August 12th marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most famous children's books of all time - Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham. The book was the result of a $50 bet between the author and his publisher that Dr. Seuss couldn't write a book using only 50 words.
This "simple" book is full of lessons that are worth revisiting.
Be willing to change your mind
The unnamed character in the book doesn't think he'll like Green Eggs and Ham and that belief drives his refusal to try them. Spoiler Alert: He ends up liking them quite a bit. New things can often make us feel like Sam-I-am offering us Green Eggs and Ham but if we have an open mind, we may be pleasantly surprised!
For those of us engaged in sales, Sam-I-am is the ultimate salesperson!! He simply did not accept defeat and kept on selling the virtues of Green Eggs and Ham! While we probably can't use "in a house" or "with a mouse" as effective strategies, Sam-I-am surely modeled the willingness to overcome objections at every turn!
Be willing to use a different approach
Persistence is important, but overcoming objections means sometimes changing your approach. It means that if you can't make the sale with a box or with a fox, perhaps you need to try to make the sale with a goat or a boat! Seriously, every customer is different and finding the right benefits is the key to making the sale!
Asking the right questions is the key to handling so many different customer issues! Before you rush to a solution, make sure you're asking all the right questions first. Whether you're troubleshooting, selling, or servicing, asking questions to allow you to see the whole picture leads to efficient resolution!
Sam-I-am spent an entire book dealing with a cantankerous customer and did so with a smile the entire time! "You may like them. You will see." That optimism and positive attitude eventually led the unnamed character to try those Green Eggs and Ham!
Focus on your goal
It's easy to get distracted. In a car, in a tree, on a train, in the rain, in the dark, with a goat, on a boat - Sam-I-am kept his eyes on the goal at every crazy turn and that focus paid off!
While I've outlined a few here, I am sure there are even more lessons to be learned from this classic, even if our reading skills suggest a more "complicated" book. If you now feel an immediate and insatiable desire to experience this book again, you can listen and read along here. Learn even more about Dr. Seuss with Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jay Jones.