Making Sales In Tough Times – Old Black Hen

Old Black Hen

Old Black HenHow to make sales in tough economic conditions by adopting the old black hen’s philosophy.

I can’t credit the author of this little poem / parable because I have had it for so long that the source is long forgotten and nowhere to be found. However, it is a great little story! It espouses going back to the traditional ways of selling your products and services. It’s what I call TTMP! It stands for “Talk To More People”!

Over the very many years I spent as a salesperson / account manager in the computer industry and then as a business owner there was nothing that worked better than TTMP.

Of course, in those days there was no social media and websites were very basic. We had no choice but to get out and meet people. And it worked. Sadly, today I see many business owners pinning all their hopes on websites and social media. They are waiting for ‘buyers’ to come to them instead of getting out and getting in front of prospects. Read the poem below and decide if you are a red rooster or a black hen!

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The Old Black Hen

Said the little red rooster, “Gosh things are tough.
Seems that worms are getting scarcer, and I cannot find enough.
What’s become of all those fat ones is a mystery to me.
There were thousands through that rainy spell, but now where can they be?”

The old black hen who heard him, didn’t grumble or complain,
She had gone through lots of dry spells, she had lived through floods of rain.
So she flew up on the grindstone, and she gave her claws a whet,
As she said, “I’ve never seen the time when there were not worms to get”.

She picked a new and undug spot; the earth was hard and firm,
The little rooster jeered, “New Ground: That’s no place for a worm”.
The old black hen just spread her feet, she dug both fast and free,
“I must go to the worms”, she said, “the worms won’t come to me”.

The rooster vainly spent his day, through habit by the ways,
Where fat worms had passed in squads, back in the rainy days,
When nightfall found him supper-less, he growled in accents rough,
“I’m hungry as a foul can be. Conditions sure are tough”.

He turned then to the old black hen and said, “It’s worse with you,
For you’re not only hungry, but you must be tired, too.
I rested while I watched for worms, so I feel fairly perk,
But how are you? Without worms too? And after all that work!”

The old black hen hopped to her perch and dropped her eyes to sleep,
And murmured, in a drowsy tone, “Young man, hear this and sleep –
I’m full of worms and happy, for I’ve dined both long and well
The worms are there as always – but I had to dig like hell!”

Oh here and there, red roosters are holding sales positions.
They cannot do much business now, because of poor conditions,
But soon as things get right again, they’ll sell a hundred firms,
Meanwhile, the old black hens are out, and gobbling up the worms.

Author unknown.

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John Denton

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