The Art Of The “Canned Sales Meeting”

by Paul Castain on November 18, 2013

A friend and I finished our dinner and we headed out to the “Castainmobile”.  I asked him if we could make a quick stop at the grocery store and with a nod of his head, we were on our way.

Once we were properly armed with our shopping cart, I confessed that we weren’t there for me, we were there for him. I told him to fill the cart.

A rather familiar wave of emotion consumed my friend when he realized that his family would have food in the house. I say it was “familiar” because I had the same look on my face when someone did it for me when I was down on my luck  back in ’95!

I believe that as wonderful as this life can be, there are times when it feels that all is lost. That someone in that great bakery in the sky has baked a “screw you” pie just for you!

Quite frankly, worrying about food is not only disheartening, its a tad humiliating!

I know because that’s how I felt 18 years ago!

What if each of us were to take our Jedi skills and harness them for the ultimate good and . . .

1)    Have a “Canned Sales Meeting” sometime this holiday season where we ask all the participants to bring a few canned or non perishable items to donate to the local food bank.

2)    We take that network that we’ve been sitting on and we pass this concept along to them and ask them to pass it along to their network. Think Linkedin connections, Twitter and Facebook friends, people from your local chamber, your suppliers etc

3)    If you’re a blogger, perhaps you could encourage your readers to host a “Canned Meeting” and pass the word on to their network.

Perhaps you can use your Jedi-like sales skills to sell your boss on making your next meeting, a “Canned Meeting”?

The point is to use that gift you were given to give something back!

The food banks get slammed this time of year folks and this will make a huge difference to someone . . .

Like it did for me at a time in my life when I desperately needed  . . .

The gift of another round!

Paul Castain is a badass who trains individuals and teams to be lethal. To hire Paul to train, coach or speak click here To learn about our upcoming, online sales program, click here!

  • Tim Rethlake


    What a great idea!

    We aren’t given anything in life that we don’t earn in one way or the other. You gave a hand to your friend because somewhere along the way he earned your friendship. You received the same hand up from your friend because you did something to deserve it in their eyes.
    I pray that all of us have either the grace to give or the humility to receive the gift gracefully depending on where we are on the path this Thanksgiving.

  • Ian Edwards

    Thanks for sharing the post again, Paul. It’s very heartwarming and encouraged me to accept your call to action when I first read this post a couple of years ago.

    Since then I have organised 10 canned meetings prior to Xmas, helped a local Rotary Club to make it one of their annual events, and through a blog post and word-of-mouth have received commitment from many others to put this into action.

    I’m only giving my example to show how easy this is to do. Following your lead Paul, all it took was a small amount of effort to connect with a local food bank and tap in to the goodwill in my network. And, believe me, festive meals taste so much better knowing that I and my network friends have helped others in need to also put food on their table.

  • paulcastain

    “I pray that all of us have either the grace to give or the humility to receive the gift gracefully depending on where we are on the path this Thanksgiving.” AMEN Tim!

    Thank you!

  • Rich Weatherby

    I love the “using my good fortunes to help others” approach. The company I work for already sponsors a food bank, so I needed to get creative. I created a challenge that for every company I sign a contract for in 2014, I will donate a set amount to my charity of choice. Now, corporate-HR won’t let me use corporate email to send the challenge to my co-sales people, so I opted to lead by example with a thermometer-type display on my door showing amount raised vs. my goal for the year. Now, when people ask about it, I can explain my project. I even tagged it “Selling with a Heart” to lump in our skills and the emotional tug. I’d like to figure how to get more involved, but for now this is a good start. Thanks as always for the great ideas you share!

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