The managing director of a department store came across a docket for more than $42 000, and immediately phoned down to the department manager:
"Have this assistant come up to my office at 9.30 tomorrow morning," he said.
Next morning Tom Trenery presented himself at the managing director's office.
"Ah! Trenery isn't it? My reason for sending for you this morning is that yesterday I came across a docket of yours in excess of $42 000. That is very commendable. It was very likely the biggest transaction ever made in the history of the store.
"What I want you to do is describe for me step by step how you made the sale. I can pass the information along to our sales trainers. Now, what was the first item the customer bought?"
"Three dozen trout-fishing hooks."
"I see. What happened then?"
"I sold him half a dozen reels of line, some sinkers, wet and dry flies, and a rod and reel. Next he needed heavy-duty clothing, a hat and a pair of thigh boots. I pointed out that rather than carry his gear backwards and forwards every weekend, he would be much better with a permanent base. I sold him one of our three-room prefabricated cabins. I mentioned that roads into the best spots were fairly rugged and persuaded him to buy a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Then there was the boat and the outboard motor. I think that was all, sir."
"You mean this customer just came in for fish hooks, and you sold him all that?"
"Well, no sir. He didn't come in for fish hooks at all."
"What did he come in for?"
"He just asked me for directions to maternity wear, so I said to him, 'You look like being in for rather a lame time, sir. Have you tried trout fishing?'"
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