I had the wonderful pleasure of being introduced to Carr Hagerman through a good friend of mine by the name of Cathy Paper. I completed a podcast last August with Cathy, and you can link to it by clicking here. I was intrigued by Carr’s approach to becoming a top performer in selling. You see Carr’s background is that of a street performer for over 30 years. Carr Hagerman didn’t follow the path of the MBA into the corporate world; he came up from the streets – literally. The character he created was unlike anything the festival patrons had ever seen before. Gritty, funny, smart and totally irreverent, his character instantly engaged his audiences and captured their imaginations – and loyalty. His character is still a favorite among patrons. Carr found opportunities to bring his uncommon performance and business philosophy to a number of ventures, each one providing a fresh set of challenges that expanded his knowledge and honed his ability to apply what he’d learned.
In 1998 Carr was introduced to The FISH! Philosophy based on the film, FISH!, by Charthouse Learning. The philosophy incorporated much of what he’d been preaching for years. Carr quickly became a master FISH! Philosopher and traveled to speak with companies and organizations all over the world about how to use FISH! to help them create more engaged workplaces. We all sell something for a living — whether it’s a brand, a vision, an education, a direction, or a service. We might even be selling a set of numbers to a board meeting, learning to a student, or cereal to an infant. This eye-opening parable is about harnessing natural energy — yours and that of those around you — in order to take your sales, and your satisfaction to the next level of success. In Top Performer, you’ll meet Jim, a disciplined but uninspired sales manager. In London on vacation — his first in years — he meets a gentleman named Top Hat. In an engrossing conversation, Top Hat tells him about a legendary Dublin busker/street performer called the Rat Catcher, who engages his audience and effortlessly charms them into parting easily with their change. Top Hat then gives Jim an envelope to bring to the Rat Catcher as a form of introduction. Jim is incredulous, and even a bit suspicious. But after a trip back home, he’s willing to do anything to break out of his rut of good-to-average sales and dogged but unfulfilling perseverance. Jim travels to Dublin, where the Rat Catcher tells — and shows — him some surprising secrets of his work ethic and his selling style. Jim ultimately realizes that he needs to Claim the Pitch, Mine the Mess, Choose the Close, and, most importantly, Juice the Jam. When Jim returns home, he’s re-energized, having learned how to Build a Circle and Pass the Hat where it really counts — in his life, his relationships, and his workplace. Full of action-packed and sometimes hilarious descriptions of the real like adventures of street performer, this engaging metaphor will appeal to anyone in any position — and in any field, from banking to baking to busking. In the tradition of the bestselling Fish! series this is a deceptively simple story that contains profound advice — advice that will help make readers into Top Performer themselves.
Carr’s approach to sales and selling is quite unique, but the message is so important. If you want to become a Top Performer in selling you have to engage your customer, ask questions and listen. This is a wonderfully entertaining book and my interview with Carr helps to bring the concepts of a street performer to life and integrate them into your sales practice. I encourage sales people and anyone working with in customer services to listen to this podcast and read Carr’s book. You can learn more about Carr Hagerman his workshops and seminars by clicking here to visit his website.