Archive for October, 2011

Sales is a ‘People Business’

October 13, 2011

Like my old man used to say to me when I was a ‘young buck’ – “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times…” ┬áSo allow me to say for the 1000th time – “Sales is a ‘People Business”. The sales call is NOT about you, and what you want, it’s about the prospect, and their feelings. If you miss a critical opportunity to turn the focus of the call to your prospect’s feelings, and what’s important to them, then you’ve missed a critical step required to build rapport. Although the Gold Call Script choreographs simple dialogue, and gets you to the ‘close’ quickly, it’s main purpose is to serve as a framework for building normal sounding conversation at a ‘peer-level’ with prospects. On the attached call recording you will hear an exchange I had with a controller of a bank in Cincinnati, OH. Right away Ms. Controller sounds like she’s having a bad morning. That’s when I decided to get out in front of the problem, rather than wait for it to blow up in my face!

If your prospect sounds like my prospect did this morning, don’t ask for 10-seconds, and jump into your Gold Call ‘Lemonade Statement’. You’ve got a problem prospect, and you MUST deal with that immediately. That’s why when ‘angry’ prospects answer their phone, you need to quickly jump to, “Sounds Like I couldn’t have picked a worse time to call you”. This will instantly call your prospect’s attention to how they answered the phone, and the reason for their behavior. You’ll find that most prospects will catch themselves, and readjust their tone, and realize that being angry at someone they don’t know is just plain silly. (You see most people really do have a heart, and are conscious about their interaction with others).
The lesson in all this is to remember to ‘fight’ all your battles up front, don’t wait! Just remember to have EMPATHY with prospects. It’s all about them, right? On this call I am playful and understanding, and most importantly, I turned a negative into a positive. Although I didn’t close a new prospect, that was just for this call. The next time around it could be different. Next time I will get a name and phone number and a closed appointment all because I faced the problem up front, and let my prospect know that I understand their feelings.
Happy Hunting…

Giving Salespeople a Bad Name…

October 3, 2011

When I got news of TV pitchman, Don Lepre’s death, I wasn’t surprised to find that he died in his jail cell. What took the authorities so long to arrest this con artist? It’s hard enough for legitimate salespeople to overcome the bad rap about the profession without this ‘clown’ adding to society’s poor impression of salespeople. Thanks Don!
You’ve seen his ads on late night cable TV – “You can make thousands of dollars a week by placing tiny classified ads in newspapers” he would say. The sound of his voice still makes me cringe – It was squeaky, high pitched, and he sounded like a bullshit artist. This time around the scam was about vitamins. What amazed me is that 220,000 bought into it, and are now suing him for $52 million. Good luck collecting…
P.T. Barnum once said, “There’s a sucker born every minute, and two to take him”. I just can’t believe 220,000 actually thought that Don was legit, and sent him money. A great salesman? I think NOT!
In today’s society, cheating has become more common place than ever. We read about it every day. Cheating and scamming are seen as the fast track to newfound wealth, but it can be anything but. The high road of honesty in business can be a long and bumpy ride. I guess that’s why so many people like Don Lepre opt for the ‘fast track’ for the quick buck. Yeah, but look at him now. His ‘sins’ soon found him out, and at 47 years old he decided that committing suicide was his best option. Sad to say the least.
If you have integrity, you are a billionaire. I don’t know about you, but my integrity is priceless. I’m old school. If I can’t win fair and square I don’t do it. That’s the way I ‘roll’. I probably could make a lot more money cheating and stealing, but who the hell wants to wind up like Don Lepre?