There is No Secret

“NO” is the second-best answer!……Third of Three In A Series on “Getting to YES!”

In the first two articles concerning “Getting to YES,” we discussed NO being the second best answer, the need to have a QUALIFIED prospect (QUALIFIED=ABILITY+NEED+DESIRE), and overcoming our FEAR of rejection….remember, there is no proof of anyone ever being physically harmed by hearing “NO!”

If we are honest with ourselves, we often hear our first NO from within. “This lady will never say YES to a date with me.” “The last time I met with this guy, he said his CFO will never along with this type of purchase.” “Her attitude has never been positive so I am certain she will never buy from me.”  SOUND FAMILIAR? 

These are just a few examples of the INTERNAL NEGATIVITY that pops into our minds that keep us from GETTING TO YES!

Then we get to the EXTERNAL NEGATIVITY that creeps into reinforcing that NO from within. “Today, the stock market plunged 12% with leading indicators expressing doom.” “Interest rates rise to an all-time high causing people to hoard cash and slash spending.”  Either sound familiar?  Or any other NEGATIVE EXTERNAL news that sends the message of “NO WAY WILL THEY EVER BUY FROM ME TODAY?”

INTERNAL & EXTERNAL NO’s reduce our desire to even ask for the order. Often before we arrive to the meeting our mind has predetermined a NEGATIVE outcome.  Now is the time to STOP!

Whether getting to YES to make the sale, or to achieve whatever goal is sought, INTERNAL & EXTERNAL NO’s MUST BE IGNORED!

Consider the case of Sir Roger Bannister (1929-2018). On May 6, 1954, Sir Bannister became the first human to be recorded RUNNING A MILE IN LESS THAN FOUR (4) MINUTES. His record lasted but forty-six (46) days. Since then, HUNDREDS of athletes have accomplished what was once thought to be impossible is now commonplace.

Do you think Sir Bannister had INTERNAL “NO’s” running through his mind?  Certainly, after being touted the favorite to win the 1500-meter event in the 1952 Olympic Games and finishing fourth with NO MEDAL; would not INTERNAL “NO’s” be damping his confidence?

In the 1940s, the record for running a mile had reached 4:01 and it had not budged since. Many doctors and scientists said it was physically impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes. Not simply hard or dangerous, but impossible! Would not these types of EXTERNAL NO’s create doubt in Sir Bannister’s mind?

INTERNAL and EXTERNAL “NO’s” were pushed aside when Sir Bannister convinced himself that this seemingly IMPOSSIBLE feat could be accomplished. Sir Bannister’s virtual burial of the NO’s helped him to post the world’s first officially timed sub-four-minute mile of 3:59.4.

So, what INTERNAL & EXTERNAL NO’s will you overcome today? Consider eliminating those forces that promote NEGATIVEITY to creep into your psyche (national & world news).  Provide your mind with healthy and POSITIVE activities (reading & meditating) that promote GETTING TO YES!

Getting to YES!

Remember…..There is No Secret – It is a Process!

There is No Secret

NO is the second-best answer!…..Second In A Series on Getting to “YES!”

As we dive deeper into “Getting to YES,” it is a good reminder that getting to YES will only happen when the prospect is QUALIFED (see previous posts). QUALIFIED=ABILITY+NEED+DESIRE! If there is no ABILITY to purchase (no $$), if there is no NEED for the product/service (perceived or real), and if there has been no expressed DESIRE to do business, the only result will be a waste of time…..None of this will work unless there is a QUALIFIED prospect!

When “Getting to YES,” we should review the Number One Reason that so many sales presentations fail to get either a YES or a NO……the salesperson does not ask, “will you sign this purchase order now?”  Why is this so frequent? 


With significant research, there are no noted incidents where a salesperson has ever been physically harmed from “hearing a NO,” only self-imposed emotional and psychological pain.  In all cases, our EGO gets in the way…..we are just plain scared of rejection!

How do we overcome this FEAR? Each of us have overcome dozens of “FEARS” that we once thought insurmountable. It just takes practice! Here are a few examples:

Walking.  Remember your child, a brother, sister, or cousin being encouraged after pulling up from floor to the coffee table, “just let go and come to momma?” The first time the security of the coffee table was ungripped, the astonishment of that first step removed all the FEAR of walking (well, maybe after a few butt-bumps or face plants).

Jumping off the high diving board.  Remember standing on the edge looking WAY DOWN to the water below thinking, “are they crazy?” A parent or coach is on the edge of the pool or maybe in the water below yelling, “you can do it!” Trembling with FEAR and with encouragement from those we trust, we JUMP! Once realizing that we were not injured, within hours we were tired of the repeated scaling the ladder and jumping…..overcoming our FEAR!

Like our encouraging parents or coaches, there are a host of TRUSTED & ENCOURAGING training materials that teach the process of selling.  The common thread of ALL?  YOU MUST ASK FOR THE ORDER!

Study, learn, and practice overcoming the FEAR of asking for the order.  In no time, just like walking for the first time or jumping from the high dive, you will know that no harm has taken place.  You will have removed the FEAR and with renewed confidence, be increasing both NO’s and YES’s; for without one of these two answers, no sale will ever occur!

Getting to YES!

Remember…..There is No Secret – It is a Process!

There is No Secret!

NO is the second-best answer! …..First In A Series on Getting to YES!

From a professional salesperson’s perspective, “NO” is the second-best answer.  Certainly, we all seek a YES, however it is unreasonable to expect 100% YES’s in any endeavor, especially in professional selling.

Having the pleasure of working with several extremely talented Professional Salespeople, I once heard the following response when asking if the Pro was in a slump. “I have not been told NO so many times since trying to get a date to the Freshman High School Prom!”  When asked if he secured a date to the Prom, the response was exactly as expected…..YES! Here is the process that he followed:

As discussed in previous posts defining “Open & Closed-Ended Questions,” at the proper time when we ask the Closed-Ended question, “Will you Buy this…?” it is typically answered with a YES or a NO.  With the YES we are delighted, however the NO should be interpreted not as failure, just another step in our quest for a YES.

When you hear NO to a decision-required question, all that is required next in order to get closer to a YES is a single-word, open-ended question, “WHY?” We must learn to put our full attention to the response for many clues can be obtained not only WHAT is said, but HOW it is said (more about body language in the future). Every NO is because of an OBJECTION in the prospect’s mind keeping them from a decision or saying YES.  It is our job to figure out a means to overcome the NO and turn it into a YES!

OBJECTIONS to saying YES can be extremely simple as well as overly complex.  Clearly, the easy ones lead to YES sooner, while complex objections may require one, two, or even more follow-ups to overcome. In no case should be ever give up, but if a well-qualified prospect (see previous post on defining “Qualified”) has declined your offer after attempting to overcome the OBJECTIONS three or more times, it may be time to move on until circumstances change; for you and your product/service or for the prospect’s state of mind.

As you gain experience in QUALIFYING your prospects, honing your PRESENTATION skills, perfecting your timing on when to ask OPEN & CLOSED-Ended questions, and overcoming the fear to simply ASK FOR THE YES, your percentages of YES’s will outshine your NO’s!

So how did the Pro get his date to the Prom? When hearing his first NO and asking the candidate WHY? she simply said, “I already have a date.” No need to overcome that objection…on to the next candidate that declined the proposal and when asked WHY? she simply said, “I will be out of town.” Get the drift?

Until you know the reason WHY you are getting a NO, you may bang your head against the wall and self-diagnose yourself as a failure.  For the Pro, his date to the Prom first said NO, and her answer to his one-word question WHY? was simply, “I cannot accept a date with you until my parents have met you.  If that goes well, then you will have a date to the Prom!”….and it did go well!

Getting to YES!

Remember…..There is No Secret – It is a Process!

There is No Secret; it is neither Nice nor Fine!

Often misquoted, the infamous Laurel and Hardy comedy team coined the often-used-phrase that correctly says, “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”  Over the decades since that catchphrase was used by Oliver Hardy in almost twenty (20) films, we have come to know it as, “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into!” Whether you use “nice” or “fine,” There Is No Secret that the situation we find ourselves is anything but “nice” or “fine!”

Not since World War II has the United States seen any semblance of a situation that we find ourselves now.  COVID-19 and the destruction it has caused is paled against so many other crises. Yet, in many cases, local and state governments have threatened (and many have assessed) CRIMINAL CHARGES for anyone disobeying what many experts opine are UNCONSTITUTIONAL MANDATES to quarantine within one’s home and restrain from attending houses of worship, operate their businesses, or enjoy the fruits of one’s labor at parks or other places of recreation.  While the United States rationed gasoline, sugar, butter, and bacon (and other things), the only impact government impact to American Citizens during WWII unfortunately fell on Americans of Japanese, German, or Italian ancestry when they were ordered to be held in concentration camps by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. All other citizens were able to come and go as they please.  In the years after the war, the interned Americans had to rebuild their lives. United States citizens and long-time residents who had been incarcerated lost their personal liberties; many also lost their homes, businesses, property, and savings……..sounding familiar??

Did the action in 1942 of what many have described as an abomination save any lives?  Like the seemingly-overreaction to COVID-19, and the incarceration of the American citizens today, WE WILL NEVER KNOW! There Is No Secret, using COVID-19 as an excuse, our Federal, State, and Local governments have infringed upon our personal liberties, and many will lose homes, businesses, property, and savings!

Any loss of life is a tragedy, especially to the friends and family of the deceased.  However, many accept risks daily without hesitation nor interruption of their lives.  Few get behind the wheel of their car to drive to the store thinking, “I may die today,” yet approximately 38,000 Americans die each year in vehicle accidents; 77% within 15 miles of home. Should we ban driving?  Certainly, that would save 38,000 Americans each year and it would be very easy to validate.  Will the seemingly-overreaction to COVID-19 save lives?  We will never know and the facts remain……..

There is No Secret; it is neither Nice nor Fine!

There Is No Secret! Loving Yourself

Look in the mirror.  Not just a glance but take a few long moments to connect by looking deep into the eyes staring back at you.  Did you look in the mirror? Do it now before reading further. Did you see someone you love?  Did you see someone you do not like? More times than not, we see both! It is now time for only LOVE!

Now I am not here to preach a sermon but let’s think about this quote easily found in many versions of the bible, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Mark 12:31)  (There are a number of like-quotes from other sources, however let’s use this one for simplicity.)

From an early age we are taught, “don’t be selfish!”  If I understand this quote correctly, I must have some sort of love for myself before I can love my neighbor the same, right?  If I REALLY love myself then I can REALLY love my neighbor and if I love myself at any level I am pretty sure that defines being selfish; or loving ME before I love others! 

I will make the stand that it is OK to be selfish; when the endgame is to love thyself and then love others in the same manner (with a continuous improvement plan).  Not yet a convinced?

If you have ever flown on a commercial flight you have heard more evidence of selfishness.  The flight attendant says, “in the unlikely event of the loss of cabin pressure, the oxygen masks will automatically fall.  Place one over your mouth and nose BEFORE you help others with theirs!”  What?  “Don’t be selfish,” we hear our mothers screaming!  The fact of the matter is that we cannot help our neighbor if we are starved of oxygen.  A clear and absolute act of selfishness or loving thy neighbor after thyself and then AS thyself!

There Is No Secret – Loving Yourself!  If you have read my previous posts, you know that There is No Secret – It’s a Process.  Loving yourself is no different. It is difficult to do, however is no secret and is the first step of a process to guide you on whatever path you have chosen; and it starts with believing in yourself and your abilities.  It is my contention that we cannot truly believe unless we first love and therefore we MUST learn to love ourselves!

Back to the mirror for another look.  To the person staring back at you, tell them that you love them!  Tell them that you forgive them!  Tell them that you will support them on any path they choose!  Tell them that you will cheer for them!  Tell them that you will pick them up when they fall!  Tell them from the bottom of your heart that you love them UNCONDITIONALLY!

There Is No Secret – Sales Success & Establishing Rapport III

There is No Secret to establishing rapport; it’s a process!  In version II we reviewed rapport-building when there is the advantage of knowing the prospect(s) prior to meeting the first time.  We learned that research prior to the meeting is VITAL to knowing your audience and establishing rapport; or a new relationship with TRUST more quickly leading to a sale!

This post will review the process of establishing rapport when you are meeting for the first time with no prior knowledge of the prospect(s).  Remember that we discussed that all are in judgement of whom they meet; even salespeople.  It is CRITICAL that you NOT judge the prospect using non-verbal evidence.  Many sales are lost with this error for even the most qualified prospect may not be dressed in a manner YOU think is appropriate, their hair may be disheveled, and/or their hands may be dirty from working in the garden.  Your attitude and/or body language will reveal a negative PRE-JUDGEMENT, so beware and DO NOT fall prey to this oft-made mistake!

When meeting a prospect for the first time, we want to be curious and obtain QUALIFYING & RAPPORT-BUILDING information.  Our creator gave us TWO EARS & ONE MOUTH; it is important to remember to use them in relation to the percentage of importance.  In other words, talk no more than 33.3% of the time (and occasionally less) and ACTIVELY LISTEN the other.  We are unable to effectively learn if we are not ACTIVELY listening to our prospect!  The 66.6% advantage (two ears) offered by listening compounds the opportunity for success tenfold or more!

The next stage is knowing the difference between OPEN-ENDED and CLOSED-ENDED questions.  CLOSED-ENDED questions are for obtaining a specific answer; usually ONE word.  An example would be when you ask, “Are you in a position to make a decision today?”  It is really a “YES/NO” question.  Or another would be, “Do you like option one or two?”  This is a decision-making question requiring no narrative from the prospect.

OPEN-ENDED questions are designed to gather information in freestyle conversation.  Your questions are requiring your prospect to THINK before talking….AND AGAIN, YOU MUST LISTEN CAREFULLY!  An example of an OPEN-ENDED question that you might ask is, “Tell me more about your family and where you live?”  This creates the opportunity for you to gain valuable information to find that common ground that assists with establishing rapport.  And at the risk of redundancy, this is where you use the 66.6% rule; listening to be most effective!

Using the scenario from our last post as an example (where you are an insurance salesperson), the following is an example of how meeting for the first time can lead to important qualifying information as well as gaining rapport with your new prospect; and remember, it must all be done SINCERELY or you will fail miserably!

So, you are an insurance salesperson and you meet Mr. & Mrs. Prospect for the first time at a charity event.  When discovering that you sell insurance, Mrs. Prospect tells you that they have been shopping insurance and would be interested in meeting with you soon.  You ask, “Tell me more about your insurance needs?” (OPEN-ENDED) Then you might ask, “Do you have children?” (CLOSED-ENDED.)  “Have you received other proposals yet,” may be another CLOSED-ENDED question you ask.  The next series of questions you ask are a mixture of OPEN & CLOSED ENDED questions to gain information to prepare for the requested meeting.

And as far as establishing rapport, your ACTIVE listening may reveal that your children go to the same school and/or you have a promotion available on the type of insurance they are shopping.  It is possible that you live in the same neighborhood.  Learning more about your prospect allows you to find common ground; jump starting a new relationship….or establishing rapport! (Remember to SINCERELY react to what you learn for patronizing or BS will knock you back to less than square one.)

To summarize, we have reviewed how to establish rapport with new prospects; one that you have the advantage of researching prior to the meeting and the other having just met casually.  Both scenarios require asking the appropriate OPEN & CLOSED-ENDED questions….WHILE ACTIVELY LISTENING to the answers.  Establishing rapport will lead you more quickly to the sale if you establish (and then practice) a routine which you are comfortable for your industry.  Until next time……..

There Is No Secret to Sales Success & Establishing Rapport; it’s a process!

There is No Secret – Sales Success and Establishing Rapport II

There is No Secret to establishing rapport; it’s a process!  In our last post we discussed Professional Appearance; the non-verbal actions necessary to get a step ahead when starting a new relationship or establishing rapport with a prospect.  The next step has a dual-skill requirement; the first having prior knowledge of the prospect you are meeting; and of course, the other is when you do not.  It is CRITICAL that in both cases, moving forward in the relationship requires SINCERITY in words and actions.  Patronization or just plain old bull will be spotted quickly and your credibility heads towards the gutter! 

For today, we will focus on the situation where we have prior knowledge of the person (or people) we are meeting.  As an example, we will imagine that we are in the insurance-selling business and we have an appointment with a married couple.  We know from their prequalification discussion with our inside sales team that they own a small business, are in their mid-forties, and have two teenage sons.  What can we do with this information that will fast track our rapport building leading to near instantaneous credibility?

Prior to the meeting you Google (or any credible search engine) their names; separately.  Our goal is to obtain as much background information possible looking for clues to present the correct products as well as find COMMON INTERESTS.  Common interests take your rapport building from 0-60 in milliseconds!

So, we find out that Mr. & Mrs. Prospect were married in Aspen, CO, seventeen years ago (the announcement and pictures were featured in the hometown newspaper).  They live in a 3,500 sqft home in an upscale neighborhood. The children, ages 14 & 16 attend Commission High School and play numerous sports (articles from local paper about the Prospect’s athletic abilities).  Additionally, you discover Mr. Prospect attended college on a golf scholarship and spent several years on the mini tours before deciding to start his own business.  Mrs. Prospect attended Seminary and there is an announcement where she has been ordained as a minister and volunteers at the town’s largest church.  Lastly, you see an obituary for Mr. Prospect, Sr., indicating he died at age 65, after suffering years from cancer.

What do we do with this information?  We first can assume they can afford what we are selling based on the value of the house on the county tax role.  Then, we look for common ground.  Do you know any of the family?  Do you attend the same church?  Did you attend the same high school as the children?  Do you play golf?  Any of your family clergy?  Ever visited Aspen?  You get the point….just ONE connection can break the ice when you say something like, “when preparing for the meeting I came across an article where you played college golf and then went on to the pros for a short time.  My son/brother/cousin is considering a similar path. Would you be willing to talk to him/her about your experiences?”  (It will only work if this is TRUE!)

The instantaneous rapport you will have with your new prospects is now complete; all because of taking a few minutes to research and find a common connection.  Now after the pleasantries you are getting to the business part.  What products have you chosen to present?

You already guessed, right?  (Remember, There Is No Secret!)  Life insurance, cancer insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance, correct?  Mr. Prospect has a family to consider and Mrs. Prospect volunteers her time so no income readily available to pay bills should he pass unexpectedly.  With two teenage sons to think about as well along with Mr. Prospect’s family having a history of cancer requiring long-term treatment where he may not be able to work AND the possibility of a premature death.   The major point here is that you have established a presentation with products the Prospect’s can identify! It is not a SECRET!  (They will be impressed with your knowledge of their situation as well.)

There is No Secret to Sales Success!  Establishing rapport is a process that will lead to many commissions when you have a professional appearance, obtain information allowing you to find common ground, and match your products to the needs of the prospect!!

There is No Secret – Sales Success & Establishing Rapport

Due to the importance and numerous variables in establishing Rapport, the next few posts will be dedicated to what is believed to be the critical elements of the subject.  There Is No Secret to establishing rapport, it is a process of learning and being aware of your actions!

Because you will have opportunities to establish rapport in person, over the phone, or through email/text, we will focus today on the elements of meeting “in person.” This can be for the very first interaction or with a prospect that you have learned about due to an inquiry or referral.  For each of these, the following is critical to master.

Before the first interaction with another human, especially a salesperson, you are being judged; even without a word spoken.  It is important to mitigate as much prejudgment as possible beforehand. Mastering your appearance; appropriate dress (industry specific), hygiene, confident body language, and direct eye contact are often the best preemptive steps you can take. 

Imagine going to the emergency room for treatment and the doctors and nurses are all in shorts, tank tops, and flip flops.  What is your judgement?   If all in the emergency room are dressed appropriately, however the men’s hairdos are mohawks and the women’s hair are all spiked and multicolored (no disrespect for either of these in the right situation), what is your judgement now?  Take it a step further and they meet your expectations of professional appearance, however they all have dirt under their fingernails from last night’s gardening and are slumped in depression.  Get the point?  It cannot be underestimated the pre-spoken impression one makes on another!

Let’s say you have now passed the test by having a professional appearance and are ready to verbally interact.  Standing straight, smiling, and having direct eye contact are your next tasks.  (If you are unable to greet another or have an ongoing conversation without direct eye contact, stop reading now and go practice on your spouse, children, coworkers, or friends. As a professional sales executive, most every action you take going forward is subject to failure; or at best a lengthier time to establish a trusted relationship without Direct Eye Contact.)  In most cultures, while standing straight you now extend your right hand, look the person directly in the eye and introduce yourself.  Say your name with a short pause between the first and last, followed by, “I will be ______” (Fill in the blank with your function; example: “My name is Michael……McMillan. I will be assisting you today.” Clearly there are numerous variables here, however hopefully you get the point.)

To summarize, in a person-to-person meeting it is critical to have a professional appearance; your clothing, hygiene, confident body language, eye contact, and proper introduction will go a long way to establishing rapport with your new prospect!

Check back as we continue, THERE IS NO SECRET to Sales Success – Establishing Rapport

There Is No Secret – Overcoming FEAR

Over the past several weeks we have discussed elements of successful selling.  There Is No Secret to sales success; it is a process.  You may be deciding whether to take the plunge into a professional sales career or remain in your self-defined secure shell, however the “what if’s,” or the FEAR is paralyzing your decision-making process.  How do overcome FEAR?  There Is No Secret – it’s the process!

According to a study by Glasgow University, we are born with the basic emotions of Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Anger, Surprise, and Disgust.  Agreeing or not, FEAR is a basic human trait. If we do a little research on the human species, we will see that it is not FEAR of making decisions that we are born, however has evolved from the instinct to survive.  Instinctual fear is to protect from bodily harm or life-threatening elements/events; not of situations involving the exchange of ideas or opinions; or as we discussed in earlier posts, REJECTION.

Example:  A peer or supervisor has referred you as a candidate for the new executive sales position open in your company or you have envied (not in a sinful way) your friend’s new home purchased by his success as a sales executive and you are considering a career change.  “What if I cannot do it?”  “What if no one buys from me?”  “What if I fail?”  These are just a few of the negative questions instilling FEAR.  Now ask, “will any of this physically harm or kill me?”  “What if they all buy from me?” “What if I succeed?”  Still afraid?  There is no life-threatening event in the making.  Your FEAR is as make believe as any fairy tale!

Have you ever heard, “risk/reward?”  The higher the risk, the higher the reward.  Study the turtle.  Yes, the common turtle living in a hardened shell protected from most elements.  How does it move forward or succeed to get to food, water, or nesting?  By sticking its soft, vulnerable neck OUT of its protective shell. Without doing so, it cannot move forward….or at all!  When the turtle does this, his life is in danger.  By taking the risk of proving yourself as a successful sales executive, or “sticking your figurative neck out,” does not put your body or life in harm’s way as it does the turtle, however you will move FORWARD in your quest for success!

Are you ready to decide to leave behind your self-defined “secure shell?” Have you realized that a decision to begin your career as a professional sales executive will not danger your life?  Are you ready to be successful and make your financial dreams come true? 

Visit tomorrow when we begin to drill down into the process by honing your skill of establishing RAPPORT!  And remember……….

There Is No Secret to Overcoming Fear – It’s the Process!

There is No Secret! – Sales Success……A wandering generality or a meaningful specific?

The late Zig Ziglar tells many great stories in his books and recordings.  One of the most popular expands on his statement, “You Cannot Make it as a Wandering Generality, You Must Become a Meaningful Specific.” Enjoy the following story about two salespeople from a company specializing in selling pool and patio furnishings, including the construction of outdoor kitchens.  Analyze to see the process in action.  See the “wandering generality versus the meaningful specific!”

Ted is just out of college and saw an advertisement for “salesman” in the local classifieds. He is known as a “people person,” with a quick wit and handsome smile.  With no sales training, he is hired as a commissioned salesperson and has little to no interest in self-training as a professional sales executive.

On a recent Saturday morning, Ted notices a nicely dressed couple entering the store where he energetically rushes to be of assistance.  “We are here to buy a grill for our patio,” says the lady.  Ted smiles and leads them to several rows of portable grills and indicates he is available for questions after they have “looked around.” In a few minutes the couple summons Ted and indicate they have picked out a grill, then leave after paying $350 for a charcoal burning grill.

Now let’s look at the same scenario, except this time Jon is available to greet the couple entering.  Jon is rather a quiet person, however, has spent years studying the science of selling and has developed a very smooth process to maximize every opportunity.

Jon greets the couple offering his name and immediately asks for theirs.  “I’m Bill and this is my wife Mary,” he responds and indicates the same “we are here to buy a grill for our patio.” Jon responds, “nice to meet you Bill,” and turning to Mary, Jon asks, “Mary, can you tell me more about your home and the size of your patio?”  Mary shares that they just moved into the home that required extensive remodeling and that the pool area is rather large and will be their next big project later in the year, however right now they just need a grill to get them through the summer. 

Jon asks, “So it sounds like a big home for just the two of you, do you have children as well?”  Mary replies proudly, “yes, we have three children ages 16, 13, and 10.”  Jon quickly reacts, “that sounds like you will need a pretty big grill; especially with the teenagers wanting to show off to new friends their new home and pool.  Do you entertain much?”  Mary responds, “we are looking forward to a housewarming and some summertime parties to enjoy the pool.”  “Great!”, says Jon and starts over to the area displaying several outdoor kitchens where the largest grills are located.  Bill explains, “hey Jon, we just spent a bunch of money remodeling the house and are not in a position to purchase anything like this!”  “I understand,” says Jon, “however let’s consider this plan,” he continues.

Jon presents to Bill and Mary, “You indicated that you have invested in the interior of the home to your satisfaction.  Your children will certainly be more interested in spending time around the pool as summer is approaching and you will not want to discourage your friends from wanting to visit to see your new home.  Mentioning earlier that you would begin a project later this year anyway; what if I can offer the following?”

“This beautiful outdoor kitchen model is available for us to install over the next three weeks; just in time for the summer.” Turning to Mary, Jon says, “and you can select the colors of the cabinets and granite counter tops,” and turning to Bill says, “Bill, you get to select from this charcoal model grill here or if you can decide today, I can offer this gas-burning upgrade for no additional charge.”  Bill nearly yells, “I said, we don’t have the money right now!”   Jon says, “I understand but what about this option?  We have an interest-free financing program with no payments starting until fall (when you said you were going to start the project anyway), AND we can begin construction in two weeks and be finished before school is out; all in time for an end-of-school-pool party and the housewarming party you really want to have. What do you say we get this on the schedule now?”

The same couple that good-natured-and-smiling-Ted let out of the store for $350 earning Ted a $35 commission has now just signed an order for $19,500 with Jon.  Jon earned a $2,000 commission by becoming a “meaningful specific” following a process by first establishing rapport, followed by asking a few basic questions (communication) about the real goal for the couple.  He provided a solution to achieve their goal (presentation) and overcame the major objection of short-term affordability with knowledge of the company financing program. Then the most important act, he asked them to buy!

While not all scenarios are this simplistic, hopefully you understand the difference of following a specific process versus just wandering around waiting for something to happen!!!  Remember……….

There is No Secret to Sales Success!  It’s the process.