Nobody Ever Asked Me for Them Before

Alan J. Zell
Alan J. Zell

Here’s a contribution from Alan J. Zell of Portland, Oregon, known as the “Ambassador of Sales.”

Bill, your article on Business Knowhow–“Top 10 things Customers Don’t Want to Hear”–reminded me of an incident that happened when I was in our family’s jewelry business.

My uncle, Dan Zell, was well versed in watches and was on a constant lookout for both men’s and ladies’ watches with full-figure dials with a second-track — all numbers, no sticks or roman numbers– because both doctors and nurses needed them when taking pulses.

One day the Omega watch sales manager was making his “I gotta get more business from our accounts” trip about the country. When he opened his case of watches, there were not any with full figure dials. Dan asked him if he had any in the line or could put such dials on any of the models upon which, the sales manager said, ‘Nobody ever asked me for them before.”

At that Dan replied, “Thank you for calling me a nobody.” and asked him to close up his case and leave.

Besides all of us having a good laugh at his expense, I learned as a young businessman never to say “Nobody ever asked. . . . ” Because of this and inputs from others, I developed a list of things me staff was to be on the lookout for and write them down and report them back to me–which are now in the articles “Business Calisthenics” on my web site. The first two “exercises” were to alleviate our staff responding to a question, “Nobody ever asked… . . ”

Thank you for helping bring back that memory to me.

And thanks to you, Alan, for your excellent contribution.

Alan’s Web site:

And to read my Business KnowHow article that prompted Alan to write me:

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