culinary cloth. “If you love me, you will eat.” And eat we always did.
She, also, would take a little time to clean up in the kitchen (“No help needed, thank you, I’ve been doing this for 40 years, just go and relax”) and then….offer multiple desserts.
But there’s a point at which, following such meals, no matter what treat or delicacy was offered, no matter how good it looked, there was no appetite to have another bite. Even, “surely, you could just have a little bit” didn’t work. We were stuffed.
Sometimes our clients and prospects are “stuffed,” too. Even though the platters we carry when we appear at their doors look terrific and even though, on another day and at another time, they would have gorged themselves on it, at the moment we show up for a sales call or a meeting, they’ve stuffed their corporate bellies with projects and initiatives and conversions and assignments. They just can’t eat another bite even though we say, “Surely, you could try just a little bit to get started” or “I can offer you a really good price if you buy now.”
It’s best if we watch our clients quietly as they digest and then, at the moment they begin to stir, offer our goodies.
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