I get a ton of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve their sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and (most important) your sales thought process right now.
Jeffrey: A company that installs gutter guards recently lost my business. I was solicited by their sales team twice. The second time I was in the market to buy. But their technique is different. They require both the husband and wife to be home during their estimate.
I do understand why they want both to be there (so they can eliminate any obstacles). However, my wife doesn’t care, nor does she want any involvement in these types of decisions. I told them if they require this, I will take my business elsewhere. They simply stated, "Thank you," and hung up. They lost the sale, and I now have new gutter guards that were installed by another company. What is your take on this? Mike.
Mike: Old-world salespeople are gonna die. In sales, it's called a one-legged sale when only one of the two deciders is in the room. Companies don't want to "waste their time" on someone who "can't decide without talking to their spouse" because the objection they use is, "I'm going to talk this over with my …" The bottom line is that company is rude, stupid and will lose sales, just like they lost yours.
First of all, men don't decide anything, anyway! Only women decide. The woman will approve all decisions in any household. Don't take my word for it, ask any husband.
Here’s the secret: If you're in the business of sales, you're also in the service business, you're also in the people business, and you're also in the friendly business. Anyone who says, "I'm not going to give my sales presentation unless both decision makers are in the room" doesn’t fully understand that concept. But that's the bad news for them. The good news is you can call their competition and coach them on what to do correctly. Somebody obviously did. Best regards, Jeffrey.
Jeffrey: My company delivers mobile dictation and transcription service to field workers in IT and health care, saving these people time in reporting. Lately I have been promoting the service to sales professionals. I have written several 30-second commercials for this but keep running into all sorts of objections.
Salespeople are difficult prospects and I’m constantly trying to find the right pitch. How would you approach the market of sales professionals and sales management? Do I need two different approaches? Gerhard.
Gerhard: No, you need one approach. Every salesperson who has a CRM (customer relationship management) — SalesForce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, whatever it is — is required to put stuff into their computer on an everyday basis for every sales call they make and there's one universal truth about it: They all can't stand it.
But if you could get them to record something on their laptop immediately, like a two-minute, this goes here, this goes here, and you could actually do their CRM entering for them… Oh baby! Their boss would buy it, they would buy it, their CEO would buy it, and their spouse would buy it. Everybody would buy it and they would pay double.
The problem is you're trying to sell your service instead of giving them an answer that they're looking for. Big mistake. Don't tell me what you've got. Sell me what I perceive that I need and then I will buy. Best regards, Jeffrey.
Jeffrey, I'm an independent commercial real estate lender and commercial real estate mortgage broker. I'm trying to link up with referral sources such as CPAs, commercial realtors, financial planners, etc. Do you have suggestions for a thought-provoking question or line of conversation to help me connect with these folks and open the door to more meaningful dialogue? Dennis.
Dennis: Dude, you're providing them with money. You're helping them get deals done. Why don't you ask them questions like, "What do you think about when your deal doesn't go through? Do you think that there's another alternative way?” and then follow with, “My name’s Jeffrey, and I would love to be your secondary source for the deals that don't make it. If I can prove myself on a couple of them, maybe I can earn my way to becoming your primary source. Fair enough?"
All the people you're talking to in the real estate business only want to get a deal done. That is their primary objective. It doesn't matter what the interest rate is. It doesn't matter where they get the funding from. They only want to get the deal done. If you can be a person who can help them get the deal done, they will use you. Best regards, Jeffrey.
Jeffrey: I am a devoted reader of your weekly email magazine and a fellow Phillies fan. I'm not a salesperson by title, but as GM-turned-entrepreneur, selling is a vital skill, and your insightful information is greatly appreciated, not to mention it just makes sense. My strengths are more on the production and supply side, so I was wondering if you had any advice on how to find qualified salespeople in specific industries. I have several products that I'd like to develop sales channels for, but I’m not sure where to begin. Rob, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.
Rob: Qualified salespeople are already working someplace else. You must attract them with reputation, range of salary and incentives, and social proof that you're great. Look for people in related industries or directly at your competition. Ask your vendors. Ask your customers who they love to buy from. Search LinkedIn by keyword to see who may be “looking for career offers.” Go Phillies! Best regards, Jeffrey
Jeffrey: My boss and I have drafted emails to different types of industries specifying how they can make money and profit from our service. The plan is to send out these brief descriptions through email and see who gets back to us. After reading almost all of your material, I know you don’t believe in cold calling, but in this case is it better to email the companies or call them on the phone? Ryan
Ryan: The answer is neither. What you need to be doing is blogging information about these companies that they would consider valuable. You have an email magazine. You post something on Twitter. And with their search for keywords about their own stuff, they will find you.
If you only send out information about yourself… "We have this great service and it's the greatest thing in the whole wide world” …delete, delete, delete! But if you put value messages out that they might be able to find, it will be delight, delight, delight! Best regards, Jeffrey