Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on December 05, 2006

A powerful psychological factor you could use to influence others.

Yes there is. Few people are aware but subconsciously each of us has a buy mind-set and a sell mind-set and they are sharply different.

As buyers, it’s “buyer beware” and we’re often skeptical. But as sellers we’re friendly as can be as we try to get others to like us, to buy our product or do something else we want.

Recently I received a mail piece offering some attractive real estate for sale. Because Anne and I have been real estate investors for 30 years, real estate firms spend heavily to persuade people like us to buy.

To find out more about the properties, I called an owner of the firm and cordially greeted him. But before I could tell him I’m a real estate investor, he interrupted me.

Because he erroneously thought I was trying to sell him something, he thought as a buyer and he abruptly cut me off by shouting, “You’re wasting my cell phone minutes!”

With his loud voice still echoing in my ear, I took a deep breath, exhaled slowly and said, “Then I’ll get right to the point.”

When he found out Anne and I are buyers, he instantly shifted from buyer to seller and became a different person. “You’re so friendly,” he said nervously, “I thought you were a telemarketer.”

As he presented his firm, he kept apologizing. When I didn’t respond well, he proclaimed in a high pitched voice, “What else can I do. I’ve apologized and I’m apologizing again.”

I replied by asking him, “Do you occasionally call people to solicit their business?” He said he did, and I responded, “That makes you a telemarketer.”

“What you can do,” I said, “Is to treat callers the same way you’d like to be treated.” And I politely brought the call to an end.

This man’s rudeness aside, the lesson from this call is the difference in buy mentality versus sell mentality. That element is in each of us.

If you’re selling, put yourself in the other person’s position, recognize their buyer’s skepticism and think about what would appeal to them and why.

One of the best examples of doing this I’ve ever seen was when Sony Corp. recently prepared to sell their latest video game console; PlayStation 3 and they wanted to command a premium price.

Sony knew buyers would be skeptical and would look for discounts. And for good reason as Sony has strong competition from Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii.

Plus as technology continuously advances, prices of older products drop as newer versions are introduced. As a result, if new product shortages exist, manufacturers quickly ramp up production to meet demand.

What did Sony do to get top dollar? They switched buyers into sellers. They ran a slick marketing campaign to create strong demand. Then they limited the initial production and let it be known the product would be in short supply through the Christmas holidays.

On November 17th, the first day Sony allowed PlayStation 3 to be sold; some stores began to sell them at 12:01 am. Many customers got emotional, forgot they were buyers and quickly offered to pay the premium price to get one.

By the thousands customers camped outside of stores anxiously waiting to buy. And newspapers published pictures of the crowds and quotes from store personnel about PlayStation 3 shortages.

This made buyers even more frantic fearing they’d be left out. They had to have it.

Of course for buyers with big checkbooks, PlayStation 3 was readily available on eBay and other websites but at a much steeper markup.

This is considered to be wise business practice but I’m not suggesting you be so manipulative. In fact, I advise you not to do this for it appeals to ugly facets of mankind such as greed and fear.

With that understanding, I’ll conclude by telling you about someone who did the opposite of Sony.

Most Doctors charge a premium for their services and if you or your child is sick, you’ll readily pay it. Dr. Salvator Altchek was a notable exception for he didn’t take advantage of his services being in short supply. In his Brooklyn neighborhood, he was known as “the $5 Doctor.”

For 67 years, Dr. Altchek who passed away four years ago at 92, tended to the medical needs of the poor. For the last 50 plus years of his practice, in his home, he opened his basement medical office door at 8 am, took a dinner break at 5 pm and closed his door at 8 pm.

Then he’d pickup his black medical bag and often on foot, he’d make house calls, sometimes until midnight. He did that until at 87; his legs wouldn’t allow him to.

Dr. Altchek devoted himself to his patients and often charged just $5 or $10 or sometimes didn’t charge at all. And he loved what he did as he joyously practiced medicine to the end of his life.

My advice is to use the powerful psychological information I shared with you to treat people as Dr. Altchek did: with kindness and respect. It will make you a better person and it will make you more successful as you build relationships based upon sincerity and trust.

Success Tip of the Week: Smile and greet people with the warmth you’d show if you wanted to sell them something. It’s the opposite of what most people do and it will attract them to you for almost everyone wants to be around those who are kind and caring.

In the next KazanToday: A man who became successful despite the devastating affects of bigotry and poverty.

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Many of these short stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!