Monday, July 13, 2020

13 Effective Sales Strategies to Help You Close Deals Faster

13 Effective Sales Strategies to Help You Close Deals Faster The pace of business is accelerating. Most clients expect their products to be delivered very quickly, but they usually find it hard to make quick decisions about the purchase.There are many similar products on the market today which solve similar problems. The plethora of options to choose from, sometimes paralyze the mind of a prospective client and make it difficult for them to make quick decisions.With many salespeople differing in skills and experiences trying to a sell similar product, the salesperson that will have the most success will be the person who knows how to persuade, influence and win the trust and confidence of prospective clients. Despite the number of people in the same business, you can stand out by learning how to sell more at a faster rate than any other salesperson.That comparison shopping is on the rise doesnt mean you cannot close deals faster.It only means that your old strategies may not work. If you dont try out some new moves, you may be defeated in ever y sales battle and lose so much money and fame. Almost every salesperson has encountered some problems at one point or the other while trying to sell products or services to their prospects.Prospects that prove to be very stubborn or unyielding make it difficult to close deals easily.If youve always wished you could close more deals in a short time, there could be some effective sales strategies that will help you achieve your desire.Many people work hard to be great salespeople but have problems with closing deals.Here, however, we worked tirelessly to find and analyze the ways a salesperson can significantly shorten his sales cycle length.After our research, we have found 13 levers that can make a big impact in the sales world.The major aspect is about learning how to increase the rate of your sales by convincing the buyer that purchasing now is the right decision.This, of course, means you must build confidence with the prospective client and be able to always provide the right i nformation, at the right time, and to the right person.But how can you achieve this?1. MEET WITH THE DECISION MAKERMany salespeople try to make sales to a company and spend a lot of time analyzing and convincing someone who is not in the position to decide for the company about a product.After all the time spent (sometimes hours or even days) and a great job of convincing a lead, they then realize that the person they have spent so much time with is not the actual decision maker.This, of course, leaves them discouraged, sapping all their energy and enthusiasm. They realize that they have spent days focusing on the wrong guy and may not make any sales. This is a very common speed bump in the sales world and you have to try as much as possible to avoid it.You have to go to the decision maker.The decision maker depends on the size of the company. The decision maker in a small company is usually the CEO or CMO.Hence, you should go to them to convince them and make them buy your product. However, if you go to a larger company or organization, they have some specific people or departments that deal with sales.Hence, you may not have to meet directly with the CEO (dont spend days seeking an appointment to meet him).The decision maker for a larger organization is the Sales Director, Head of Sales Operations, or Head of Demand Gen.To avoid the error of meeting the wrong person, it is important to invest in tools that will allow your sales team to correctly double check if they are trying to make sales to the right person.Nobody wants to waste their time selling to someone who is not in the position to make the decision to buy.2. HAVE ADEQUATE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT OFFERINGSThe more knowledge you have about your product, the more confident you will be whenever youre interacting with your prospect about your product offerings. If you have a thorough understanding of what you stand for, and the products you sell, youll be more enthusiastic when interacting with your prospect.This will make the prospects understand the decisions they are making and hence you can close deals faster. It is compulsory that you are articulate with your product knowledge because that will go a long way in determining if youre going to be successful in winning the trust of your prospect or not.If you have a deep and vast knowledge about your product, your ability to communicate will be strengthened and your presentation of the product would be able more effective.You should know everything about the product like the back of your hands, deliver a comprehensive and genuine sales pitch, and explain to the buyer in ways that will appeal to him. Know what youre trying to sell! Knowledge is power for salespeople.Get knowledge, close sales faster.3. UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS NEEDDont be so eager to show off the boundless knowledge you have about a product youre offering that you forget to understand what your customer really needs.You have to actively listen to your prospec t, and understand their needs and the challenges they are facing. You have to understand how your product or service will help that individual or organization.Knowing what specific problems it will solve and how it will help improve their lives or profit will help you go a long way. To whet the appetite of the buyer for the product, try to put some life into your sales pitch by avoiding mechanical or monotone explanations. Explain to the prospects in ways that appeal to them.Should a prospect sense that youre just explaining off a script, then you most probably wont close that deal. It is important you specifically and correctly address the major pain point of your buyer and connect with them.Try to understand the goals they have and the hurdles they have to overcome and build your conversation around this, focusing on how your products can meet their needs. It is very important to give a listening ear to your prospective clients.Dont think about another deal when in a conversation with a prospective client. Practice active listening.4. PREPARE FOR QUESTIONS AND OBJECTIONSHaving a positive mental attitude is a crucial quality of successful salespeople.However, it can also cloud your sales strategy and critical thinking. Not everybody will take your explanation hook-line-and-sinker.You have to be prepared for objections to your ideas. Dont let the buyers objection and questions take you by surprise. Dont be too swept along by enthusiasm that you never really consider the possibility of being objected.It is not in any way cool to get caught right in the middle of presenting a product with an objection you cant surmount or a question you cant give a definite answer to. If you have to ask to respond to the questions or objections later, or you give a stammering not-so-sure answer, you not only slow down your sales, but youve also jeopardized the possibility of making the sales to happen at all.If you dont want an awful news late in the game, you should employ the method of asking critical questions and challenging any assumptions so that you can forecast what could go wrong before it actually does.It is a brilliant move to sit down with your entire sales team and have each of them come up with objections they think they might anticipate. Present your sales pitch to them and see if you or any member of your team may have missed any objection.You can then log all those uncommon questions or objections you encountered in a central repository that is accessible to everyone involved in selling your product, and put the answer there.The document should be kept up to date, and should also be stored in a way that will make it possible to easily and quickly reference it if need be. If you can learn from each interaction, the next one will always be better. Prospects mostly dont know much about your services and usually have many questions to ask.The key to closing deals faster could be embedded in your ability to patiently and intelligently answer an y questions put up by the prospect.5. CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCYHave you ever been in such a situation and was naturally compelled to get a product because of the deadline placed on the product at a discount? If you can apply that feeling to your own sales, you will discover that you have the key to accelerate the closing of deals.If you want to close a deal very fast, create a sense of urgency around the product. Creating this urgency can be as simple as announcing a deadline, after which the current price will change. It is wise, however, not to create fake deadlines.You could simply ask your prospect if they can decide on the purchasing the product by a certain date. If they make a decision on your product, you can make them stick to it by offering a really effective discount.If you attach a deadline to the deal, you will help give the prospective client an incentive to make a commitment.Whether its giving a free gift or a discount, make the client feel like they have the upper ha nd. Dont try to rush the customer.Only try to give them a little extra reason why they should buy your product or service.Let them come to the conclusion in their heads that your product or service is the right choice, and the best time to make a decision on this choice is right now.6. GIVE QUICK RESPONSEPeople dont like to wait for too long to get what they want. When a prospective client requests a quote, you must not make him wait for long. The process of creating a sales quote may be time-consuming, and a long wait and hold time may cause a drastic reduction in your sales potential.Therefore, if you spend hours creating quotes, you may experience lost sales.However, the process involved in creating a sales quote need not take long. If you desire to speed up your quoting process, a CPQ tool may be essential.A CPQ tool has the ability to create complex quotes in minutes. They also come with ready-made sales quote templates. This will save time, help you avoid costly errors and mak e it possible for you to close bigger deals faster.Creating custom templates that is just perfect for your branding is no longer a problem! It is a smart choice to have a CPQ cloud solution.With this, all you require to access and operate the system is an internet connection. Cloud-based tools make your data available online at all times. This is advantageous because you are able to create quotes from anywhere, at any time.With these tools, your prospects can also easily view and approve the Sales quote online, therefore speeding up the ordering process.Giving a quick response also applies to returning calls, texts and emails. Make your prospect feel important by giving rapid responses that answer their questions or dispel their doubts. 7. STREAMLINE YOUR SALES PROCESSTime is literally money in the business world. Technology has come to the aid of business to make some tasks completed more rapidly.The sales process need not take a long time anymore. It has to be streamlined to be ab le to keep up the pace with demand.If your sales process is slow, it implies that your sales team will spend a lot of time and effort in closing deals. With a longer sales cycle, your leads may grow cold. If you streamline your sales process, you will save time, close more deals, and boost your productivity.In order to shorten the sales cycle, it is important to automate important processes that are important for the effective and efficient performance of your sales team. Repetitive tasks can be automated by using tools like CRM, CPQ (configure price quote), etc.This will go a long way in helping to increase sales performance and grow revenue.It is also very important to simplify your sales process. This is to make it easier to comprehend by the client and hence, making them to quickly decide on getting your products without having to do more research on their own.8. FOLLOW-UP REGULARLYA regular follow-up of your prospects is a must if you want to move your sales forward. This is be cause many deals are usually not closed in a single meeting.Constant communication with your prospects will make them know you have them in mind, and as such, they will not want to disappoint you. If you dont get in touch with your prospects frequently, they may get stuck in your sales funnel. With a regular follow-up, you get another chance to come across to your prospective clients as excellent.If the interest of your prospect in your product or service wanes along the way, an effective follow up can help you regenerate their interest and encourage them to make purchasing decisions.A follow-up can be as simple as a phone call or direct email. Dont overlook it. It most certainly helps in closing deals.9. BE REAL, BE YOURSELFWith all the information you have about your product, dont feign enthusiasm when presenting your product or service to a prospect.A client can easily perceive if youre being genuine during the sales process or not. Your client should sense that youre being yours elf through the presentation.It is also important that you pass the message that you care about their business and not just the deal. If you come off too calculated, many people will be turned off.There is nothing wrong with being prepared. Its okay to dress smart and appear ready for every question that comes your way.However, remember that it is the customers best interest you have at heart.Make them feel important.10. KNOW YOUR COMPETITORSTo close deals faster, it is critical to expect and neutralize the competition. You should ask questions like What plans do they have to make them win? Whose help is crucial to them? What do they usually say about us?You must be able to show how you solve the challenges of the client better than other competitors.Competing is tough for business.But knowing your competitors makes you work harder and hence, your business becomes better.Competition is actually a blessing in disguise.If you are able to recognize your strong points, you can use those areas in which you are better than your competitors to lead to a quick close. This all boils down to adequate preparation.Carry out an extensive research and take note of the beneficial things youre doing but that your competition is not. If you highlight this difference, it can make all the difference.Dont ignore this point, it is oftentimes your biggest selling point.11. WATCH WHAT YOU SAYThere are more minefields than ever. Dont shoot yourself in the leg. Dont be so eager to say something that you end up putting your foot in your mouth.If there are certain areas of your product or service you dont fully understand, learn them thoroughly or avoid taking yourself to those uncharted waters.Keep your talk to the point and focus on your areas of expertise. Also, dont get all emotional when trying to make a sale. Dont sound too desperate too. You want to remain real and personable, but you have to remain professional.12. ASK FOR THE SALEAfter all your preparation, and making your clie nt interested in your service, simply ask for the sale. Good closers unfailingly ask for the sale.They dont practice sitting on their hands and hoping for a sale, neither do they wait for the client to raise their hand and volunteer to buy.Good closers seize the moment. Some closing techniques include the direct close, the assumptive close, and the choice close. The Direct CloseAs the name implies, this close is direct and to the point. The best closers tend to use this closing technique quite often. For instance, you could ask;So, Sam, would you like to place that order now?This technique will make the prospect give a definitive answer one way or another. It is easy and quick. The Assumptive CloseHere, you assume the sale has been made. Here, the client is required to make a minor administrative decision. For example, you could ask;Okay Morgan, how many would you like?This is the most popular closing technique. It is less assertive than the direct close. The Choice CloseThis is an assumptive close with options. Here, the client is required to make a decision on two administrative points rather than on a major purchase. For example:Which would you like to begin with. The 3-pack or the 5-pack?All these non-aggressive closing questions will make the buyer feel comfortable while you still have some pressure on them.13. INVOKE A VOW OF SILENCESilence is an itch that needs to be scratched.If you want to close a deal on the telephone, always invoke a vow of silence after asking for the sale. When you ask for the sale, keep quiet until the prospect speaks. Silence is a very powerful and effective tool in closing deals through telephone compared to face to face selling.This silence will actually work for you. Silence on the telephone is usually perceived as about six times longer than it really is. This is because unlike a visual transaction, there is no visual distraction in sales through a telephone. Silence creates a degree of tension by creating a vacuum in the co nversation, making the prospect feel compelled to fill the silent void. The tension created is a 2-Way Tension.It works in both ways.However, since youre aware of the tension in the first place, you could feel it less. Dont give in to the overwhelming impulse to fill in the void with a rush of further comment on the product or service, and never go to the extreme of offering the prospect more time to think about the offer!To be an effective closer, you have to resist the urge to break the ice because you are aware that any sort of additional conversation may detract the prospect from making a quick decision. Invoke a vow of silence and wait it out.Let your client have the time to digest your offer, let them have the time to weigh their options. Just wait long enough and give them time to say yes!CONCLUSIONThe faster you close deals, the more successful you will become in the business world. If youre able to hone these skills and practice them, youll be an unbeatable salesperson and enjoy many promotions.Yes, you can be a great closer.Remember, you attract what you think!I really do hope these tips helped. See you at the top.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Animal Rights and the Dominant Worldview toward Animals Essay

Our world today is becoming less and less aware of the pain and suffering being inflicted on animals. In outcome, animals are becoming even more and more tarred in society. Humans have and is continuing to handle animals as if they are some kind of material goods. This is considered as being immoral, as animals have their own lives, and they think, have feelings, can feel pain, require love, have families, and everything else that humans possess. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Declaration sets out â€Å"a common standard of achievement† for all people and all nations. Even so the nation have pledged to recognize this declaration, still many people throughout the†¦show more content†¦He believes that animals were no more than â€Å"complicated biological robots† (BCC 3). Ilana Mercer holds the same worldview as Descartes, but has different arguments. She argues similarly that there are no rights for animals and that â€Å"unlike human beings, animals by their nature are not moral agents. They possess no free will, no capacity to tell right from wrong, and cannot reflect on their actions, while they often act quite wonderfully their motions are merely a matter of conditioning† (2). To support Mercer, Cargile quotes, â€Å"a human has as much right to eat meat as a hawk or a fox does† (James 13). He considers that it is quite natural to eat animals and use animal products and that we have no moral qualms about doing so (James 13). Neil Schulman also holds a dominant worldview and asserts that the ‘animal rights’ movement is relying upon a logical fallacy which is based on commonly restricted premises. 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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

An Understanding About Autism And Schizophrenia Essay

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Artificial Intelligence in Today’s Society Free Essays

Artificial Intelligence in Today’s Society Larry Anderson INF103 Instructor Geathers November 21, 2011 â€Å"The goal of many computer scientists since the mid-20th century has been to create a computer that could perform logical operations. †(Bowles, 2010, 9. 2). We will write a custom essay sample on Artificial Intelligence in Today’s Society or any similar topic only for you Order Now The journey to achieving this is called Artificial Intelligence, which is considered to be the branch of computer science that is focused on creating machines that engage in human behavior, and intelligence. â€Å"The term Artificial Intelligence was first coined at the Dartmouth Conference in 1956 by John McCarthy. † (McCorduck, 2004, 2. ). â€Å"The Dartmouth conference paved the way for examining the use of computers to process symbols, the need for new languages and the role of computers for theorem proving instead of focusing on hardware that simulated intelligence. †(Krishnamoorthy Rajeev, 1996, 9. 1). Even though this name was coined in 1956, we saw artificial intelligence 15 years earlier when the electronic computer was created in 1941. Artificial Intelligence is an exciting subject that will only get better with time, allowing humans to do things that were never thought to be reality, until the last few decades. In this paper, I will be telling you about the four main studies of artificial intelligence and their importance to our society, as well as how they are affecting our everyday lives. These four studies are expert systems, natural language, neural networks, and robotics. Mostly all artificial intelligences can be categorized under these four studies. Not only are these technologies making life easier, they are making life more enjoyable for all societies. The first study of artificial intelligence I will talk about is expert systems. Expert systems are computer programs that contain large amounts of information in a certain field. These programs use this large amount of information to solve problems that normally would require human intelligence. The great thing about expert systems is that they can process information, in seconds, which would take humans days. Every expert system is made up of two parts: knowledge, and reasoning. â€Å"The knowledge base of the expert systems contains both factual and heuristic knowledge. †(Engelmore Feigenbaum, 1993, 1. 2). The knowledge is the information, while the reasoning is the problem solving aspect of the expert system. One common, but powerful paradigm involves chaining of if-then rules to form a line of reasoning. †(Engelmore Feigenbaum, 1993, 1. 2). For example, if you have these symptoms, then you must have a head cold. Expert systems are affecting our everyday lives by diagnosing illnesses, and predicting the weather. â€Å"One of the first systems was a computer that could perform a medical diagnosis. † (Bowles, 2010, 9. 2). A doctor can e nter symptoms into a computer, and then process a few questions for the doctor; after answering the questions the computer will make a diagnosis of the patient. This is very useful to doctors because now they can see more patients, and give promising diagnosis efficiently. The second way expert systems are affecting our lives is by predicting the weather. Meteorologists are using these systems to help predict hurricanes and tornadoes. This is very helpful to society, giving people more evacuation time during major storms. The second study of artificial intelligence is Natural Language, which is considered human language. â€Å"Natural language processing programs use artificial intelligence to allow a user to communicate with a computer in the user’s natural language. (Poole Mackworth, 2010, 12. 6). The computer can both understand and respond to commands given in human language. The two biggest hurdles in this study are phonetic knowledge, and pragmatic knowledge. Phonetic knowledge concerns how words are realized, and how words are realized as sounds. Pragmatic Knowledge has to do with how sentences are used in different contexts and how that affects sentence interpretation. Even with the tough barriers of language, and the meaning of words computer specialists are producing helpful natural language processing programs to better society. When was the last time you made a customer service call? Natural language is affecting you when you call a customer service number, and an automated voice tells you to say a command. â€Å"Voice-recognition systems are now handling night and weekend toll-free directory assistance calls for big corporations. † (Poole Mackworth, 2010, 12. 6). For example if you need to check your balance for a cell phone bill, a voice-recognition system can assist, without the need of a human. This allows the human customer service representatives to help customers with more complex questions. Another way natural language is being used is with Google’s real time translation application. With this application you can take snapshots of things in a different language with your phone and it will translate the words into your language in seconds. This can be useful when you are traveling in different countries, needing directions, or when you are selecting from a menu in a different language. â€Å"A neural network is, in essence, an attempt to simulate the brain. Neural network theory revolves around the idea that certain key properties of biological neurons can be extracted and applied to simulations, thus creating a simulated, and very much simplified brain. †(Reingold Nightingale, 4. 1). The first important thing to understand is that artificial neural networks are an attempt to recreate the computing potential of the brain. However, no one has ever simulated anything as complex as an actual brain which makes it very difficult to finish the whole project. Credit card fraud is very big in the present day, because many people are not using cash; instead they are using credit cards and debit cards to make transactions. â€Å"Nearly 400,000 transactions per day are of fraudulent charges. † (Brause Langsdorf, 1). Neural Networks are being used to detect fraud transactions with the principal of pattern recognition. Every time a credit card user uses their card there is a pattern of transaction. Neural network software uses information such as how much money a person makes, type of transactions made, and how frequent certain transactions are made to predict fraud. â€Å"Neural network based fraud detection is based totally on the human brain working principal. As the human brain learns through past experience and uses its knowledge or experience in making the decision in daily life problem the same technique is applied with the credit card fraud detection technology. † (Patidar Sharma 2. ). The last study of artificial intelligence I will be talking about is robotics. Robots are physical agents that perform tasks by manipulating the physical world. â€Å"They perform tasks which are idealizations or extensions of human capabilities. †(Selig, 1992, 1. 1). Robots have four characteristics; sensing, movement, energy, and intelligence. First off, a robot must sense its surroundings us ing light, touch, and pressure sensors. Secondly a robot must have movement; a robot needs to move around in its in environment, whether or not the whole robot moves, or just parts. Thirdly, a robot needs power to function properly, this energy could be solar, electrical, or battery powered. Last, it must have some kind of intelligence, such as software from a programmer in order to operate. Actual robots might seem like far off science fiction, but that is not the case robots have been affecting our everyday life for years. One of the biggest uses for robots today is in the automotive industry. Over the past few decades robots have completely changed the automobile industry in many ways. Even though the use of robots has also led to many workers losing their jobs, it is very cost effective. The robots are used for welding, painting, drilling, sanding, cutting, and moving tasks in manufacturing plants. The robots have improved this industry with a job efficiency that couldn’t be duplicated by humans. These robots have made assembly lines and factories safer by handling jobs that are too dangerous and too difficult for workers to perform. Another great way that robots are working in society’s favor is by cleaning up toxic and contaminated areas that would otherwise be harmful to humans. The biggest reason that robots are able to do these jobs is that they can be easily shielded against hazardous environments and are easily replaceable, unlike humans. Robots are used to clean up nuclear waste or clean ammunition, and landmines all over the world. Robots are also an asset to the military because they can detect and diffuse bombs in a combat zone. These robots are saving lives every day because they are able to go into situations that are life threating to humans and get the job done. The studies of expert systems, natural language, neural networks, and robotics are just in their early stages of advancements, but are already showing important promising characteristics for the future of mankind. We already see these advancements being put to the test by making medical diagnosis, predicting weather, voice automated services, catching transaction fraud, building automobiles, and cleaning up hazardous wastes. There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence is already affecting society in ways that were never imagined decades ago. Technology will continue to explode into the next few decades, excelling in Artificial Intelligence, how we embrace the advances, will define us as a society. Resources: Bowles, Mark, D. (2010). Introduction to Computer Literacy. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education. McCorduck, P. (2004). Machines Who Think. Natick, MA. AK Peters, Ltd. Krishnamoorthy, C. , Rajeev, S. (1996). Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems for Engineers. CRC Press. Englemore, R. Feigenbaum, E. (1993). Expert Systems and Artificial Intelligence. WTEC Hyper-Librarian. Poole, D. Mackworth, A. 2010). Artificial Intelligence Foundations of Computational Agents. Cambridge University Press. Reingold, E. Nightingale, J. Artificial Intelligence Tutorial Review. http://www. psych. utoronto. ca/users/reingold/courses/ai/ai. html Brause, R. Langsdorf. Neural Data Mining for Credit Card Fraud Detection. J. W. Goethe-University. Frankfurt, Germany. Patidar, R. Sharma, L. (2011). International Journal of Soft Comput ing and Engineering. Jaipur, India. Selig, J. (1992). Introductory Robotics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall International. How to cite Artificial Intelligence in Today’s Society, Papers

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner free essay sample

A narrative analysis of the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This paper discusses the style of the poem, as well as its intended audience and meaning. Examples from the text are given. Samuel Taylor Coleridges The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a poem that on one level appears to be a simple narrative, but in truth it is more complex because there are two levels of narrative taking place. The first of these is the long story told by the Mariner, but in the present of the poem there is also the fact that the Mariner is telling this story to one of the guests at a wedding. It is apparent from the first that the Mariner has some reason for selecting this particular individual for telling this story, and the effect this story has on the Wedding Guest becomes the means for extending the moral of the tale to a more general audience and to a more general idea of life. We will write a custom essay sample on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Up Country essays

Up Country essays In his novel Up Country, Alden R. Carter writes about how hard life is for children in the adolescent era by portraying the actions off Carl Staggers, a teenager surviving his mothers alcoholism and his car radio thief ring gone to disarray. Carl is a tragic hero who rambles through this time period by trying to make things right. He is also accompanied by characters close to him as the novel progresses. Carl is a young man with great hopes and dreams to become an electrical engineer. The problem is that he and his mother are deeply in debt, and Veronica Staggers, Carls mother, is an alcoholic who is brought home by the cops almost every week. Carl has the bright idea to use an opportunity that arose to earn money to go to a good technical college and earn a degree in electrical engineering. In this little opportunity, Carl repairs stolen stereos that he receives from his partner in crime, changes the serial number, and places the stereo into a company box for resale. Although this seems like the perfect crime, something goes terribly wrong with his admirable plan and Carl gets busted for the radios along with all of the other juveniles helping him. Ironically he was busted for the car audio equipment because of his mother who was thrown in a detox center for her alcohol abuse. Therefore, Carl was sent up country to stay with his aunt, uncle, and cousin whom he hasnt seen for a little over eight years. Thats when all of the trouble starts, including a run in with the local redneck bully and his girlfriend. On a good note while staying with his secondary family, he meets a wonderful country girl with whom he ultimately stays with instead of going back to live with his mother, who cleans her self up and moves on with her life. Carl is sentenced to public work and is basically let off easy on the condition that he ...

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Analysis of Good Country People by Flannery OConnor

Analysis of Good Country People by Flannery OConnor Good Country People by Flannery OConnor (1925–1964) is a story, in part, about the dangers of mistaking platitudes for original insights. The story, first published in 1955, presents three characters whose lives are governed by the platitudes they embrace or reject: Mrs. Hopewell, who speaks almost exclusively in cheerful clichà ©sHulga (Joy), Mrs. Hopewells daughter, who defines herself solely in opposition to her mothers platitudesA Bible salesman, who turns the clichà ©d beliefs of the unsuspecting mother and daughter against them Mrs. Hopewell Early in the story, OConnor demonstrates that Mrs. Hopewells life is governed by upbeat but empty sayings: Nothing is perfect. This was one of Mrs. Hopewells favorite sayings. Another was: that is life! And still another, the most important, was: well, other people have their opinions too. She would make these statements [†¦] as if no one held them but her [†¦] Her statements are so vague and obvious as to be almost meaningless, except, perhaps, to convey an overall philosophy of resignation. That she fails to recognize these as clichà ©s suggest how little time she spends reflecting on her own beliefs. The character of Mrs. Freeman provides an echo chamber for Mrs. Hopewells statements, thereby emphasizing their lack of substance. OConnor writes: When Mrs. Hopewell said to Mrs. Freeman that life was like that, Mrs. Freeman would say, I always said so myself. Nothing had been arrived at by anyone that had not first been arrived at by her. We are told that Mrs. Hopewell liked to tell people certain things about the Freemans - that the daughters are two of the finest girls she knows and that the family is good country people. The truth is that Mrs. Hopewell hired the Freemans because they were the only applicants for the job. The man who served as their reference openly told Mrs. Hopewell that Mrs. Freeman was the nosiest woman ever to walk the earth. But Mrs. Hopewell continues to call them good country people because she wants to believe they are. She almost seems to think that repeating the phrase will make it true. Just as Mrs. Hopewell seems to want to reshape the Freemans in the image of her favorite platitudes, she also seems to want to reshape her daughter. When she looks at Hulga, she thinks, There was nothing wrong with her face that a pleasant expression wouldnt help. She tells Hulga that a smile never hurt anyone and that people who looked on the bright side of things would be beautiful even if they were not, which could be insulting. Mrs. Hopewell views her daughter entirely in terms of clichà ©s, which seems guaranteed to make her daughter reject them. Hulga-Joy Mrs. Hopewells greatest platitude is perhaps her daughters name, Joy. Joy is grumpy, cynical and utterly joyless. To spite her mother, she legally changes her name to Hulga, partly because she thinks it sounds ugly. But just as Mrs. Hopewell continually repeats other sayings, she insists on calling her daughter Joy even after her name is changed, as if saying it will make it true. Hulga cant stand her mothers platitudes. When the Bible salesman is sitting in their parlor, Hulga tells her mother, Get rid of the salt of the earth [†¦] and lets eat. When her mother instead turns down the heat under the vegetables and returns to the parlor to continue singing the virtues of real genuine folks way out in the country, Hulga can be heard groaning from the kitchen. Hulga makes it clear that if it werent for her heart condition, she would be far from these red hills and good country people. She would be in a university lecturing to people who knew what she was talking about. Yet she rejects one clichà © – good country people – in favor of one that sounds superior but is equally trite – people who knew what she was talking about. Hulga likes to imagine herself as being above her mothers platitudes, but she reacts so systematically against her mothers beliefs that her atheism, her Ph.D. in philosophy and her bitter outlook begin to seem as thoughtless and trite as her mothers sayings. The Bible Salesman Both the mother and the daughter are so convinced of the superiority of their perspectives that they dont recognize theyre being duped by the Bible salesman. Good country people is meant to be flattering, but its a condescending phrase. It implies that the speaker, Mrs. Hopewell, somehow has the authority to judge whether someone is good country people or, to use her word, trash. It also implies that the people being labeled this way are somehow simpler and less sophisticated than Mrs. Hopewell. When the Bible salesman arrives, he is a living example of Mrs. Hopewells sayings. He uses a cheerful voice, makes jokes, and has a pleasant laugh. In short, hes everything Mrs. Hopewell advises Hulga to be. When he sees that hes losing her interest, he says, People like you dont like to fool with country people like me! Hes hit her in her weak spot. Its as if hes accused her of not living up to her own cherished platitudes, and she overcompensates with a flood of clichà ©s and an invitation to dinner. Why! she cried, good country people are the salt of the earth! Besides, we all have different ways of doing, it takes all kinds of make the world go round. Thats life! The salesman reads Hulga as easily as he reads Mrs. Hopewell, and he feeds her the clichà ©s she wants to hear, saying that he likes girls that wear glasses and that Im not like these people that a serious thought dont ever enter their heads. Hulga is as condescending toward the salesman as her mother is. She imagines that she can give him a deeper understanding of life because [t]rue genius [†¦] can get an idea across even to an inferior mind. In the barn, when the salesman demands that she tell him she loves him, Hulga feels pity, calling him poor baby and saying, Its just as well you dont understand. But later, faced with the evil of his actions, she falls back on her mothers clichà ©s. Arent you, she asks him, just good country people? She never valued the good part of country people, but like her mother, she assumed the phrase meant simple. He responds with his own clichà ©d tirade. I may sell Bibles but I know which end is up and I wasnt born yesterday and I know where Im going! His certainty mirrors - and therefore calls into question - Mrs. Hopewells and Hulgas.