Selling Ice to Eskimo’s


Selling Ice to Eskimo’s



What a tricky question to ask. The question is designed to cast doubt in the sellers mind if he or she is doing the right thing. My question is does the Eskimo want or need ice?  The first thing to do is discover why the Eskimo would require my services for ice. When the Eskimo does not need or want ice then my question changes to should we sell ice to an Eskimo?


I will take this a step farther I do believe each person that sells should have the knowledge to sell products and services to people who do not need then however that does not mean it is right or sound business practices to sell that item. People that sell are not in the business of letting the buyer beware. The sales person in the construction service trades should have the mantra of helping and serving the customer.


I know of no sales organziations that teach and preach the use of lying or misleading the customer to move forward. There are some sales organziations that use manipulation and stretches this to the line that many dare not cross or come close too. How it is tied to manipulation is using fear as a motivator. This fear comprises of a loss of some sort. Frequently it will be tied closely to potential property damage or to a disease such as cancer or diabetes. With the use of these fears there will never be a mention that  there is a high probability that property damage will not occur or that the chances of developing cancer or diabetes is slim if you do not purchase said products.


Should the customer be informed of the negatives or potential property damage when he or she chooses to do nothing? The answer is he or she absolutely needs to be informed. It is your job to inform the customer of all possibilities however to hang your hat on using fear of a potential flood as your only means of a sale is short sighted. You are far more likely to make a sale focusing on the positives of ownership verses the negative of  non ownership.


I talked to a customer recently that told me a person told her if she did not do something with her rusted pressure tanks that they could possibly rupture. In doing so the pump would not shut off and possibly build so much pressure that her plumbing pipes inside her home could burst and flood her home. The pressure tank is located 100 feet from her home in the yard.


This is a total fabrication and using fear and manipulation to make a sale. In this case if the pressure tank were to burst water would flow into and onto her yard. The yard would be flooded and her home would receive no water. The home would be totally safe. Create urgency however the urgency created must be truthful information.


Selling should have no ethical distractions. The only problem is with the unethical decisions made by unethical people. It is when leadership within the company has questionable ethics that it becomes and stays a problem. When this type of behavior is allowed the company will suffer. It starts by slowly murdering the reputation that typically takes a very long time to build.


It is amazing during ongoing debates with people in the trades many in the trades believe it has to do with greed. It is not greed that is causing unethical behavior. It is the corrupt individual themself that is the problem greed is the outcome but not the cause. The immoral person that sells unethically is dishonest to begin with and now has a shameless means to support their dishonesty. The owner/manager that allows this harmful behavior has a touch of contrite ethics in them to allow this behavior.


We all have fell victim to an unscrupulous person at one time or another that specializes in unethical behavior. Here is my take a person that sells with unethical behavior; he or she is very good at what they do. You buy into their depraved scheming ways. Why do people buy into their scheming ways? They will show up with charts and verbal positions that support and that make sense their allegations. The statistics will verify their prejudicial actions. However these statistics are skewed in their favor to show that they are correct certain points will be negated and not mentioned. They are well prepared to fight off any person that is against their bad practices and way of conducting business. They have fought this fight before and lost. This is why they are working for you at this time. Sooner than later it will catch up to them, it is a matter of time. The regretful thing is it will cost you customers however unpleasant it is a learning experience that will help make you stronger in the future.



There is absolutely nothing wrong with a company turning profits. The reason any person will start a company and maintain it is to make a profit. Profit is not a dirty word. Typically with discussions concerning unethical selling trade’s people and lay persons will contribute that a company has made huge profits or charges an extreme amount as a reason to say the company is unethical. Where is this coming from? What a company charges has very little to do with ethics and honesty. Do you as a customer receive what they have promised for the dollars charged? When the answer to this is yes and you agree to the price what and how do ethics and honesty equate?

What has become an issue are the companies that refuse to charge the proper amount to cover their cost of doing business and then expect all the companies out there to follow suit. It is ridiculous to work for less than what your company requires to be profitable and give the services to the customers that he or she deserves. Your customers do not expect you to work at the poverty level they expect to see you tomorrow and for years to come.


To many companies in the construction service trades have set customer expectations and standards way below a bar that has made it tough for rest to make a decent living and have their people make a decent wage. The construction service trades require a lot of training to install repair and know what is necessary to make the right repair or replacement. Experience and education over time gives the service technicians the ability to understand why he or she is doing what they must in order to repair or replace. The knowledge to know why you install this part or that part over another part this is what separates you from the local handyman or neighbor that believes he can do something correctly. This education and experience does not come free it came with a cost to you the company owner. Charge the correct amount and stop labeling another company that charges a profitable wage of being unethical.


Learn to set the right customer expectations and standards by charging what you should. Then start giving the customer the level of services each deserves. Then communicate in a manner that allows your customer to make the right choice for the right level of products and services. Deliver on your promises and above all always choose honesty, ethics, and integrity to serve your customers.










About practicebetterbusiness

Author of Outside the Business Box: All about Sales Build a better you and increase your earning potential

Posted on December 9, 2012, in construction services, electrical sales, How to sell HVAC, How to sell plumbing, HVAC sales, plumbing sales, Selling Plumbing, service industry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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