Piggy Bank On Pennies

I bet you thought this post was going to be money related. No, it’s going to be the bank of life

Many moons ago, I had the pleasure of working briefly at a car dealership as a PR Rep. I went through a training course on lots of stuff but one of them was “the life bank”. Apparently when salesmen deal with people, they are to make five deposits into their customer bank before withdrawing just one. Five to one is what they would always say. Basically it’s to say five things that make the person feel loved, appreciated, flattered, like they mattered, etc. then you could slap them with one tidbit of bad news, like “Ma’am I think that outfit is lovely and you are going to look so good driving this car. I am sorry your husband passed away and I can understand you wanting to buy a more economical car. I appreciate your letting me help you today. “ Whew, that was hard. There’s five deposits, so now the salesmen get to say “Your car payment is going to be $300 more a month than you had budgeted”. This is supposed to make the person not feel as bad when the “bad news” is delivered because you’ve made five deposits. You may think OK, I still have four in the bank, no you don’t. The five to one rule means your five deposits (positives) equal one withdrawal (negative).

During counseling one time, the counselor told us you should practice the five to one.  I knew instantly what he was referring to.  I was like really?!? Heck I couldn’t think of five good things to say about anybody at that exact moment. If I couldn’t say anything to the NachoKids unless I had proceeded with my five positives, I would never be able to say anything negative. I mean we got five kids!!  I mean what was I supposed to do… Say five things before I asked them to put up their dishes?  I don’t think so.  Not going to happen.

I wasn’t raised with a lot of praise but instead a lot of expectations from my parents. If I made an A- on a test, they would give me the look of “you could have done better”. I felt like I had disappointed my parents. I don’t know why I always felt that way. Now my older sister on the other hand, she could come home with barely a C- or even a D and they would be like, “Oh thank goodness you passed!” So the concept of five to one sounded crazy ridiculous to me and in some ways still does. I guess they just weren’t the kind of parents to say “you are doing a good job” or “I’m proud of you”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing my parents, I’m just saying how it was. That’s why I believe I don’t do well with schmoozing people with meaningless words.

So, with the NachoKids, I never got to the five to one and really have no desire to strive for that goal. I don’t even do five to one with my own child and he’s my baby! I think one to one is plenty because that’s what life is going to deal them at best. They will more likely get the zero to one training by real life.

I figure it’s best to let them know what reality is like than be freaked out when their boss tells them “no” one day or tells them to do something without praising them for ten minutes first.

What’s your thoughts, how do you feel about the five to one “bank of life” theory?

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