Archive | 9:04 pm

Do I have sucker on my forehead?

28 Feb

Today as I left Safeway, a homeless man was panhandling for change outside the entrance. “Any change?” he asked.

I gave him my standard answer, “Sorry –  I don’t carry cash.”

To his credit, he came back with, “Can you use your card to buy me breakfast?”

This response appealed to me for two reasons: First, I am wracked with guilt when I see homeless people. I’ve been fortunate to have a life in which I can take care of myself, and I try my best to pay it forward. Ignoring the request of a homeless person – when I can clearly afford to help – makes me feel like I’ve lost my grounding in humanity. Second, I coach salespeople and advise them to come back to any objection with another question to remain engaged. This guy was a MODEL closer who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

Ergo, my guilt and his tenacity worked in his favor. “C’mon,” I told him. “I’ll buy you a few things.”

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