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Do You Want To Buy A Horse? - sales


By Bob Garner


A sales person was using all of his sales techniques to sell Homer a horse. Homer was weakening.


Homer asked, “Is the horse fast?”


“Fast?” The salesperson said, “I guarantee you that if you get on this horse at midnight, he’ll have you in Oxnard by 2:00 in the morning.”


Homer said, “Hmmm. I’d like to think it over. I let you know in the morning.”


The next morning, the salesperson knocked on Homer’s door. When Homer answered the door, the salesperson asked, “Well, what do you think?”


And Homer said, “Well, I don’t think I want the horse. You know, I stayed up all night, and I couldn’t think of one good reason why I’d want to be in Oxnard at 2:00 in the morning.”


Obviously this is parable is full of meaning. Moral: This salesperson didn’t address Homer’s true need or desire for a new horse. Instead of replying that the horse will get you to Oxnard by 2:00, the salesperson should have said, “Yes, the horse is fast. People will be amazed at how fast this horse can go. But even more, this horse is a beauty. Imagine what people will think when they see you riding this gorgeous animal? A horse like this one belongs to a person of power, respect, and dignity, and that’s why it’s perfect for you.”


As I mentioned in earlier, people buy first on emotion and then rationalize their decision with logic. In this case, by Homer asking if the horse was “fast,” he wasn’t concerned with how quickly it could take him somewhere, but if he could say to others after he bought this horse, “This horse is the fastest horse I’ve ever had.” It was going to be an “ego” purchase and by telling Homer the horse was fast and beautiful and that he would be the envy of all who saw him, Homer would buy the horse.


If Homer would have said, “I need this horse to pull some loads that I have. Is he strong?” Then the salesperson should have focused on the power, endurance, and strength of the horse, as well as how quickly Homer could get his work done saving time and money. The emotions involved then are money, greed, power, etc.


Bottom line: Don’t horse around when it comes to selling to your customer’s true needs and desires. Hit these needs and desires many times during your presentation. Don’t try to sell a benefit in which the customer isn’t interested. 


Bob Garner is the author of "Masters of Motivation" which has been called a “must read” by business leaders. The creator of a number of CDs that have empowered thousands, Bob writes for numerous business magazines and speaks extensively worldwide on motivation, sales, and success. Sign up now for his free monthly newsletter called "Personal Success" at