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Beggar’s Bowl Mentality
by Pat Schuler

Many of us who sell, persuade or offer a service or product can find ourselves in what I call the “Beggar’s Bowl Mentality”.

Remember the movie Oliver Twist? Whenever I ask this question, if people remember nothing else from the movie, they remember one thing: Poor young Oliver, with his empty gruel bowl, saying,
“Please, sir, Can I have some more?”


Some Medieval Beggar or Village Idiot rattling a tin cup, whining, “Alms for the Poor?”

Do you know sales professionals or business owners who feel totally at the mercy of the prospect/client?

Who are afraid to voice a strong opinion or disagree, for fear the client will be upset? After all, good prospects are harder to come by than ever. What if this one disappears?

Know anyone who’s afraid to ask questions about budget, time frame or decision makers – wouldn’t want to make the prospect or client angry!

Here’s the thought –

Ask yourself whom you prefer to work with: Someone who is cringing and uncertain or someone who has the confidence of their convictions and expertise? Whom do you trust more? Who will you refer to others? Who is less likely to surprise you with a roadblock because they haven’t asked enough questions up front?

You are entitled to ask questions and you’re entitled to the answers, AND to call a time out if you don’t like the answers you get. You’re entitled to know what comes next, and you’re entitled to say NO, this isn’t a fit. And you’re entitled to learn how to do this gracefully. So that you don’t damage the long term relationship.

Your Pivot Point Questions:

As you’re doing business this week, ask yourself :

Are there questions you know you should be asking, but aren’t?
Are you intimidated by the client/prospect?
Are you reluctant to take a stand in the negotiation because you seriously need the business?
What do you need to change in your approach or in your “mental stance” to make sure you don’t sound like Oliver Twist with his bowl, saying “Please, sir, can I have some more?”

Other Empowering Articles for those in Sales

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"Pat Schuler is a Business Development Coach and Sales Trainer. She is also President and founder of The Gemini Resources Group, which helps business, technical and sales professionals increase their revenue a minimum of 30 %. Clients learn to unfold the mystery that sometimes surrounds selling skills as they move from anxiety and fear to action and success.

Contact The Gemini Resources Group at or 763-533-2806 to find how you can see revenue increases of 30% minimum.”

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