On the Virtual Road: Sales Tales with Scott Ballenger - One egg or two?

The pandemic has cost us many things, including, for too many of us, the ability to connect with our colleagues in person. At Zymewire, we recognized that risk early on and have made a concerted effort to preserve our culture and community despite the lack of in-person collaboration.  

As part of that effort, we’re bringing some of our favorite in-person experiences into the digital world – and we’re excited to bring you along for the ride. 

One of the things I’ve missed the most – and maybe you have, too – is hitting the road on a sales trip, talking shop and sharing stories (and maybe a beer) with my colleagues.  

So while we’re still probably a few months from hitting the physical road together and I can’t buy you a beer on this trip, I’m looking forward to hitting the digital road together through this blog series, where I’m sharing some of my favorite sales parables. (Don’t worry, for those of you who  miss our more technical deep-dive pieces – we’ve got more of that to come, too.) 

Some of my stories might seem obvious to you if you’re an experienced salesperson. If so, I’d invite you to share your take.  

Have you seen these come to life in your work? Or are they just stories, better left by the proverbial sales campfire? 

One Egg or Two? 

Back in the day of soda fountains at the pharmacy, the milkshake was a very popular item and purveyors encouraged patrons to add an egg to the milkshake for body, nutrition…and profit. Adding an egg for a dime significantly added to the profit of a transaction. 

One day, a salesperson wandered up to the soda fountain and ordered a milkshake. The owner said: “Would you like me to add an egg for an additional 10 cents?”  

The salesperson said, “No thank you.” Halfway through her egg-less milkshake, the salesperson commented that the owner looked a bit down. 

The owner looked up glumly: “Well, no one wants to add eggs to their shakes and that’s the bulk of my profit.”  

The salesperson thought for a moment and said, “Do you mind if I try?”  

The owner, a little wary but intrigued, said, “Sure, go ahead.” 

The salesperson stepped behind the counter and put on an apron. The next customer walked up and ordered a milkshake and she said, “One egg or two?” 

And the wealthy soda fountain owner lived happily ever after.  

If you’re nodding along knowingly with this story, you’re probably already familiar (consciously or not) with what the Decision Lab calls the “framing effect” – when our decisions as consumers  are influenced by the way information is presented.1 

You make decisions (consciously or not) every day about how you frame things up – for your family, your friends, your colleagues and, yes, your clients. 

“Do you want some vegetables with your dinner?” vs. “Do you want peas or broccoli?” to your stubborn, vegetable-hating toddler.  

“Do you have some time to talk about our quarterly sales targets?” vs. “Can you meet at 2 PM or 3 PM tomorrow?”  

“Do you want an egg for an additional 10 cents?” vs. “One egg or two?”  

Have you seen this in action – where a change in framing around the same product made a difference to your bottom line?  

What changed? How did it affect your ability to close a deal? 

Share your story. 





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