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10 Steps To Sales Success - The Proven System That Can Shorten The Selling Cycle

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10 Steps to Sales Success: System That Can Shorten Cycle, Double Your Significantly Increase by Tim Breithaupt AMACOM . 2003 (224 This text provides tools enabling you to easily selling process from close sales faster, allowing time for yourself each increase your income. 
Table of Contents 
10 Steps to Sales Success—The Proven System that Can Shorten the Selling Cycle, Double Your Close Ratio, and Significantly Income 
Introduction—Why This Book? 
Chapter 1 - The Sequential Model of Professional Selling 
Chapter 2 - Attitudes of Success: Five Pillars 
Chapter 3 - Planning and Preparation: Measure Twice, Cut Chapter 4 - Time Management: It's About Time 
Chapter 5 - Prospecting: I Know Where You Are Hiding 
Chapter 6 - Building Rapport and Trust: Behavioral Flexibility 
Chapter 7 - Discovery: Game Day 
Chapter 8 - Presentation Skills: Value-Added Solutions 
Chapter 9 - Confirming the Sale: Closing 
Chapter 10 - Creative Negotiation: There is Always a Way 
Chapter 11 - Action Plan: Implementation 
Chapter 12 - Follow-Up: You Never Call or Write Anymore 
Recommended Readings 
List of Figures 
List of Sidebars 
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Back Cover 
Selling is a complex process. In order to succeed, sales professionals need to have not only a 
healthy self-esteem, but also a precise, proven system to get them confidently through each sales 
call. In Ten Steps to Sales Success, sales expert Tim Breithaupt both teaches and inspires—providing 
a treasure-trove of practical tools and techniques designed to cover the entire selling process from 
A to Z. The book presents a complete methodology based on the author』s "Ten-Step Model of 
Sequential Selling," comprising: 
S Attitudes of Success 
S Time Management 
S Prospecting 
S Building Rapport and Trust 
S Probing and Listening 
S Value-Added Solutions 
S Closing . Creative Negotiation 
S Action Plans and Follow-Up. 
Perfect for both sales novices and veterans, the book includes humorous illustrations to support key 
points, and provides numerous "how-to" examples. It is a must-read for anyone seeking to move 
beyond sales survival to sales excellence. 
About the Author 
Tim Breithaupt is the founder of Spectrum Training Solutions, Inc., offering training in sales, 
customer service, and negotiation. He is an accomplished speaker and has trained sales 
professionals from many Fortune 500 companies. 
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10 Steps to Sales Success—The Proven System 
that Can Shorten the Selling Cycle, Double Your 
Close Ratio, and Significantly Increase Your Income 

Tim Breithaupt C.G.A.H 
American Management Association 
New York . Atlanta . Brussels . Buenos Aires . Chicago . London . Mexico City San Francisco . Shanghai . 
Tokyo . Toronto . Washington , D.C. 

Special discounts on bulk quantities of AMACOM books are available to corporations, professional 
associations, and other organizations. For details, contact Special Sales Department, AMACOM, a 
division of American Management Association, 
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. 
Tel.: 212-903-8316 Fax: 212-903-8083 
Web site: www.amacombooks.org 

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject 
matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, 
accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the 
services of a competent professional person should be sought. 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Breithaupt, Tim. 
10 steps to sales success : the proven system that can 
shorten the selling cycle, double your close ratio, and significantly 
increase your income / Tim Breithaupt.

 p. cm. 
Includes bibliographical references and index. 
ISBN 0-8144-7165-X 

1. Selling. I. Title: Ten steps to sales success. II. Title. 
HF5438.25.B726 2003 

658.85—dc21 2003007953 
Copyright . 2003, 1999 Tim Breithaupt 

All rights reserved. 

Printed in the United States of America. 
This book was originally published in 1999 under the title Take this job and Love it by Spectrum 
Training Solutions, Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Grateful acknowledgment is given to Spectrum 
Training Solutions for permission to include the illustrations found throughout this book. 

This publication may not be reproduced, 
stored in a retrieval system, 
or transmitted in whole or in part, 
in any form or by any means, electronic, 
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, 
without the prior written permission of AMACOM, 
a division of American Management Association, 
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. 

Printing number 

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10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 

To My Parents 
Elizabeth and Louis P. Breithaupt, whom I respect and admire as parents and as friends. You gave me 
an invaluable benchmark of honesty, integrity, and success. With pride and love I dedicate this book to 
you both. 
I love you. 


The completion of this book has left me with the challenge of expressing my gratitude for the acts of 
encouragement and support offered by so many people. My indebtedness goes far beyond a thank you. 
To those who contributed, directly or otherwise, I offer my deepest appreciation. 

The following individuals are deserving of a special thank you. 

Les Hewitt: My mentor who said, "You need to write a book," and then inspired me to follow through on 
his idea. Thank you for your undying confidence and support. We just did it! 

Shauna Dobrowolski: My executive assistant for over four years—what an outstanding woman. 
Shauna is the epitome of the human side of business. Her positive attitude is the envy of her peers, and 
her unwavering support, dedication and enthusiasm formed the cornerstone of this project. 

Rod Chapman: My editor who used more red ink than a tax auditor while assuring me it was in the 
interest of, "stylistic consistency, parallel construction, and a clean manuscript." We are still talking! 

Gary Lundgren: His awesome cartoons relate to us all. Thanks for "Bernie." 

Special Acknowledgments: 
Trish Matthews Michael Fisher 
Anne Milette David Chilton 
Wendy Perry Ron Cuthbertson 
Armchair Critics Past and Present Customers 
Lynn, Stephen, and Michael 

TIM BREITHAUPT is the founder of Spectrum Training Solutions, Inc., which offers training in sales, 
leadership skills, and sales negotiation. He is an accomplished keynote speaker and has trained sales 
professionals from many Fortune 500 companies. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

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Now I know what it's like to give birth, at least in the conceptual sense. Although the gestation period of 
this book was longer than childbirth, its development parallels the emotions and activities of an 
expectant mother: mood swings, impatience, anxiety, cravings, anticipation, check-ups, having to 
choose a name, and the frustration of several missed due dates. 

I spent months organizing my thoughts before finally putting ideas on paper and into my tape recorder. 
When I saw the Table of Contents and the Introduction taking shape, it was like feeling the first kick. I 
was filled with excitement and an overwhelming sense of trepidation. This could have been my first bout 
of morning sickness—at least it felt that way. I would wake up thinking, "What did I get myself into? 
Can I really write a book that salespeople will actually read?" 

It appears we've done that. I say "we" because this delivery is the result of a synergistic effort by many 
individuals. The birth of anything is rarely a solo performance. 
10 Steps to Sales Success represents my deepest belief that selling is fun. Selling is one of the most 
challenging yet rewarding careers in our society. Sales entrepreneurs are emerging as one of the most 
sophisticated and important players in the business arena. A sales career offers no end of promise, and 
the excitement of endless possibilities. Selling is a springboard to the fulfilment of all your goals and 
aspirations. It's my hope that this book will help you and others discover (or perhaps rediscover) the 
joys of professional selling, and that it will empower you to truly aspire to new levels of success. Life 
validates that success is a matter of choice, not chance. Enjoy. 

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Introduction—Why This Book? 

As a professional sales trainer, I have discovered a very important aspect of adult learning: people love 
simplicity. The simpler the better. I wrote this book with that goal in mind; to reveal the simplicity of 
selling. Selling is simple. Simple is fun. That is why the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Salespeople) 
prevails. This book offers an approach that strips away the perceived complexities of selling and 
discusses selling in its purest form: a dialogue between two human beings. 
The required skills of an effective sales professional have become increasingly sophisticated. Today's 
customers are looking for a whole range of products and services to meet their business and personal 
needs. Customers have become immune to traditional sales techniques. Technological changes, sales 
automation, deregulation, and the global economy have blurred many product distinctions, at the same 
time stimulating a highly competitive selling environment. Nowadays, product and price alone will not 
sustain a competitive edge. We have seen the demise of the "obvious product solution." Your product 
on its own will no longer stimulate a sale. Your customers can buy virtually the same product at the 
same price elsewhere, so why should they buy from you? Customers appreciate a salesperson with 
empathy—the ability to develop a total solution versus simply presenting a product. They also 
appreciate the efficiency of new technologies, high tech, but still want the warmth of the human aspect, 
high touch. 

Sales productivity often gets sabotaged by the mechanics of selling. Unfortunately in many cases, 
selling becomes more of a strategic engagement with the enemy rather than a conversation with a 
potential ally to your business. 

You are about to learn powerful proven techniques of professional selling. As you master the techniques 
revealed in this book, you too will experience new levels of productivity. Expect your close ratio 
(successful sales to number of sales calls) to double. No longer will you have to worry about missing 
your monthly or quarterly sales targets. 
If you are like me, the visual aspect represents an important part of adult learning. Research suggests 
that most of the information stored in people's minds enters through their eyes. If your words conflict 
with your actions, a listener will believe the actions. I have taken my 25 years of practical sales 
experience and designed a visual representation of what the entire sales process looks like. I am not 
aware of any other book that presents the entire selling process in visual form. 

I write this book with the intent to share my accumulated knowledge and experience, perhaps making 
your life a little easier. Early in my career I discovered I had a propensity for sales. After graduation from 
the University of Toronto in 1977, I pursued my love of sales with corporations such as J.M. Schneider, 
Inc. and Gulf Resources. I then spent eight years in the computer industry with Control Data 
Corporation, five of them as sales manager. 
In 1991, I left the arena to found my own training company, Spectrum Training Solutions Inc. Since 
then, I have worked with national and international companies and trained thousands of corporate 
professionals. I describe my style of facilitation as entertrainment, because I believe humor contributes 
significantly to adult learning and retention. I invite you to visit our site at www.spectrain.com. 

This book introduces you to a tool I use in all of our sales seminars: the Sequential Model of 
Professional Selling. The Sequential Model has been designed to foster confidence and success 
through its simplicity while revealing the common denominators of each sales call. Experience has 
shown that a certain degree of consistency—a common currency—exists throughout every sales call. 

This model presents an uncomplicated approach to selling by delivering the core competencies of the 
entire sales process. The strength of this model lies in the fact that its design and development were 
guided by input from several resources including my years of on-the-street selling, input from 
customers, feedback from thousands of sales professionals attending our seminars, and interviews with 
hundreds of customers. I still sell. Like you, I'm out there every day dealing with the challenges, the 
frustrations, and the joys of professional selling. 
Although each sales call is situational, a logical, sequential series of actions greatly increase the 
chances of making a sale. This selling process involves the ten steps introduced in Chapter 1. Steps 1 
and 2 are important preparatory activities, Steps 3 through 10 are related to interpersonal skills and 
specific selling skills. All ten steps are discussed in detail throughout the chapters. 

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The Sequential Model is not a new sales gimmick or another slick technique to trick the customer. 
Each step of the model, when learned and applied, endows you with the capacity to advance to the next 
step. It is a proven, field-tested sales strategy endorsed by real-world authorities: my customers. 

Of the thousands of sales books available, most focus on limited aspects of selling. Though you can 
purchase books about specific subject areas such as handling objections, negotiating skills, 
prospecting, probing skills, closing the sale, and a host of other sales-related topics, very few books 
present sales as a complete process, from start to finish. I am not suggesting that other sales books 
are of no value—some are very good. In fact, I periodically refer to other books that I encourage you to 
read and add to your personal library. 

Throughout this book, every aspect of the sales process is discussed in detail, including effective sales 
negotiation and time management skills. Consider this all-encompassing book as your personal 
reference, a resource to reinforce existing skills and introduce new skills. As a successful sales 
professional, you must continually search for any intellectual advantage available. Simply put: to earn 
more, learn more. 

Maximize Your Investment: Six Guidelines 

To maximize the concepts of the Sequential Model of Professional Selling, I offer these six guidelines: 

Read the entire book. This is the only way to fully understand the Sequential Model 
concept. As you progress through the book, ask yourself how you can apply and link 
each step of the model to your particular sales arena. This book has been written for all 
sales professionals, regardless of experience. It presents a strategy that can be used 
by any salesperson to sell anything to any customer. 
In 2000, less than 15% of North Americans bought a self-development book, and less than 
10% of those actually read it. Shocking! My guess is that most people who buy a selfhelp 
book experience some degree of spiritual or career cleansing. People take satisfaction from 
the fact they bought it, proudly displaying it on their desk. Their intentions are noble but 
seldom fulfilled. 
You, of course, are different. That's why this book is in your hands. By the way, 
congratulations on your investment. 
Keep the best, toss the rest. Now just a minute, don't toss this book yet. What I mean 
is that not all the suggestions and strategies within the Sequential Model will apply to 
your sales arena. The Sequential Model offers a smorgasbord of ideas and suggestions. 
Fill your plate with what is appropriate for you. Every industry is unique, so I suggest 
you examine each step closely and then determine whether to apply it. If you discover 
just three or four new ideas that enhance your sales confidence, then the investment is 
worth it. My theory is that we improve and grow one idea at a time. 
It may not be your way, but it's a smart way. The Sequential Model will challenge 
your thinking and encourage you to reevaluate your current sales approach. Change is 
difficult. You may need to abandon old habits and embrace new behaviors. Don't be too 
quick to defend your existing inventory of sales skills. I appreciate that it's difficult to 
surrender cherished techniques without protest. However, I invite you to reexamine all 
aspects of your sales habits. My purpose is to stimulate the thinking process, not as 
an event, but as an ongoing, continuous learning curve. As professionals, we often have 
to unlearn as much as we learn. 
Have you ever stopped to notice how adept our customers are at changing? They jump at 

the chance for bigger, better, faster, cheaper, and so on. They don't seem to have a problem 

with it. What's our problem? 

I suggest the corporate arena is the catalyst for much of the change we experience. 
Businesses continually drive change. I am not suggesting a wholesale change to your 
existing sales strategies, but I'm sure some of your skills could be enhanced or even 
replaced with smarter skills. Hard work is not nearly as rewarding as smart work. Sell 
smarter, not harder. 

The chapters can be used as individual references. Although each chapter 
represents an integral part of the Sequential Model, each can be read as a stand-alone 
resource. You may find it helpful to refer to one specific chapter and refocus on that 
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particular aspect of selling. 

This is not only a book, it is also a resource. Refer to it often—make it part of your 
personal development library. Mark it up, highlight relevant sections. It is amazing how 
quickly we experience intellectual evaporation. Unless new information is reviewed and 
applied regularly, we revert back to the easy way, our old habits. The goal of training is 
practice, not competency. Share this little gem with your manager: noone becomes 
competent by attending one seminar or taking one lesson. Learning is a sequential 
process, not an event. Selling is like a sport. To become adept at golf, tennis, or any 
other sport, we must practice, practice, and practice. Only practice makes permanent. 
There is no other way (if you discover a better way, call me collect). 
Make it yours. Take ownership of the skills you discover in the Sequential Model. Have 
fun. Simple is fun. 
Equity means ownership. You can have financial equity but you also require personal equity 
in terms of professional, up-to-date selling skills. By reading and applying the strategies in 
this book, you enhance your intellectual equity and your confidence to sell. 

As you work through the book, your enthusiasm for sales will be re-energized. What other 
profession is financially rewarding, guarantees you a job for life, and gives you the flexibility 
to establish your own hours? Outside of sports, it is rumored that selling is the highest-paid 
profession in North America. 

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Meet My Good Friend "Bernie" 

People appreciate good humor and there is no question as to its powerful effect on adult education. 
Humor is the gateway to learning. I like to think of it as "the lubricant of learning." With that in mind, I 
introduce you to "Bernie," a rather hapless, sorry-looking chap who will join us throughout the book. 
Bernie will help us see the humorous side of a profession that can be fraught with highs and lows as we 
deal with uncertainty and/or stress in a world of rejection. 

We can all relate to his frustrations and mishaps as he pursues his sales career and works very hard to 
please his customers. 

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The Tim Commandments 

To encourage the attitude of entrepreneurial selling endorsed throughout the book, I suggest you 
consider 10 Productivity Questions as you work through the Sequential Model. They are designed to 
challenge your daily activities and embrace the role of a sales entrepreneur. I refer to these 10 
Productivity Questions as the Tim Commandments. Consider the Tim Commandments as your 
navigational buoys guiding your activities throughout the day. As you master the Sequential Model 
strategies, you will develop a new-found sense of confidence and personal satisfaction that will 
regenerate your enthusiasm for one of the most exciting and rewarding professions, selling. The Tim 
Commandments are spread throughout the book to guide you as you complete the steps. 

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Chapter 1: The Sequential Model of Professional 

Adult Learning: How It Works 

If you haven't read the Introduction, go read it, then come back. I'll wait. The Sequential Model of 
Professional Selling represents one of the fundamental principles of adult learning: Learning is not an 
event. It is a sequential process marked by stages of growth and development. Learning is cumulative. 
As we mature in life, we come to know and accept this principle of continuous process. A child must 
learn to crawl, sit up, walk, talk—and then to sell. Even superstars like Wayne Gretzky and Tiger 
Woods had to respect the principle of sequential development. Their parents were instrumental in their 
success and I'm sure they would be happy to confirm the endless hours of practice required to develop 
the basics. Attempts to shortcut the principle only result in disappointment, frustration, and a lousy 

Remember when you were a child wrestling with jigsaw puzzles or building model airplanes and ships? 
When you finally put the last piece in place, your proudly displayed finished project was most gratifying. 
During construction, you had to deal with several frustrations: extra pieces, missing pieces, wrong-sized 
pieces—and the worst part: not realizing you still had glue on your fingers until you rubbed your eye! 

The good news is that the Sequential Model of Professional Selling has already been put together for 
you—no assembly required. It has no missing pieces and comes with an excellent user's manual—this 
book. The manual represents 30 years of my personal sales experience, learning real-world selling 
skills on the street. In fact, feedback from my customers helped me write this user's manual. Unlike 
many other manuals, this one is simple. When you follow the instructions, customers will cast their 
votes of confidence with orders. A purchase order is the ultimate ballot of confidence. The beauty of this 
model is that you can always add extra pieces by adding your own unique personality and your own 
selling skills. You can be the architect of your own personalized selling style using the Sequential 
Model as your guide. 

Although many salespeople constantly search for the secret of "little effort, big returns," or the "quick 
fix," the selling profession is not immune to the principles of adult learning. There are no shortcuts. 

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Ten Steps 

Guided by the principle of the sequential learning process, I have developed the Sequential Model of 
Professional Selling. Working with customers coupled with feedback acquired by training thousands of 
sales professionals has enabled me to create a model that is simple, yet reflects all of the ingredients 
required to make a sale (Figure 1.1). 

Figure 1.1: The Sequential Model of Professional Selling 
The Sequential Model visually presents the ten steps of selling and helps clarify the selling sequence. 
This is what selling looks like. Each step of the model, when learned and applied, endows you with the 
capacity to advance to the next step. Each step is related to all the others. The final outcome of the 
sales interview is determined not by your ability to perform one step, but by your ability to perform all 
steps throughout the execution of the sale. Once again, selling today requires a sophisticated set of 
Webster's Dictionary defines model as: 1) a standard or example for imitation or comparison; 2) a 
pattern on which something not yet produced will be based. That is exactly my objective: to provide an 
example, a pattern to be imitated throughout the sales call. The Sequential Model provides the 
minimum acceptable standards on which to base your performance. Anything less compromises your 
success. The model gives you the confidence to effectively navigate through the entire sales call. It is a 
guideline, a blueprint that can be tailored to your specific selling arena. 
Don't view the model as a rigid, ten-step strategic engagement with your customer. Each sales call 
must be situational, guided by the spirit of the model. It becomes a seamless interaction with the 
customer—a very fluid dialogue. 

Beginning with Step #1, each step of the model must be successfully completed prior to advancing to 
the next step. When I say successfully completed, I am referring to success as defined by your 
customer. To earn the right to advance the sale, the customer must be satisfied with your performance 
at every step. He or she is the ultimate referee of your performance. Every successfully completed step 
sets up the next one, steadily moving the potential customer toward a buying decision without pressure. 
Consider your progress as a series of graduations—complete the required curriculum of each step, 
graduating to the next one. Bypass a step or leap-frog a step and you seriously jeopardize the end 

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result, which is win-win. Sorry, no shortcuts. No missing pieces allowed. 

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What Is a Customer? Six Types 

To enhance our understanding and comprehension of customer, I offer Webster's definition as a logical 
starting point: 1) a person who buys, especially on a regular basis; 2) a person with whom one must 
deal. At the end of the day customers are the sole provider of every business—the revenue stream that 
pays for everything else. You can have the best product, the best accountant, the best management, 
and so on, but you have nothing without a revenue stream. And the revenue stream is the direct 
contribution of sales, period. Nothing happens until something is sold. 

Let's look at the six types of customers. 

External Customer. These are the people and organizations who have a need for your 
product or service. They purchase your stuff in exchange for money. They have a budget 
and will give you some of it in exchange for a solution that meets their needs and 
expectations. Given that, I affectionately refer to external customers as ones with the 
bag of money. They have the financial autonomy to decide where and how they will 
spend their budget—the bag of money. The question is, who gets the bag of money, 
you or your competitor? Who has earned the confidence and trust of the customer? You 
and your competitor are vying for a piece of their budget—the best solution wins. Know 
this: Customers vote with their money and complain with their feet. 
Allies. These are the users of your product or service, not the ultimate decision maker. 
These customers usually don't have a bag of money but they play a vital role in your 
success. They do not make the final decision but they may have tremendous impact on 
the outcome. They are often closely connected to the bag of money and positioning 
them as an ally to your cause is critical for your success. You must earn their trust and 
confidence if you expect them to support you at the bag of money level. A caution about 
allies: They have veto power, the authority to say no. They can give you a hundred no's 
but can't give you the one yes needed to close the deal. I have seen countless selling 
hours wasted on allies with the hope of closing the deal. However, allies can be a 
tremendous wealth of information. Pick their brains and learn how you can differentiate 
yourself from the competition. Customers buy differences, not similarities. It can 
sometimes be difficult to ascertain who the bag of money is and who the allies are. Ask 
questions early in the call to determine who's who in the zoo. Shrink your sales cycle 
by understanding the players within your accounts. Simply ask them who else may be 
involved with decisions. 
Internal Customer. These are fellow employees and managers within your place of 
business. They support you and make you look good to your external customers. 
Appreciate them and treat them with respect. Unfortunately, they are often the victims 
of your blamefest: "The jerks in production screwed up again ..." or "The idiots in 
shipping messed up . . ." or "Management gave me a lousy price . . ." and so it goes. 
Poor internal relationships can have fatal consequences for your external customers. I 
recently saw an anonymous quote that supports my point. "We have less to fear from 
outside competition than from inside conflict, inefficiencies, discourtesy, and bad 
service." So true. Take ownership for customer concerns. After all, you are an 
ambassador for your company, so don't abdicate responsibility for late deliveries, poor 
service, and inadequate support. Customers really don't care whose fault a problem is 
or how it happened. Customers aren't interested in fixing the blame. 
They want to fix the problem. It's up to you to quarterback all of the company's resources to 
resolve their problem. 

When you work in harmony with your internal customers, external customers become the 
beneficiary of your internal relationships. In company after company, I see sales working in 
isolation from other departments. Sales cannot fly solo and expect to service the 
expectations of external customers. Long-term success means having your entire company 
and all its resources focus on its customers. 

Be aware too of your own personal internal customers, such as family, spouse, and parents. 
View your kids, spouse, or significant other as your personal internal customers. They also 
deserve respectful treatment. 

Repeat Customer. They are the jewels of your business. Do the job well the first time 
and you often get rewarded with another opportunity to serve them. And guess what? 
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They give you more money! You may have heard that it costs up to five times as much 
to replace a customer as it does to keep one. So, keep them happy. Underpromise and 
overdeliver. [1] 

Born-Again Customer. These are previous customers who no longer do business with 
you. For some reason they have forgotten about you or they are still upset with you. I 
suggest you dig up their file, give them a call, and settle any outstanding grievance. Put 
your ego aside and offer restitution to satisfy the customer. Do what it takes to resolve 
the situation. Make amends. Very frequently they will once again be receptive to doing 
business with you. They often become loyal customers provided you resolve the 
problem to their satisfaction. 
As you work with your customers, you will find the Sequential Model is applicable to all six 
types. Remember: Pay particular attention to your internal customers. 

Bag of Wind. You guessed it, these people have little or no impact on the decision. 
They are often an easy point of entry into an account but they seldom contribute to the 
sales process. In fact they do more harm than good by creating a false sense of 
authority. There is nothing worse than wasting valuable selling hours on people who 
cannot help advance the sale. However, I'm not suggesting to ignore these people but 
rather exploit their knowledge to deepen your understanding and confidence about the 
account. They may also provide clarity as to who the allies are and who the bag of 
money is. Knowing these people can prove to be a huge advantage; knowledge is power. 
[1]Cathcart, Jim CPAE. Relationship Selling: The Key to Getting and Keeping Customers. Page 100. 1990 
Perigee Books. 

Definition of Selling 
The sales profession has offered numerous definitions of selling. With each writer (this one included) 
comes another definition, another viewpoint. However, see what you think. 
It's simple. Selling is talking with: 
S The right person at 
S The right time with 
S The right solution for 
S The right price, recognizing 
S The right time to confirm (close). 
I call these the five rights of passage. Your sales call will only be as effective as the weakest right. All 
five must work in harmony to advance the sale. Imagine the frustration of trying to close the sale by 
talking to the wrong person at the wrong time with the right solution. Therein lies the challenge of 
professional selling: earning the right to advance the sale by executing the five rights of passage. You 
must be in sync with your client throughout the entire Sequential Model or the sale is lost. Worse yet, 
you may end up forcing the sale and creating buyer's remorse. That's where the sinking feeling of regret 
creeps into the customer's mind. These five rights give new meaning to "the rights of a customer." 
Another definition of selling is, "Selling is the process of disruption." Ultimately, you are there to 
facilitate change, disrupt your customers' current situation, and improve their business by suggesting 
they buy from you. Don't expect to walk into a prospect's office and hear him or her say with 
enthusiasm, "Oh, thank goodness a sales representative showed up! We have done without for so long. 
We were hoping someone would drop by soon." 
It won't happen. If selling were that easy, you'd be earning the minimum wage. 
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Advanced Selling Skills 

By this point, you may have wondered if this book addresses advanced selling skills. Legitimate 
question. Let me answer it this way: I recently worked with a client who was rather insistent on finding 
an advanced selling skills seminar. During our discussion, I suggested that success in a sales call is 
directly linked to performing the basics well. We have all heard about professional sports teams 
recovering from a slump by going back to basics. The basics never fail us. Strive for brilliance at the 
I responded to my client by telling her there is no such thing as an advanced customer. In my years of 
sales experience, I have never heard of anyone referred to as such—tough maybe, but not advanced. I 
recognize that this is a new concept, but I feel that customers simply represent a variety of positions, 
some more senior than others. Regardless of their position, all customers have universal agendas, such 
as "why should I buy from you? ... how are you going to help my business? ... what's in it for me?" 
These questions are common denominators to every sales call. Advanced selling is simply a matter of 
understanding and applying the Sequential Model, coupled with having a positive attitude and the 
confidence to pursue a dialogue with fellow human beings, regardless of their position or experience. My 
client accepted the analogy, and I proceeded to design a sales course using basic sales techniques 
that met her training objectives. 
Consider this: The Carnegie Foundation did a study and discovered that only 20% of a person's sales 
success comes from product knowledge. It's not just what you know about your product but, more 
importantly, it's how you present yourself. This report went on to suggest that up to 80% of success in 
sales (and life) is determined by a combination of self-management skills and interpersonal skills. [2] 
Other organizations also support these findings. Think about it. As a consumer, when was the last time 
you purchased a product from someone you didn't like? Not very often. You probably took your 
business and your bag of money elsewhere. 
In sales, the common denominator, the one universal constant, is people. People need to like you and 
trust you, and to feel that you respect them, before they buy from you. It makes no difference what 
product or service you are selling—corporations may "do the deal" but it is people who "do the 
relationship." People buy from people. 

[2]Cathcart, Jim CPAE. Relationship Selling: The Key to Getting and Keeping Customers. Page 6. 1990 
Perigee Books. 

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Sales Reps Need Not Apply 

A question I am often asked is, "What will be the role of the sales representative in the future?" My 
answer is, "The role of the sales representative as we know it today is disappearing. The underlying shift 
is from sales representative to sales entrepreneur." The role of a sales professional will not disappear 
anytime soon, but responsibilities will include a sound knowledge of selling coupled with a professional 
code of conduct. 

Unfortunately, the profession of selling is saddled with a lousy reputation. Rarely do we advertise our 
careers as, "I'm in sales." It's usually, "I'm in marketing," or "I'm in business development," or "I 
represent the XYZ company." The actions of one-dimensional sales representatives continue to fuel the 
less-than-stellar reputation of sales. Most one-dimensional sales representatives are motivated by the 
one-time hit: get the sale at all costs and take no prisoners. They repeatedly make canned 
presentations armed with little more than glossy brochures and a box of donuts. Their basic need is 
survival. Repeat business is not part of their repertoire. The future offers no security for the sales 

Businesses are scrambling to differentiate themselves as they compete for a piece of those 
well-guarded corporate budgets. Sales entrepreneurs are their key to corporate differentiation. The 
facilitators of corporate differentiation will be sales entrepreneurs, not traditional sales representatives. 
Customers today no longer tolerate the one-dimensional "sales representative" style of selling. 
One of the objectives of this book is to foster a mindset of entrepreneurial selling. Your future in selling 
lies in your willingness and ability to operate more as a business, a mini-enterprise, thinking as the 
president of ME Inc. Sales organizations are slowly reshaping themselves in an attempt to foster 
entrepreneurial selling. You are no longer servicing a territory but managing a business. There is a 
groundswell of support within the business community supporting the role of the sales entrepreneur. 

I am always amazed to see the lack of performance accountability at the sales level as some 
companies still accept so-so sales results, where performance falls short of revenue targets. With 
nothing more than a verbal spanking, the representative forges ahead optimistically into next year. In 
future, sales entrepreneurs will be held closely accountable for all sales-related aspects of their 
business, including margins, profits, customer satisfaction, expenses, and results. 

I fully expect the future will endorse some form of certification or licensing for sales professionals. In 
fact, the International Standards Organization regulatory body is already looking at it. 

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The Adult Daycare Center 

Entrepreneurial selling also means less time spent in the office. Sales representatives love to hang out 
at the office. They tend to take refuge in the office, shielding themselves from the hostile sales arena of 
constant rejection. I refer to an office as an adult daycare center. Sales representatives go into the 
office, play with the other kids, play with the corporate toys, play on the Internet, retrieve e-mail (half of 
which are junk), swap stories of hardship at the coffee machine, and generally appear to be busy. They 
are often lulled into sedentary activities, pursuing the art of busyness. Some technologies even 
encourage the sales representative to hang out at the office—the fax machine is a classic. It's much 
easier just to fax over information and perhaps place a follow-up call—it will save a trip. In fact upon 
receiving a request for information, some salespeople will actually send a fax without so much as a 
follow-up phone call. My preference is to make a face-to-face appointment. If that fails, I will courier a 
professional, customized package containing the requested information. This method is professional 
and inexpensive—and courier packages still get attention. Give it a try. If I can't get in to see the person 
during my initial telephone conversation, I set up a telephone appointment to follow up my package. 
Don't get trapped in the adult daycare center. Your job is to get out there and sell. You can't hunt from a 
cave. I recently heard another great line that makes a valid point: "If you want to kill half a day, go into 
the office for an hour!" 

Entrepreneurial selling goes far beyond core selling skills. As long as your customers continue to 
redefine their expectations, successful selling will depend on developing and managing a more 
sophisticated set of skills. Consider this: Your goal as a sales entrepreneur is to disrupt current thinking 
of customers. Challenge established buying patterns and facilitate change by way of relationships, 
trust, and conversational selling strategies, ultimately satisfying both customer and corporate 
objectives. In doing this, sales entrepreneurs are guaranteed a job for life, whereas sales representatives 
are quickly becoming dinosaurs. The sales force of the future will be lean and mean, equipped with an 
inventory of sophisticated skills, possibly representing a mini corporate profit center. The future will not 
be an option for sales representatives. Compensation will be heavily weighted toward performance, and 
success will be measured by the contribution your profit center delivers to the corporation. 

The Sequential Model works only if you work it. Notice it is not available in pill form. There is no easy 
way, no magic prescription. The model must be applied and worked not once or twice, but during each 
and every sales call. It is a continuous loop, regardless of the type of customer you are working with. 
The model is timeless and works regardless of what you are selling or how long your sales cycle is. The 
ten steps can be compressed and applied in a 30-minute sales call or spread over a sales cycle of one 
year or longer. Consider this book as your prescription to a healthier, happier career as a sales 
Having just read this chapter some of you may be feeling a little anxious. You have suddenly realized 
your business card reads sales representative, the very title I have unceremoniously denounced. But, 
don't despair. Don't think that all your customers will hate you and stop buying from you. If they do it's 
not because of how your business card reads, trust me. My intent is not to discourage you, but rather 
to nurture an entrepreneurial philosophy. I don't want to read in tomorrow's paper, "Hundreds of 
distraught sales representatives were seen leaping from tall buildings as sales entrepreneurs looked 
on." Seriously, my objective is to foster a professional code of conduct guided by the qualities of a 
sales entrepreneur. You don't have to change your business card, simply change your outlook. Your 

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customers are more concerned with your conduct than what your business card says. 
As you work through the ten steps of the Sequential Model, I will continue to refer to both titles, sales 
representatives and sales entrepreneurs. By now I'm sure you can appreciate that there is a big 
difference. Sales representatives react, constantly playing catch-up, whereas sales entrepreneurs are 
proactive, always a step ahead of their customers. Sales professionals can no longer afford to just 
represent the business, they have to be in the business. We need to stay abreast of ever-changing 
customer expectations. 

Common currency of a sales call includes trust, rapport, respect, commitment, and knowing that people 
buy from people. Success today and in the future means recognizing changes within the sales arena. 
Selling is more sophisticated today than it was even five years ago. Although the core competencies of 
selling have not changed, change is coming in the form of a longer list of responsibilities. We must 
manage and embrace change so that it doesn't manage us. 

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1. Cathcart, Jim CPAE. Relationship Selling: The Key to Getting and Keeping Customers. Page 100. 
1990 Perigee Books. 
2. Cathcart, Jim CPAE. Relationship Selling: The Key to Getting and Keeping Customers. Page 6. 1990 
Perigee Books. 
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Chapter 2: Attitudes of Success: Five Pillars 


Attitude determines your destiny, quality of life, and sales success. The quality of your attitude affects 
the quality of your life. These are profound statements but true. The proficiencies of today's sales arena 
go far beyond selling skills. Attitude is one of these proficiencies. Without it, all other skills are 
handicapped. Attitude is what drives the practice of skills. Attitude has such a compelling influence on 
selling that this book would be incomplete without a discussion on the five attitudinal characteristics of 
success. Extensive product knowledge alone affords you little advantage if your attitude is one of 
indifference or if you lack belief in yourself. 

The objectives of this chapter are to share with you the significant role attitude plays in your success 
and to examine the human aspect of business. This book integrates the human side of business with 
specifics of professional selling. The two cannot work in isolation. As you develop your sales career, 
you will be inundated with product knowledge, company policies and procedures, price manuals, and 
other tools of the trade. People often lose sight of the human side of selling. Why does the sales 
profession complicate such a fundamental process? We put on our business attire Monday morning, 
then proceed to divorce ourselves from the human aspect of selling. We become robo-reps guided by a 
mechanical process. Through a positive attitude, you can refocus and develop a humanized approach 
with your customers. 

A positive attitude will convert an average sales professional into a top performer. It empowers you to 
achieve new levels of success both personally and professionally. Winners choose to nurture and 
develop a positive, winning attitude. They understand the importance of a winning edge and use it to 
differentiate themselves in their own personal life and with their customers. Attitude provides that edge. 
People prefer to deal with winners. 
One of the simplest and best definitions of attitude comes from Elwood Chapman's book, Life Is an 
Attitude! He suggests that, "Attitude is the way you mentally look at the world around you. It is how you 
view your environment and your future." [1] I agree. Your field of perception and how you view your 
environment largely determines your attitude. Is the glass half full or half empty? While looking outside, 
do you see the beautiful view or do you see the dirty window? Is it a partly cloudy day or a partly sunny 
day? It's up to you. Who wants to do business with a grump? (Maybe other grumps). Be aware that 
your nonverbal communication sends a very clear message about your attitude. It comes through loud 
and clear as either negative, indifferent, or positive. Two of these outcomes are bad. You need to believe 
that what you mentally dwell upon significantly determines your attitude. If you look for the good, you 
find it: If you look for the negative, there's plenty of that around too. You are what you think. 

In examining the traits of top-achieving sales professionals, it becomes evident that it is not their 
product knowledge and selling abilities alone that set them apart. Their habits and patterns of behavior 
reflect certain attitudes 
One of the challenges associated with maintaining a positive attitude is this little tidbit: Psychologists 
estimate that up to 77% of what we hear and see throughout our day is negative. We often experience 
"mental negative drift," [2] allowing the negative to dominate our thoughts. Take a moment and think 
about a typical day. How are you feeling by 10PM? It takes conscious effort and energy to remain 
positive and energized throughout the day. I find it interesting that when asked, "How are things?" or 
"How are you doing today?" many people respond by saying, "Oh, not too bad." Not too bad? Do you 
mean that most of the time you are bad, but today you're not too bad? Interesting. Tell people you are 
having a great day. It's okay, you're allowed to have a great day. Once again, it's attitude. 

[1]Chapman, Elwood N. Life is an Attitude! Staying Positive During Tough Times. Page 5, 1992. Crisp 
Publication Inc. 

[2]Chapman, Elwood N. Life is an Attitude! Staying Positive During Tough Times. Page 23, 1992. Crisp 
Publication Inc. 

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Attitudes of Top Achievers 

To assist you in responding to the daily challenges of professional selling, let's now examine the key 
attitudinal characteristics—the five pillars of success—practiced by top achievers. A positive attitude is 
a prerequisite to applying knowledge. This section will not change things for you, but it introduces you 
to the person who can. 

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Attitude #1: Just Did It! Thought into Action 

Top achievers understand that life offers choice; you can be an observer throughout your life or you can 
choose to be a participant. You can choose to live life or choose to merely exist. The choice you make 
determines whether you live with results or excuses. No one becomes successful by watching 
someone else perform, although lots of people try. 

Many people appreciate the Nike slogan, "Just Do It." It suggests taking action. To me, it smacks of 
procrastination. "Just Do It." Yes, but when? Well, soon, someday. Although it can be a good start, 
"Just Do It" relates more to intentions than to actions. The reality is that too often we judge ourselves by 
our intentions, whereas others tend to judge us by our actions. The challenge we face as adults is not a 
deficiency of intentions but a deficiency of action. Intentions are easy. We have lots of them. Sadly, 
intentions are little more than self-serving feelings of accomplishment. Taking action is the hard part. If 
we did everything we intended to do we would experience boundless success. Successful people 
embrace the "Just Did It!" philosophy. They take their thoughts and ideas to the next dimension: action. 

People tend to procrastinate. In fact, it is how many of us start our day. We usually swat the snooze 
button two or three times before we finally drag ourselves out of bed and into work. Adopting the 
principles throughout the Sequential Model will encourage you to get out of bed because you want to, 
not because you have a lumpy mattress. The next time you purchase an alarm clock, ask for one 
without the procrastination option. 
Another handicap we face as adults is that we tend to look for the easy way, the path of least 
resistance. Procrastination becomes our worst enemy, a kind of virus. A dose of positive attitude is the 
antidote. Life offers another choice; we can choose to experience the pain of discipline or the pain of 
regret. The pain of regret is costly and lasts a lifetime, whereas the discomfort of discipline is rewarding 
and enhances your life. Unfortunately, pain of regret prevails. I shared this theory with my youngest son, 
Michael. He thought the concept was pretty cool and has since embraced it himself. The discomfort of 
discipline continues to enrich his life. At 17 years of age, he began taking lessons for his pilot's license. 
Six months later, I witnessed his first solo flight. A very proud moment indeed. He is always reminding 
me to exercise the discomfort of discipline. 

My eldest son, Stephen, was equally impressed with the "Just Did It!" attitude. Stephen completed the 
required training to become a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol System. Focusing on his goal, he 
persevered through two months of first-aid training, passed his ski tests, and became a fully qualified 
mountain patroller. At age 18, he became the youngest member of the Canadian Ski Patrol System in 
Alberta. Quite an accomplishment for a teenager. Another proud moment for Dad. 

We don't need to look very far to see how society has validated the impact of the "Just Did It!" attitude. 
Consider Bill Gates. In 1975, he was working in his basement pursuing his love of computers. His 
mother said it was always a hassle getting him to come up for dinner. At one point, his motivation was 
probably financial, but not anymore. What keeps him motivated is the love of his work. My father once 
told me that the true measurement of your love of the job is that you would do it for free. Initially I 
thought he was nuts but now I couldn't agree more. 

Every business today, large or small, was at one point a "Just Do It" idea with an action plan that came 
to fruition. The company you work at now is the result of someone exercising the "Just Did It!" attitude. 
In fact, over 50% of the places where we do business didn't exist five years ago. What about the 
individuals who thought of Trivial Pursuit and Pet Rock, to name a couple? I'm sure they are now 
basking on a beach while we toil away. 

Here are a few suggestions to encourage the "Just Did It!" attitude. Buy yourself a "thought into action" 
tool. What's that, you ask? A handheld tape recorder (a microcassette)—an excellent tool to have 
available while you are driving or at home. You think continuously—great ideas or thoughts can pop into 
your mind anytime, usually when you are driving or caught in traffic. The recorder is very handy and 
provides the convenience to capture your ideas. My own recorder has proved invaluable. It has been a 
constant companion to me, especially during the two years I took to write this book. You will find it 
pays for itself in no time. However, I caution you, be careful where you leave it. My significant other and 
I were recently on a weekend ski trip. On Saturday morning she had a bit of a smirk on her face. With a 
degree of hesitation, I inquired as to the look. She told me I had been snoring. As on previous 

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occasions I proclaimed my innocence by insisting, "Yeah, but I don't snore." She just grinned and said, 
"You know that annoying little tape recorder you're married to?" With great delight she proceeded to 
play back several minutes of me sounding like a buzz-saw. Busted! 

The other "Just Did It!" tactic I use comes courtesy of my father. He would occasionally switch his 
watch to his other wrist. After noticing this on several occasions, I finally asked him what the heck he 
was doing. He told me that because it feels so awkward on the other wrist, it was a great way to remind 
himself to do something. Go ahead, switch your watch, or even a ring. It does feel awkward. Next time 
you get an idea or think of a must-do item, switch your watch or ring. (Tying string on your finger would 
look silly.) You can switch it back only after you have taken action on your idea. It works for me. 

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Attitude #2: Set Goals—Daily Destinations 

The second attitudinal characteristic found among top achievers is that they set goals. They take 
advantage of the numerous benefits goal-setting offers. Most of us view goal-setting as a laborious 
exercise fraught with uncertainty. Did you know that only 5% of North Americans are committed to 
written goals? [3] I'm not talking about writing a to-do list scribbled on a Post-It-Note or a napkin. I mean 
a clear, concisely written goal. The to-do list simply represents a shopping list of activities, chores to be 
performed throughout your day. As a sales entrepreneur, you must get into the mental habit of thinking 
in terms of end results rather than being satisfied with "busywork." 
There is a parade of excuses as to why people do not set goals. The most common one is, "They don't 
work," or even worse, "How do I know what I'll be doing in five years?" Instead of creating our future, we 
have been conditioned to react to the present. Too many people today seek the quick fix, hoping for 
some rescue fantasy to magically appear and salvage them from their boring life of routine and 
occasional luck. 
In fairness to the goal-setting exercise, recognize there are two sides to every story. On the lighter side, 
I offer you the top ten reasons why you may choose not to set goals. 

Reasons Not to Set Goals 

No forward thinking is required. 
You will always be successful—no accountability, no disappointments. 
Your week is already full. Maybe you'll set goals next week. 
You have already reached your destination. Life has little more to offer. 
It gives you a good reason to keep buying lottery tickets. 
You can hang out with other aimless drifters. Like-minded people love company. 
The 95% of North Americans who don't set goals can't be wrong. They may be 
mediocre or very average, but not wrong. 
You'd rather live by other people's goals. It's easier if they set them. 
No goals = no failure. 
To-do lists work just fine for me. 
Now, of course I am being silly, but these reasons to not set goals are scarier than you think. I certainly 
hope you didn't highlight any of them. Unfortunately, many people do buy into this mentality. 

Goals offer a host of benefits and the one that impresses me the most is that goals provide a 
destination. How do you know where you are going in life if you don't have a destination? Most of us 
spend more time planning our weekend, holiday, or party than we do our own lives. We don't plan to fail, 
we fail to plan. You have probably heard or read these ideas many times before. That's because they 
are true. Once again the path of least resistance and the pain of regret prevails. 

I recently visited my brother in Toronto and I noticed an advertisement in the apartment building elevator 
that I'm sure you will appreciate. The ad was posted by a financial services company and in bold print 
asked the question, "Where will you be in five years?" It then offered four choices: (a) Driving a new car? 
(b) On a vacation? (c) In a new home? (d) In this elevator? I cracked up. Not only was the ad amusing, it 
delivered a powerful message. Unfortunately, given that only 5% of us have written goals, financial or 
otherwise, I'm sure "d" is the answer in most cases. 
How To Set SMART Goals 
With an eye to simplicity, I offer the SMART approach to developing your goals. [4] Don't let the apparent 
simplicity of the SMART theory prevent you from using it. It works. Just ask your mentor or anyone you 
know who is experiencing success. By the way, if you don't have a mentor, get one. 
The SMART Approach: 
S Specific (dates, numbers, times, etc.) 
S Measurable (end result) 
S Attainable (to me) 
S Relevant (to me) 
S Trackable (progress of goal) [5] 
All five criteria must be in place in order to achieve your goal. Don't be overzealous. Be realistic and set 
goals that are relevant to your environment and to your future. Don't be guided or influenced by the goals 
of other people such as family, friends, managers, or coworkers. The SMART approach to goal-setting 
provides a way to articulate what you need to accomplish and where you are going. 
The following example illustrates the simplicity of a SMART goal: I will save $500 by December 20, 
starting June 1. This goal satisfies the SMART criteria, including when it starts. Note that I didn't state, 
"I want some extra cash for Christmas." I stated a very specific goal, a SMART goal. Now I have a 
destination. My next step is to set short-term goals to ensure I reach my destination of $500 by 
December 20. 
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Goal-setting is most effective when goals can be accomplished within a reasonable period of time. 
Many people associate goals with a large window of time, five to ten years into the future, but goals are 
not reserved for long-term thinking only. Long-term goals are only achieved by setting daily, weekly, or 
monthly short-term goals. Few people appreciate that goals can become a daily exercise. What's my 
goal for today? You must think of daily or weekly goals as stepping stones that eventually lead to your 
longer-term goals. Perhaps Charles Noble said it best, "You must have long-range goals to keep you 
from being frustrated by short-range failures." The feeling of accomplishment is highly rewarding. This 
feeling fuels your motivation to remain focused on your short-term goals, en route to your ultimate 
long-term goals. Without goals, we periodically experience accidental success. It's called a fluke. 
Consider a professional sports team. A hockey team doesn't win the Stanley Cup by winning one or two 
games. Victory stems from a series of wins during the season and post-season, one game at a time. 
Valuable Benefits of Setting Goals 
There are several important benefits of goal-setting. The process: 
S sets a destination, daily or otherwise 
S clarifies purpose 
S motivates you to action 
S delivers a sense of accomplishment 
S provides a benchmark of success 
S validates that you are successful 
S builds self-esteem 
S provides a clear commitment 
The SMART process stimulates a clear commitment from you to achieve your personal and professional 
goals. Commitment casts aside self-imposed barriers such as procrastination, the virus I spoke of 
earlier. Consider this story taken from Lee Boyan's book, Successful Cold Call Selling: 
Well, most people feel safer in a twin-engine plane. They figure if one engine quits, you have another 
one to keep you up. But consider this. It takes a lot more pilot skill to keep a twin-engine aircraft flying 
with one engine out. It's terribly unbalanced. It's especially tough in bad weather. Worse, if you have to 
make a forced landing in bad weather. 
But pilot skill is only part of it. The real reason you may want to consider a single-engine airplane safer 
is this. If that engine quits, the pilot is totally committed to land that bird. There is no other option. Total 
attention, skill, and effort are concentrated on bringing it down as gently as possible. No distractions. 
A twin-engine pilot, no matter how skilled, isn't applying all of that skill to the one critically important 
task. A twin-engine pilot's mind is going back and forth struggling with a dilemma. Should I keep it up? 
Should I bring it down? [6] 
I am sure many people drift through life like that. They never fully commit to a specific goal. They dabble 
in this and that, not doing anything very well. Don't simply try something, commit to it. Success 
requires unshakeable commitment: Commit your full attention, your energies, and your skills to fulfill 
your goals. If you only try something, it becomes a very trying experience. Be passionate, not merely 
interested. Don't be like the kamikaze pilot who flew 17 missions. Get focused. 
I recently set a personal SMART goal to lose 15 pounds within 90 days. The goal kept me focused, 
kept me on course and ensured that I did what was necessary. Goals keep you focused regardless of 
whether you like the necessary activities. I didn't particularly cherish the thought of dining exclusively on 
cabbage soup and veggies, but those activities were necessary. The discomfort of discipline. 
Tim Commandment #1 
Set personal and professional SMART goals frequently. 
Ask: What are my personal and professional SMART goals for today, for this week? 
Dynamics of Motivation 
To further stimulate you toward action, let me share some thoughts on motivation. Much has been 
written on the subject of motivation. Sales managers are always searching for the elusive magic formula 
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to get their representatives fired up and motivated. But only you can motivate yourself, no one else can. 
Motivation must come from within. Your manager or spouse may be able to light a fire under you, but 
only you can light a fire within. 
Motivation is understanding and appreciating the dynamic relationship between career goals and 
personal goals. Many people feel that our personal goals are the most important aspect of motivation. I 
challenge that. It is through the success of our career goals that we are able to pursue our personal 
goals. It's called a paycheck. How else, except for winning a lottery or receiving an inheritance, can we 
realize our personal goals? If we view our careers as a vehicle to achieve our personal goals, then we 
are motivated. If not, then we are saddled with the, "I have to go to work" attitude versus, "I choose to go 
to work." In terms of personal goals, I'm not suggesting money is our ultimate goal but money does 
allow us to pursue what makes us happy. Let's face it, money is important. In fact, I put it right up there 
with oxygen. (Another upside to money is it keeps the kids in touch.) 

Life only rewards players, not spectators. There is no admission charge for players, but there is always 
a charge for spectators. The spectators of life pay a high price for their admission and don't even realize 
it. Life is not a spectator sport. If you are not motivated by your career, then get one where you are. 
Motivation has two faces. We can be motivated away from something such as a bad job or bad manager 
(negative stress); or motivated toward something such as a promotion or a new career (positive stress). 
As Abraham Maslow theorized, we all live guided by a hierarchy of needs. Once lower-level needs such 
as food and shelter are satisfied, a person moves up to higher-level needs, such as esteem and 
friendship. However, Maslow also tells us that satisfied needs do not necessarily motivate us to move 
up to higher-level needs. We become content with what I call the FDH syndrome: fat, dumb, and happy. 
Satisfied needs do not motivate. We must take responsibility for ourselves and set SMART goals to 
stimulate motivation. Accomplishments and achievements are more satisfying than living with routine 
and monotony. 

[3]Hopkins, Tom. Low Profile Selling: Act Like a Lamb. Sell Like a Lion. Page 200, 1994. Tom Hopkins 
International Inc. 
[4]Nelson, Bob and Peter Economy. Managing for Dummies. Page 124–125, 1996. IDG Books Worldwide Inc. 
[5]Nelson, Bob and Peter Economy. Managing for Dummies. Page 124–125, 1996. IDG Books Worldwide Inc. 
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[6]Boyan, Lee. Successful Cold Call Selling. Second Edition. Page 37, 1989. Amacom 
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Attitude #3: Self-Esteem: Sell Yourself to Yourself 

Libraries offer a host of publications on self-esteem, all offering various definitions. In the interest of 
clarification, I offer you my definition: "Self-esteem is the conscious appreciation of our own worth and 
importance, the reputation we have with ourselves. It is an attitude of acceptance versus envy." Accept 
who you are and what you have rather than what you don't have. Learn to be happy with what you have 
while you pursue what makes you truly happy. 
Self-esteem not only empowers you to feel better about yourself but it allows you to live better. The 
level of your self-esteem has profound consequences for every aspect of your performance and your 
existence. Without question, self-esteem is the most important of the five attitudes. Self-esteem goes 
far beyond that innate sense of self-worth that presumably is your human birthright. It is about 
confidence in yourself, confidence in your ability to think, confidence in your ability to cope with life, and 
the confidence to recognize your right to be successful and happy. To trust your mind and to know that 
you are worthy of success and happiness is the essence of self-esteem. When you trust your mind, 
you reinforce your worth and you will more likely persist in the face of difficulties and daily challenges. 
Research suggests that individuals with high self-esteem persist at a task significantly longer than 
individuals with low self-esteem. This reinforces trust in your mind. If you distrust your mind, you are 
more likely to be mentally passive, to bring less awareness than you need to your activities and to be 
less persistent in the face of difficulty. 

Personal Self-Esteem and Career Esteem 

Esteem includes not only your personal self-esteem but your career esteem as well. Career esteem is 
how you feel about your job, your company, your boss, your product, or your service. Are you 
committed to the career aspects of esteem? If not, you will probably want to take your job and shove it. 
Your career attitude will come through loud and clear to your internal and external customers. 

If you are not happy with the career aspects of your life, consider finding another job. Get paid for what 
you love to do. When you enjoy your job everyone benefits, at work and at home. 

Success is often jeopardized by the self-imposed limitations of low self-esteem. Many of us are our own 
worst enemies. Perhaps the greatest liability sales representatives have is low self-esteem. They often 
pursue sales careers handicapped by low self-images. Low self-image and low self-esteem are further 
fuelled by the fact that sales professionals live in a world of constant rejection. We are too hard on 
ourselves even before things go wrong. Often negative self-talk—the conversation within our mind— 
supports a predetermined outcome: "I can't do that ... I'll probably screw up ... I won't be successful." 
And so it goes. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I once heard personal and professional 
development expert Brian Tracy say, "We shoot ourselves in the foot and then admire our 
marksmanship." [7] You must learn to appreciate your own worth and importance. (We'll get to how you 
can do that in a minute.) "Healthy self-esteem corresponds to rationality, flexibility, admitting mistakes, 
creativity, and a receptiveness to change. Poor self-esteem corresponds to rigidity, blindness to reality, 
resistance to change, and limited productivity." [8] Where do you fit in? 
Top-achieving sales professionals have a high regard for self. They believe in themselves and understand 
that you only sell as well as you feel. When we feel good about ourselves, our ability to be effective with 
our customers is enhanced. However, feelings are not facts. Just because you may feel incompetent 
doesn't mean that you are incompetent. Sometimes you may feel that you are not performing up to your 
usual standard but in fact you may well be. By trusting your decisions and your judgment, you enhance 
your sensitivity to your customers' needs. Your own insecurities may prevent you from focusing on your 
customer. Without high self-esteem we live in a house of cards, built on a weak foundation. 

Three Ways to Build Self-Esteem 

To fuel your self-esteem, I offer three suggestions. 

Creative Visualization. Use mental imagery to see yourself successfully engaged 
in sales situations or personal situations, embracing new behaviors. When you see 
yourself actually acting or thinking in a new way, you begin to let go of old 
programming. A new reality starts to take shape. For your reality to change, you 
must picture and accept yourself taking on the new behavior. Some mental 
preparation is required prior to thinking positively. The goal of visualization is to make 
the mental practice similar to the physical practice. We must think positively before 
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we can act positively. 
Visualization means "seeing success before it happens." See yourself on the podium prior 
to the event. By visualizing success, top achievers actually increase the chances of it 
happening. We move toward what we picture in our minds. A flushing of negative, 
self-defeating thoughts must occur before the mind can receive and act on new images of 
success. Athletes have been using the advantages of visualization for decades. They 
visualize the end result prior to the event itself. They develop a mental blueprint to get a clear 
image of what needs to be done. In his book, Advanced Selling Strategies, Brian Tracy talks 
about the value of a "mental rehearsal" prior to the sales call. He suggests that "Top sales 
athletes can use these same techniques as well to dramatically improve their performance in 
selling situations." [9] 
One of my earlier experiences with creative visualization was when I was teaching my 
daughter, Lynn, how to water ski on one ski. Her earlier slalom attempts had met with 
frustration and disappointment. She had fallen several times. (Not to mention that the gas 
gauge in the boat was falling as well.) We took a break and sat down on the dock and I 
asked her to close her eyes. I then walked her through a mental picture of success where 
she could see herself up on one ski. I had her confirm aloud what she saw and how she felt 
about it. Well, you guessed it. On her very next attempt, she got up on one ski. It worked! 
We were both elated. In fact, she almost fell again as she was filled with excitement and 
momentarily forgot what she was doing. As Lynn and countless others have discovered, 
creative visualization elevates your readiness to perform. Give yourself a competitive 

Balance. A balanced life is another way to foster self-esteem. Goals should not just 
be set in the area of business. No one has ever said on his or her deathbed, "I wish I 
had spent more time at the office." Top achievers set goals for all aspects of life. If 
not, they get out of balance and forget about other dimensions in their lives. The six 
components of a balanced life are family, health, work, spiritual, intellectual, and 
social. Examine each one and make time for the things and people that really count 
in your life. Successful people have come to appreciate the big picture and make a 
conscious commitment to personal development. They have learned that becoming a 
well-rounded person has as much to do with pursuits outside the office as with 
professional development. Success means having "passion pursuits" such as 
hobbies, personal interests, sports, or other extracurricular activities outside of work. 
These make for a well-rounded salesperson who doesn't live life as a couch potato, a 
mouse potato, or a spectator, but as a participant. 
The downside is that without a balanced life, we fall into an activity trap, constantly on the 
go. We lose our perspective, our energy, and our sense of humor. Life is not that serious; 
let's take humor more seriously. Humor prevents hardening of the attitudes. Consider the 
mantra: Think fast, live slow. 

Work complements your financial goals. To develop your financial goals I suggest you read 
David Chilton's book, The Wealthy Barber. He delivers excellent strategies to achieve your 
financial goals, all the while endorsing the KISS principle. David's book will also help you get 
out of financial quicksand. I'm sure everyone with maxed-out credit cards can relate, they 
spend themselves to wealth. 

Read, Read, Read. My final suggestion for maintaining high self-esteem is to read, 
read, read. Read other resources and materials, listen to audiotapes, attend 
seminars, and learn from successful people. You simply do not have enough time in 
life to make all the mistakes yourself. Learn from observing others. Don't go through 
life learning and training by trial and error. It's too expensive. As a friend once said to 
me, "Do as I say, not as I did." Consider this: if you think professional training is 
expensive, try ignorance. We cannot learn in isolation. The more intellectual inventory 
you acquire, the more resources you can draw on, and the better you will deal with 
daily challenges and stress. Strive to become mentally fit by feeding your mind with 
highly nutritious mental foods. Feed it mental protein instead of mental junk food like 
mindless television shows and radio gibberish. The average North American spends 
upwards of 22 hours a week in front of the television and 5–10 hours on the Internet. It 
wouldn't take that many hours with a good book to distance oneself from the pack. 
Many adults continue to live on a diet of mental pabulum, only digesting what is 
absolutely necessary, nothing more. What you take in today transcends into the 
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person you become tomorrow. 

Build your personal development library at a rate of one new book every month. I suggest you start by 
reading Dale Carnegie's classic, How to Win Friends & Influence People. It's a "must read" for people in 
all walks of life. To earn more, learn more. 

Two Types of Knowledge 

Every day we are bombarded with new information, new technologies, and new and improved products, 
all representing new knowledge. But in fact, where we are today, technologically, is comparable to 
where the aviation industry was in 1950. We ain't seen nothin' yet. I like the statement from author 
Warren Bennis: "The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will 
be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment." Again we 
must unlearn as much as we learn. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to learn how to 

My theory is that there are two types of knowledge: core knowledge and peripheral knowledge. During 
our lifetime, we acquire core knowledge (math, science, language skills) which remains constant 
throughout the centuries (eg., 2 + 2 = 4, and will never change). Peripheral knowledge is the stuff we 
learn that reflects current technologies and current philosophies. Peripheral knowledge is perishable; it 
comes and goes. We appreciate that it may very well be obsolete in ten years. Newly acquired 
peripheral knowledge should come with a "best before" date stamped on it: "For best freshness, utilize 
this knowledge before the year 2010." Just as we clean out our refrigerators, we need to purge our 
minds once in a while. An example of peripheral knowledge is keyboarding, a skill currently taught in 
high schools. Keyboarding is a classic example of peripheral knowledge that is already becoming 
obsolete. Keyboards are being replaced with voice recognition and voice-activated computers already on 
the market. Many products we enjoy today are vulnerable to technological obsolescence as the lifespan 
of products continues to shrink at an alarming rate. 
A combination of core knowledge and peripheral knowledge is the key to personal and corporate 
survival. As I mentioned earlier, the competitive arena demands acquisition of knowledge, and constant 
investment in career development. We must continually search for any intellectual advantage available. 
The acquisition of new knowledge fuels self-esteem. However, I caution you, knowing is different than 
applied knowledge. In Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich, he makes a good point: "Knowledge 
is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action 
and directed to a definite end." [10 ] One of my national accounts, Dun & Bradstreet, has a great 
expression: "Knowledge allows you to play, applied knowledge allows you to win." 

Stay in school by becoming a lifelong student of your profession. Unquestionably, knowledge is the 
currency of the future, and today's world takes little pity on those who remain lazy about learning. 
Lifelong learning is a form of personal insurance. Protect your future. 

[7]Tracy, Brian. Winners Seminar. Calgary, Alberta. 1992. 
[8]Branden, Nathaniel. The Six Pillars of Self Esteem. Page 5, 1994. Bantam Books. 
[9]Tracy, Brian. Advanced Selling Strategies: The Proven System of Sales Ideas, Methods, and Techniques 
Used by Top Salespeople Everywhere. Page 80, 1995. Simon & Schuster. 
[10 ]Hill, Napolean. Think & Grow Rich. Page 75–76, 1960. Ballantine Books. 
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Attitude #4: Comfort Zone—Stretch It 

As two caterpillars were returning from a day of fun in the sun, they noticed a beautiful butterfly 
overhead. One caterpillar looked at his friend and said, "Gosh, look at that. You'd never get me up 
This classic comfort-zone syndrome is familiar to most of us. We go through life living within our limited 
range of experiences, our comfort zone, hesitant to explore new experiences and venture into the 
discomfort zone. The discomfort zone is unfamiliar territory outside of our existing inventory of 
experiences. A comfort zone includes life experiences that feel natural, safe, and normal to us. Been 
there, done that, got the T-shirt. 

To further our understanding of the comfort zone we must discuss our subconscious minds. No doubt 
you have some awareness of the workings of your subconscious, as hundreds of books discuss the 
subject. My interpretation of the subconscious mind is that it represents an inventory of all our life 
experiences, a warehouse full of perceptions, beliefs, and self-images. Our subconscious mind is our 
comfort zone. 

All our conscious thoughts and daily experiences, positive or negative, contribute to the building of our 
subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind thinks in pictures. We become what we see. If we think 
failure, we get it. If we think success, we enhance our chances of achieving it. Henry Ford said it best, 
"Whether you think you can or can't, you are probably right." Our subconscious mind's impact on our 
behavior is so all-embracing that it becomes the single biggest barrier to growth, to stretching. Our 
subconscious rules! We minimize stress and anxiety when we act within what is appropriate to our 
subconscious. If we see ourselves as losers, then we are. But as Zig Ziglar says, "Failure is an event, 
not a person." Remember that. 

Most of us are risk averse—we are constantly searching for security, content to live within our 
established comfort zones. These life experiences or behaviors have been repeated for a long time; we 
take comfort in the predictability of the outcome. We respond within our established repertoire of 
behaviors—our comfort zone. Stretching our comfort zone involves embracing a totally new activity, 
something never before experienced: bungy jumping, skydiving or, for some of us, making cold calls! It 
must be a totally new adventure, never before experienced, to qualify as a stretch. I'm not talking about 
going to a new restaurant—that doesn't cut it as a stretch. As the saying goes, even a turtle has to 
stretch it's neck out to get ahead. 

Venture into the Discomfort Zone 

Top achievers realize that growth comes only by setting goals that require them to stretch their comfort 
zone. Yes, stretching adds an element of risk. It seems a lot of people don't understand that the 
rewards come after the risk, not the other way around. To experience the rewards of life, we must pay 
up front. Interestingly enough, we never know when we will be rewarded, but the rewards do come. 
Those who don't invest up front always search for the easy way, convinced that it exists. Don't go 
through life picking only the low-hanging fruit. 

As children we are always exploring, taking risks and trying new adventures. Unfortunately as we age, 
we become more rigid in sticking within our comfort zone. If we inadvertently venture into the discomfort 
zone, or we are forced into it, we immediately attempt to recoil back into our comfort zone. We cocoon 
ourselves in our comfort zone, protecting ourselves against possible failure or embarrassment. 

Successful sales entrepreneurs are not necessarily more competent, but they do look for ways to grow 
and stretch. They willingly expose themselves to new things by venturing into the discomfort zone. Use 
your comfort zone to rest in, not to live in. Use it to consciously relax and reenergize as you visualize 
performing your next challenge. 

Take a piece of paper or even at the bottom of this page write down the last time you willingly 
experienced a stretch. Give it some thought. Drawing a blank? Don't feel bad, most people do. Note that 
I said willingly, not accidentally. On a personal note, I would like to share a story where I stretched my 
comfort zone. I went skydiving. I climbed to 11,000 feet and jumped out. It was a tandem jump where 
the jump master was strapped onto my back and he had the parachute. The two things I liked best 
about my tandem jump were freefalling for a full 60 seconds at 125 mph—wow! and the jump master 

assuring me he was anxious for a successful jump as well. You see, sometimes life itself presents us 
with challenges that take us out of our comfort zone, forcing us to experience new things. It may be a 
spouse, parents, boss, or sales manager forcing us to stretch. Don't be like our caterpillar friends and 
wait around to experience a forced stretch. With that thought let me ask you two provocative questions; 
1. When was the last time you did a first time? 
2. How old are your stories? (Ouch!) 
You may not like the answers but your customers expect you to be interesting as well as interested. 
Venture out and get some new material. 
Tim Commandment #2 
Use visualization and SMART goals to stretch yourself. 
Ask: What is/was my stretch for the month? 
How To Stretch: Two Methods 
I offer two strategies on how to stretch your comfort zone. Some stretches are planned, others are 
spontaneous (unplanned/impromptu). 
1. Planned. Plan to engage in a new activity. "I will set a goal to do X by the end of the 
week." This gives you time to prepare and visualize your success. 
2. Spontaneous. See an opportunity and go for it. Don't wait around thinking about it or 
hoping it will come back another day. 
I like to be spontaneous, although I did plan the skydiving. I "Just Did It!" Another suggestion is to 
experience mini-stretches to start, slowly building your confidence to stretch. Don't feel you have to 
jump out of an airplane tomorrow. 
Let me share another real-world example of how the "Just Did It!" attitude coupled with SMART goals 
worked in harmony to achieve the desired result of stretching the comfort zone. While facilitating a 
customer service seminar, I used the example of bungy cord jumping as a classic comfort-zone stretch 
and asked if anyone had experienced it. The only response was from Lawrence, aka "Slim." He said he 
intended to do it but was too broke (using the financial angle to procrastinate). A bungy jumping facility 
was available only minutes away. My cofacilitator agreed it would be appropriate to take Slim and the 
group on a little field trip. The rest of the group and I kicked in the cash required for Slim to make the 
Slim jumped willingly. He "Just Did It!" It was great to watch discomfort of discipline in action. Within 
two hours of Slim's mentioning he wanted to do it we removed the barrier and he did it. We returned to 
the seminar and of course Slim didn't learn a darn thing the rest of the day. He was bug-eyed and as 
high as a kite, intoxicated by his new experience. He got the T-shirt (and the video). He couldn't wait to 
share his new experience with his wife and friends. He was so proud to say, "I Just Did It!" The same 
type of opportunities are open to you. 
What makes experiencing a stretch so attractive is that my informal research suggests that 
approximately 90% of the time people respond to their new experience by saying, "Wow, that was 
great. I'd do it again." Most people do it again because the next time is simply repetition, replacing the 
initial fear with enjoyment. What Slim and countless others have learned is this: Fear dissolves by way 
of participation. There is no other way. Nonparticipants live with fear, anxiety, stress, and well-rehearsed 
excuses. This baggage spills into your career, eroding your enthusiasm, your drive, and your 
commitment. There are no limitations to the frequency of stretching and experiencing new things. All 
you need is permission from yourself. My next personal comfort-zone goal is scuba diving. I don't feel 
particularly comfortable under water but it's something I plan to pursue. My son Stephen is a certified 
scuba diver and he tells me, "It's awesome." After all I have a 90% chance of enjoying it. 
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Attitude #5: Patient Yet Persistent 

Patient yet persistent: an oxymoron? Not necessarily. As a sales entrepreneur, one of the biggest 
obstacles to your success is lack of patience. Statistics suggest that less than 5% of sales are made 
on the first call and over 80% are made on the fifth call. However, only 10% of sales representatives ever 
return for the third call. [11 ] They quit and go back to the adult day care center to hang out with other 
frustrated sales representatives. 

Look around you and you will see mostly quitters. Maybe there is one in your mirror. Consider this: The 
average person who takes up a musical instrument, quits. How many people do you know who play a 
"little piano" or "a few chords" on the guitar? They tire of it quickly, as results come too slowly. They go 
on to look for something easier. Likewise, many people who start night school, fitness programs, or 
sales careers quit. The examples are endless. Many of us are great starters but poor finishers. 

This is great news for those of us who truly desire to be successful. It means that if we stick to it, we 
will be ahead of the pack. Jack H. McQuaig, a pioneering psychologist, claims that the one defining 
factor of success in sales is persistence. There is lots of room at the top. History is alive with classic 
examples of persistence. Thank goodness for the likes of Edison (10,000 tries before the light bulb 
worked), Einstein, Bell, Michelangelo, the Wright Brothers, and Alan Hobson and Jamie Clarke. They 
never gave up. On May 23, 1997, Alan and Jamie finally reached the top of Mount Everest on their third 
attempt. Alan said this from the summit, "If there is a lesson in all of this, it is that if we persevere long 
enough, we can do the dreams." 

If you call a potential customer once a year, are you persistent? What about twice a year? Once a 
quarter, once a month, once a week? Are you persistent? The answer to all of the above is yes. Even 
by calling once a year you are demonstrating persistence. You are saying to the customer: "I'm still 
here, I'm not giving up." Harvey MacKay talks about how he has not met a qualified customer he hasn't 

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sold. Some took a while—two to three years—but he sold them. Persistence. When do you give up on 
potential customers? When they die! Even then, introduce yourself to the new person! 

Silver Platter Syndrome 

One of the better sales videos I have seen presents the silver platter syndrome. Although the video is 
probably 20 years old, the message remains powerful. The premise of the silver platter is that the 
average sales representative gives up after only three or four calls to a potential customer. However, we 
know that 80% of sales calls are closed after five calls, but only 10% of representatives ever make the 
third call. The silver platter works like this: You make the first call and the second call, generating some 
interest from the customer. After the third call the customer may not be sold yet, but is probably 
interested. You have piqued their interest to maybe 80%. However, having made your two or three calls 
you give up, moving on to the next potential customer. Once again instant gratification prevails and 
sabotages the sale. Your competitor shows up shortly after you have abandoned the customer, or you 
simply gave up. The customer, still at an 80% level of acceptance, now entertains your competitor's 
proposal. How much selling did your competitor have to do? Only 20%. Gottcha! You just handed that 
sales opportunity to your competitor on a silver platter. He or she should send you a thank-you note 
saying, "Thanks for giving up. I only had to do 20% of the sale. Have a nice day." 

My question is this: How many potential accounts are you working on where you may be exposed to 
the silver platter syndrome? Better check it out. How often have you given up on a customer relationship 
but later discovered that your competitor, who was more persistent, got the sale? It's frustrating and 
unnecessary. The attitude of persistence will not eliminate the silver platter syndrome but it will certainly 
help minimize it. Stay focused on the accounts that will truly contribute to your business, even if it 
takes a year or two to close them. 

The problem once again comes back to human frailties. Human beings crave instant gratification and we 
pursue it with a passion, seducing us away from the task at hand, compromising our focus and 
deviating our energies. Why take six months to possibly close account X when I can probably close 
account Y tomorrow? 

No one is immune. Our world moves along at breakneck speed as we satisfy our quest for instant 
gratification. Businesses compete with cutthroat aggressiveness to deliver their products faster, bigger, 
and better. Heck, even the beer companies responded by introducing the "big mouth" beer can. We can 
now drink beer 40% faster. We have drive-through coffee, eating, banking, and oil changes. In California, 
you can experience drive-through marriages and when you die, friends can pay their respects at a 
drive-through funeral home. Inarguably, the antidote to instant gratification is patience and persistence. 
We must be persistent to remain competitive but all the while patient enough to work within the 
customer's timetable. Even in California, "drive-through" customers do not exist—at least not yet. 

Sales representatives and customers are often out of sync during the sales process. Sales 
representatives are guided by their agendas whereas the customers are guided by theirs. Don't let the 
lure of commissions, bonuses, or quick sales sabotage your patience. Don't close the deal on your 
timetable in the interest of a fat paycheck. It's all too common for sales representatives to sell what they 
need to sell versus what the customer needs to buy. This is further fuelled by corporate incentives: "One 
more sale and I win the TV," or "I might win the parking spot for the month." Sales managers put 
additional pressure on representatives by demanding they hit month-end or year-end targets. A huge 
gap is created between the sales representative's selling agenda and the customer's buying agenda. 

[11 ]Brooks, William T. Niche Selling: How to Find Your Customer in a Crowded Market. Page 84–85, 1992. 
Business One Irwin. 
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It Begins with YOU 

When you pass away, an autopsy will never reveal your attitudes. They are human qualities that are 
very personal, very subjective, and controlled entirely by you. Attitude not only determines your final 
destiny in life, it also determines what kind of journey it will be. The bottom line is that you are where 
you are in life because of the choices you made. Your job, your income, and your spouse are all a 
result of your choices. The only things you can't change are your parents, siblings, taxes, and death. 
Take ownership of yourself and start living life to its fullest. We need to stop rehearsing our excuses and 
accept total responsibility for ourselves. Life sometimes resembles an iceberg: We only realize maybe 
20% of our potential and we shortchange ourselves by 80% of a great life. Our life is so abundant with 
opportunity, we just don't realize it. When we nurture these attitudes within ourselves we naturally 
increase our capacity for meeting just about any challenge with energy, optimism, and a positive 

It's sad to see the number of people who surrender their lives to mediocrity. I recently read on a flower 
shop sign, "Treat each day like a gift, that's why it's called the present." It all begins and ends with 
YOU: Your Opportunities are Unlimited. 

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What I Told My Daughter 

When my daughter Lynn turned 18, I wanted to impress her with some fatherly pearls of wisdom, 
something she would remember and cherish the rest of her life. This is what I told her. "Honey, now that 
you are an adult, from here on in nobody cares about you." She was crestfallen. She said, "Wow, Dad, 
that's harsh." My point is this and it applies to all of us: Other than your parents, who really cares about 
your personal success or hardships in life? Nobody. Who cares if you are the CEO of ME Inc. or 
picking bottles off the street? Nobody. Yes, your manager has a corporate interest in your performance 
but if you do not perform, you're fired. Your spouse may love you today but if you do not commit to the 
relationship, it erodes and you're divorced. Your coach may support you but if you do not contribute to 
the team, you're traded, and so it goes. Nobody cares other than the few people who may express 
sadness and sympathy for your plight. It's a rather sobering message to tell a daughter and to share 
with readers but, unfortunately, life is not very tolerant of those who do not take ownership and 
responsibility for their decisions. Lynn did not particularly appreciate my little gem of advice, but she 
understood it. It was a big bite out of the reality sandwich. However, the good news is this: By 
practising these five attitudes that lead to success, sales entrepreneurs can expand their confidence in 
their abilities. These high achievers will emanate positive energy and display a high level of commitment 
to their personal life and to their profession. 

The best time to develop a lasting, positive attitude is during the good times. Consciously build on the 
five attitudinal pillars and use them as a catalyst to heighten your success. Don't find yourself reacting 
to bad times, struggling to combat low self-esteem or low self-worth. Consider this Chinese proverb: 
"Dig the well before you get thirsty." Or give this some thought: "The best time to fix a leaky roof is on a 
sunny day." Something else to consider: If you think you have it tough, spend an afternoon visiting the 
burn unit or the cancer ward at your local hospital. It's a rather sobering, shocking experience. Trust 
me, it won't take long before you quickly appreciate how good things really are. Quit taking the good 
things for granted. Bad times tend to wake us up to the good things we weren't paying attention to. 

Your power exists in the now. Harness it and make decisions today that will positively impact your 


Congratulations on completing Step #1 of the Sequential Model of Professional Selling. The Attitude 
Step is your springboard into the other nine steps. However, attitude must prevail throughout the 
Sequential Model. Attitude is a prerequisite to all other steps. You have now graduated to Step #2, 
Planning and Preparation. 

I close with this quote from George Bernard Shaw: [12 ] 

A master in the art of living knows no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and 
his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. 
He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine 
whether he is working or playing. To himself he always seems to be doing both." 

[12 ]Cloke, Kenneth & Joan Goldsmith. Thank God It's Monday: 14 Values We Need to Humanize the Way We 
Work. Page 61, 1997. Irwin Professional Publishing. 

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1. Chapman, Elwood N. Life is an Attitude! Staying Positive During Tough Times. Page 5, 1992. Crisp 
Publication Inc. 
2. Chapman, Elwood N. Life is an Attitude! Staying Positive During Tough Times. Page 23, 1992. Crisp 
Publication Inc. 
3. Hopkins, Tom. Low Profile Selling: Act Like a Lamb. Sell Like a Lion. Page 200, 1994. Tom Hopkins 
International Inc. 
4. Nelson, Bob and Peter Economy. Managing for Dummies. Page 124–125, 1996. IDG Books 
Worldwide Inc. 
5. Boyan, Lee. Successful Cold Call Selling. Second Edition. Page 37, 1989. Amacom 
6. Tracy, Brian. Winners Seminar. Calgary, Alberta. 1992. 
7. Branden, Nathaniel. The Six Pillars of Self Esteem. Page 5, 1994. Bantam Books. 
8. Tracy, Brian. Advanced Selling Strategies: The Proven System of Sales Ideas, Methods, and 
Techniques Used by Top Salespeople Everywhere. Page 80, 1995. Simon & Schuster. 
9. Hill, Napolean. Think & Grow Rich. Page 75–76, 1960. Ballantine Books. 
10. Brooks, William T. Niche Selling: How to Find Your Customer in a Crowded Market. Page 84–85, 
1992. Business One Irwin. 
11. Cloke, Kenneth & Joan Goldsmith. Thank God It's Monday: 14 Values We Need to Humanize the 
Way We Work. Page 61, 1997. Irwin Professional Publishing. 
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Congratulations, you have now completed Step #1 

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Chapter 3: Planning and Preparation: Measure 
Twice, Cut Once 


The people at Training Magazine tell us that planning will become one of the most important selling 
tools of the future. Planning is probably the most overlooked selling skill and yet it is the cornerstone to 
a successful relationship. In proactive selling, salespeople can no longer wing it by developing their plan 
on the fly. The reality is that very few sales professionals actually commit the time required to 
thoroughly preplan a sales call. It is far too easy to jump in the car, race over to an appointment, then 
anxiously await to hear what the first thing out of your mouth will be. 

Customers concur that on the top of their list of selling annoyances is a "lack of preparation" by sales 
representatives. Buyers are most annoyed by sales representatives (notice I refer to sales 
representatives) who show up at an appointment lacking customer knowledge and saying, "So, what do 
you guys do here?" or, "Interesting, I didn't know you guys did that." A recent study suggests that 48% 
of buyers agree that customer knowledge is a powerful selling tool but is underutilized. Planning and 
customer knowledge working in harmony deliver a tremendous sales advantage. Knowledge is a very 
powerful differentiator. 
It is an accepted truism that humans don't plan to fail, we fail to plan. Why is that? The reason is 
simple: We are human. By nature, people tend to be lazy,—searching for the path of least resistance, 
looking for a quick solution. For some reason, many sales representatives think they are immune to any 
precall planning. Some sales representatives give new meaning to La-Z-Boy. Although most 
salespeople have a great capability to "improvise," this ability cannot always carry us through a sales 
call. I suppose part of the reason is that we often see ourselves as being productive simply because we 
are keeping busy. As long as we are busy we must be doing good things. Wrong. Many salespeople 
are doers, action people who prefer to start doing something instead of wasting idle time planning. They 
see planning as an activity reserved for engineers, accountants, architects, and so on. 

The difference between making or not making a sale depends on several factors, but the amount of 
homework done by the salesperson is a major contributing factor. The more information he or she 
obtains prior to the call, the higher the probability of earning the customer's business. Successful 
entrepreneurs see advance planning as essential to achieving success. Increasing confidence, using 
time effectively, building credibility, reducing sales cycles, and differentiating themselves from the 
competition are just a few of the benefits they see. As an investment, planning and preparation increase 
productivity a minimum of 20%. Think about it. Imagine the outcome of a wedding or a vacation if you 
didn't take the time to plan or prepare. As one sales manager says, "Even to successfully rob a liquor 
store, you have to plan." However, be sure that the costs involved in precall planning don't outweigh the 
potential benefits obtained. 

The corporate arena will no longer tolerate selling by the seat-of-the-pants approach. We must plan prior 
to the sales call. A good carpenter knows all too well: measure twice, cut once. Imagine the positive 
results if we did that in our personal lives and in our sales careers. Interesting how there is never enough 
time to do it right the first time, but there is always enough time to go back and fix it. Winging it is a 
luxury that sales professionals cannot afford, as it could be months or years before we get a second 
chance to do it right. A "No Fear" T-shirt said it best, "Second place is the first loser." Unlike the 
Olympics, the sales arena doesn't offer a silver or bronze medal. Just as an athlete commits to 
countless hours of training and conditioning prior to a game, a sales entrepreneur must also commit to 
several hours of preparatory work. 

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You Have Planned, but Are You Prepared? 

History has long confirmed that success is created by proper planning. Imagine a commercial pilot 
without a flight plan, a builder without blueprints, a coach without a game plan, or a sales entrepreneur 
without a business plan. Successful sales entrepreneurs plan their work and work their plan. They know 
the pitfalls of aimless activity, guesswork, or relying on occasional luck. 
What's the difference between planning and preparing? I offer you Webster's definitions as well as my 
own. Webster's suggests that planning is: 1) to formulate a way to achieve or do. Preparing is: 1) to 
produce by combining elements or ingredients; 2) to make or get ready for some purpose. I augment 
Webster's definitions by suggesting that planning is doing the necessary things to arrive at the 
appointment ready to do business. Planning includes making the initial appointment, doing your precall 
homework, knowing your product, developing a sales call objective, and packing your briefcase with the 
appropriate tools, samples, and order forms. As Webster's says, "Formulate a way to achieve." 
Preparation is being in a state of readiness once you arrive. Good preparation ensures that you are 
ready to perform guided by a sales call objective. Thus, by our definition, planning is stuff we do prior to 
the call and preparation is being ready to perform at the call. Customer feedback consistently tells us 
that sales representatives may have indeed planned, but they are seldom prepared. Once sales 
representatives have secured an appointment and confirmed the address, they rejoice in a false sense 
of accomplishment. At best their precall planning is weak and their preparation is nonexistent. 

But don't be too quick to view planning and preparation as a laborious exercise. At first glance it may 
appear to be extra work, but compare it to the consequences of not planning and preparing. The 
consequences come in the form of longer sales cycles, repeat sales calls, and aimless activity. Good 
planning does not increase your workload but instead helps you to work more effectively and 
productively with less physical effort. You may end up with fewer appointments throughout the week, 
but the time spent planning and preparing will be rewarded with higher close ratios. 

Successful entrepreneurial selling demands both planning and preparation. Remember, your Sequential 
Model allows no missing pieces. 

What We Need to Know 
The more information we gather prior to the call the better we can plan and prepare for the call. Your 
product or service may very well help the customer's world move forward, but initially the customer sees 
you as an intrusion, an interruption. It is even worse if you arrive unprepared and ill-equipped. However, 
by being prepared and ready to advance the sale, your customer will be flattered by your interest and 
will begin to relax the barriers and perhaps even entertain your ideas. Advanced planning allows you to 
differentiate yourself. I am not suggesting that at the planning stage you learn intimate details about 
your potential customer, but rather that you acquire a conversational understanding of his or her 
business. Specific details come later. You need to familiarize yourself with the macro-issues of the 
business. Planning is knowing the following pieces of information. 
S type of business its competition 
S what it does private or public company 
S location(s) current vendor—how long 
S head office political landscape 
S branch offices hiring or firing 
S distribution channels organizational chart 
S markets decision process 
S number of employees decision maker 
S how long in business 
I'm sure there are several other issues, but this list certainly guides you in the right direction. Use this 
as your precall checklist. Customers no longer have the time nor the patience to educate sales 
I have personally experienced the plight of no planning. With hesitation, I share my story. A few years 
ago I was trying to get an appointment to see Mr. Ray, VP of sales with a large Calgary company. I was 
selling sales training. Mr. Ray was the decision maker (bag of money) and it took weeks to finally 
connect with him. My persistence paid off with a 7 AM appointment. I arrived at 6:50 AM planned and 
prepared, or so I thought. Ten minutes into the call, Mr. Ray looked me straight in the eye and asked, 
"So, what can you tell me about my company?" I responded with my usual, "That's why I'm here, to 
learn more about your operation and your specific sales training requirements." Mr. Ray then said, 
"That's nice, but what can you tell me about my company?" With terrifying speed, I realized my 
dilemma. I put down my pen and responded with a deafening, "Nothing." Busted! I didn't know a darn 
thing about his company, didn't even know what they did. What the heck, wasn't it easier to just jump in 
the car and show up to another sales appointment? Mr. Ray wasn't finished. He knew I was selling 
sales training so he pondered for a moment (I'm sure it was 20 minutes!) and then asked: "Sales 
training, eh? Can you teach my representatives to show up unprepared?" I thought I was going to die. 
I'm not sure what color my face turned, but it was either red, white, or blue. It was 7:15 in the morning 
and I was experiencing the call from hell. Needless to say, I was utterly embarrassed. Oh, the joys of 
professional selling. If this situation hasn't happened to you, consider yourself fortunate. The customer 
hasn't tested you. 
This has never happened to me again and it never will. That experience proved to be one of my most 
valuable lessons of entrepreneurial selling; the value of planning. All I needed to satisfy Mr. Ray's 
question was this: "Your company is in the business of data management and has been since 1977. 
Your head office is in Houston and your Canadian office is in Calgary with approximately 40 
employees." I'm sure Mr. Ray would have been satisfied with my conversational knowledge of his 
business and the call would have proceeded. I would have earned the right to continue. 
By the way, after about 30 minutes with me doing the backstroke in Mr. Ray's office, he finally agreed 
to evaluate our seminars by attending himself. We eventually did business. 
I want to make it clear at this stage that we are not out to identify our customers' specific needs and 
requirements or identify how we can help them out. We can't possibly learn their specific needs until we 
meet them face-to-face and conduct a needs analysis by asking a series of probes. Annual reports and 
company brochures do not reveal customer needs. Only customers themselves can reveal their specific 
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needs. Our precall planning is done to reveal only the macro-issues of their business. Face-to-face 
dialogue with the customer is the only means available to reveal the micro-issues, such as specific 
requirements, nuances, ,and particular needs. 

Where to Find It 
We live in the information age, where knowledge abounds. The amount of information we are bombarded 
with can be rather daunting—we are exposed to over 1,000 pieces of information a day, most of it 
useless. As a sales entrepreneur, we cannot afford to be wading through reams of useless information. 
We need to identify and peruse sources of information that will deliver reliable, informative, intelligence 
about our customer. These sources include: 
S the internet 
S annual reports 
S Dun & Bradstreet 
S trade journals 
S the company receptionist 
S old files 
S newspapers 
S information brokers 
S business library 
S brochures/catalogs 
S company newsletters 
S industry associations 
S other sales entrepreneurs 
S friends in low places 
S their sales department 
I am sure your experience will offer other avenues to gather company intelligence. One of the best ways 
to gather intelligence quickly is to call the company and ask to speak directly to one of their sales 
entrepreneurs. Introduce yourself, tell them that you are doing some homework, and ask for their help. 
This is a great source of rich information, often overlooked, and my bet is they will be willing to 
accommodate you. They are easy to reach as they are in the habit of returning phone calls. I also bet 
that when they hang up they will say to themselves, "Hey, great idea, maybe I should try that approach." 
The company's receptionist is another excellent source of information. Receptionists are often willing to 
answer your questions and offer interesting tidbits. However, understand that they see a lot of 
one-dimensional, intrusive sales representatives come through the door, so initially they may be 
reluctant to help. Be professional, introduce yourself, and tell them why you need their help; you are 
doing your homework. You can also speak to someone who knows the workings of a company better 
than anybody else—it may be a foreman, a supervisor, a shipper/receiver, or a driver. These people are 
usually happy to chat with you. 
The list of potential sources is endless. It all depends upon your creativity and commitment to the 
relationship. Ultimately, your potential customer will be impressed with your knowledge. It demonstrates 
an obvious respect for their time. Unquestionably, it's a first big step in differentiating yourself and 
neutralizing your competition, especially if they are hanging out at their adult daycare center being too 
busy to plan. 
From time to time you may find yourself responding to unexpected inquiries where a potential customer 
has called your company. This call could be triggered by word-of-mouth, one of your advertisements, 
seeing you at a tradeshow, or it may be simply an inquiry. In any case, your objective is to get an 
appointment. Resist the temptation to sell them on the telephone. Sell the appointment instead. 
However, during the initial telephone conversation learn as much as you can about them to ascertain 
their potential. 
If there is potential, sell the appointment and then do your homework prior to the call. A strategy that 
has proven very effective for me when we get unexpected inquiries is to call their receptionist and ask if 
he or she would mind putting together a corporate package. This may include an annual report, 
brochures, and other items such as a company newsletter or quarterly flyers. I then send a courier to 
pick up the package within 24 hours of the call. When I show up to the appointment knowledgeable 
about their business, customers are impressed. Once again it's about being planned and prepared. 
When is the optimum time to do your planning? I'm sure you answered "during non-selling hours." Right 
answer. Don't use valuable selling hours to plan. As we discuss in Chapter 4, ideally your planning is 
done before or after selling hours, not during. However, sometimes selling hours provide the only 
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opportunity to call receptionists or other sales entrepreneurs. Even so, use your limited selling hours 

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A State of Readiness 

With our planning complete, we are now ready to prepare for the call. Remember, planning is stuff we 
do prior to the call, whereas preparation is being ready to perform at the call. A state of readiness 
begins by arriving on time, which means being 10 to 15 minutes early. This gives you time to mentally 
and physically prepare. Preparation includes not only checking your personal hygiene (fix your hair, 
check yourself out, look good) but your corporate hygiene as well. Corporate hygiene is not something 
we put much thought into. It means having the appropriate tools with you to conduct business at the 
call. It includes having a professional carrying case or briefcase stocked with product manuals, 
company literature, calculator, price list, professional notepad, and perhaps a laptop. All these 
corporate items contribute to the overall impression you make on your customer. Remember, the 
Sequential Model says that you are engineering customer commitment (closing) beginning with Step 
#1. Anything you do, say, display, or not display will either enhance or erode the sale. You cannot 
afford to sabotage your credibility through the use of cheap, unprofessional tools that contradict your 
objectives as a sales entrepreneur. Get rid of the 99¢ Bic pen and the $1.50 notepad that 
communicates, "I'm not really serious." Sweat the details. Most people can't distinguish between a 
$1,000 suit or a $450 one, but they can see the difference between a good pen or a cheap one. Don't let 
the 99¢ Bic be your signature. 

What about your personal identity package? For years experts have reminded us of the tremendous 
impact image communicates. Your wardrobe—your business attire—speaks volumes before you speak. 
People buy you with their eyes within ten seconds. Appropriate apparel and impeccable grooming 
demonstrate respect for yourself and for your customer. They communicate authority and exemplify 
your commitment to perform to the high standards of a sales entrepreneur. Dress violations such as 
wearing white socks with a suit, a too-short tie ,or having a run in your stockings can be very distracting 
to your customer. Neutralize your appearance so that the focus is on you and your message. Don't 
draw their attention away by wearing something that speaks louder than you. You must make sure that 
nothing you say or display distracts from the call. You can't aim too high in the pursuit of personal and 
corporate hygiene. A winning combination of the two will certainly put you at an advantage and exceed 
the expectations of others. A footnote regarding the importance of image: Naked people have made little 
impression in this world. Look good, feel good, be good. 

For a sales entrepreneur the highest of personal and professional standards should prevail. Planning 
and preparation will complement your commitment to excellence, as the standards you set will reflect 
the rewards you get. 

A true story to illustrate the importance of readiness: A few years ago I had a sales representative call 
on me selling disability insurance. She had made an appointment and she arrived exactly on time. As 
we went through some initial pleasantries I found her likeable. Her name was Betty. About 10 to 15 
minutes into the call, I asked Betty what disability insurance would cost for a fellow my age. I was 
interested. I recognized a need and I wanted more details. Betty's answer was, "I can't give you that 
information today. My computer is in the car. I will have it for you next week." I was a little annoyed. 
However, the conversation continued and she finally asked what I did. I love answering that question. I 
told her I facilitate professional selling skills seminars to sales professionals like herself. Her jaw 
dropped and she asked, "Oh, how am I doing?" Reluctantly, I told her she was doing terribly. "Why is 
your computer in the car?" I asked. What's wrong with this picture? Her defense was, "But this is my 
first call to you. I'm here to get to know you." That's funny, I thought she was here to sell me disability 
insurance. Betty seemed to think she should make a couple of social calls, then sell me. You see, 
Betty was guilty of minimal planning and no preparation. Clearly, she was not prepared to do business. 
She arrived at the call with little more than a predetermined, well-rehearsed selling strategy that did not 
include any precall planning. No flexibility. I have seen it applied countless times: Representatives plow 
their way through a sales call with little regard for the customer's agenda. I call it the "cookie-cutter" 
sales call. We eventually did business, but it took her more calls than necessary to close the deal. 
Betty and I became good friends and she still talks about her call from hell. 
The Betty story is classic. I know there are countless sales representatives out there making sales 
calls not unlike Betty's—little planning, unprepared. I may be getting ahead of myself, but the most 
effort you should put into closing a sale is on the first call. Of course this won't happen on every 
occasion, especially if you have a long sales cycle (the time it takes a sale to materialize). The mindset 

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of a sales entrepreneur is this: I'm here to sell something, not just to visit and have coffee. 
Every sales call, including telephone sales calls, must be packaged around two important aspects: a 
primary agenda and a secondary agenda. Your primary agenda is to sell something—it's the number 
one reason you are there. Your secondary agenda is to establish rapport and build a relationship—get 
to know your customer. During the call, however, the sequence is reversed. First build rapport and trust 
(make a friend) then build on that trust by selling a solution that the customer buys. Although being 
friendly and building relationships are important, customers know that the reason for a sales call is a 
sale. Each time you speak with a customer you should have a clear objective—an action you want 
taken as a result of the call. You are there to do business, to advance the sale. Why do you think you 
were hired? Your customer expects you to pursue an opportunity to do business, otherwise you may be 
perceived as wasting their time. By appreciating these two aspects of a call agenda, you save yourself 
valuable selling time and reduce the number of wasted and unproductive sales calls. Be prepared to sell 
something on the first call. Don't condemn yourself to mediocrity by not planning ahead of time, like my 
friend Betty. 

Countless sales managers, myself included, have been guilty of misguiding the activities of newly hired 
salespeople. They seem to forget or don't appreciate why the salesperson was hired. Their instructions 
to the new salesperson are, "Take the next few months to simply introduce yourself to your customers 
and don't be bothering them by trying to sell something. They will buy once they get to know you 
better." How ridiculous. What a gross violation of the company's time and money, not to mention a big 
injustice to the customer. Customers get irritated by calls that don't have any clear direction or provide 
an understanding of what comes next. Customers are often left wondering why on earth they granted an 

appointment. "I thought she was going to sell me something or at least show me a new product line." 
Tim Commandment #3 
Have clearly defined primary and secondary agenda for every sales call. 
Ask: What am I going to sell? 
If you cannot make the sale, at least sell the next step. Always leave the customer's office with an 
agreement, a commitment for the next step. It can include a breakfast meeting, a plant tour, a call with 
the VP of manufacturing, a demonstration of your product, and so on. We can't afford to chew up 
valuable selling hours by making unnecessary return calls or return visits. Remember, studies concur 
that planning and preparation will reduce your sales cycle and increase productivity by a minimum of 
20%. You are running a business, ME Inc. Don't work hard, sell smart. 

Time to Show Off 
The moment of truth. After weeks of telephone tag, voicemail, and time spent planning, you are finally 
face-to-face with your customer. You have precious little time to deal with the initial tension and create 
a positive first impression. Psychological studies concur that the best approach to build rapport and 
trust is to get your customers talking about themselves or their business. It's even more effective if you 
initiate the dialogue using information pertinent to their business. This is where you can stimulate the 
conversation by showing off your new-found intelligence. You have worked hard to obtain precall 
information about your potential customer. Don't hide it. Don't be shy or hesitant to show off. You want 
to be subtle yet professional. The following examples are effective openers when presented using an, 
"Oh, by the way" approach. 
S Congratulations on the company's 10th anniversary. 
S Congratulations on his or her recent promotion. 
S How is your new office in Cleveland working out? 
S I see you recently introduced a new product line. 
S I saw your new advertisement. It looks great! 
S Are you still hiring? 
Tie in any knowledge you have. Be forthcoming. Your knowledge and enthusiasm communicates to the 
customer that he or she is important and worth the time you invested in planning. 
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Features and Benefits: No Advantages 
The terms "feature" and "benefit" are commonly used within the sales profession but, unfortunately, 
they are often misused. Sales professionals frequently interchange these terms, not clear on their 
meaning. Feature/benefit selling represents one of the cornerstones of professional selling. It has been 
an effective strategy for centuries and I don't expect it to change, not in our lifetime. It's part of the 
common currency of every sales call. 
To be an effective sales entrepreneur, you must relate your product to the prospect's unique situation. 
You do this by translating your features into benefits that satisfy the customer's needs. It begins with an 
understanding of both features and benefits. 
A feature is defined as a quality or characteristic of your product or service: what it has. Simple. As part 
of our planning we need to recognize and appreciate the four feature categories. They are the features of: 
S your industry 
S your company 
S your product or service 
S you 
Each category, of course, offers a host of features. There can be 100 features just about your company, 
100 features about your industry, and so on. These features combined become your corporate menu. 
It's a menu of all your offerings, including you (which happens to be the most overlooked feature 
category). When was the last time you said to a prospect, "And another reason you should buy from us 
is because I'm your salesperson." Don't sell yourself short. Make a list of all your features. If you are 
uncomfortable with this exercise, go back to Chapter 2, Attitude #3. 
A benefit is defined as what the feature does for the customer. It is how a particular feature will help a 
customer and is tied directly to buying motives. At the end of the day it addresses, "Here's how I can 
help your business." Also, benefits must answer the proverbial question "What's in it for me?" 
You may be familiar with the FAB approach of selling: features, advantages, and benefits. I have 
eliminated advantages. Not required. As it is, sales professionals have a tough time separating features 
and benefits. Let's not complicate it with an unnecessary step. Few salespeople can clearly distinguish 
between advantages and benefits. That being the case, how would you expect your customers to 
appreciate the difference? Both of you end up confused. My approach is simple. Customers buy only 
benefits, not advantages or features. For example, when you buy a car the feature (your hot-button) is 
power windows but the benefits are ease of operation, convenience, and control. 
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Avoid the Feature Dump 

One of my favorite topics is the good old feature dump. Almost all salespeople (including sales 
entrepreneurs) are guilty of it. The feature dump is talking about what the product is, how it works, and 
how it compares with the competition, but not what it will do for the customer. Salespeople jump into a 
monologue, talking ad nauseam about all the features, often boring the customer to tears. Believe it or 
not, customers simply don't care about most of that stuff. The conversation with your potential 
customers often lacks the critical connection between your product, service, or company and their 
needs. Customers need to know how you can help improve their efficiencies or their margins, or help 
them become more competitive. More often than not salespeople are selling what they need to sell, 
instead of selling what their customers need to buy. 
Typically, sales professionals show up to the call and after asking only a couple of probes begin 
spewing all their knowledge, telling not selling. They engage in a verbal avalanche of information, 
statistics, specifications, and whatever else they can think of to impress the customer. After all, 
salespeople are supposed to be good talkers, right? Wrong. The underlying problem is the vast amount 
of product knowledge that salespeople are exposed to. Companies inundate their salespeople with 
product knowledge, company policies, price lists, catalogs, brochures, flavor-of-the-month promotions, 
new product launches, and so on. It's no wonder salespeople show up and can't wait to tell the 
customer about all the features. It's what they have been trained to talk about, to regurgitate all the 
information in the brochure. In fact, a brochure is nothing more than a glossy feature dump, just as a 
corporate video distributed by head office is a high-tech feature dump. A brochure or video can't possibly 
reflect benefits, as they are very subjective. It is the customers' right to identify the benefits that are 
important to them. Customers decide the benefits, not the salespeople. 
More often than not, salespeople respond far too quickly when asked for a brochure. They willingly send 
out or hand out their corporate brochures, creating a false sense of productivity. Tell your potential 
customer that you are better than a brochure, and a 15-minute appointment is necessary to explore the 
possibility of doing business. 

On the lighter side, rather than spend the day handing out or mailing brochures with a business card 
("Just leave us your card and a brochure") you'd be better off to rent an airplane, fly over your territory, 
and shovel out 1,000 brochures. It would certainly get more attention! My point is this: Doing an 
in-person brochure-drop does little to drive your business. Brochures should be used as a leave-behind 
to augment the sale—not used as a lead-in. However, they can be an effective mailer if you highlight 
relevant features and follow up with a telephone call to make an appointment after they have received it. 
This approach will sometimes impress the customer enough to grant you an appointment. 
What drives the feature dump is our natural tendency to be helpful. We are often seduced by a false 
sense of helpfulness created by telling the customer all about our features. Sales representatives love to 
dispense information. As one customer said, salespeople tend to "show-up and throw-up." This 
situation reminds me of those PEZ candy dispensers we had as kids: pull the head back and all this 
information comes spewing out. We often get overzealous in our desire to enhance our customer's 
welfare. It's nothing short of blah-blah-blah selling, inundating the customer with useless information. I 
consider PEZ to be an acronym for "Please Excuse my Zealousness." Go out and get yourself a PEZ 
dispenser and put it on your desk as a visual reminder to banish the feature dump. We must appreciate 
that our call-effectiveness is measured in terms of the customer's perspective, not ours. 
The redundancy of a feature dump is further supported by this statistic: Your customer will decide to 
buy from you based on less than 5% of your total features. That's it! If you ask your customers why 
they bought from you, their answer reveals no more than two to three reasons (benefits). Imagine the 
poor customer having to endure a feature dump that is 95% useless information to them. I compare it to 
the menu analogy. When you visit a restaurant, you are presented with a menu. The menu is nothing 
more than a list of available features. You, as the customer, decide what features will become benefits. 
As you are handed your menu, your server might as well say, "Here is our list of features. I'll be back in 
a few minutes to take your list of benefits." After reviewing the menu, which can easily include 100 or 
more features, you place your order of only four to five benefits. There's your 5%. The rest of the items 
remain as features. The only person who can decide on the benefits is your customer. Your customer is 
the ultimate authority to either accept or reject your features as benefits. There lies the challenge: 
Identify the features on your corporate menu that will benefit your customer. 

Feature Dumpers Syndrome is an undetected virus that has plagued salespeople for centuries. It 
sabotages more sales calls than any other sales virus. 

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The common feature dump virus quietly goes about its business disguising itself as a routine, 
predictable component of a typical sales call. If you don't think you are a feature dumper, just ask your 

Unfortunately there are no pills, antibiotics, or prescriptions available to cure this unproductive approach 
to selling. But don't fret, help is here at last. The cure lies in your willingness and commitment to 
embrace a sales entrepreneurial code of conduct. It's time to do more selling, and less telling; features 
tell, benefits sell. 

The feature dump is not something we can totally eliminate. From time to time you will find yourself 
engaged in an elaborate monologue spewing out so-what information. If you find yourself in this 
situation, the best thing to do is finish your thought, pause for a moment and say, "Well that's enough 
about me, how about telling me more about you." Invite the customer to talk about his or her business 
by asking conversational probes. Resist the temptation to revert back to a feature dump. Take notes 
and truly listen to what your customer is telling you. 

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Two Types of Information 

One of the deadliest traps of a sales call is predictability: the mark of a boring order-taker selling on 
price versus value. Customers have been conditioned over the years to anticipate a boring, predictable 
sales call—the kind where a representative shows up and dispenses a well-rehearsed pitch. Sometimes 
customers themselves open the call by saying, "Okay, let's hear your pitch," or "Tell me about your 
company." In fact, customers often communicate their displeasure with the these routine sales calls by 
not granting second appointments. The first appointment must be worthwhile or you can forget about a 
second appointment. Some customers go as far as to say, "Okay, come in but you've only got 15 
minutes." That is simply a way to shield themselves from another lengthy feature dump. 

What should you do if your customer looks at his watch and says that you've only got five minutes? 
Believe me, it happens. Sadly enough, the majority of salespeople take that as an invitation to recite the 
Cliff's Notes version of their pitch. If you answered, "I'd tell him all about our company and what we do," 
you may want to reconsider your approach. Avoid the overwhelming temptation to feature dump. During 
the first few seconds acknowledge the limited time frame and suggest you'll be finished in four and a 
half minutes. Then give the customer a 45-second infomercial as to who you are and what you do, 
highlighting the distinctive benefits that may be of interest. Then ask permission to ask a few questions 
to learn more about their business to explore if there is a possible fit. During your probing, the customer 
will clearly see your sincerity and obvious interest. Take the last 30 seconds to acknowledge your time 
is up and reschedule another appointment. I suggest that the vast majority of the time the customer will 
be impressed with your obvious interest and extend the appointment by saying, "It's okay, please 
continue." Remember, if customers feel you may be able to help their business or alleviate an existing 
inconvenience, they are interested. Your five-minute appointment will often turn into a one-hour 

During the sales call it is the type of information being dispensed by the salesperson that labels the call 

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as routine and boring, or interesting and worthwhile for the customer. There are two types of information. 
First, there is what I call so-what information, usually associated with sales representatives. It's the 
classic feature dump where the representative is working through a well-rehearsed, enthusiastic pitch 
about all the features but generating a so-what reaction from the customer. Even the sales 
representative gets bored with it. 
The second type of information is, "Here's how I can help your business," usually associated with a 
sales entrepreneur. Surprisingly, this approach is a refreshing change for your customer. It breaks the 
typical mold of a sales call and brings something new to the table, a genuine interest in the customer. 
Of course this type of information just doesn't happen. It's the result of effective planning, preparation, 
and smart probing. Once you have identified relevant features (via probing), bridge them to the 
corresponding benefits. We have more on bridging and probing in Chapter 7. 
I offer a statistic that should surprise you. Your competitor can offer approximately 90% of the same 
features you can. I call it the duplication factor. Why do you think they are called competitors? Because 
they duplicate many of the same things you do, maybe even better. To compete, they mirror several of 
the same features you offer. The key is to differentiate yourself, emphasizing that the business 
advantage your company can offer is you. Your competitors don't have you. Anyone can copy and 
improve a product or service, match a competitor's features, copy their sales promotions, or undercut 
prices, but they can't copy or duplicate you. Apply your own unique style, your own signature, to your 
Sequential Model. Remember, customers are looking to buy relationships (peace of mind), not just 

I don't mean to suggest that product knowledge is not important. Of course it is. I agree that you must 
know what you are talking about in terms of specifications, technical applications, manufacturing 
specifications, industry standards, and your competitors' offerings. Learn as much about your 
competitors as you can. Make it part of your planning. However, although this information is important, 
it won't close a sale for you. Remember, only 20% of the decision to buy from you is based on your 
product knowledge. 

Account Classification: Three Types 
Managing your account base is often a question of maintaining existing customers and finding new 
customers who are most likely to buy, then engaging your resources to maximize the opportunity. 
However, some accounts are more profitable than others and let's face it, profit drives your business. 
You must maximize your returns by satisfying the greatest number of profitable customers. Return can 
be measured in a number of ways: ROI (return on investment)—the amount of money and time spent on 
an account; ROE (return on energy)—energy expended to secure the account; ROO (return on 
occasion)—leads or referrals you get while golfing or participating at an occasion outside normal selling 
activities or selling hours. ROO extends your limited selling hours and ROT (return on your time equity) 
—asks how wisely are you spending your allotted time. 
Not all customers have the same buying potential. The portion of unprofitable accounts is usually 
greater than you think. I remind you of the 80/20 rule: 80% of your sales come from only 20% of your 
customers. Therefore, sales entrepreneurs need to classify customers on the basis of their sales 
potential, to avoid spending too much time with low-potential accounts. Remember, there are only 1,760 
selling hours in one entire year. We can't afford to be busy servicing unproductive, unprofitable 
accounts. Don't be fooled by revenue numbers. Revenue alone doesn't keep a business afloat, profits 
do. Pricing your product or service at or below cost is not smart business, but many sales 
representatives are seduced into a quick sale where profit is sacrificed for revenue. Your business must 
be managed by utilizing all of the resources at your disposal, maximizing your return in the most 
productive manner. To that end I offer a very simple account classification strategy: the ABC analysis. 
It's not new but it certainly works. Use this method to evaluate and classify each of your existing and 
potential accounts. 
A Accounts 
Your A accounts deserve the most attention. Here's why: 
S They have high potential return: (ROI/ROE/ROO/ROT) 
S They require minimum invested time 
S They are low maintenance 
S They are cooperative if problems arise 
S They have a high contribution based on margins/profit 
S They have a short sales cycle 
B Accounts 
B accounts are not quite as attractive as your As, but certainly worth pursuing. Here's why: 
S They have good potential return: (ROI/ROE/ROO/ROT) 
S They require a high amount of invested time 
S They have higher maintenance 
S They are patient with problems 
S They have a good contribution based on margins/profit 
S They have a longer sales cycle 
C Accounts 
I fondly refer to a C account as "a pain in the asset." C accounts usually distract you from your A and B 
accounts, offering little or no return for your investment. Here's why: 
S They offer low/no potential return: (ROI/ROE/ROO/ROT) 
S They require an excessive amount of time 
S They are high maintenance, lots of babysitting 
S They are impatient when problems arise 
S They provide minimal contribution based on low or no margins/profits 
S They have very long sales cycle 
These accounts are literally a pain. They whine about this and that, finding the darndest things to 
complain about. In spite of your efforts they are never satisfied. 
As you classify your accounts, I strongly recommend you continue to work closely with your As and 
Bs, and toss your Cs. That's right, get rid of them. With limited selling hours, you can't possibly 
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maintain C accounts as well as service your As and Bs. Remember, C accounts are a major distraction 
to your core business accounts. By responding to or pursuing C accounts, your A/B accounts could 
inadvertently become a silver platter opportunity for your competitor. In most cases the neglect is 
unintentional but the consequences can be dire. This is a chief cause of lost customers. 

However, be aware of potential changes in account status. A C account today may become an A 
account tomorrow. Likewise a B today may become a C tomorrow, and so on. There is no universal 
grading system. An A or B account in your territory could well be a C in another territory. Each territory 
has its own unique account classification parameters. 

Here is a fact that may help guide your thinking as you manage and grow your account base. It costs 
your employer approximately $200 to $300 for every sales call you make (based on approximately one 
hour of actual selling time). Now let's add $200 for the customer's time and we have a $500 sales call. 
Not many salespeople think in terms of cost per sales call but as an entrepreneur, you must ask 
yourself, "Is this call worth $500?" It becomes clear that time with a C account is not only unproductive, 
but very costly. 

Once you have determined that an account has a C status, don't be too quick to abandon it. Four 
options are available. 

Use them to practice. Where do most salespeople practice and refine their sales 
skills? Usually when they are sitting before an A or B customer. Not a good plan. 
Practice the steps of your Sequential Model at a C account. It's a win-win situation. If 
you screw up, the customer won't want to do business with you anyway. The big win 
is that you took a step closer to refining and polishing your skills in a low-risk 
situation. Practice makes permanent—no different than a professional golfer hitting 
hundreds of balls at the driving range. A C account is to a sales entrepreneur what a 
flight simulator is to a pilot developing a new skill. 
Double their price. I don't necessarily mean literally double it, but certainly a price 
increase may be appropriate. Visit or call your C accounts with their revised pricing in 
your hot little hand. No doubt their reaction will be, "Look at this, you increased my 
price." Your response is, "Yes, I know." The revised price represents the lowest point 
at which you will do business with them. It's your line in the sand. Anything lower and 
you are simply not interested. The upside can be rewarding. If they accept your 
revised price, you now have a B or an A account. It is surprising how often they 
accept the revised pricing—and if they do be sure to nurture them to a solid B or 
possibly an A account. 
Another response you may hear from a C account is, "I can buy it cheaper elsewhere." That 
could very well be true and the natural tendency of a sales representative is to reduce the 
price until the customer agrees to buy. However, if the customer is unhappy with your lowest 
price-point, I suggest you use Lee Iaccoca's line: "If you feel you can get a better deal 
elsewhere, then buy it." It communicates confidence in yourself and your proposal and quite 
often customers will reevaluate their decision. Customers today appreciate the old adage, 
"You get what you pay for." 

Clean deal. Logic tells us that with limited selling hours we simply can't extend your 
C customers the luxury of a personal sales call. Explain to them that their situation 
does not justify or warrant a personal visit. You will no longer make the one-hour trek 
to visit them. It's simply not a good validation of your 1,760 selling hours. Inform your 
customer that you are prepared to sell to them, but without direct representation. 
However, the condition of doing business is that you redefine the rules of 
engagement. These would include pricing, a delivery schedule, minimum order 
quantities, and payment terms. 
Once both parties understand the new arrangement, invite them to place orders with your 
order desk or inside representative. Or they may want to send you an e-mail order or leave a 
voice mail. This approach can be effective and represents a clean deal for both you and your 
customers. Also, it can be an additional revenue stream that contributes to your monthly, 
quarterly, or annual targets. 

Fire them. During my years of selling I have never seen a concept so openly 
embraced by the business community. Fire C accounts. Companies are no longer 
tolerant of the aggravations and frustrations C accounts bring. Case in point: I 
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recently called on one of my national accounts and asked how his morning was 
going. He said this, "I spent the morning deciding which accounts to fire." This 
comment echoes the sentiments of corporate executives. Sales managers have 
typically challenged salespeople to close every possible account within their territory. 
They constantly ask, "Are we doing business there and if not, why not?" Managers 
should now be asking, "Why are we doing business there?" I encourage sales 
managers to challenge their salespeople—ask them to validate, with sound 
justification, why an account is doing business with them. Just because an account 
resides in your territory doesn't mean you have to come hither to their beckoning call. 
You can pick and choose who qualifies to do business with you. Establish the 
parameters for your A and B accounts and know what parameters flag a C account. I 
recently made a sales call and the manager I was visiting had an interesting analogy. 
The company was in the process of "demarketing" its account base. It was 
eliminating the Cs and focusing on its As and Bs. 

Firing an account doesn't mean pursuing an unprofessional, unceremonious approach. It means 
engaging in an open, honest dialogue with your customer. It could be as simple as saying, "Although 
we have both explored the possibility of doing business together, it appears at this time we cannot move 
forward. I do thank you for considering us."You then suggest the customer research the market for other 
options. Appreciating how valuable your time is, your choice is simple. You can choose to work more 
and make less, or work less and make more. 
Another aspect to consider is to evaluate each opportunity within existing accounts. Evaluate and 
classify each opportunity based on its own merit. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. For 
example, you may be presented with a C opportunity within an A account. Your options are to fulfil the 
C opportunity in the interest of the relationship, or to politely decline by explaining your reasons and 
perhaps suggesting an alternative. An effective strategy is when you and your customer agree to 
disagree. Rather than aggravating your customer by walking away from a C opportunity, it's preferable to 
openly discuss your reasons. Come to an agreement and that may be to disagree, all the while keeping 
the relationship intact. 

Parameters that flag a C account or C opportunities are as varied as customers themselves. Typical 
reasons include poor returns, they insist on a rock-bottom price, they are too demanding, you are 
unable to fulfil expectations, or they order lower-than-acceptable volumes. However, you may elect to 
pursue them for corporate or political reasons as the Head Office may deem the account prestigious or 
strategic to the business—one that looks great on the corporate resume. 

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Congratulations, you have now completed Step #2 

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Chapter 4: Time Management: It's About Time 

A mentor of mine once told me, "People make time for things they want to do." If someone doesn't want 
to participate, it ain't gonna happen. Back to the dynamics of motivation: Only you can light a fire within ( 
Chapter 2). We must take responsibility for ourselves and our actions, and use SMART goals to 
stimulate motivation. Motivation is the difference between being proactive and in control, or being 
reactive, out of control. Become the author of your activities and your success. Make things happen 
rather than just reacting to events as they occur. The choice is simple: Either manage time and invest it 
wisely, or time will control you. 

But I Don't Have Time! 

How often have you wished for only "a few more hours" in your day? How many times have you 
searched for a magic answer, a quick fix, to relieve the pressures of time? If you are like most of us, the 
answer is: frequently. We live in an environment of unfinished tasks, half-done sales plans, incomplete 
reports, unread books, and endless personal chores. There is no question that the majority of us are 
time-starved, always running "just a bit behind." Would a 30-hour day help? I doubt it. It would just add 
six more hours of accumulated stress and frustration to our lives. Let's do a better job of managing the 
time we have. 
In Chapter 2, you learned about five attitudinal characteristics of sales entrepreneurs and the impact 
those characteristics have on performance, personally and professionally. This attitudinal package— 
including time management—forms the backbone of the skills discussed throughout the model. Within 
the Sequential Model, however, time management is not a step on its own, although I do feel the 
subject is worthy of a chapter. 

On the wishlist of salespeople's training topics, time management continues to dominate, as if there 
exists a magic answer, a quick fix to exonerate them from the necessary discipline required to be 
organized: the discomfort of discipline. Once again we tend to search for the easy way, the path of least 
resistance. The quick fix is available but not in pill form, not yet. It comes in the form of commitment 
and desire, coupled with the attitudinal package discussed in Step #1 of the sequential model. 
The first step on the road to recovery is to recognize that you are the one primarily responsible for your 
own time problems and frustrations. Don't continue to rely on a plethora of well-rehearsed excuses to 
bail you out. The next step is to truly have the desire and the commitment to invest whatever is 
necessary to become organized. Without these ingredients, time management will continue to be a 
laborious exercise in futility and frustration, robbing you of your full potential. 
By the way, you do have enough time. 

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Time Equity: What's Your ROT? 

Time is a unique, unrenewable resource. It marches onward at a rate of 60 minutes every hour. It shows 
no favoritism. No one is immune to the relentless, unforgiving passage of time. Consider this: two days 
from now, tomorrow will be yesterday. Or how about this: two days ago, yesterday was tomorrow. 
Confused? Read it again, you'll see. Warning: dates on the calendar are closer than they appear. 

In today's competitive environment, workloads have become swollen by increasingly leaner and meaner 
companies. There are fewer positions on company organizational charts, and the average workload of 
those who remain has been growing. Salespeople now have to spend more time in the office distracted 
from selling by fulfilling administrative obligations. You must appreciate that companies today pay for 
results, not the number of hours you work. Companies no longer reward busyness. In many cases, 
working long hours, a 60- or 70-hour week, is simply a smoke screen concealing inefficiencies and poor 
work habits. Nothing is easier than being busy, and few things are more difficult than being efficient and 
effective. It requires discipline. Imagine having the time to get your work done, leaving the office at a 
reasonable hour, and spending the rest of your day with family or friends. It's possible; read on. 
The one universal distribution of equity is time: Everybody on the planet has ownership of 24 hours per 
day. We all receive the same allotment, day in and day out. Each new day brings an automatic deposit 
of 24 hours into our "time account." I refer to it as time equity. Although each day brings a new deposit, 
each day the entire amount must be withdrawn, with no balance carried over to tomorrow. Use it or lose 
it. The challenge we face is how and where to invest our time equity. These decisions determine 
success, career path, productivity, and family status. The truth is that where we are in life is a direct 
reflection of how well we have managed our time portfolio—how and where we "spent our time." We 
often hear people refer to personal activities in terms of time equity: "How did you spend your 
weekend?" or "During our trip we spent a lot of time doing ..." Time equity is the essence of a full and 
complete life. We often take it for granted and succumb to its harsh, unforgiving consequences. We 
have to take responsibility for ourselves and consciously appreciate the positive impact time 
management can have on our lives. 
Anyone who expects to achieve sales success should expect to make a serious commitment to 
working hard and efficiently. Throughout the five principles of time management that follow I share 
various techniques and suggestions to help streamline your activities. Remember we discussed balance 
in Chapter 2. Think of your activities in terms of quality and quantity. Balance means quality time versus 
quantity time. Many people spend quantity time in the office, but not quality time. 

What's your return on time (ROT)? You own it; invest it wisely. 

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Five Principles of Time Management 

Time cannot think for you, but it can certainly work for you. Like any other investment, time produces 
returns if invested wisely and treated with respect. Sales professionals constantly explore investment 
opportunities for their time, maximizing their ROT. 

Principle #1: Maximize Your ROT 

Spending your time wisely starts with paying attention to how you spend it. Only when you decide to 
take control of your time will you have the power to stop squandering it. The best starting point to a 
better ROT is to conduct your own time-efficiency study. Evaluate your current use of time by breaking 
down a typical day into hourly increments. Be objective. Include everything throughout your entire day, 
even the time you sleep. You may need to track a full week or two to get a clear picture of your time 
usage. The tape recorder you purchased after reading Chapter 2 might be a convenient method to log 
your time. It won't take long for patterns or habits to emerge. Some will be painfully obvious and you'll 
need no encouragement to change. We improve our ROT only by recognizing how we spend our time. 
The next step is to review your time log and classify the activities as time-wasters, obligations, or 
priorities. Time-wasters are just that, activities that distract you and contribute nothing toward your 
goals. Eliminate them. The danger is that time-wasters are activities performed out of habit. Usually, 
they create a false sense of productivity but actually produce few or no results. The cure comes in the 
form of personal organization, the process of incorporating structure into your day. 
Obligations are the dutiful responsibilities of your job. They are necessary yet unimportant activities, 
usually performed throughout the day. They contribute indirectly to your goals. They are the 
administrative aspects of your job such as call reports, expense reports, quarterly forecasts, and 
various other required duties. Despite the challenges of limited time coupled with increased 
responsibilities, you can be productive by evaluating your current usage of your 24 hours and 
maximizing ROT. Obligations cannot be overlooked but be cognizant of the negative impact they have 
on daily productivity. As you become better organized you can streamline your activities, minimizing the 
time spent fulfilling obligations. You may be in a position to delegate some of your administrative duties 
to support people (internal customers) within your office. I know of some sales entrepreneurs who have 
hired a part-time assistant. Maximize your ROT by doing what you do best, selling. 
Priorities are the activities that contribute significantly to your ROT. They are directly responsible for 
your results, moving you closer to your goals. Remember, companies today pay for results, not 
activities. They no longer pay for attendence, they expect results. 
As you evaluate your current use of time, the time-wasters will become clear, allowing you to rethink 
your activities. Make the shift from a long day filled with unproductive busyness to a shorter day 
focusing on priorities. As a sales entrepreneur, challenge yourself to be more proactive by prioritizing 
your tasks. Take control of the activities that prey on your efficiency, compromising your ROT. Once 
you complete your time-efficiency study, you will be shocked to see the time wasted reacting to other 
people's demands and requests. Most of us habitually spend our days reacting instead of being 
proactive, unaware of the costly consequence. I suggest that up to 75% of our day is reactive. A 
sobering thought. 

Principle #2: Know What Time It Is 

If you are like most salespeople, you have too much to do and not enough time to get it all done. To get 
ahead in today's fast-paced world, you've got to be aware of what time it is. I'm not talking about telling 
time, you learned that years ago. What I'm talking about is: It's not enough that you're doing a particular 
job right, you've got to be sure that you're doing the right activity at the right time. By the way, if you 
don't have a good watch, get one. The best and simplest time management tool is on your wrist. 
Common sense tells us that we should spend the majority of our time working on high-priority A and B 
accounts. Most of us don't. We waste a lot of time in the adult daycare center reacting to the demands 
of C accounts or even performing C activities. The first step is to take control of your entire day by 
knowing what time it is. 

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Selling Hours or Janitorial Hours? 

A full year gives us time equity of 8,760 hours. The use of these hours is a personal choice under our 
direct control. However, one thing we cannot control is the number of available selling hours in a year. 
There are approximately 1,760 selling hours in one entire year. That's all. A rather sobering statistic. 
Here's the math: Your customers work approximately eight hours a day and there are approximately 
220 selling days per year (8 x 220 = 1,760). The 220 selling days is the number of business days minus 
weekends, holidays, and wasted time throughout the year, including travel time and doing personal 
chores during the business day. These numbers may vary depending upon industry, but for the sake of 
discussion I use 1,760. 
During valuable selling hours you must organize yourself to maximize face-time or talk-time. Don't 
perform administrative obligations during selling time. Do those activities during the janitorial hours, 
outside the 8 AM to 5 PM selling hours. Having worked with large and small companies, I've often 
witnessed salespeople who don't appreciate what time it is. I see them in the adult daycare center 
during the day doing their expense reports or call reports, updating customer files, and performing 
general administrative obligations. There are approximately 4,400 janitorial hours in a year: the time 
available to perform your administrative tasks. Successful sales entrepreneurs know that selling is not 
an 8 AM to 5 PM job. They carefully plan their days to maximize selling time, and use the after-hours 
time to complete administrative activities. So, next time you're thinking of getting your hair cut, getting 
the car washed, or doing your expense report during selling hours, refer to Tim Commandment #3, Page 

Principle #3: Manage Your Time 

Time management is a personal process. It takes a strong commitment to change long-established 
habits. According to the 80/20 rule, we get 80% of our results from 20% of the things we do. This 
statistic supports the observation that we spend a lot of time on time-wasters and obligations. Imagine 
the impact on our time efficiency if we increased the 20% to 30%! 

What takes us from a time-starved day of routine, frustration, and stress to a productive day filled with 
accomplishments? Change. One definition of time management is doing fewer things in less time. 
Wouldn't that be great? 
Research suggests that effective time management strategies can free up a minimum of two hours per 
day. For example, time management studies show that we spend up to 70 minutes a day just looking 
for stuff. [1] How many times have you said, "Just a minute, I know it's here somewhere." We misplace 
files, reports, memos, and letters, and our desks look like the movie Twister was filmed in our office. 
Clutter can be a huge time-waster, not to mention the embarrassment of lost or unanswered requests. 
Your goal isn't to have a nice neat desk, but to get organized so that you can convert wasted time into 
productive time. However, with a clean, orderly desk, you'll improve your time working on priorities that 
will make you money. Your quality of work will also improve. 
The underlying objective of effective time management is to utilize all available resources to increase 
face-time, the time spent talking face-to-face with existing customers or potential customers. If you're 
an inside salesperson, increase talk-time. Take some time to determine how much time you actually 
spend with customers. Take a stop watch and clock total face-time in one entire week. On average, it's 
only two to four hours. [2] Shocking! This statistic serves as additional proof of the inordinate amount of 
time consumed by time-wasters and obligations. I recognize that with leaner companies salespeople 
are often saddled with more of the administrative aspects of the job. Unfortunately they become 
high-priced administrators. This brings us to Tim Commandment #4. 

Tim Commandment #4 
Manage your time equity. 
Ask: Is this activity the best use of my time right now? 
How many times a day should you ask yourself if you are making the best use of your time? If you 
answered "several," you're right. Only you can answer that question honestly. As the president of ME 
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Inc., don't compromise your ROT by blindly filling your day with busyness. Restructure your day to 
eliminate the time-wasters and minimize the time spent fulfilling obligations. Sometimes working in the 
office on a project or on a presentation could very well be the best use of your time. I doubt that you can 
ever eliminate time spent in the adult daycare center, but you certainly need to minimize it. Use 
janitorial time to fulfil your obligations. 
As part of your time-efficiency study, you should determine the time of day that you are most efficient 
and productive. Know your peak time, the time of day you are at high energy. Not everyone has the 
same peak time. Some of us are morning people and others are afternoon or evening people. Pay 
attention to your moods and high-energy time of day to determine when you're most productive. Morning 
people can accomplish more simply by getting up an hour earlier each day, and night owls can carve 
out time for administrative activities in the evenings. 

Once you have identified your peak time, do your worst jobs then. They won't go away so you might as 
well get them done when you're feeling energized. Some authors suggest doing them first thing in the 
morning when you're feeling fresh. This approach works well if you're a morning person but could be 
disastrous if you're an afternoon person. Imagine doing your worst job at your worst time of day. Two 
"worsts" don't make a right! In my case, prime time is during the late afternoon and early evening. I 
prefer to schedule important meetings or presentations later in the day, anytime after 2 PM. I did most 
of my writing for this book between 3 PM and 9 PM. 
Another suggestion in the interest of maximizing your ROT is to learn how to say no. Many of us are 
our own worst enemies. You'll never have enough time to finish your own tasks if you're always taking 
on more than time permits. Don't be afraid to politely refuse a request or task if your plate is already full. 
This includes saying no to your sales manager. When given a task, simply ask your manager, "Would 
you like me to do this now or would you prefer I spend the time selling?" Your manager may decide to 
delegate the task elsewhere. It's great to want to help others, but not at the expense of ME Inc. 

Principle #4: Use the Right Tools 

A professional (sales entrepreneurs included) is anyone paid to perform a task or a job at an acceptable 
level of proficiency while utilizing the tools of the trade to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. I am 
amazed at how often I see salespeople conducting business with inappropriate tools. It's as though 
they're exempt from the requirement to be a professional. Imagine your doctor or dentist using anything 
but the best instruments. Your customers expect no less of you. As a sales entrepreneur, you have an 
obligation to invest in the best. You may have heard it before, "A carpenter is only as good as his tools." 

The solution begins with a personal planner—a time management system that offers the convenience of 
portability while organizing your activities, mapping your week and, most importantly, planning your day. 
A good planner includes twelve months at-a-glance, 365 individual day-pages, a daily to-do list section, 
and an appointments section. Some planners come with a rigid set of instructions, so pick a planner 
that offers simplicity and the flexibility to meet your personal preferences. 

A planner used effectively not only buys you time, it helps you stay in balance throughout your week, 
including weekends. Poor time management skills result in overspending your time, running out of day 
before you get everything done. I compare it to managing a checking account. Imagine opening a 
checking account at your local bank then not using a checkbook to track the account activity. Surely 
you would find yourself out of balance at the end of the month, possibly overspending your available 
funds. Without the appropriate tool to track your time-related activities, you quickly find yourself out of 
balance, overdrawn on your time account. 

[1]Taylor, Harold. Time Management Seminar. Calgary, Alberta. 1993. 
[2]Author Research. 
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Sales Automation 

What's the best time management tool for the sales entrepreneur: the almighty computer or the 
personal planner? The debate continues. I have witnessed and have been a part of many lively 
discussions weighing legitimate pros and cons of the laptop computer as a time management tool. 
My position is this: Computers are great for certain tasks but time management isn't one of them. In 
spite of all our wonderful technologies it appears that the good old pencil and paper system is still 
viable. More and more professionals who were initially romanced by time management software 
programs are returning to the convenience, simplicity, and portability of the personal planner. I'm not 
suggesting people are littering our highways with abandoned laptops, but they are learning to work in 
harmony with a laptop or a palm pilot and pencil and paper. The ideal system seems to be a 
combination. It's no longer an either-or decision. Don't compromise your productivity by restricting 
yourself to only one system. Incorporate the tools that work best for you, maximizing your limited 
selling hours. Caution: Donit get overly seduced by technology and look like some sort of technological 
rambo. KISS. 

Bear in mind that my comments are directed at outside salespeople. I appreciate that a 
computer-based time management program may be appropriate for inside salespeople, while a portable 
time-management system may be redundant. However, you may want to consider a smaller version of a 
personal planner or a palm pilot to organize your activities outside the office. 

As a sales entrepreneur, your computer should be viewed as a portable database, allowing you to work 
in the field and access or update customer files utilizing a good contact management program. This 
allows you to retrieve important information prior to your appointment, including current account data, 
inventory levels at the warehouse, available shipping dates, price levels, and data specific to your 
customer. You can also store and retrieve such pieces of information as the name of your customer's 
spouse and children, dates of their birthdays and anniversaries, hobbies, outside interests, and favorite 
summer activities. You decide what data are relevant. There are several good contact management 
programs available. I prefer Maximizer and ACT, because both programs offer a host of features to 
manage your account base, saving valuable selling time. 

The computer can be a great asset when utilized outside the customer's office, but it can become a 
liability in the customer's office. Sometimes a laptop just isn't convenient and may even be 
cumbersome, intrusive, and time-consuming. Laptops should be used in a customer's office only with 
permission, whereas you don't need permission to work with a planner. The big plus of a planner is that 
it's quick, convenient, portable, and useable anytime, anywhere. 

Principle #5: Be Proactive, not Reactive 

I would suggest that up to 75% of our day is spent reacting to the needs and requests of other people 
such as customers, managers, internal customers, family, and friends. We are constantly bombarded 
with demands on our limited time, leaving us unable to accomplish our own goals and objectives. No 
wonder we feel the frustration of, "So much to do, so little time." 
We often succumb to the demands and requests of others because we think it is socially inappropriate 
to say no. We become victimized by others who may have a strong interest in controlling our activities 
or behavior—such as a spouse or a manager. Unfortunately many people, including salespeople, are 
content to be regulated and manipulated rather than committing to SMART goals and living life guided 
by their agenda, not someone else's. No one ever accomplished a personal goal by being subservient to 
others. Successful sales entrepreneurs refuse to be swayed by the whims of others and are quietly 
effective at managing their own agendas. Employers and managers sometimes do more to demotivate 
rather than to motivate. Demotivation can take the form of intimidation or high-performance expectations 
constrained by rigid management policies and limited resources to perform the job. No wonder so many 
people want to take this job and shove it. 

A proactive strategy means developing the discipline to stay focused on your agenda, your goals, and 
your objectives. Part of this discipline comes in the form of qualifying the severity of a problem prior to 
reacting to it. For example, next time a customer informs you of a problem or a concern, resist the 
temptation to immediately jump into react mode, drop what you are doing, and race over to console 
your customer. It may not be necessary. The next time you get an irate customer (or internal customer) 

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demanding to see you right away, follow these two steps: 

Acknowledge the problem. Allow the customer to vent by explaining the situation 
and then clarify your understanding of it by paraphrasing. Be sure to take notes of 
your discussion for future reference. By acknowledging the concern and showing 
empathy, the customer will begin to feel better about it and may become somewhat 
flexible as to how and when you resolve the concern. A sympathetic attitude to a real 
or imaginary product or service failure cannot be overemphasized. A 10-minute phone 
call to determine the facts and the seriousness of the problem may be a valuable 
investment, possibly saving you hours of unnecessary running around. Work smart, 
not hard. 
Suggest another time. Tell the customer that your day is full with appointments and 
commitments and ask if first thing tomorrow morning would be okay to get together. 
Your business and time are just as important and legitimate as that of your 
customer. You are equals. In the majority of cases, your customer will appreciate 
your schedule and agree to meet with you the next day. Too often we assume that 
we must respond immediately, but by following these steps you will save yourself 
valuable time. Sometimes, however, the customer may be insistent that you respond 
immediately, in which case you must act accordingly. 
Another good tactic is to start building flexibility into your day. By this I mean schedule your day to 
allow for "poop happens." Allow time between appointments or activities to deal with interruptions that 
are sure to occur. Interruptions and problems are a natural component of everybody's day so don't 
ignore the fact that they happen, and plan accordingly. Don't try to pack too much into one day by 
scheduling consecutive appointments and meetings. Plan what you can reasonably expect to get 
accomplished that day and allow time to deal with inevitable interruptions. I suggest that you let the 
60/40 rule be your guide; don't plan more than 60% of your day. The remaining 40% is reserved to deal 
with unforeseen yet inevitable interruptions. It also helps prevent the list-layover syndrome where we put 
unfinished to-do items onto tomorrow's schedule. If your workday is ten hours, don't plan for more than 
six hours. Once again, if you pack too much into a day, you will surely have to make rigorous cuts, deal 
with unfinished tasks, and wrestle with unnecessary stress. Remember, one of the aspects of a 
SMART goal is "attainable." Make your daily activities attainable. 

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If You're on Time, You're Late 

This concept needs to be taken literally. Punctuality is certainly one of several prerequisites to a 
successful meeting, but it doesn't seem to be taken very seriously. Many salespeople arrive at 
appointments with barely 30 seconds to spare before sitting before a potential A or B opportunity. Not a 
wise thing to do. We are all time-starved, but don't compensate for it at the expense of short-changing 
mental preparation time. If you have a 10:00 AM meeting, be there no later than 9:50. Don't come flying 
in at 9:59, out of breath, and still dealing with road rage. You need those few minutes to mentally 
prepare for the meeting. Although you are there physically, you are not there mentally. You may even 
want to take a few minutes in the washroom to give yourself a final check before the meeting. 

Don't be late. Customers accept very few excuses for tardiness—bad weather doesn't cut it. I once 
overheard a sales manager quip to a rep who was 15 minutes late for a meeting: "There are only two 8 
o'clocks in the day. How can you screw it up?" If you are unavoidably late, even by one minute, call 
ahead to inform the customer of the situation. It's very professional and it's appreciated. 

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Embrace Stress: A Timely Suggestion 

One of the biggest, most transparent time-wasters is stress. When we experience stress, it can 
handicap our performance and distract us. We typically experience a low energy level. Stress intrudes 
on our time efficiency and reduces our level of productivity. To some extent stress is inevitable and 
beyond our control, but how we handle it is well within our control. A five-year study published by the 
Families and Work Institute showed that growing demands at work are creating problems at home for 
time-starved employees. They end up feeling too stressed to work efficiently. Growing pressures on 
employees often negatively affect home lives and in turn, work lives. The study goes on to say that a 
high percentage of employees always feel they don't have enough time for their families or other 
important people in their lives because of their jobs, and 61% sometimes feel that way [3]. A recent 
survey by KPMG found that 57% of the 1,216 respondents were ambivalent about their current jobs, 
whereas only 25% were very satisfied. No question that this level of indifference creates stress and an 
attitude of frustration. For many, stress is a cause of deteriorating health, decreased productivity, and 
poor time management. The way I see it is some people show up to work dealing with sleep rage and/or 
road rage, and then go home frustrated by job rage—and then more road rage. What a day! Consider 
this; what tires most in life is not what we are doing, but the thought of what we haven't done yet. 
So, what is stress? Stress is our response to various events or situations: stress is a reaction. The 
cause, or stressor, is neutral. Stress is often viewed as the enemy, a debilitating virus that cripples our 
productivity and unknowingly robs us of our precious time-equity. Stress has negative connotations. 
Libraries and bookstores are full of stress management strategies. However, stress can be positive, too. 
Stress may be the high level of anxiety we feel during a change in our lives, or it may be the keen sense 
of concentration we experience when faced with an exciting new challenge out of our comfort zone. 

Stress is a great motivator. We can be motivated toward something (positive stress) or motivated away 
from something (negative stress). Positive stress keeps us focused, motivated, energized, and 
challenged. It can have tremendous impact on the efficient use of our allotted time-equity. Positive 
stress can enhance our performance at work and at home. When faced with a stressor, we need to 
remember that we can control our response. We have the "response-ability" to transform the reaction 
into a response that is positive. We also have the responseability to lower our stress tolerance. In his 
book, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and It's All Small Stuff, Dr. Richard Carlson says that, "Our stress 
level will be exactly that of our tolerance to stress." In other words, people who say, "I can handle lots of 
stress" will always be under a great deal of it. It's no surprise then that people continue to take on new 
things until they max out their stress level. Carlson suggests the solution is to reduce our tolerance to 
stress. He goes on to say, "When you're feeling out of control and resentful of all you have to do, a good 
strategy is to relax, take a few deep breaths, and take a break." He suggests reorganizing your day and 
not worrying that you won't get it all done. "When your mind is clear and peaceful and your stress level 
is reduced, you'll be more effective and you'll have more fun." [4] I agree. I suggest you lower your stress 
tolerance by exercising one of the 3 Ds: do it, delegate it, or dump it. Learn how to say no. Stop taking 
on more than you are physically or mentally able to handle. If you find yourself overwhelmed (and who 
hasn't?), break down your projects into smaller, manageable parts, then assign yourself SMART goals 
with deadlines. Most tasks can be broken down into smaller parts, thus eliminating the need to commit 
to a huge uninterrupted chunk of time. As you may have heard: "How do you eat an elephant? One bite 
at a time." So make your time management motto this: Inch by inch, anything's a cinch. 

Another way to help you put more control and less stress back into your life is to follow these four 
sequential steps: 

Identify the source. What is causing the stress, what are the stressors? Examine 
your environments, both work and play, and isolate potential stressors. Explore all 
areas of your life. 
Recognize the symptoms. What symptoms are you experiencing because of the 
stress: losing weight, gaining weight, drinking or smoking more, general poor health? 
Everybody reacts differently to stress. Know your body and how it reacts. 
Create solutions. What can you change, what can you do differently? You are in full 
control of initiating change. Other than death, taxes, and who your parents and siblings 
are, you can change almost anything. You have full control over your destiny—no one 
else does. If you don't like your job, change it. Don't like the city you live in? Change it. 
Don't like your level of education? Change it. 
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Set SMART goals. What is your action plan for change? Set a course of action that 
will eventually bring about change. It won't happen overnight. Distractions can be a 
major deterrent to getting things done. Identify what is distracting, and find ways to 
eliminate it. No question that stress continues to be a virus that robs us of valuable 
face-time with potential customers. My overall suggestion is to identify your stressor 
and get rid of it. Sure, easier said than done—but get off your butt and JUST DID IT! 
[3]The Calgary Herald. Employee Stress Cuts Productivity, Study Declares. April 15, 1998. 
[4]Carlson, Richard. Ph.D. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff. Page 53–54, 1997. Hyperion. 
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Let's Do Lunch: Meal Protocol 

Next time you say, "Let's do lunch," you may want to consider how it relates to your ROT. Effective 
time management is a discipline that must be practiced every day, all day—including meals. The three 
meals of the day offer an excellent opportunity to extend your selling hours and possibly increase your 

With an eye to that end, I offer you these guidelines on meal protocol and maximizing your meal time 
with customers: 
Breakfast. A great way to begin the day with a potential or existing customer. Meet at 6:30 or 7:00 AM 
at a spot conveniently located close to their office. The dialogue should be 90% business, 10% social. 
You are there to sell the customer and through open conversation, discover how to earn their business. 
Your agenda is, "I want your business, how do I go about earning it?" Don't be afraid to express your 
intentions. The conversation will quickly move to business and they expect you to be asking questions. 
Breakfast is quick, it's cheap, and it provides excellent one-on-one time with your customer. It offers a 
more relaxed venue than the office and may inspire the customer to share some valuable information. 
Give it a try—it works well. 
Lunch. What should be on our agenda when we "do lunch"? The primary objective of lunch is to thank 
them for their business. Don't do lunch until after you are doing business with them. During lunch the 
dialogue should be 40% business ("Thank you for your business. I want to continue our relationship by 
exploring other opportunities") and 60% social. Humanize the relationship and learn about some of their 
hobbies and interests. Personally, I will not do lunch with a customer until we have had an opportunity 
to do business together. Lunch can easily be seen as an attempt to buy their business. 
Dinner. A great way to truly get to know your customer and show your appreciation. The dialogue 
should be 10% business and 90% social. The 10% business is simply to acknowledge their importance 
as customers and say thank you—leave it at that and enjoy the evening. However, if the customer 
wants to talk shop all night, go with it—it's their evening. You might want to consider planning some 
social topics to safeguard against any extended periods of silence. Also, I suggest you make dinner a 
foursome—include spouses or significant others. 
"Where did the time go?" is a cry frequently heard among sales professionals working under the stress 
of increased demands. The answer lies in the daily application of five time-management principles to 
organize your life, using your time in the best possible way. Through effective allocation and 
organization of your time, you will have more control over your activities and reap the benefits of a 
proactive approach. The sooner you make the decision to take action, the sooner you'll have more time 
to enjoy life and experience less stress. At the end of the day it comes down to three options: do it, 
delegate it, or dump it. Enjoy your new-found freedom and the rewards of effective time management. 
Work to live—don't live to work 

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1. Taylor, Harold. Time Management Seminar. Calgary, Alberta. 1993. 
2. Author Research. 
3. The Calgary Herald. Employee Stress Cuts Productivity, Study Declares. April 15, 1998. 
4. Carlson, Richard. Ph.D. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff. Page 53–54, 1997. 
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Chapter 5: Prospecting: I Know Where You Are 


Remember playing the game hide-and-seek as a child? It was quite gratifying to find the person within 
the allotted time and then outsmart your friends by hiding where they would never find you. Well, in 
professional selling, you and your competitor are constantly engaged in a different kind of 
hide-and-seek. It's called prospecting—corporate hide-and-seek. Potential customers are out there, 
located in various geographical pockets throughout your territory. Success goes to the one who is most 
creative in finding and developing new customers, new markets. 
Many sales experts and authors suggest that prospecting is the most important activity within the 
Sequential Model. Filling your sales funnel is the key to your economic survival. Your sales funnel is 
your inventory of potential customers. Through prospecting, customers enter your funnel as qualified, 
potential A or B accounts, each with its own sales cycle. Every customer has different viscosity, the 
time it takes to flow through the funnel and become an active account. 

The emphasis on prospecting can vary among various selling fields but at the end of the day your 
success is determined by the quantity and quality of customers in your funnel. Constant prospecting 
and cultivation of your market, be it local or global, is the lifeblood of any business. All other activities 
center around your ability to keep the sales funnel full. However, a major oversight of many salespeople 
is that they ignore an emptying funnel. They become so focused and excited about developing new 
leads they fail to remain focused on their commitment to ongoing prospecting. It's not long before they 
realize their funnel is empty and panic sets in. This could be disastrous as it may be weeks or months 
before another potential customer works through the funnel. Be cognizant of your funnel inventory and 
continue to fill it with new opportunities, all while servicing and growing existing accounts. 

As a sales entrepreneur, you must actively pursue new potential accounts to ensure you meet and 
exceed your sales and personal goals. With a customer attrition rate of approximately 15–30% and the 
constant threat of local and global competition, you can't afford to ignore the significant contribution 
prospecting makes to a business. Without a commitment to growth, how do you expect to meet or 
exceed those new quota targets assigned to you every year? You won't. Remember, employers reward 
results, not activities. 

Speaking of growth, it's important that as a sales entrepreneur, you understand the difference between 
economic growth and real growth. 

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Growth Versus Real Growth 

Time for a quick lesson in sales economics 101. Very few salespeople, management included, 
appreciate the difference between economic growth and real growth. I bring this concept forward 
because I have seen many salespeople and sales managers base performance appraisals and 
productivity on the wrong indicator. Growth is a result of a strong, buoyant economy; growth due to 
outside factors such as low interest rates, high consumer confidence, high demand, and limited supply. 
Your business becomes the beneficiary of economic growth stimulated by a strong, active economy. 
You did nothing to stimulate it—you only reacted to it. This scenario often creates a false sense of 
productivity throughout the company as management proudly high-fives each other. In boardrooms, they 
exclaim: "Aren't we great, we are 15% ahead of last year's numbers. Wow, we're awesome." Who's 
kidding whom? Yes, you may be up 15% but so is everybody else in your industry. You're all on the 
bandwagon together, riding on the coattails of strong economic growth. However, real growth is over and 
above economic growth—growth on top of growth. Real growth is stimulated by effective prospecting 
and is critical for long-term success. For example, if the economy generates 15% economic growth, 
your goal may be to achieve 5% real growth in addition to the 15%. Thus, when the economic wave 
crashes (they usually do) and the 15% growth evaporates, you're still left with 5% growth—probably 5% 
more than your competitors. That's real growth. It doesn't take very long to see and appreciate the 
tremendous impact real growth has on a business. Salespeople and managers usually don't think about 
growth in these terms. It's time you did. Reevaluate your productivity and challenge yourself. Is my 
business growing, or is it really growing? Clearly, your objective as a sales entrepreneur is to drive real 
growth. Don't simply respond to a natural economic growth spurt. 

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Where to Find Them: 22 Ideas 

With that end in mind, I offer you the following 22 prospecting sources to help stimulate real growth 
within your territory and your business—ME INC. 

Newspapers. Review the business section, want ads, and business articles to get 
company names and ideas as to whom you might want to approach. Look for corporate 
announcements as well. The newspaper can provide lots of ideas. 
Industry Associations. Get a listing of companies and individuals who belong to 
specific associations—legal, medical, engineering, and so on. Consider offering yourself 
as a keynote speaker at their next meeting. They are always looking for ways to spice 
up their meetings—maybe you're the answer. If you are terrified of speaking to a group, 
bring along someone from your company who enjoys it. Your company will look good 
and you'll get the leads. 
Yellow Pages. This is an excellent source of businesses within your territory. Start 
calling from the back of the book with the Zs and work forward. Most salespeople start 
at A and never get past the Es. Chances are good that businesses toward the back of 
the book have never been called. You may want to consider purchasing Yellow Pages 
from other cities that are within your geographical territory. Alternatively, you can 
access Yellow Pages for any city on the Internet. 
Vehicles on the Road. Get company names and phone numbers painted on the 
hundreds of trucks, service vehicles, and company vans you see every day. They may 
even have a toll-free number proudly displayed, so use your handy tape recorder to 
record the information. Then follow up. 
Trade Shows. You can't get a faster introduction to a large number of customers all 
under one roof. I have met some of my largest customers at trade shows. However, 
don't be intrusive and try to sell them at the show. Rather, ask a few up-front questions 
to determine their potential then get a name to follow up with later. Call your local 
convention center or chamber of commerce and get a calendar of upcoming events. 
Library. Use your local library. It often has current business publications, annual 
reports, and an archive of newspaper articles on micro-fiche. Make a copy of relevant 
articles, announcements, and want ads. Then put them in your prospecting file for future 
The Internet. The world's largest library is at your fingertips. If it's not on the Net, it 
hasn't been thought of or invented yet. Use it to retrieve valuable information about a 
specific industry, investigate new technologies related to your field, subscribe to mailing 
lists, tap into a newsgroup, and so on. The Internet offers a plethora of opportunities for 
prospecting and sources of information otherwise unavailable to you. However, I caution 
you: It can be time-consuming. Don't become a mouse potato and waste away selling 
hours or janitorial hours distracted by the fun of it. 
Friends and Allies. Ask among your circle of friends and current business allies for 
referrals. They are often willing to help you out—simply for the price of asking. After all, 
the more people you know, the more people you're capable of knowing. As one of my 
friends said, "It's not who you know, it's who I know." 
Breakfast Clubs. Consider joining one that helps you network. They are always looking 
for new blood, new members. Alternatively, offer yourself as a speaker—they often look 
for interesting people to feature as a keynote. Talk about an exciting, interesting new 
technology developed by your company or emerging trends within your industry. Heck, 
you'll probably get a free breakfast out of it and it's a great way to get your day started. 
Old Files. Take a gander through old files in the office. I'm sure you'll find some orphan 
accounts—perhaps even some potential born-again accounts. 
Target Markets. Pursue a specific profession and learn what you can about it. For 
example, it might be legal, medical, communication, transportation, construction, food 
service, and so on. However, don't try to spread yourself too thin. Concentrate on one or 
two specific professions and become an expert in that field. 
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Subscriptions. Subscribe to appropriate business magazines. They are often rich with 
corporate articles and advertisements that may introduce you to the new kid on the 
block or to a company you haven't heard of before. 
Referrals. Perhaps the most overlooked source for new business. Simply ask existing 
customers for a couple of names that they would be comfortable passing along. There 
are plenty of books and seminars outlining effective strategies of networking. I suggest 
you consider honing your networking skills because the return on your investment is 
like no other. 
Business Directories. Several companies offer business directories that list all the 
businesses in your area. Listings include size, locations, president's name, executives, 
revenue, product lines, and key contacts. These directories can be purchased for a 
nominal fee and can be broken down by geographical area, revenue, size, or by number 
of employees. Some directories have the option of cross-referencing phone numbers, 
addresses, subsidiaries, and parent companies. It can be a worthwhile investment. 
Internal Customers. Nonsales employees can be encouraged to provide leads. An 
uncle, cousin, or a friend who works at a company might be a potential customer. Even 
the people in the service department could be very helpful to you. Some companies 
support this method by offering a financial incentive for every prospective customer they 
pass along. If the company doesn't pay an incentive consider offering one yourself—even 
if it's only a $50 gift certificate for a local restaurant. People generally respond favorably 
to gestures of appreciation. 
Observation. Keep your eyes and ears open. We are bombarded daily with thousands 
of messages—billboards, radio, advertisements, banners, TV, and so on. Look for 
anything new within or around your territory—construction, an information sign on a 
building, or remodelling in progress. Take an unfamiliar route to your existing customer 
to see what's going on in and around your territory. Don't drive by and wonder—stop in 
and find out. 
Building Directories. Every office building has a directory on the main floor that lists 
the businesses throughout the building. I used to take a picture of it or recite the names 
into my tape recorder then follow up by telephone and qualify for any possible potential 
Social Contacts. This goes beyond your immediate circle of friends and family to 
include neighbors, members of social, community and religious organizations; former 
classmates and any other group whose members might buy the type of product or 
service that you offer. These social events are an opportunity to meet new and 
interesting people. However, be tactful when pursuing these contacts. Don't come 
across as the leech who's always looking for a lead—who looks at every social event as 
a potential sale. Simply have an informal business chat and agree to follow up during 
regular business hours or when it's convenient. 
Existing Accounts. Look for additional opportunities within your active accounts. We 
can get very complacent working with only one department or one division, sometimes 
overlooking other opportunities that are right under our nose. Ask for a current 
organizational chart and prospect the entire company—take your blinders off. 
Acquisitions and Mergers. Read the business section of your local newspaper and 
watch for any announcements of acquisitions and/or mergers. Your favorite account 
could triple in size overnight and open up an opportunity to pursue new business—real 
growth. Armed with an endorsement as an incumbent, your chances of success within 
the new company are excellent. 
Social Clubs. Consider joining a social club or a service club such as a Rotary Club, 
Lions Club, or The Chamber of Commerce. It not only gives you an opportunity to 
volunteer for a worthy cause, it is a great avenue for networking. 
Cold Calling. I have saved the best for last. The dreaded cold call! The very thought of 
it sets in motion all sorts of immobilizing defence mechanisms and excuses. Most 
salespeople have somehow convinced themselves that cold calling is unprofessional, 
intrusive, and unnecessary. I hear them say: "We don't make cold calls in our business. 
We get leads from referrals, tradeshows, ads, and our regular customers." That's all fine 
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and good but don't be too quick to abdicate—very few businesses are immune to the 
benefits of cold calling. It is the backbone of good prospecting and when done properly 
it will yield high potential prospects. Cold calling can be a very lucrative part of your 
sales strategy. 

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Professional Cold Calling 

By definition, a cold call is where you know absolutely nothing about a particular account and you drop 
in unannounced to qualify them. You have never made a visit to that account before. The only familiarity 
lies in the fact you have been driving past it for a year. 
Often a lack of cold-calling confidence, driven by fear, sabotages the best intentions. Overcoming that 
fear begins with an effective, professional cold-calling strategy. Most authors would agree that cold 
calling in itself is not unprofessional, but the approach has tarnished its reputation. Nowhere is it written 
that cold calling is taboo. In fact, without cold calling, your customer base is not as rich and varied and 
you seriously jeopardize real growth and the success of your business. The reality is that fear is the 
biggest barrier to an effective cold calling campaign. Fear of rejection, embarrassment, and feeling 
awkward in a strange environment. It's much easier to pursue the comfortable route and have 
businesses come in by other means rather than expose yourself to the possible perils of cold calling. 

You can no longer afford to deny yourself or your business the tremendous benefits of cold calling. To 
that end, I offer you the following three steps as a guideline to making professional, results-oriented cold 
calls. This approach may not be applicable in all situations so massage it to fit your sales arena. By the 
way, one big plus of cold calling is that you'll never be late. 

Introduction. When you arrive, introduce yourself to the receptionist using these four 
components, in order: 1) your name, 2) your company name, 3) what you do, and 4) 
that you are cold calling. Don't try to skirt the issue, tell the receptionist up-front that 
you are cold calling. Next step is to ask them for their help. Most of the time they will 
be quite receptive to helping. Gatekeepers see a lot of salespeople come and go 
throughout the day so be sure your approach is professional, friendly, and respectful. 
Heck, the absolute worst thing that can happen is they ask you to leave. That's OK— 
Planning. Because it's a cold call you know nothing, or very little, about this business, 
so do some homework. First, ask the receptionist for her help. "Would you mind helping 
me out by answering a few questions?" In most cases she will oblige. Second, ask her 
for a corporate package; i.e., annual report, company brochures, newsletters, anything 
that will help you better understand the business. Refer to Chapter 3 for more detailed 
information that may be helpful with your cold-call planning and preparation. Take some 
time in the lobby to review the material. Don't leave yet. 
Announce Yourself. Now it's time to announce yourself but be sure it's to the right 
person. Throughout your planning, you have learned that Bert is the manager and he 
may be your contact. However, it's not Bert you want to see, at least not yet. Ask who 
Bert's boss is and announce yourself to that person. Go at least one level up, to Susan. 
Follow the theory that it's easier to work downhill than uphill. Pick up the phone in the 
lobby, or use your cell phone and call Susan directly. Why have a busy, overworked 
gatekeeper announce you. Announce yourself. Who is better suited to introduce 
yourself than you! 
When she answers, you need to restate the four components of your introduction, including the fact that 
you are cold calling. (I have found many executives are impressed when you tell them that you are in 

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their lobby making a cold call.) After your introduction be sure to say this: "Susan, I realize you 
generally work with appointments and that I am unannounced, but would you have a second to 
exchange business cards?" It's very important to acknowledge that you are unannounced and without 
an appointment. That's what makes your cold call professional and different from the others. Also, by 
asking to "exchange business cards," Susan will associate that with a shorter time period than if you 
had asked, "Do you have a minute?" The other advantage is that it attaches a purpose to your 
introduction whereas, "Got a minute?" is somewhat ambiguous. If Susan comes out to meet you, offer 
your business card and again acknowledge that you are unannounced, without an appointment. If 
Susan declines your request to meet in the lobby, ask her when she is available and use your time 
management system to book an appointment. 

Now that you have met Susan and exchanged pleasantries, (use PSIP—Chapter 7—to guide your 
conversation) ask her if she has a couple minutes to answer a few quick questions. If she says yes, 
take advantage of this opportunity and ask questions to further qualify the account and also identify who 
the decision maker is (who is the bag of money?). However, your first question should be, "How much 
time do I have?" Show respect for her time. After all, you are unannounced. During your conversation 
ask Susan these five questions: 

1. Does Bert make the decisions? 
2. Does Bert have a budget? 
3. Will Bert talk to you prior to a decision? 
4. Will you introduce me to Bert? 
5. If Bert approves of our proposal may I accompany Bert when he presents to you? 
If the answer is "yes" to #3, you know Susan makes the decisions, not Bert. However, you will have to 
respect Bert's position and sell him on your proposal. Otherwise, it will never go any further. 

Question #4 is what I refer to as corporate cascading. Susan introducing you to Bert. Powerful stuff. 
Because your introduction to Bert was through Susan, Bert will be receptive to meet you. Bert won't be 
upset with you for going over his head because you have never met him before. He can only be curious 
as to your approach. 

If Susan is not in the office or is unavailable, try to meet briefly with her executive assistant. Assistants 
can be informative and helpful. They may also book appointments for Susan. If not, ask her to check 
with Susan for available meeting times. 

The Susan/Bert strategy is a very effective approach to cold calling. I have used it successfully for 
years. Rather than do a typical cold call where you leave a business card and a brochure and depart 
empty-handed, consider implementing the Susan/Bert strategy. 
However, before you throw this book down and protest your resistance to cold calling, you don't have to 
do it all the time. I'm not suggesting that cold calling become your modus operandi, but it can be very 
effective at appropriate times. The two best times are to fill in blank time caused by cancelled 
appointments, or to plan a half day in a certain area of your territory to cold call. For example, upon 
learning that your 10 AM appointment was cancelled, don't go back to the adult daycare center, go cold 
calling and make productive use of the time before your next appointment. My informal research 
suggests that 50% of the time you cold call, you find at least one new potential account. As Woody 
Allen says, "80% of life is showing up." 

Although prospecting is the lifeblood to any successful business, it remains one of the most feared and 
avoided activities of selling. Overcoming reluctance to prospecting means developing a plan, setting 
goals, and keeping good records. To help build your confidence, you may want to consider doing a 
"ride-along" with an experienced sales entrepreneur who is good at prospecting. Tag along for the 
afternoon and simply observe how it's done. Observation is a powerful learning tool. 
As you build your confidence, experiment with different methods and ideas to find the prospecting 
combination that works well for you and your business. There is no single universal method, no optimal 
mode to fit all situations. Your prospecting strategies need to be situational to your sales arena, 
maximizing your ROT (return on time equity). I don't suggest that all 22 ideas will work for you but do 
concentrate on developing a combination of methods and you will see it stimulate your business and 
drive real growth. Become an expert in the methods that have the greatest impact on your productivity. 

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Congratulations, you have now completed Step #3 

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Chapter 6: Building Rapport and Trust: Behavioral 


Behavioral flexibility is proving to be one of the most useful tools you can add to your intellectual 
inventory, your professional equity. Understanding style types and learning how to adjust (not change) 
your approach fosters rapport and trust with your customer, while helping meet and exceed your 
customer's communication expectations. Sales entrepreneurs understand that the full dynamics of 
interpersonal communication go beyond the basic communication model of sender (encoding) and 
receiver (decoding). 

Different customers require different selling approaches. Behavioral flexibility provides a tool for us to 
adapt to different selling situations. Its application continues to grow in popularity as business people 
learn to appreciate the tremendously positive impact behavioral flexibility has on relationships. 

Building and maintaining rapport and trust are the cornerstones to any relationship. So what's the 
difference between rapport and trust? Rapport can be instantaneous or developed in a very short period 
of time. It means having something in common with the party you are meeting. Part of forming a first 
impression is deciding whether you like this person enough to continue the conversation without 
barriers. Sometimes when you meet someone new, you instantly feel good about him or her. Rapport 
develops quickly. Perhaps it's like the "love at first sight" feeling. Trust takes longer. Trust is developed 
over time and is based on honesty, consistency, integrity, and professionalism. It's following through on 
your commitments and promises. I may initially like you (rapport) but it may take a bit of time before I 
trust you. Thus, rapport and trust must work in accord for the relationship to advance. These are two 
common denominators to any endeavor in life and to any relationship, including relations with your 
internal customers, kids, siblings, and spouse. 

The pioneer who developed the psychology of style types was a Swiss psychologist, Dr. Carl Jung. He 
initially observed differences in his parents' behavioral styles and his fascination led to years of studying 
the differences among people. He began his research in the late 1800s and in 1921 he wrote Psychology 
Types. Jung's research eventually revealed four basic behavioral types: Initiator, Thinker, Feeler, and 
Sensor. Most of his work focuses on internal characteristics that lead to external behaviors. Another 
point to consider: It is suggested that you are born with a predominate style that does not change as 
you go through life. Once a thinker, always a thinker. That's not to say you don't experience traits from 
the other styles; you do. Jung's work simply suggests that you have a primary personality style. The 
four styles I refer to later in this chapter are Socializer, Director, Thinker, and Relater, all evolving from 
Carl Jung's work. 

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How Do I Get Them to Like Me? 

Behavioral adaptability is the key to successful application of the behavioral flexibility model. 
Adaptability means you have the maturity and confidence to behave in a style that may not be your 
primary style, but that reflects the style of your customer. Sales entrepreneurs consciously go out of 
their comfort zone in order to establish a relationship of rapport and trust. 
By recognizing the styles of yourself and others, you can adapt your behavior to fit the situation. 
Adapting speeds up the likeable factor. People are naturally drawn to like-minded people with similar 
styles. If you can embrace and parallel the behavioral style of your customers, they can't help but 
appreciate your approach and, consciously or unconsciously, begin to like you. In their book, The Art of 
Speedreading People, Paul and Barbara Tieger talk about the tremendous sales advantage of 
speedreading your customers—identifying the customer's style type and adapting. They go on to 
suggest that your next goal is to speed-reach your customer—communicate on the customer's own 
level based on the style type you have identified. You need to observe and listen carefully to your 
customer and respond in the way that best accommodates his or her behavioral type. 
Developing your skill in reading and interpreting people's behavioral style helps manage the initial 
tension that exists in any new relationship. As Tony Alessandra says in his book, People Smarts, "You 
can learn to adapt your style to handle different types of situations, even the more difficult ones that we 
encounter in the real-world laboratory of life." He goes on to suggest this tool is not about changing, it's 
about acting in a "sensible, successful way" to nurture a lasting relationship. Perhaps Dr. Richard 
Carlson says it most succinctly in his book, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... and it's all small stuff: 

For many people, one of the most frustrating aspects of life is not being able to understand other 
people's behavior. We see them as "guilty" instead of "innocent." It's tempting to focus on people's 
seemingly irrational behavior—their comments, actions, mean-spirited acts, selfish behavior—and get 
extremely frustrated. If we focus on behavior too much, it can seem like other people are making us 
miserable. It's true that other people do weird things (who doesn't?), but we are the ones getting upset, 
so we are the ones who need to change. I'm merely talking about learning to be less bothered by the 
actions of people. 
Carlson goes on to suggest that, "When someone is acting in a way we don't like, the best strategy for 
dealing with that person is to look beyond it and see the innocence in where the behavior is coming 

Parallel to Carlson's thinking, I offer this explanation of behavioral flexibility: An understanding of the 
behavior model gives us the patience to tolerate other people and their actions—including internal 
customers such as spouse, kids, and family. You can't change your style or other people's styles, but 
you can change the relationship. 

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Four Behavioral Styles of Customers 

The following style grid outlines the four styles and positions them in relation to the vertical and 
horizontal axis. 

The vertical axis is the openness scale, which refers to how willing the person is to be open and to 
reveal what is happening on the inside. At the top, we have highly open, talkative, friendly, 
relationship-oriented individuals: extroverts. At the bottom, we find self-contained, quiet, very closed 
individuals: introverts. The introverts are self-contained people, usually expressionless, not revealing 
their feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Their world is internal and it can be difficult to read them or know 
what they're thinking. Comparatively, the extroverts readily show excitement, joy, enthusiasm, anger, 
and a variety of emotions. 
The horizontal axis is referred to as the directness scale: direct or indirect. People who are direct, on 
the right side, make decisions quickly and easily: not a lot of details are required. These people are 
spontaneous, "Sure, sounds good, let's do it." Their motto is, "It's easier to get forgiveness than 
permission." People who are indirect, on the left side, are not as comfortable making quick decisions. 
They move more cautiously, arriving at a decision more slowly. A direct individual may very well get 
frustrated by the amount of time an indirect person takes to make a decision. Conversely, an indirect 
person is not impressed with how quickly and recklessly a direct person makes decisions. It's all about 
understanding that people are different. Your interactions with people succeed when you heed their 
external signals. Interactions fail when you ignore the signals. Now for the bad news and good news: 
the bad news is there is only one thing you can control and change; the good news is, it's you. Don't try 
to change other people; you can't. The high divorce rate proves it. Even marriage counselors are in 
agreement that the behavioral flexibility model goes a long way toward improving relationships. The 
following pages outline the primary characteristics of each style. Let's have a look at each style and as 
you read through them, try to ascertain the style that best fits your behavior, at work and at home. 


These are fun-loving extroverts, social people who are full of life and always appear to be enjoying 
themselves, having fun. Their preference is party first, business second. The best way to get their 
attention and build rapport is to have fun with them before you get down to business. They are 
energetic, enthusiastic, talkative, and literally the life of any party. They are sharp dressers, very stylish, 
and sometimes outrageous. Socializers are not afraid of drawing attention to themselves; in fact, they 
prefer it. They love toys and often drive high-end sports cars: red Porsches, Lamborghinis, or Dodge 
Stealths. They also have all the accessories: jewelry, expensive watches, shoes, pens, etc. A $1,000 
outfit with all the trimmings is not uncommon. 

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The downside about Socializers is that they are poor listeners and inattentive, since they are usually 
focused on talking about themselves. It's sometimes tough to get a word in edgewise as they tell you 
their life stories and fondest dreams. Nevertheless, you must give them time to chat and party with you 
before asking business questions. 

A word of caution: Socializers hate detail and boring, lengthy presentations. They can be very impatient. 
Make it fun, colorful, exciting, and get to the bottom line quickly. Sell the sizzle more than the steak. 
Bottom line to a Socializer means, "How will this make me look good and will it be fun?" Get the deal in 
writing. Socializers tend to forget quickly as they move on to the next event or party. The best vehicle to 
build trust and rapport is to put fun into the relationship. Energize your call with enthusiasm and 
excitement. After all, if you have fun socializing and pass the party test by listening to the jokes and 
stories, then it only stands to reason that you will be a trustworthy, enjoyable person to do business 
with. The big plus is that they will, and do, make quick decisions (direct) as you move through the steps 
of your Sequential Model. In summary: 


Here is your consummate businessperson, an introvert whose main focus is the task at hand and who 
is guided by goals and objectives. Directors are always asking, "What's the point?" Thus, it's always 
business first, party maybe. Get to the point quickly and don't socialize or try to encourage social 
conversation. They will become impatient and tune out quickly as they are simply not interested. 
Directors love control and prefer to be in charge; they like being the boss. As an introvert, they have a 
low tolerance for feelings and emotions. Directors can appear to be quiet, unfriendly, and apathetic. 
Directors are quite happy to do things on their own—see a movie, dine in a restaurant, or even travel. 
They will tell you, "I'm alone, but not lonely." 

Directors often prefer to give cash or gift certificates as gifts rather than take the time to shop. Their 

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dress is usually dark blue and conservative, nothing flashy or terribly stylish. If a Director is wearing a 
flashy tie you can feel safe in asking, "Nice tie, who bought it for you?" They drive conservative, 
functional cars such as a Reliant or a Taurus. Don't touch a Director, in fact, handshakes are 
unnecessary. They like their personal space, "We are here to do business, not get married!" A Director 
is not concerned about the relationship, they just care about your performance as a professional and 
how the performance of your product or service will contribute to the bottom line. Don't have an 
emotional outburst (crying) in a Director's office. He or she will be unmoved and unimpressed. Get 
yourself together—then carry on with the conversation. No sniffling allowed. Remember, Directors have 
a need for power and control that cannot be ignored by a pushy sales representative. They are 
motivated by bottom-line detail. In summary: 


The two main components of a Thinker are indirect (slow decisions) and self-contained (introvert). These 
individuals are typically your engineers, accountants, and computer programmers. It's information first, 
then business. You don't have much hope of doing business with them until you deliver all the required 
data for them to make an informed, intelligent decision. Thinkers hate to be wrong—it drives them crazy 
when mistakes are made. That's why they are indirect, not making decisions quickly, avoiding 
mistakes. They are very detailed-oriented and precise, often guided by the letter of the law, versus the 
spirit of the law. Presentations to Thinkers must be logical, accurate, and reliable. Thinkers are the 
ones who will lure you into a feature dump. They love it. Rather than spewing reams of information, ask 
them what they would like to see. They will tell you what's important to them so make sure you provide 
it. I suggest you openly acknowledge their need for information, then ask, "What specific information 
would you need to see to build your confidence to buy from me?" Build confidence by presenting 

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appropriate information guided by the Thinkers' feedback. Dumping wheelbarrels of data in their office for 
their perusal only lengthens the sales cycle. Edit your dialogue with data that are relevant and 
appropriate to the Thinker. 

Expect Thinkers to compare your product or service to the competition. Seldom will they accept 
information at face value. Impulse buying is very uncomfortable for them. They prefer to research 
manufacturer's specifications and converse with experts in that field. Don't argue with them; there isn't 
much chance of winning. Why? Because they have thoroughly researched the subject and have the 
data to back themselves up, and they will pursue the argument until they are victorious. In some cases 
Thinkers' attitudes are: "I'm right and you're wrong but it's your right to be wrong." 

Of the four styles, Thinkers are the ones least concerned with dress—it's not important. Their clothes 
are a bit worn and generally a bit out of style. They sometimes wear a plastic pocket protector full of Bic 
pens and use duct tape to fix their glasses. I know some Thinkers who insist on hanging toilet paper 
"correctly," exercising proper toilet paper management, so that it rolls off the top. This is an important 
detail to Thinkers and in fact, they have been known to correct it when they get home. They sometimes 
even correct it at a friend's home, just to help out. It has been the topic of many heated matrimonial 
discussions. Of course the Directors are thinking: "Who cares? I'm happy if there's paper on the back of 
the toilet." 

Thinkers tend to be packrats, never throwing anything out. Their garages and basements are jammed 
with old stuff because, "You just never know when it might be useful." Heck, they even have their 
university text books and notes somewhere in the basement. 

Thinkers focus on two important aspects of selling: accuracy and an eye to detail. They are particular 
on their paperwork, which is appreciated by internal customers. They tend to do a job right the first 
time, whereas Socializers may have to redo it several times as they often overlook important details. In 

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The two main components of a Relater are indirect (slow decisions) and open (extrovert). These 
individuals are very sensitive, often taking business issues personally. They are very intuitive, accurately 
reading people's nonverbal behaviors. Relaters are big-time team players and they encourage harmony 
among the team, be it at work, socially, or at home with their family. Relaters are emotional, empathetic 
people who are moved to tears easily and can be oversensitive. Take a Relater to see Titanic and watch 
what happens. They cry very easily. (Yes, even male Relaters.) Directors would be inclined to think, 
"Why are you crying, you knew the darn thing sank in 1912." Relaters are often appalled at the 
apparent apathy of Directors, taking their verbal and nonverbal responses literally. Relaters hate conflict 
of any sort. They go to great lengths to avoid hassles, talking their way out of conflict. They are very 
conforming and go with the flow versus doing it solo. Relaters are good listeners and ask more than tell. 
Relaters are motivated by the relationship, hoping everybody will like them. They must be popular and 
tend to make decisions slowly (indirect) so as to not offend or upset anyone with an unpopular decision. 
When shopping, Relaters will often ask, "What's popular, what's selling?" The use of references is very 
effective with Relaters—they build confidence in your product or service. Relaters like to be assured that 
they are not the only ones using your product or service. Your proposal must support or enhance the 
people side of the business, concentrating on harmony, security, and concrete benefits. Ask them 
frequently about their opinions and ideas. In summary: 

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How Will I Know When I See One? 

There are two primary indicators of one's style, verbal and visual. As Tony Alessandra suggests, there 
are "observable characteristics" for each style—visual indicators such as environment, dress, vehicle, 
office, and how each verbalizes thoughts and ideas. As well, be cognizant of nonverbal gestures. By 
observing how customers dress and express themselves, and by listening to how and what they say, 
you will quickly begin to identify their styles. I suggest you begin by asking yourself, "Is he or she an 
introvert or an extrovert?" These traits can be rather obvious in their approach, dress, and work 
environment. Look around their corporate livingroom (office) and observe what is and isn't there, 
including pictures, awards, certificates, type of furniture, toys, bric-a-brac, and so on. Then narrow it 
down to a particular quadrant, keeping in mind that each individual exhibits characteristics and 
behaviors from each quadrant. People are not restricted to the conduct associated with just one style. 

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Different Versus Difficult 

Know the difference between different and difficult. Unfortunately, it seems that few people do. We are 
often too quick to label someone as "difficult" when they act or behave in a manner contrary to our 
behavior. You see, people are not difficult, they are just different. It's far too easy to label them as 
difficult, rather than make the effort to understand them and appreciate their differences. That's what 
makes this tool such an asset to your professional equity. Understand that people—your customers— 
are different. The key to a lasting, trusting relationship is an adaptation to their style. Abraham Lincoln 
once said, "I don't like that man very much; I need to get to know him better." What a great concept, 
one from which we could all benefit. 

As a new salesperson with a company, you may have heard (or even said) this: "Don't bother going to 
see Hank at XYZ Company. He is such a jerk and a real tough guy to get along with. Plus, he never 
buys anything—he's always just looking." Hank may very well be a jerk (they do exist) but chances are 
that Hank is simply a different style type. Hank is probably a neat guy once you get to know him. A 
case in point: I recently received a call from an excited graduate of my sales program. She was ecstatic 
because she had just confirmed business with an account that had been labelled indifferent and not 
likely to buy from her. She persevered, and with the help of behavioral flexibility she secured a $100,000 
account. Not a bad return on her training investment. 
Another important aspect of successful adaptation is your willingness and confidence to stretch your 
comfort zone. As discussed in Chapter 2, stretching your comfort zone is one of the pillars of success, 
and is certainly a necessary attitude for successful implementation of behavioral flexibility. We must be 
willing and able to stretch our range to accommodate other people's styles. 

So who makes the best salesperson? Before I answer this common question, put the book down and 
give it some thought. I'll wait. 

The answer is ... the chameleon—the salesperson who can readily adapt to the style of each customer. 
It doesn't matter which style you are. What matters is how quickly and comfortably you can adapt to 
the style of the person you are interacting with, at home or at work. 

General Observations 
At this point you are probably getting a good appreciation for differences among the four behavioral 
styles. To further crystallize your understanding, I offer these real-world, everyday scenarios: 
Reading a Newspaper 
S Socializers look for stories about the party they were at the previous night. They do 
things that get themselves in the paper. They scan the entire paper looking for 
interesting, current-event articles. They read the Entertainment section. 
S Directors mainly read the headlines and the business section. They then turn to the 
sports section to read about athletic accomplishments. 
S Thinkers call the newspaper if a word is incorrectly spelled or a story is inaccurate. 
S Relaters look for a popular, current event story to discuss at the office water cooler. 
They check the obituaries to see if they know anyone. 
S Socializers spend more time in the clubhouse talking and welcoming new members. 
Their "almost a hole in one" story is repeated frequently for the benefit of new 
S Directors drive the cart and frequently try to play through. 
S Thinkers keep score for the group and often refer to the rule book. They keep their 
clubs clean too. 
S Relaters play regularly with the same foursome, usually offering to buy the beverages 
at the 19th hole. 
Grocery Shopping 
S Socializers approach the "fewer than 9 items" checkout line, begin a conversation 
and compare the fun stuff in other shopping carts. They hold up the line by conversing 
with the cashier about upcoming holidays. 
S Directors approach and barrel through the "fewer than 9 items" line with 15 items. 
After all, it was the shortest line. 
S Thinkers approach the same checkout line wrestling with the correct thing to do. "Are 
the eggs one item, or 12?" They also count items in other carts and if they are over 
the limit, they become irritated. 
S Relaters approach the "fewer than 9 items" line, count the items, and take comfort 
knowing they have only eight. If they have ten items, they move to another line. 
The Desk 
S Socializers say: "I'm busy right now. Give me a few minutes and I'll get back to you." 
They don't know where the item is on their desk, but won't admit it. 
S Directors have a clean desk, one file out at a time. Nothing else is on the desk. Even 
their telephone is on the credenza behind them. 
S Thinkers say, "It's the third report down in that pile." The desk is messy, with 
Post-It-Notes and files everywhere, but they know exactly where everything is. 
S Relaters have everything in place, with the most impressive, business-related file in 
full view. A family picture and a picture of him or her shaking hands with a celebrity is 
in a prominent position. Relaters have a separate table for visitors rather than sitting 
at their desk. 
S Socializers like to cook for groups. They prepare an extra place at the table just in 
case company stops by. They go out rather than cook for one. 
S Directors can't cook without a microwave. They buy single portions. Cooking is 
viewed as a functional necessity versus a social event. 
S Thinkers cook with a cookbook, a timer, and a measuring cup. Directions are 
followed exactly, with no deviations allowed. 
S Relaters like to prepare a meal from scratch using a dozen standard recipes, taking 
the best from each and using the most popular ingredients. 
S Socializers let everyone in, saying, "Always room for one more, the more the 
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merrier." They ignore the "max limit" sign and hand out business cards on the way 
S Directors walk up, push the button, wait impatiently, get in and speak to no one. If 
running late, they take the stairs. 
S Thinkers enter, but if it's crowded they count the number of people. If over the limit, 
they will ask someone to leave. 
S Relaters hold the door for others and ensure they're the last ones on, in case it's full. 
They don't want to crowd anybody. If so, they will wait for the next elevator. They 
smile at everyone on the trip down. 
The development of any new skill takes practice, and lots of it. The first step requires your personal 
commitment to this challenge and belief in the behavioral flexibility principles. I strongly encourage you 
to accept this opportunity to strengthen your relationship competencies and develop your interpersonal 
skills. Let's face it, you and your customer become the beneficiaries. 
I suggest you practice by identifying the styles among members of your family, coworkers, and friends. 
At your next social event, sit back and consciously observe people, their dress, their actions, how and 
with whom they converse, and so on. You'll be amazed at how much behavioral flexibility is real world 
and how people quickly reveal their predominant style. 
As a guideline to practice, ask yourself these questions: 
S Are they introvert or extrovert? 
S Do they appear to be direct or indirect? 
S How are they dressed? 
S What is their predominant quadrant? 
Remember, there is nothing mysterious about behavioral flexibility. It's about treating people the way 
they want to be treated. Everybody is different and no two customers are the same. Whether the person 
is dominant or shy, you will have the confidence and specific strategies for dealing successfully with 
that individual. Remember, people are not difficult—just different. After all, variety is the spice of ... 
sales! A footnote: Don't consider this chapter as your only resource to develop your behavioral flexibility 
skills. There are many good publications dedicated to the subject and I suggest you consider building 
your own library on this subject. See the bibliography. 
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Congratulations, you have now completed Step #4 

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Chapter 7: Discovery: Game Day 

The starter's pistol has sounded and now is the moment of truth, the opportunity to capitalize on all your 
preparatory efforts. As you sit face-to-face with your customer, a gold-medal performance is your only 
option. The sales arena presents no silver or bronze medals, nor does it allow any false starts. On 
game day, Steps #1 through #4 of your Sequential Model are critical prerequisites to a stellar 
performance. Chances are your competitor is in the same arena, running the same race, just on a 
different day. 

Your challenge is to move the customer from a cold, indifferent frame of mind to aroused excitement 
about you and your product or service. Remember that salespeople are often viewed as an intrusion, an 
interruption to an already busy day. Unless you can change that basic attitude by reducing the initial 
tension, you are doomed before you start. The initial moments of a sales call are fraught with 
uncertainty, and tension must be minimized. However, a certain level of tension is healthy and normal 
as it motivates you to higher levels of performance. Sales entrepreneurs know how to transform nervous 
pre-call energy into a winning edge, a confident approach. The winning edge is an attitude of a 
champion. Small differences in attitude and ability can translate into enormous differences in results. A 
race horse may win by a nose or a PGA golfer by a single stroke, but their winnings may be twice that 
of second place. Are they twice as good or talented? Of course not. You and your competitor are both 
invited by the customer to compete. You are both on the short list, but only one will emerge victorious, 
often winning only by a nose. In sales, it's not your margin of victory that is important but whether you 
played the game to win, embracing every possible advantage. Remember, your customer is the ultimate 
judge of your performance. At the awards ceremony, the gold medal is presented in the form of an order. 

Needs Analysis 

Customer satisfaction begins with a careful diagnosis of needs and expectations. You must sensitize 
yourself to your customer's issues and focus on what your customer needs to buy, rather than selling 
what you need to sell. (One more sale and I win the TV!) Through open and honest conversation you will 
discover the needs and expectations of your potential customer and begin to formulate a solution that 
differentiates you from your closest competitor. Discovery, then, is asking questions through an 
exploratory discussion, listening carefully, and aligning your offerings to exceed your customer's 
The key to differentiation is asking intelligent questions, questions your competitors don't ask, or are 
afraid to pose. Asking intelligent questions is the essence of an effective needs analysis that reveals the 
specifics about a possible solution. However, asking questions is not an isolated event where you show 
up to the appointment, introduce yourself, then proceed to inundate your customer with an onslaught of 
scripted questions. Think of discovery as a dialogue, a conversation between two people, rather than a 
strategic engagement between a salesperson and a customer. Before a customer will open up and 
share information that may lead to a sale, you must get acquainted, establish rapport, gain trust, and 
break through the mental barriers usually associated with first-time sales calls. You must demonstrate 
a genuine interest in the customer to advance the relationship. Granted, it is not easy to break through 
initial sales resistance, negative perceptions, and a general attitude of apathy toward salespeople. 
Meeting a customer for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience for even a seasoned sales 
professional. Usually, the first few minutes of a sales call are the most stressful for both the 
salesperson and the customer. The customer's stress comes in the form of uncertainty about the 
salesperson's intentions and apprehension about seeing "another sales rep." Sales representatives 
experience stress because they often rely on little more than their good looks and the gift of the gab to 
carry them through the call. However, thousands of sales entrepreneurs are successful every day, 
proving that customers are receptive if you demonstrate a genuine interest through an approach that is 
forged from your knowledge, skills, and confidence. 

An effective approach requires a method designed to get the customer's attention and interest quickly, 
while guiding you through the most sensitive part of the call, the first few minutes. Your greatest ally 
throughout the call is the after-effect of the positive first impression you made. A favorable first 
impression usually produces a customer who is willing to participate. Customers put tremendous faith 
in their perceptions and are quick to prejudge. If you are perceived as professional and effective at the 
beginning of the call, you will be perceived as effective during the rest of the call. The customer's 
receptivity to you will be decided within the first minute. You never get a second chance to make a first 

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The PSIP Method 

Let's now explore the PSIP method: Pleasantries, Show-off, Inform, Probe. PSIP represents the four 
navigational buoys of an effective opening strategy, designed to help you neutralize initial tension and 
make a smooth transition into the needs analysis stage. All four components of PSIP must work in 
accord with each other in order to take advantage of this proven approach. A well-executed PSIP 
strategy is your springboard into a smooth opening and is a great confidence builder early in the call. It 
is a great way to launch into the heart of the sales call, relax the initial tension, stripping away the 
stiffness of the call. A strong opening strategy arouses the customer's curiosity and respect, often 
setting the tone for the entire call, including telephone calls. 

The PSIP method is not reserved for first-time sales calls only. It also works well with existing 
customers. Just as the Sequential Model must be applied to every sales situation, PSIP must also be 
utilized at every sales call, regardless of your customer's tenure. 
Pleasantries. Customers form an opinion about you within 15 seconds, even before you speak. They 
evaluate your posture, dress, hygiene, grooming, and attitude. 
Pleasantries include two aspects, visual and verbal. First impressions encompass both aspects, and 
can be a tremendous asset or a costly liability. Many salespeople make a poor impression without 
realizing it by overlooking important details such as proper dress, punctuality, grooming, and overall 
professionalism. You can't afford to let any aspect of your approach, visual or verbal, compromise the 
impression you communicate to your customer. Be cognizant of the impact of your physical 
appearance and how it can affect your customer's evaluation of you. Your visual assets, how you look 
to the customer, are something to be proud of. This is an important aspect of nonverbal communication. 
Show up on time feeling good, looking good, thinking good, and ready to do business. Emulate the 
attitude of a winner, a champion. Customers want to deal with winners, so look like one. The most 
important presentation you make is to yourself every morning in the mirror. 

Verbal pleasantries means initiating social conversation with the customer using local events, current 
events, or global events as possible topics of conversation. Take 15 minutes before you leave the house 
or your hotel and peruse the morning paper, perhaps the business section or the sports section. Be 
informed. It can be a great ice-breaker and a source of conversation, especially if you're from out of 
town. During the pleasantries stage try to keep the conversation social. Encourage your customer to 
respond on a personal level rather than on a formal business level. A short, humorous personal story 
such as, "You'll never guess what happened to me this morning . . ." identifies you as a real human 
being. It can do wonders to help people relax. 
Another big advantage of the pleasantries stage is the opportunity it provides to identify your customer's 
behavioral style. Ask yourself, "What quadrant is she in?" and "How do I need to adjust?" The 
pleasantries stage begins to reveal preferred styles by way of dress and mannerisms. A talkative 
response or a quick short answer to your questions will tell you a lot about your customer's style. 
Behavioral styles and behavioral flexibility are discussed in detail throughout Chapter 6. 

The key to forging a long-term relationship with your customer is to build rapport by way of adjusting to 
your customer's preferred behavioral style. By definition, rapport means having something in common, a 
link, some way to connect with your customer. Use behavioural flexibility, coupled with appropriate 
social conversation, to build rapport. Don't rely on a picture of a sailboat hanging in the office to 
stimulate conversation. It can be viewed as a shallow approach to building rapport and I'm sure your 
customer is sick of talking about it every time a sales representative comes into the office. 

Depending upon the customer's style, the pleasantries stage can be as quick as one minute or as long 
as fifteen minutes. Remember, each call is situational. I caution you to safeguard yourself against 
conversational drift. Don't let the talkative customer dominate all your time with such topics as religion, 
capital punishment, or empty chatter that compromises the objective of the pleasantry stage. 

During the pleasantry stage you begin to understand your customer's preferred business style, just as 
the customer will have a good feeling about you and your level of confidence. By the way, my previous 
point about a customer forming an opinion about you within 15 seconds works both ways. You too 
begin to form an impression about your customer early and quickly. 

The best advice I can offer for the pleasantries stage is to be yourself, guided by a positive attitude and 
the confidence that comes with effective planning and preparation. 

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Show-off. The second stage of PSIP is the opportunity to show off your new-found wisdom. Take a 
subtle approach. By way of conversation and visual evidence (annual reports, brochures) let the 
customer know you've done your homework. This is the point where social conversation (pleasantries) 
shifts to business conversation. You have invested some non-selling, janitorial hours in planning and 
preparing so now it's time to get a return on that investment. Your return comes in the form of the 
customer's appreciation for your obvious commitment and professionalism. As discussed in Chapter 3, 
take an, "Oh, by the way" approach to present your information. Take out their annual report and any 
brochures that you received prior to the call and refer to them. For example, "Oh, by the way, I noticed 
in your annual report some comments about your recent acquisition of ABC Company," or "I noticed in 
your brochures you manufacture ten different models." You can even use competitive intelligence to 
show off by saying, "I understand your competitors have discontinued manufacturing their . . ." This 
demonstrates your knowledge of their industry as well as their business. Powerful stuff. What better 
way to get your customers' interest and attention and build credibility than by talking about their 
business? The examples of show-off items are endless, but be sure to relate your show-off items to 
current, relevant information about their business. 

A case in point: My associate and I made a sales call to the head office of a company. We arrived early 
for our appointment, and had an opportunity to review some additional literature displayed in their lobby. 
Our contact, the VP of Quality and Training, introduced himself and showed us into the boardroom. We 
had barely sat down, working through the pleasantries stage, when he asked us, "What do you know 
about our company?" With great enthusiasm my associate produced their annual report and a few of 
their brochures attained prior to the appointment and then proceeded to talk about their business. We 
had done our homework. The customer was impressed with our knowledge. We had earned the right to 
proceed with the call and the next hour went very well. His confidence in us led to an introduction to the 
VP of Sales and Marketing, a pivotal decisionmaker in the sales process. 

The show-off stage has tremendous impact on the outcome of your sales call. I think more and more 
customers are going to openly challenge salespeople about the extent of their knowledge. Without the 
benefit of planning, you put yourself in a perilous situation, sitting in the customer's office with a look on 
your face that resembles a deer caught in the headlights. The show-off stage of PSIP is an excellent 
way to differentiate yourself, not to mention the confidence derived from having conversational 
knowledge about your potential customer. 
Inform. The Inform stage of PSIP provides an opportunity to inform your customer about what you are 
selling and the reason for your visit. I refer to this stage as synchronizing the call; advising the customer 
of your call objectives. This helps align your call agenda to the customer's buying agenda. Amazingly, 
customers are often subjected to long-winded feature dumps, but are never really sure what the 
objective is or what the sales representative is trying to accomplish. I have witnessed calls where the 
customer and the salesperson are completely out of sync. The expectations of each are totally different. 
Perhaps I should have titled this book, Synchronized Selling. 
Getting in sync with your customer means asking a few up-front questions to evaluate his or her 
understanding of what you represent. Ask, "Have you heard of our company before?" and "Do you know 
what we do?" If the customer answers no to either question, give a quick overview of who you are and 
what you are selling. Synchronize the call. Don't feature dump them with reams of useless information, 
but rather respond with an informative two- to three-minute information statement. Consider this your 
corporate infomercial. To add impact to your information statement, include a few key benefits that 
previous customers have come to appreciate. This stage of PSIP need not take more than three to five 
minutes. Brevity is a virtue. 
Probe. The entrepreneurial style of selling places emphasis on probing for needs and expectations, 
exploring for an opportunity to satisfy an existing inconvenience or dissatisfaction with a current vendor. 
Skillful use of questions is the essence of an effective needs analysis, which of course is the 
prerequisite to a creative, tailored solution. Creative solutions drive the relationship. There is a direct 
correlation between the success of salespeople and their confidence to ask superior questions. The 
challenge is not the ability to ask questions but rather the confidence to ask enough of the right 
questions. I have seen countless situations where salespeople make the mistake of asking only a few 
scripted questions then launch into an enthusiastic, well-rehearsed feature dump based on what they 
think should be of interest to the customer. Rarely do they plan the questions they will ask. Sales 
entrepreneurs realize that the questions you ask customers are more important than anything you tell 
them. By answering questions, customers state their ideas, thoughts, and needs in their own words. If 
they say it, it's true. If you say it, they can doubt you. They quickly sense your presentation (feature 
dump) is based on your own self-serving interests, and the reaction is sure to be negative. You must be 

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interested, as well as interesting. Imagine the impression you would create on a blind date if you did 
most of the talking and didn't ask any questions. It wouldn't make for a very interesting conversation. I 
don't think there would be a second date; just as there won't be a second appointment with a potential 
Most customers divulge as little as possible, especially during the early stage of the call. Unless you 
probe with smart questions, they give you only average information. Dumb questions begets dumb 
information, which means you deliver a dumb solution. Dumb information means it's the same 
information your competitor received. Your customer will tell you that your solution is dumb by saying, 
"Interesting, that's exactly what your competitor told me." Superior questions help you avoid the me-too 
presentation, the cookie-cutter syndrome. Customers purchase differences, not similarities. Don't be 
caught sitting in your customer's office giving new meaning to the movie Dumb and Dumber. 

Unfortunately few salespeople exploit the tremendous benefits that superior questions have on the 
selling relationship. The effective use of superior questions moves the selling process forward at a 
steady but unpressured pace while achieving your call agenda of discovering precisely what your 
customer's needs are. Your objective is to lead your customer to a higher level of thinking. Your 
questions should stimulate the customer to go beyond conventional thinking and responses. 
Remember, the quality of your questions determines the quality of your solution. If you do not identify 
the customers' dominant buying motives—their hot-buttons—your solution will be no better, and no 
different than your competitors. Differentiate yourself by asking smart questions and avoid the risk of 
being perceived as a commodity, a me-too solution. Probe in a manner that communicates sincerity, 
genuine interest, and empathy. You and your customer are engaged in a dialogue, a fluid, seamless 
conversation exploring the possibility of a win-win relationship. 

Probe Architecture: Peel the Onion 
I use the word architecture because that's what needs to happen: You must design smart questions to 
ask. Probes unquestionably persuade more powerfully than any other form of verbal behavior. The 
success of a sales call depends more than anything else on how thorough your needs analysis is. The 
effort you invest in developing and asking smart questions to uncover customer needs, biases, 
perceptions, and fears that are not normally revealed to salespeople will pay off handsomely. The 
ultimate prize will go to the one who asks the best questions. I refer to the practice of asking smart 
questions as peeling the onion. As with dicing an onion, stupid questions (common questions) may 
cause your customer's eyes to glaze over and communicate impatience. The more layers you can peel 
away from suspicious, apprehensive customers, the sooner you get to the heart of their needs. Ask 
stupid questions and you get useless information, probably the same information your competitor 
walked away with. I think Werner Heisberg, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, said it best, "Nature does 
not reveal its secrets, it only responds to our method of questioning." 
The object is to design probes to encourage your customers to reveal their needs—peel the onion. 
Standard practice is to distinguish between open and closed probes, but don't limit yourself to only 
these two. 
Open probes are used to get the customer talking, to divulge information, and to perhaps reveal 
unexpected information. They get the prospect to explain and talk openly about their business and 
current situation. Open probes generate a talkative, conversational response. Some authors suggest the 
five Ws (who, what, where, when, or why) are good open questions to start with. I disagree. I consider 
them closed questions that can often be answered with one- or two-word answers. I offer the following 
open probe prompts: 
S Tell me about ... 
S Explain to me ... 
S In what way ... 
S Help me understand ... 
S Can you elaborate ... 
S Share with me ... 
S Please tell me how ... 
S How else ... 
S What do you mean by ... 
S What are your thoughts/ideas/experiences/reflections ... 
S If you could build or design the perfect _______, what would it look like ... ? 
These are excellent, field-tested prompts used to encourage a talkative response. Simply tell your 
customer up front that you need to ask questions to better understand their business. Customers love 
to talk about their business, their job, and their company. You can't ask too many questions. However, 
if your customer becomes impatient with your questioning, simply restate your objective and perhaps 
reschedule another appointment. Don't let their anxiousness draw you into a response before you 
understand their business. Be patient. 
Closed probes are used to get very specific information. They usually limit the response to one-word 
answers. Closed probes are less powerful and have an uncanny ability to increase tension. They can be 
intimidating to certain personality styles. The other concern is that they end the conversation. Once a 
closed probe is answered you have to start another conversation. Closed probes should only be used for 
verification, commitment, or confirming (closing). Examples of closed prompts include the words: 
S do 
S have 
S are 
S will 
S won't 
S can 
S can't 
S shall 
An excellent strategy to help identify the decision maker (the bag of money) is to use these three 
closed probes when talking with your customer or with senior management: 
1. Do you (Does X) make the decisions? 
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2. Do you (Does X) have a budget? 
3. Do you (Does X) talk with anyone else prior to a decision? 
My experience shows that the customer will answer yes to the first two questions but introduce a 
second party when asked the third question. This is a red flag because the additional person is often 
the final decision maker. You must understand who is involved and how the final decision is made. Your 
objective now is to get an audience with that person, hopefully with the support of your initial contact. 
This simple strategy is so overlooked and yet effective that it alone will help increase your close ratio. 
We often waste a lot of time by getting sucked into dealing with the wrong people, people who think 
they have the final authority to purchase. 
Reflective probes are used to identify personal biases of the customer, which is exactly what you want. 
Customers often answer questions with an eye to the corporation, answering with the best interests of 
the corporation in mind. However, you need to differentiate yourself by understanding and satisfying the 
personal biases and preferences of the buyer, the bag of money. Reflective probes are very effective for 
drawing out background information, personal feelings, and opinions. To get past common corporate 
responses, ask uncommon questions. Design specific, reflective probes, that encourage your customer 
to tell you things not told to the competition. The decision to buy from you will be based on satisfying 
both corporate needs as well as personal biases and preferences. Your customer can decide on vendor 
A or B, both are capable of doing a good job, but the final decision comes down to which vendor 
recognized and satisfied all aspects of their decision. For example, the customer may only have two 
years' experience with the current company but 15 years' experience in the industry. You want to tap 
into his or her total experience. That information can help you design a solution that satisfies both 
corporate needs and personal biases. In the training business, role playing is a good example—some 
customers like them and some are biased against feeling they are too artificial and ineffective. Know the 
human side of your customer. The key is to recognize your customer's work experience and ask 
well-designed reflective probes. Reflective probes include the words: 
S feel 
S opinion 
S perception 
S sense 
S personally 
S aware 
S belief 
S view 
S experience 
S previous 
Examples include; "What are your personal feelings about . . .?" or "What is your perception of ...?" or 
"What is your previous experience with ...?" A favorite of mine is "If it were" your company what would 
you do?" That usually gets them going. 
You'll be amazed at the unexpected responses, yet pleased with the helpful information reflective 
probes reveal. 
Conversational probes represent a style of questioning that is gaining in popularity. I have been 
experimenting with conversational probes, and along with other sales entrepreneurs I have found that it's 
a much more relaxed, natural approach. Conversational probes are used to start, encourage, and 
maintain a normal conversation. The questions themselves are not anything special or unique, but I 
suggest it's a matter of using a mixture of open, closed, and reflective probes while pursing a normal 
Quite frankly, I suggest you quit worrying about labeling your probes opened or closed and simply ask 
your customer a series of smart questions and enjoy a professional, social type of conversation. 
Continue your conversational probes until all the customer's needs and expectations have been 
explored and all the parameters to a possible solution have been covered. In other words, keep asking 
questions until a solution presents itself, until a 100-watt light bulb goes off in your head with a solution 
that excites both you and your customer. I would suggest that in a typical sales call you should be 
asking upwards of 50–60 questions. A lot of these questions are what I refer to as clarification 
questions. For example, if the customer responds to your "What is important to you?" question with 
"Service is important" then you must clarify it by asking "What does good service look like to you?" 
Likewise, if they respond with "Quality is important" or "Delivery is important" you must clarify by asking 
exactly what they mean by quality or delivery. The danger is sales representatives are far too zealous to 
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respond rather than taking the time to fully understand the customers' issues. Hence, by using a 
combination of conversational, reflective, and clarification probes, it doesn't take long to ask 50–60 

Should our communication strategy change when talking to a customer versus a friend or spouse? It 
shouldn't. Keep it simple and relaxed. I've yet to hear a salesperson say, "I look forward to getting home 
and asking my spouse a bunch of open and closed probes!" Imagine your spouse responding with, 
"Honey, I'd appreciate it if you didn't ask me so many closed probes, please ask me more open 
probes." Sounds a little ridiculous, I agree. My point is this: Why be guided by a mechanical, clinical 
approach to probing during the day, then take a relaxed, more natural social approach with friends and 
family. Adapt one simple, consistent approach that accommodates both business and social 
interactions. You will feel a lot more confident and relaxed in both kinds of interactions. 

How often has your sales manager questioned you about open or closed probes? I've yet to hear a 
sales manager ask, "Sounds like you had a great call. Congratulations. Tell me, how many open and 
closed probes did you ask?" Who cares! As if we don't have enough to think about during a sales call. 
The point is you closed the sale with a win-win solution. 

I appreciate that my probing approach may be unconventional, but it's proving to be a simple, less 
stressful approach and is certainly appreciated by my customers. It's a refreshing change for both 

In their unbridled enthusiasm or nervousness, salespeople often overlook an important aspect of the 
discovery stage—asking permission to ask questions. Asking permission can be as simple as, "Ms. 
Smith, we've been able to help hundreds of companies with various training solutions. We may be able 
to help you. I don't know if we can or not but to determine that, may I ask you a few questions?" 
Alternatively, you might ask, "To make the best use of our time today I'd like to ask you a few 
questions. Would you mind?" By asking permission, you help relax the situation. Your customer 
becomes a willing participant in the task of finding a possible solution that makes life a little easier. 

Once you have their permission (which will be 99.9% of the time), you now have license to proceed with 
a series of planned, well-thought-out questions. The secrets to a smooth and speedy close are often 
contained in the answers. Your customer's answers help pinpoint the area where you may be able to 
help them. It's like a game. Questions unlock the secrets to closing the sale; ask the right questions, 
get the right information, and present the right solution. The quality of your questions and your 
confidence to ask them in a logical, fluid sequence is what demonstrates to the potential customer that 
you are a competent professional. 

As the questioning proceeds, your customer is drawn more and more into the conversation because 
Tim Commandment #5 

Use quality questions to unlock the secrets to confirming more sales. 
Ask: Am I asking enough smart questions? Do I understand their needs and expectations? 

answering demands total attention. The average person speaks at approximately 130 words per minute, 
but can think at approximately 1,000 words per minute. While you are talking (feature dumping) it's very 
easy for the customer to listen as well as think about other things including possible objections, 
problems at work or home, an argument with the teenager last night, missing a Visa payment, or the 
prediction of rain for tomorrow's 2:30 tee-off time. Questions minimize mental drift and help keep control 
of the sales call. The longer you talk, the more opportunity the customer has to drift into another world. 
However, the instant you ask a question the customer snaps back to the conversation and refocuses on 
you. Control lies with the person asking the questions. Your goal is to do more listening than talking. 
As long as you're talking, you're going to hear stuff you already know. Think about it. To learn, you must 
be silent and listen. By the way, silent and listen contain the same letters and I find it interesting that 
ear is found in learn and earn. 

Your needs analysis will reveal one of three possible scenarios. The customer is aware of your product 

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but is currently using the competition and is not interested in you; the customer is unfamiliar with your 
product and shows no interest; or the customer is unaware of your product but expresses an interest. 
The latter is what I call creating demand—introducing a product or service never used before by an 
existing or a potential customer. Demand is created by understanding the customers' needs and 
presenting the product or service as a benefit to their business. Customers are always on the lookout 
for a competitive edge. The introduction of your product or service just might help to achieve that 
competitive edge. However, you must appreciate that even though you created the initial demand, the 
customer may invite your competition to present their product for comparative reasons and to validate 
the legitimacy of the new product or service. 

Of the three possible scenarios, the first one is most common: A customer has a need but is currently 
using a competitor. Thus, your goal is to ask carefully planned questions that encourage the customer 
to review the performance of an existing supplier. Your questions may reveal some instances of poor 
service or quality. Through this tactful method you do not criticize your competitor; your customer does. 

Some authors suggest that selling is a "hurt and rescue" business. Find the hurt, uncover the pain, 
discover the problem, and come to the rescue. This concept suggests that the customer has been living 
with an intolerable situation and that your product or service will provide instant relief from all suffering. 
Sales representatives buy into this concept thinking customers are suffering from a gaping wound that 
only their product or service will heal. Wrong! The reality is that your potential customer is doing just 
fine without you or your remedy for instant relief. The challenge is to discover an inconvenience or 
dissatisfaction that the customer is experiencing with their existing vendor, and then provide a solution 
that resolves it. Even though the customer is somewhat satisfied, your solution must focus on 
alleviating the inconvenience. Otherwise, why would they switch to you? They won't. 

An inconvenience is a situation that is less than ideal, but your customer is prepared to tolerate it. The 
customer may feel that fixing it may not be worth the effort, or a different vendor might make things 
worse. I suggest that it may only be an inconvenience because as I mentioned earlier, your competition 
mirrors approximately 90% or more of your features so you know they are doing a pretty good job 
servicing the customer. Very few products or services are perceived as providing a unique advantage. 

Differences between competitors are much more subtle today than perhaps even five years ago. Today 
we sell in an intensely competitive marketplace. Enhanced competition, pressures to differentiate and 
global impact have made even the best features and benefits temporary as well as tenuous. Often the 
customer is left struggling to sort out the differences. Remember, your customers buy from you based 

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on less than 5% of your features. Unfortunately, price becomes the easiest and quickest way for a 
customer to validate differences between competitors and justify a purchase. That's why price gets the 
attention it does. 

By asking a series of smart, well-thought-out questions, customers will reveal clues as to the features 
that will satisfy the sale. Just as in baking or cooking, there must be the right mix of ingredients 
(features) to produce the desired results. 

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Feature Fishing 

Now it's time to go fishing. Just hang on, I don't mean taking the day off to head out to your favorite 
fishing hole. I'm referring to fishing right in the customer's office, verbal casting. Bait the conversation 
with questions that reveal the customer's needs, expectations, and hot-buttons. Although you have 
done your pre-call planning on the macro issues, you cannot learn intimate knowledge of your 
customer's business until you engage in a conversation. During this conversation your objective is to 
fish around to discover the features on your menu that may be of interest. 

I offer two methods of feature fishing: 1) Simply ask your customer what's important when considering a 
supplier. What specifics is he or she looking for? What are his or her expectations? What makes a 
good vendor? 2) Suggest some of your more popular features by scrolling through your menu. Ask the 
customer: "Have you thought about... ?" "Have you considered . . . ?" "Did you know that . . . ?" "Have 
you ever used ... ?" and so on. It's the same as your server in a restaurant recommending daily 
specials. The answers to your probes help identify specific requirements, information you wouldn't glean 
from an annual report or the receptionist. Personally, I prefer a combination of the two methods. 

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Effective Bridging 

Once you have identified the appropriate features and the hot-buttons, it's time to bridge. Bridging 
occurs when you link the feature to the benefit. Each feature offers several potential benefits that must 
be explained in detail for the customer to fully appreciate it as a benefit. In the end, the customer 
decides if the feature is in fact a benefit. Remember, customers buy benefits, not features. Features on 
their own represent the so-what information I spoke of earlier. Don't feature dump. 

Although this book is not about scripts and rigid steps to follow, I do suggest you consider this very 
short, succinct script while you get comfortable with bridging, "The benefit to you is ..." These five words 
verbally initiate the bridge, taking a feature to a benefit. Once the feature is bridged to a benefit, confirm 
its acceptance by asking, "Do you see this (feature) as a benefit to you and your business?" If your 
customer agrees, you have successfully bridged the feature and anchored it as a benefit. The following 
diagram illustrates bridging. 

The above illustration represents the three steps of effective bridging. 

Step 1: In conversation with your customer, features 
#2, #5 and #7 were identified as hot-buttons, 
relevant features. The other features proved 
to be of little interest, so-what information. 
Continue to verbally scroll your menu until 
you have identified three or four features of 
Step 2: Bridge appropriate features using the 
statement, "The benefit to you is ..." This 
statement ensures your customer is 
thinking in terms of benefits. Go on to 
explain the benefits of the feature in terms of 
your customer's specific requirements and 
how the benefits relate to his or her needs. 
Step 3: Validate the customer's acceptance of the 
benefits by asking, "Do you see this 
(feature) as a benefit?" If yes, you have 

Bridging is a fundamental ingredient of a successful call. When followed, the three steps eliminate the 
monotony of feature dumping, identify a tailored solution, shorten the sales cycle and show customers 
how you can help their business. Benefits sell, features tell. 

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Inverse Bridging 

Inverse bridging occurs when you start with a benefit and bridge it back to the supporting feature. This 
approach says to the customer, "This is what we can do for you (benefit) and this is how we do it 
(feature)." This is an excellent strategy to make a telephone appointment, to create demand in a new or 
existing account, or to gain interest when making cold calls. Customers frequently challenge 
salespeople by demanding, "Why should I see you?" or "How can you help my business?" or "I'm too 
busy, call me in three months." Sound familiar? When on the telephone the challenge is to get the 
customer's attention quickly and sell the appointment. Features rarely get attention quickly, but by 
stating a benefit right up front you may bait the prospect enough to stimulate mild curiosity. The 
question is, what benefits do you use to stimulate interest? My advice is to use the benefits that have 
proven popular with current customers. Do some research. Know the benefits of your product or service 
that are consistently accepted by your customer base. Alternatively, offer a benefit that you know will 
directly impact your customer's business. Remember, it is the customer who validates your benefit so 
don't be shocked if they reject your initial attempt at inverse bridging. If they do, simply acknowledge 
their indifference and suggest other benefits that may be more relevant. The objective with inverse 
bridging is not to sell them, but to gain access. The following illustration shows inverse bridging. 

Every salesperson at some point in time has experienced the frustration of trying to make 
appointments. One approach that has proven effective is to suggest to the potential customer during the 
initial telephone conversation that you may not have anything to sell him or her. If they ask, "What are 
you going to sell me?" simply respond with, "At this point, I'm not sure—maybe nothing. However, what 
I would like is 15 minutes of your time to explore the possibility of our companies doing business." The 
very suggestion that you are not trying to sell them something will get the customer's attention. They 
will feel more relaxed about granting you an appointment. The use of inverse bridging and the "maybe 
nothing" statement is a potent combination that will increase your success with first-time appointments. 
Participants at my seminars agree that this approach is unconventional but they recognize how it can 
be immensely effective. 

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Avoid the Penalty Box 

The penalty box is a very crowded, impoverished place where sales representatives frequently find 
themselves. However, a visit to the penalty box can easily go undetected. The problem is twofold: Sales 
representatives not only don't realize they're there; or worse, they don't know why they were sent there. 
A visit to the penalty box occurs when the salesperson has relinquished control of the sales call by 
immediately answering the customer's question. Salespeople tend to answer questions too quickly, 
failing to determine why the question was asked in the first place. Have you ever stopped to wonder why 
a customer is asking you a question? If you remove your assumptions, the answer is, "I don't know why 
he asked that." You run the danger of committing to an answer prior to understanding the customer's 
reason for asking it. Eagerly answering all his questions immediately can have dire consequences to 
the outcome of a sales call. 
You can maintain control of the sales call by answering high-impact questions with a question. 
Customers usually have a good reason for asking a question, so it's in your best interest to find out 
why. What might be in the back of their minds? What's the motivation behind the question? Jumping on 
the question with a quick, clever answer simply gives up control. You are totally at the mercy of the 
customer's interpretation of your answer. A visit to the penalty box is one of the biggest reasons 
salespeople lose sales. 

The problem stems from the process we were taught in our educational system. We were conditioned 
by our teachers and parents to, "Just answer the question." In class we were taught to raise our hand 
and spit out an answer. When answered correctly, it fueled self-esteem and heightened our confidence, 
especially in the presence of our classmates and our teachers. Sales entrepreneurs have learned to 
resist the temptation to immediately respond to questions, but rather to inquire about the reason for 
asking. I offer this five-step strategy to help you safeguard yourself against unproductive time spent in 
the penalty box. 

Identify the question as either high impact or low impact. Ask, "What impact will 
my answer have on the buying decision?" A high-impact question means your answer 
will either negatively or positively impact the customer's decision to buy from you. You 
must listen carefully to the question, put it in the context of the conversation, and 
decide on your answer's impact. If high impact, go to Step 2. If low impact, simply 
answer the question. 
Compliment their question—make them feel good. Thank them for asking you a 
good question, one that perhaps you haven't heard before. It may have been asked 
because of its importance or relevancy to the situation but you won't know until you 
ask. In any case, be sure to acknowledge the question as a good one. 
Identify the agenda. Why is the customer asking the question? At this point, only the 
customer knows. Politely probe the reason for asking. You need to be delicate with this 
because you don't want to appear confrontational by blurting out, "Why do you ask?" 
Your response should sound like this: "That's a good question, I've never been asked 
that before. Would you share with me your reason for asking?" Articulate your response 
to the question using your own words, your own style. The customer will usually share 
some thoughts, helping you pinpoint exact concerns. 
Echoing can also be an effective method to reveal your customer's hidden agenda. When the 
customer finishes asking a question, simply repeat or echo a couple of key words from the 
question. For example, a customer says, "Your delivery schedule seems to be too long!" 
Your respond with, "Too long?" Your echo will stimulate a response. 
Bridge. Now that you understand the customer's reason for asking, bridge the 
appropriate feature to the benefit. For example, if he were curious or uncertain about 
delivery and Step 3 revealed that he wants rush deliveries when required, you can scroll 
your features menu and pick one that best satisfies that particular need, then bridge it 
as a benefit. 
Verify. Ask the customer, "Have I answered your question? Have I addressed your 
concern?" Do not press forward with the sales call until you have satisfied his concern. 
Earning the right to advance means leaving behind no unresolved questions, concerns, 
or objections. 
To illustrate the five steps, let's look at a fairly typical scenario. A relatively new salesperson is calling 

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on a potential A account who is doing business with the salesperson's biggest competitor. Midway 

through the sales call, the customer asks: 
C How long have you been in the industry? 
(high-impact question) 
S That's a good question that I'm often asked 
and I'll be happy to answer it. Is experience 
something you are looking for in a 
C Yes it is. I want someone with no fewer than 
10 to 12 years of industry experience. Our 
business is unique and we rely on our 
suppliers to keep us current with industry 
trends and new technologies. 
S Although I've only been in the business for 
two years, I have a wealth of knowledge and 
support at the office. In fact our group 
represents over 100 man-years of 
experience. The benefit to you is that as 
your salesperson, I can put that experience 
to work for you. 
C True enough. I didn't consider things from 
that angle. 
S Have I addressed your concern? 
C Yes, that makes sense. 

You have now earned the right to continue. The response was both honest and right. These five steps 
should only serve as a guideline to managing the sales dialogue. The concept of answering a question 
with a question is not new, it's been around for decades. However, I am simply packaging the process 
in a professional, manageable format. The objective is to foster appreciation and respect for your 
customer's question; take a moment to pause, and consider why it is being asked. Even when you 
provide an honest answer, it may not be the right one. Of course all of your answers will be honest, but 
are they the best answers? There is a big difference. Our answers must align themselves with the 
customer's agenda. I'm not suggesting that avoiding the penalty box is a new sales gimmick or a 
manipulative maneuver, it's not. It's simply an effective tactic to synchronize the call. Now take a 
moment and imagine the consequences of just blurting out an honest answer. 

How long have you been in the industry? 

Two years. I started just after we moved into 
our new building. 


Yeah, so let me just finish up what I was 
talking to you about. 

Although the answer of "two years" is honest, it was the wrong one. The customer now tells you, "Well, 
thanks for coming by. I've got your brochures and pricing, we'll keep you on file." You just got sent to 
the penalty box, and chances are you have no idea why. Customers interpret your answers based on 
their biases and perceptions. In this case, the customer hears the answer "two years" and interprets 
that as having no experience. It was honest, but wrong. Honesty and right must work together, you can't 
have one without the other; otherwise you're in the penalty box. If nothing else, this concept will 
heighten your awareness of how important it is to pay attention to customers' questions and avoid the 
penalty box. 

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Communication Skills 

Effective communication is essential for a successful sale but is probably one of the most overlooked, 
underdeveloped skills in professional selling. We cannot take communication for granted simply 
because we are fluent in the English language—but we do. The cornerstone of effective communication 
is sensitivity to the needs of others. It begins with an understanding of the communication process. 
Encoding occurs when a sender translates thoughts into a message. The receiver must decode the 
message and try to understand what the sender intended to communicate. Communication is effective 
only when the receiver accurately understands what the sender intended to transmit. It's not uncommon 
to hear someone say, "Yeah, but that's not what I meant" or "I thought you said this ..." 

Communication in selling involves more than presenting your product or service; it involves an active, 
two-way exchange of ideas and thoughts. However, research suggests that in most calls salespeople 
do up to 60% of the talking. [1] Wrong thing to do. Remember PEZ, Please Excuse my Zealousness. 
We often think of ourselves as good communicators because we have the gift of the gab. I know of 
several people who were encouraged to pursue a career in sales because they were great talkers. We 
equate speaking with control and power, assuming the spotlight is focused on the talkers rather than 
the listeners. Our society recognizes and rewards great orators, actors, singers, public speakers, and 
news commentators who excel at one-way communication. There are lots of books and seminars on 
developing public speaking skills but when did you ever hear of a seminar on public listening skills? 
They don't exist. Unfortunately, listening is not the sexy part of the communication model. I would 
suggest that the biggest violation of the communication model is poor listening skills. 

[1]Customer Based Research Conducted by Spectrum Training Solutions Inc. 

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Why We Are Poor Listeners 

Lazy listening is enormously costly to our success. Most of us think we are good listeners, but that 
overconfidence may be the reason for our downfall. Nothing puts a sales call in jeopardy faster than 
poor, inattentive listening. Customers don't take long to get a sense of your listening commitment, 
especially given the fact that 90% of communication is nonverbal. [2] That's right, 90%. About 55% is 
through obvious body language and 35% is by how you say it. [3] Given these overwhelming statistics, 
it's pretty tough to convince the customer that you are listening if in fact you're not. 

We listen at about 25% of our potential. We miss, ignore, forget, distort, or misunderstand 75% of what 
we hear[4]. Hard to believe perhaps, but true. Given these statistics, we can see why communication 
breaks down so quickly. The receiver is responding to only 25% of the sender's message. [5] That's why 
during my seminars I suggest that, "In most cases, communication is not part of the conversation." 
Such lazy listening habits are very costly, to both your business and your personal success. 

Improvement begins with an understanding of why people have a natural tendency to be poor listeners. 
Rather than have you put this book down and promise aloud, "I will be a better listener," I offer you the 
four reasons why we are poor listeners. 

Our predominant thoughts focus on ourselves and sex. We think of ourselves 24 
hours a day—how we look, feel, our personal problems and successes, work, and so 
on. Even while we sleep. Did you ever have a dream where you weren't in it? Probably 
not. We see ourselves as the most important element of our lives, followed by a natural 
attraction to sex. Psychologists agree that on average we think of sex consciously or 
unconsciously every two and a half minutes. We were put on this planet to reproduce, 
so thank goodness He made it fun. Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory reinforces this 
concept, along with our overwhelming need to be loved and accepted. People will go to 
great lengths to satisfy those needs. It's no wonder we are poor listeners when sitting 
with our customers. Our agendas usually take precedence over theirs. 
Our minds wander. Our minds think approximately eight times faster than we talk. 
We normally speak at approximately 130 words per minute, we listen and understand 
at up to 400 words per minute, and we can think at 1,000 words per minute. 
Unbelievable but true. Here's the dilemma: our customers talk to us at 130 words per 
minute and we think at 1,000 words per minute. Mental drift is too easy and often 
results in minimal communication during a conversation. Clearly, it takes tremendous 
discipline to stay focused on the customer's message. By the way, your customers 
also experience mental drift at a speed of 1,000 words per minute. Chances are good 
that during a feature dump their minds will wander off somewhere else, perhaps Jamaica 
or Barbados. 
We can't wait to reply. Our unbridled enthusiasm to reply sabotages the 
communication model. We often listen with the sole intent to reply. At the expense of 
effective listening we formulate a response, at a speed of 1,000 words per minute, 
before the sender has completed commenting. The second they finish speaking we 
jump in with what we think is a valid, appropriate response. Our quick response is 
further fueled by our perceptions and biases as we attempt to decode their message. 
When you jump in with your quick response, it clearly communicates to the sender that 
you were not listening, that you were more concerned with your reply rather than 
understanding the message. It can be very frustrating and irritating when you know the 
listener is not paying attention and is preoccupied with formulating a response. 
Listening is a lot easier when you like the person and agree with the message. The most 

difficult time to listen is when you disagree with what you're seeing or hearing. Under those 

conditions, many listeners aren't listening at all—they're preoccupied with drafting a rebuttal. 

The challenge is to put personal feelings aside and focus on the message. As with effective 

negotiation, deal with the issues, not the personalities. 

A suggestion to help overcome your tendency to offer an immediate reply is to wait two to 
three seconds before you reply. Let the sender finish her comments, look her in the eye, 
acknowledge her input with a nod or a verbal sign, then reply. The big plus is that if you wait 
a moment your customer may start talking again and yes, that's a good thing. 

We interrupt—a lot. Everybody has an opinion and loves to get his two cents' worth in. 
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Even if we aren't asked, we willingly lend our views and comments, thinking that we are 
making a significant contribution. Over the years we have been conditioned to interrupt, 
or we may not get a chance to share our views, which of course are critical if the 
conversation is going to have any substance. What fuels our need to interrupt is that we 
are always thinking of self or sex and we can do it at 1,000 words per minute. With this 
lethal combination it's no wonder we are poor listeners. 

Effective listening means more than refraining from the bad habit of interrupting. Good listening means 
being satisfied to listen to the entire message rather than waiting impatiently to jump in with your 
My informal research suggests that a conversation won't last longer than 20 to 30 seconds before an 
interruption occurs—someone jumping in with a story, another view. However, in a sales call it can be 
advantageous to interrupt with questions that clarify your understanding of the situation. I refer to this as 
productive interruption. Customers are tolerant of clarification questions because the focus remains on 
them and you are showing interest. 

To further demonstrate your commitment to the customer and to improve your listening skills, be sure to 
take notes during the sales call. There is no way you will remember all the details and issues you 
discussed. In regard to note-taking protocol, be sure to ask permission to take notes when you are in 
the customer's office. It's polite, respectful, and your nonverbal message is, "This meeting is important 
so I need to take some notes." If you are in the neutral territory of a boardroom or a meeting room, you 
do not need permission. However, ask anyway. If the customer is getting ahead of you and your 
note-taking, simply interrupt the customer by saying, "That's a great point, let me make a note of that." 
The customer will be happy to give you a few seconds to complete your notes. At the end of the 
meeting you might consider summarizing the important points. You can preface this with, "As I 
understand it . . ." 

When you improve your listening skills, you hold a competitive edge. Lucky for you, listening gets scant 
recognition by your competitors. As we know, listening is not strongly identified in selling and you are 
not likely to be "out-listened" by the competition. They're too busy trying to get the customer to listen. 

[2]Dugger, Jim. Learn to Listen. Page 14. 1992. National Press Publications. 
[3]Dugger, Jim. Learn to Listen. Page 14. 1992. National Press Publications. 
[4]Bone, Diane. The Business of Listening: A Practical Guide to Effective Listening. Page 5, 1988. Crisp 
Publications Inc. 
[5]Bone, Diane. The Business of Listening: A Practical Guide to Effective Listening. Page 5, 1988. Crisp 
Publications Inc. 
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1. Customer Based Research Conducted by Spectrum Training Solutions Inc. 
2. Dugger, Jim. Learn to Listen. Page 14. 1992. National Press Publications. 
3. Bone, Diane. The Business of Listening: A Practical Guide to Effective Listening. Page 5, 1988. 
Crisp Publications Inc. 
Congratulations, you have now completed Step #5 

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Chapter 8: Presentation Skills: Value-Added 

Congratulations on another graduation. You have successfully worked through the first five steps of the 
Sequential Model, doing the groundwork to meet and exceed your customers' expectations. This next 
step applies to potential new customers as well as existing customers to whom you are presenting a 
new product or service. 
So what is a value-added solution? It means enhancing your solution by exceeding the expectations of 
your customers. It means going outside the traditional role of a sales representative to provide a solution 
that truly elevates you above your closest competitor. Customers buy differences, not similarities. The 
challenge is finding innovative, unique ways to exceed expectations. Cookie-cutter solutions and boring, 
ho-hum presentations are all too common. As Larry Wilson writes in his book, Changing the Game: 
"Instead of trying to find prospects who fit my presentation, what I needed to do was fit my presentation 
to the prospect I found. [1] A simple idea, but it changed selling for me." Unfortunately for customers, 
sales representatives continue to try to fit them into canned, rehearsed presentations. Or they try to 
close the sale based on price, instead of offering a value-added solution. Sadly enough, customers are 
often saddled with the burden of trying to differentiate among proposals that imitate each other—me-too, 
cookie-cutter solutions that seduce customers with little more than the lowest price. Your responsibility 
is to make it easy for your customer to decide, to remove the stress of uncertainty. 

Why Should I Buy From You? 

"Why should I buy from you?" is a universal question, one that "stalls the call" and puts salespeople 
into a tailspin, struggling with a response that does little to excite the customer. I've seen it happen far 
too often. Openly challenged, the salesperson retreats deep into his or her comfort zone responding 
with a well-rehearsed feature dump, hoping to avoid a crash and burn situation. We know the result all 
too well. Another presentation ending in tragedy, another lost sale. 
The "Why should I buy from you?" question needs to be answered with a well-prepared presentation 
that addresses the benefits of both parties doing business together. Your success relies on how well 
you probed, identified expectations, and then satisfied those expectations by presenting the attributes 
your company can offer. Don't make the all-too-common mistake of telling your story from your point of 
view, but rather present your story from the customers' point of view. You must weave appropriate 
benefits into your presentation so that customers clearly see your solution as helping their business run 
more efficiently. True story: Two gentlemen were getting their hair cut. Person A was a VP at a large oil 
company and person B was the president of a different company. Person A knew B and introduced 
himself and his company saying, "My people were recently in to see your people." Person B responded 
by saying, in his Texas accent, "That's interesting. What you-all goin' to do for us?" I couldn't have said 
it any better myself. Customers expect innovative, value-added solutions that become assets to their 
business. If you are doing a good job, you should be aware of your customers' expectations. Your 
presentation does not happen in isolation. It is supported by the first five steps of the Sequential Model, 
including a thorough Discovery step, earning the right to present. Remember, your model allows for no 
missing pieces. 

[1]Wilson, Larry. Changing the Game: The New Way to Sell. Page 81, 1987. Simon & Schuster Inc.. 
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Neutralize the Competition 

Creative sellers get the sale and the gold medal. Through effective Discovery, sales entrepreneurs work 
with customers to present creative solutions that exceed expectations. Exceeding is the key, the 
essence of a convincing presentation. If you simply meet their expectations, that's just doing your job, 
no big deal, so what? Sales entrepreneurs ask themselves; "How can I use my imagination and 
creativity to make a vivid impression on my customer? How can I make my presentation different and 
stronger?" Eliminate routine, boring, predictable presentations. Chances are your customer has 
endured hundreds of me-too presentations, so make yours different, make it fun. The key to neutralizing 
your competition is innovation. 

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Ten Key Ingredients 

To help you differentiate yourself and neutralize the competition, I offer ten key ingredients of an 
effective, creative presentation. They apply whether you are presenting to an individual, a committee, or 
a group. 

Enjoy Yourself. Enjoy what you are doing. Selling is fun, not a battle of wits between 
customer and salesperson, so loosen up and enjoy. Believe in yourself and what you 
are selling, supported by the right mental attitude. Add your own style of enthusiasm 
and be somewhat entertaining as well as informative. After all, you are on stage. 
Communicate your belief in yourself and your product or service by exhibiting sincere 
enthusiasm. Involve your customer when and if appropriate. I tell my customers that I 
sell entertrainment. At my seminars you're going to learn something but you will have 
fun in the process. When was the last time you learned something that was boring or 
presented in lackluster fashion? You probably haven't—boredom stifles learning. 
Rekindle your enthusiasm if necessary and present with gusto. 
Another aspect of enjoying yourself is looking good, feeling good. I often suggest the most 
important presentation of the day is to yourself in the mirror. You must be confident of your 
appearance prior to a confident delivery. People love to visualize and the visual sense is 
very, very powerful. In fact, it is the visual impression that makes the greatest impact. 
Remember, people buy you with their eyes within 10 seconds. As a result, our verbal 
content can be virtually smothered by the vocal and visual components. 
Research suggests that the believability of a message is evaluated on three elements; 7 
percent verbal, 38 percent vocal, and 55 percent visual. [2] "What you do speaks so loud I 
can't hear what you say." Great words spoken by Ralph Emerson. 
The fun of it all begins with the process of looking and feeling good. Don your best outfit, fill 
your lungs with confidence, and within ten seconds your audience will be impressed with 
your presentation. 
Prepare and prepare some more. Preparation is key to a smooth, fluid presentation. 
Any good seminar on presentation skills will tell you, "Don't try to eliminate the 
butterflies, simply get them to fly in formation." Having the butterflies is a form of 
positive energy that will help you get started and make a smooth transition into the 
body of your presentation. Here is a guideline that I use: Every five minutes of 
presentation time requires one hour of preparation time. Thus, a 15-minute presentation 
requires a minimum of three hours preparation. Trust me, this formula works. As one 
anonymous quote suggests, "Every time you open your mouth, your mind is on 
parade." Preparation will ensure your parade looks sharp, sounds sharp, and dazzles 
your audience. Make it fresh, not canned. 
Another suggestion is to rehearse your presentation by delivering it aloud to a wall. Pick a 
quiet place, perhaps at home, stand back from a wall then go through your presentation, at 
least the verbal part. If you do it a couple of times to the wall, you'll be amazed how easy it 
is when you do it live. 
As a professional keynote speaker, I spend days preparing for a half-day keynote. Here is 
another guideline: Be cognizant of when you prepare. Don't use valuable selling hours to do 
your homework. I refer you back to Tim Commandment #4 in Chapter 4 (page 97). 

Know your customer's style type. Consider how you might design your presentation 
to appeal to different style types. A presentation to a Director should be totally different 
than to a Socializer or a Thinker. Each style has different expectations that cannot be 
ignored (Chapter 6). 
Socializer. Must be fun, entertaining, and stimulating. Sell sizzle more than steak. Make 
your presentation colorful and upbeat, showing how your product or service will enhance your 
customer's status and visibility. 
Director. Must be short, to the point, businesslike, outlining the main points. Time will be 
limited so don't waste it with unnecessary conversation or detail. Present the facts and the 
results they can expect to see. Give them options where they can make decisions. 
Thinker. Must be logical, informative, and detail-oriented. Thinkers are very analytical, 
looking for accurate information, honesty, and reliability. Back up your presentation with 
supportive documentation and data and a lot of technological punch. Don't expect a decision 
that day. Thinkers need time to mull it over, working out any possible bugs. Arrange a 
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specific time to follow up. 
Relater. Must be sensitive to the people side of the business. Ask for opinions and feelings 
and show how your solution will be compatible with other departments within the company. 
Use lots of references and testimonials. Relaters need to know that other customers support 
your product or service. They tend to follow the norm, guided by routine, so don't make your 
solution too bizarre or outlandish. 

When presenting to a committee or to more than one individual, tailor your presentation to 
the style type of the decision maker among the group. Identify who the key individual is prior 
to the meeting, and design your presentation and your approach to reflect his or her style. 
You cannot be all things to all people, so don't even try. It makes for a very awkward 
presentation if you try to satisfy everyone by floating among the four styles. I caution you. 
Don't present until you have determined who will be there and why. Don't ever go into a 
presentation blind; do your homework. If you can't meet committee members prior to the 
presentation, at least talk to them on the phone to determine their style and their role in the 
decision-making process. 

Involve the senses. A Chinese proverb says: "Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I may 
remember. Involve me, I'll understand." Up to 82% of what we learn is through sight. 
Take advantage of these findings and include visuals where you can, within reason. The 
more senses you can engage in your presentation, the better—visual, auditory, or 
kinesthetic (touch it, feel it). Research demonstrates that visual input makes the 
greatest impact. Psychologists agree that viewing something three times has a lasting 
impression and improves retention and recall. However, don't show up to your next 
presentation with 56 overheads colorfully presented on PowerPoint. 
Be benefit-oriented. People don't buy what something is, they buy what something 
does. Avoid presenting your features, they do nothing to stimulate the customer into 
action. Benefits will. By talking about benefits you keep your customer's attention 
focused on the "what's in it for me" aspect. A sobering thought to consider when 
presenting: Your average customers will immediately forget 50% of what you told them 
and after only 48 hours will forget up to 75% of your message. Ouch! All the more 
reason to captivate your customers' attention by using all their senses, presenting 
benefits, and having fun. 
Avoid corporate jargon. Nothing loses customers faster than confusion. Don't use 
gobbledegook that may confuse them; use their language and their lingo and provide 
explanations where appropriate. My suggestion is to present simple concepts first, then 
complex ones later in the presentation. Presenting simple concepts early will help warm 
the audience to your style and make it easier for them to understand the complex ones 
later. Customers are sceptical of razzle-dazzle presentations; straightforwardness and 
honesty should be your guideposts. 
Exceed expectations. The first step is to know what 100% is, then exceed it. Know 
what your customer expects from you. You only learn that by asking. Unless you 
clearly understand what the 100% mark is, you run the risk of delivering a solution that 
falls short of expectations. Delivering a solution that you are excited about does little to 
advance the sale if it is only at 90% of customers' expectations. Once again, that may 
be the reason you get beat up on price. A 90% solution doesn't cut it, not nowadays. 
To exceed expectations, you only have to go an extra inch, not an extra mile. All it takes is 
a little extra effort, giving customers something they didn't expect. Exceed expectations by 
delivering an extra unexpected 1%: The 1% solution. It really doesn't take much to exceed 
expectations. Just as little things can turn a customer off, little things will turn a customer 
on. An example of a 1% solution would be just as you are leaving the store with your new 
CD player, the salesperson you dealt with stops you at the door and says, "Thank you for 
your business, I appreciate it. Why don't you go over to the rack and pick out a free CD of 
your choice? It's on me." Would that impress you? No doubt it would. The potential return on 
positive word of mouth is certainly worth the investment of giving away a free CD. Keep in 
mind, though, no two customers are alike. Not every customer will appreciate a free CD so 
you will need to vary your 1% solutions. Each customer comes with a unique set of 
expectations and perceptions that must be revealed during the Discovery step. It stands to 
reason, then, that no two presentations or solutions will be the same. I suggest that from 
now on you deliver a solution that is 101% of expectations—under-promise and overdeliver. 
Don't simply satisfy your customers—surprise them. 

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Be professional. Your only option as a sales entrepreneur is to be guided by a 
professional code of conduct: walk the talk. It is critical that your verbal presentation be 
in sync with your visual presentation. That means sound professional and look 
professional. Don't show up looking like a bum but sounding like a pro, or vice versa. 
Also, use professional language, don't swear or use slang. Even if your customer is 
using colorful superlatives, don't lower yourself. Maintain a level of conduct that says 
you are a professional, a true sales entrepreneur. Yes, be yourself, but don't engage in 
activity or conversation that erodes your credibility or your professional conduct. Also, 
be consistent. Customers are sceptical and suspicious of inconsistent behavior. You 
have worked hard to get to the presentation stage. Don't blow it by being inconsistent 
throughout the sales process. The Sequential Model demands professional consistency 
at every step—no missing pieces. 
Take the customer to the presentation. Rather than struggling to take all your stuff 
to your customers, it can be easier and a bit more exciting to take your customers out 
of the office on a field trip. Take them on a tour of your facility or perhaps show them 
your product already in use at one of your other customers' locations. I have known 
salespeople who have flown potential customers to tour their head office and meet the 
president and some of the personnel who will be involved in servicing them. Once again, 
most people are visual, so take advantage of that and show them anytime you get the 
chance. It's worth the trip and the investment. 
This approach also communicates pride and clearly demonstrates your commitment to the 
relationship as well as the conviction that your solution is right for them. 

Action plan. Don't limit your role to that of a presenter. As an entrepreneur you are 
there to present an entire package, which includes a next step—an action plan. Don't 
finish with, "Thanks for having me in. I'll call you next week." Ask for feedback, then 
determine a specific call to action. This could be a specific day and time to follow up, 
an appointment for a follow-up visit, a tour, a meeting with the design people, and so on. 
Don't leave empty handed. 
[2]Decker, Bert. You've Got to Be Believed to Be Heard: Reach The First Brain to Communicate in Business 
and In Life. Page 84, 1992. St. Martin's Press. 
Managing Objections: Friend or Foe? 
"If only my customers would quit raising objections, selling would be a lot easier." No doubt this 
statement reflects the thoughts of many sales representatives, especially those with limited experience. 
One thing is certain about objections: they have a nasty habit of popping out of nowhere during the 
sales call. They can appear anywhere, at any time, and usually without warning. Nothing strikes fear in 
a sales representative's eyes faster than an unexpected objection. 
Selling today involves an array of sophisticated skills. Many sales experts agree that the "moment of 
truth" of closing won't happen until you have listened to, understood, and successfully resolved any 
objections the customer has. Overcoming objections is your ticket to sales success—the gold medal. 
Objections are strange things. Most objections are really questions or concerns in disguise. They are 
often smoke screens protecting the customer against possible buyer's remorse or the wrath of 
management for making a wrong purchasing decision. Although the customer may be totally honest 
and sincere, you may not clearly understand what the concern is. 
Sales representatives view objections as the enemy, as traps that customers set to sabotage the sale 
and get rid of them. Sales representatives feel challenged by objections because they require an 
on-the-spot, unrehearsed response possibly derailing their well-rehearsed, canned pitch. You never 
know what the customer might object to or challenge you about. However, objections are an integral 
part of the whole business of selling. Without objections, you'd be just an order-taker. The career 
opportunities for professional order-takers are dismal and the pay is about the same. 
I suggest that well-prepared sales entrepreneurs anticipate and welcome objections. They have learned 
the value of objections and view them as a friend, an ally to the conversation. This means that managing 
objections should be planned for, just as with any other step of your Sequential Model. Rather than 
regard an objection as an obstacle, regard it as an asset to the sale. It depends on your attitude. Even 
though objections tend to sound like verbal attacks, you can't afford to have your response sound 
defensive or confrontational. With a positive attitude you're more likely to respond without any hint of 
hostility, which makes your customer more receptive. A positive attitude can be communicated by use 
of a cushioning statement, an empathy statement, such as: "You're right, our price is higher than most, 
but what exactly is your concern?" This helps build rapport and encourages trust. Remember, it is your 
reaction to the objection that counts, not the objection itself. 
Give some thought as to how you view objections. How do you respond to objections? What's your 
attitude? You're on the right track if, upon hearing an objection, your immediate response is to ask 
yourself, "What exactly does the customer mean by that?" If there's any doubt, and often there is (don't 
assume), simply clarify the concern in one of these ways: 
S What do you mean by that? 
S Is this what you mean? 
S Tell me more. 
S Please elaborate. 
S I'm not sure I understand. 
The cardinal rule for managing objections is: Never offer a response to an objection until you fully 
understand how it relates to this particular customer and this particular situation. 
The cause of objections is somewhat universal. It's an uneasiness brought on by unsatisfied, 
unanswered, or undeveloped expectations. Remove the cause of an objection and you remove the 
concern. Objections may stem from political reasons (my sister works for your competitor), personal 
biases (I prefer to deal with XYZ company), or from prejudices (I've heard bad things about your 
company). Most, however, come from unsatisfied personal or corporate expectations. The probing skills 
developed in Chapter 7 will help you explore customer expectations. We all feel uneasy about 
purchasing something that hasn't dealt with all of our concerns and expectations, voiced or unvoiced. 
It's impossible to effectively anticipate all possible objections. Objections are as varied as customers 
themselves. I suggest you develop strategies (responses) for the more common objections you may 
However, objections are good barometers for the sales call. They show your customer is listening and 
they provide a means of clarification while stimulating conversation. Simply consider objections as 
conversational speed bumps, slowing you down long enough to grasp what the customer's concerns 
are. Look at each objection as a spotlight on a particular concern. Once satisfactorily resolved, each 
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grants you the right to advance the sale. Objections are also a means for customers to direct the 
conversation in line with their expectations. They offer a huge communication advantage. Rather than 
you yacking aimlessly (feature dumping), customer objections provide navigational signposts guiding 
you where the conversation needs to go. It helps both of you stay in sync and helps shrink the sales 
cycle. The absence—not the presence—of objections should be cause for concern. One of the surest 
signs of a bad or deteriorating relationship is the absence of objections. The customer is either bored, 
not being candid, or is simply not interested. 
It is important, however, to draw a distinction between objections and tough questions. The difference 
can be significant, yet subtle. Objections are expressed in response to a comment or information you 
provided. A tough question is asked to retrieve information from you. Treat the tough question as just 
that, a question to gain new information. Be straightforward and provide specific information that directly 
answers the question. For example, the customer might raise an objection right after you bridged a 
feature, challenging you to further validate the benefit, whereas a tough question may deal with a 
potentially difficult situation that many sales people mistakenly interpret as an objection. The customer 
will either be satisfied with your answer, ask another question, or generate a new objection. In either 
case, know the difference and employ the appropriate response. 

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Five-Step Strategy 

Let's look at an appropriate response to managing objections, guided by the five-step strategy. 

Acknowledge and validate your customers' objections. Don't stick your head in the 
sand and hope they go away or the customer forgets about them. Even postponement 
of the objection may result in a negative perception or reaction from your customer. 
Some sales seminars have suggested that it is best to ignore the objection, that it's 
only important if the customer brings it up more than once. Wrong. The next time they 
think of it may be after you've left and your competitor is in the customer's office, more 
than happy to address the very objection you ignored. Show respect and empathy by 
immediately acknowledging the concern. Simply say, "Yes, I can understand your 
concern," or, "Other customers initially felt the same way," or, "That's a fairly common 
concern in our business. I will be happy to address it." Remember, always express 
empathy and sincerity, and never get defensive. Watch your nonverbal responses as 
well. Turn the objections into positives by regarding them as gateways into your 
customer's thought process. Objections are really just your customer voicing concerns 
and explaining primary expectations and needs. Be sure to hear between the lines. 
Take the time to think about what is being said and the way it is being said. Sales 
representatives too often leap on an objection before the customer has had a chance to 
finish talking. The customer barely gets ten words out and the sales representative is 
already hammering away at a defensive response: "I have to show he's mistaken, how 
could he be so misinformed?" It's a panicky reaction that often sabotages the sale and 
the relationship. The best defense is a good, professional offense. 
Clarify your customer's specific objection. Paraphrase with questions that help you 
understand the objection. Though some customers are adept at voicing needs as 
needs, others voice their needs as objections. All objections can be used to your 
advantage, once you realize that you are gaining valuable information. 
Identify their objection as either factual, based on logic, or emotional, based on personal 
perception and biases. Objections are usually motivated by one or the other. Factual 
objections are much easier to deal with because incorrect information or incorrect 
perceptions can be corrected. Facts are objective, universal, and inarguable. Emotional 
objections, however, are extremely difficult to deal with. They are subjective and often merely 
an excuse or smoke screen. They usually don't follow sound reasoning and may take 
patience and persistence to overcome. They sometimes conceal a hidden concern that you 
may never be privy to. Once again, effective use of conversational probes will eventually get 
you to the root cause of the objection. As you ask questions, stay relaxed, listen carefully 
(take notes) and appreciate that you're about to learn something important. As a last resort, 
the eventual resolution may have to be to flag it as a C account and move on. 
Respond to the objection immediately and solve the problem. It represents the 
customer's predominant thought at the moment, so make it yours. Remember, your 
customer is probably expressing legitimate corporate curiosity, not launching a 
personal attack on you. 
Satisfying the customer's objection or concern may be as simple as mentally scrolling down 
your menu of features and presenting the one that will eliminate the objection. The 
"feel-felt-found" method is an effective strategy to manage objections. The sequence is 
important and should sound like this: "I can understand how you feel ... other customers felt 
the same way . . . but once onboard with us this is what they found . . ." Provide details 
about how other customers benefited from their decision to buy from you. A testimonial letter 
may strengthen your case. You can actually demonstrate that other customers realized their 
initial opinions were unfounded after they tried your product. This is an excellent method, 
especially for Socializers and Relators because they tend to care what other people think. 
Validate that the objection has been satisfied. Don't assume that you have satisfied 
the customer's concern. There is nothing worse than plowing through the sale, leaving 
behind unresolved, unanswered objections. If you don't resolve them, your competitor 
To validate acceptance of your response, simply ask the customer, "Have I satisfied your 
concern?" By answering yes, the customer grants you permission to carry on with the sale. 
A no answer may indicate that further clarification is necessary. 

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Uncover objections up front. Sales entrepreneurs know that certain features of their 
product or service may be vulnerable to the competition. Although not all objections can 
be preempted, the more common ones can be addressed during the conversation. Bring 
it up before the customer does. A sales entrepreneur may approach the price issue by 
saying: "Other customers have expressed concern that our product is expensive. Well, 
let me show you the true value in relation to the cost." You now go on to bridge the 
appropriate features to benefits. Customers have no need to raise objections already 
stated and answered by the salesperson. This strategy will help thwart possible false or 
shallow objections that may stall the sale. Try to eliminate tough objections early in the 
conversation for an objection-free close at the end. A fun example of this strategy: Next 
time you're feeling frisky, take two aspirin and a glass of water up to bed. Ask your 
spouse to take the two pills. Of course she will ask what they are. When you tell her 
they are aspirin she'll probably say, "But I don't have a headache." Great! 
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The Price Objection 

When was the last time you made a purchase solely based on price? You haven't and I doubt you ever 
will. Your customers don't either. Yes, I certainly agree that price is very important, but it's usually six 
or seven down the list of importance. Variables within the purchasing decision that may precede price 
include size, color, delivery, warranties, availability, after-sales service, quantities, terms and conditions, 
and so on. 

Price objections are the easiest and most common—they have become a very natural and predictable 
part of the call. Sales entrepreneurs expect them. It's as if customers have been trained or conditioned 
to raise the price objection during every sales call. Part of the problem is that the retail community 
bombards us with advertisements and promotions focusing on price. We've all heard "We won't be 
undersold," or "Our price is the lowest, it's the law," or "If you find it cheaper we will pay you twice the 
difference." Every time you pick up the newspaper, read flyers, see TV commercials, listen to the radio, 
or stroll through your local mall, it's PRICE PRICE PRICE. No wonder when we arrive at our customers' 
offices they scream, "WHAT'S YOUR BEST PRICE?" Simply respond by politely asking your customer 
to refrain from watching TV commercials, reading newspapers, or listening to the radio ever again. It 
seems to be more of a conditioned, automatic response than a legitimate concern. 

"You get what you pay for." This cliche has been around for decades but the message seems to be 
overlooked by some customers. There will always be customers who have convinced themselves that a 
low price is their number one priority. However, my sense is that more and more customers are 
appreciating that price is only one small component of the sale. To support my point, I share with you a 
comment from economist John Ruskin. 

It's unwise to pay too much ... but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little 
money . . . that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you 
bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance 
prohibits paying a little and getting a lot—it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to 
add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better. 

John Ruskin 


What impresses me is this was written before 1900. The rationale underlying his theory hasn't changed 
in 100 years. 
Zig Ziglar offers this explanation in support of a competitive price: "Our company made the decision to 
explain a higher price once rather than justify poor service and quality several times." Great line. I tell 
my students, "You only cry once when you pay a higher price." 

What is a competitive price? Research tells us that customers will pay 8% to 12% more for perceived 
value. Customers will put their money where their mouth is if you deliver a value-added solution—but 
anything over 12% and the customer may resist. For example, if your competition is priced at $1,000 
you can charge $1,120 and still be considered competitively priced ($1,000 + 12%). Anything above the 
12% may be too aggressive. Hence, your objective is not to match your competition at the $1,000 price 
but rather to price it higher due to the value you created. As a consumer, I'm sure that on more than one 
occasion you paid a higher price because you appreciated the service and attention you received. Your 
customers are no different. 
The best advice I can offer is that price should not be discussed during the Discovery or Confirming 
steps of your Sequential Model. Price is an issue you negotiate. Don't sell it. What I mean by "selling 
it" is that salespeople often try to confirm the sale by focusing the conversation on a discounted price. 
Sell a value-added solution during the call, not a price solution. Don't make price the focal point of the 
call. I discuss price in more detail in Chapter 10, Negotiation Skills. 
Understand the difference between price objection and price resistance. Price objection is a matter of 
clear opposition to your price—I can't pay it, or I won't pay it because we have limited funds, and so on. 
Price resistance suggests your customers have the capacity to withstand or tolerate your price. They 
may not like it initially, but they will pay it. Salespeople often respond to price resistance by 
immediately offering to lower it. Wrong thing to do. Try to focus on building value instead of reducing the 

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price. Rarely is the sale based solely on price, so don't become an order-taker, getting the sale on little 
more than your good looks and a cheap price. Customers buy based on their perceptions of the overall 
value you present. So, how do you create a high perceived value? I think William Brooks answers that 
question succinctly in his book, Niche Selling. He offers the following formula where V is value, PB is 
perceived benefits, and PP is perceived price: [3] 

This formula clearly shows that the higher the PB, the higher the value: V increases as PB increases 
and PP decreases. For example; if we have a PP weighting of 10 and a PB weighting of only 5, then 
V=0.5. However, if we inverse the numbers where PB=10 and PP=5, our V=2. The first example where 
V=0.5 tells us that the focus was on price (PP=10). Our second example, where V=2, the focus was on 
selling benefits, thus V was four times greater than in the first example. The key to increase the PB is 
to focus on bridging the appropriate features to the benefits, as we discussed in Chapter 7. 

Next time your customer says, "Yes, but what's your best price?" this is what he really means; "You 
did a good job here today Bernie. That was the best feature dump I've seen this week. However, you 
have failed to sell me anything of value so I have no option but to create value myself. The only way I 
can do that is by hammering you on price. If I get you down low enough, then maybe I'll see some value 
and buy from you." When you fail to create value, your customer tries to do it by way of a low-low price. 
Not a good way to sell. As one sales manager said, "The day we are the cheapest price is the day we 
sell this stuff by direct mail." Let's stop this order-taking stuff and focus on selling true value to our 

Consider this: When you pitch features, telling versus selling, the customer sets the price. When you 
present benefits, a value-added solution, you set the price. It's your choice. 

[3]Brooks, William T. Niche Selling: How to Find Your Customer in a Crowded Market.. Page 28, 1992. 
Business One Irwin. 
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Bring It Forward 

Another common situation involves the stall objection or the timing objection. A customer may say: 
"Sounds good but we can't look at it until the next quarter or our next fiscal year. Call me in six 
months." The timing may not be good or they need to stall until a new budget becomes available. My 
strategy in these situations is to bring it forward—bring the situation forward as if the customer were 
making a decision today. Simply invite the customer to enter into the hypothetical arena and ask, 
"Hypothetically, if you were to consider making a decision today, what would you be looking for? What's 
important to you?" Maximize this opportunity with the customer, do a mini-discovery to learn some 
initial criteria for when it comes time to make a decision. You then provide a mini-presentation, giving 
your customer some insight into what your solution can offer. If your customer is receptive and sees 
value, ask him or her a hypothetical close, "If you were to make a decision today, would you buy from 
me?" Remember, reiterate to the customer that this is all hypothetical so by no means are they making 
a commitment. By going through this bring it forward strategy, you and your customer know there is 
valid reason to take a serious look at you come decision time. 
This strategy far outweighs the alternative, which is to say to your customer: "Okay fine, I understand 
you won't be looking at this for six months. I'll call you then." Don't leave yourself vulnerable to the 
competition. Secure an initial commitment by using the bring it forward strategy and you may pique the 
customer's interest enough that he looks forward to having a serious conversation with you at the 
appropriate time. Heck, he may even say to your competitors, "Thanks for calling but we're already 
looking at somebody." 

Your overall objective is to deliver a creative, value-added solution that leaves no doubt in the customer's 
mind that you're the best solution. Make a vivid impression with an innovative, convincing presentation. 
Cookie-cutter, boring presentations do little to advance the sale—customers buy differences, not 
Don't overlook the you solution. Your competitor may offer similar products or services with competitive 
pricing, but they can't duplicate you. Next time you're asked the question, "Why should I buy from you?" 
look the customer square in the eyes and say, "Because I'm your salesperson." Don't depend on a 
product solution or a price solution to differentiate yourself. Your greatest asset is yourself. 

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1. Wilson, Larry. Changing the Game: The New Way to Sell. Page 81, 1987. Simon & Schuster Inc.. 
2. Decker, Bert. You've Got to Be Believed to Be Heard: Reach The First Brain to Communicate in 
Business and In Life. Page 84, 1992. St. Martin's Press. 
3. Brooks, William T. Niche Selling: How to Find Your Customer in a Crowded Market.. Page 28, 1992. 
Business One Irwin. 
Congratulations, you have now completed Step #6 

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Chapter 9: Confirming the Sale: Closing 


People buy from people. Better yet, people love to buy. The buying experience can be very rewarding 
and can satisfy many of the motives to buy: ego, prestige, status, greed, joy of spending money, peace 
of mind, and so on. The ideal sales process is a mutual journey of honesty, trust, and respect as you 
and your customer work in harmony through the Sequential Model. When the journey is mutual, 
confirming the sale is not a matter of if, but when. 

Traditionally, this step is referred to as "closing the sale." However, the word "closing" has negative 
connotations that conjure up images of unscrupulous sales representatives using manipulative, guerrilla 
tactics designed to coerce unsuspecting customers into buying. Traditional closing techniques typically 
violate the sales relationship. Customers today are tired and irritated by these offensive, manipulative, 
unethical arm-twisting tactics. 
Make buying easy for your customer by confirming the sale using a nonmanipulative, straightforward 
approach and presenting a practical, value-added solution. Confirming is the pinnacle of selling 
achievement. It is when the customer awards a gold medal to the salesperson who delivered a win-win, 
value-added performance. However, confirming does not happen in isolation from the total sales 
process. You need to be engineering commitment throughout the entire sales call because anything 
you do or say, at any step, will either erode or enhance the sale. Chronologically, the confirmation 
comes as Step #7 of the Sequential Model, but be cognizant that your success at this point is based 
on a series of buy-ins or confirmations throughout the journey. Confirmation simply means to create a 
shared sense of enthusiasm to do business then exercise the power of asking. The ideal situation is a 
sales entrepreneur who can confidently ask for the business and at the same time be diligent in building 
a relationship by asking smart questions. Don't underestimate the power of asking. 

"Man who wait for roast duck to fly into mouth, wait very, very long time." 

Chinese Proverb 
Why is it that so many salespeople become paralyzed with fear at the thought of closing? Even when 
they have successfully navigated through the previous six steps they still fail to ask for a buying 
decision. The reasons are as diverse as customers themselves. The most common one is fear. Fear of 
rejection, fear of sounding silly, fear of failure, fear of upsetting the customer, the feeling of not being 
good enough or worthy enough to ask. All valid reasons, but unfortunately this becomes a negative habit 
pattern that seriously compromises our success at confirming. In the interest of harmony and not 
offending a potential customer, we unknowingly sacrifice our own agendas by failing to ask. 
Psychologists agree that the fear of asking is learned through negative conditioning experienced as 
early as childhood. Our parents, teachers, siblings, and even friends have all contributed to nurturing 
this debilitating virus. No one is born with it. Your fears are all learned and reinforced through repetition 
by those around you, even yourself. As one lady said when finally asked out by a fellow she admired, 
"The trouble with you men is that you often reject yourselves before you give us women a chance to." 
She was elated when he finally asked her out, and without hesitation accepted his invitation. The same 
analogy applies to salespeople. We often reject or doubt our own proposals or presentations long before 
we give the customer a chance to. However, because it is a learned condition, it can be unlearned as 
well, and sometimes very quickly. I suggest there is a direct relationship between low corporate 
self-esteem and negative self-talk, and your confidence to ask for business. Confirming demands an 
attitude of confidence, expecting the customer to say yes. Anything less puts you in entrepreneurial 
quicksand. Just as the Chinese proverb suggests, don't expect rewards such as roast duck or a 
confirmed sale unless you ASK. 

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Five Magic Words 

Okay then, how do I confirm the sale? The Sequential Model offers a refreshingly simple approach to 
confirming. In fact, the apparent simplicity of it usually invites suspicion. "That's it, it's that simple?" Let 
me give you the five most powerful words you'll ever say when working through your Sequential Model. 
Look your customer square in the eyes, and with all the confidence you can muster say these five 
magic words ..... 

"May I have your business?" 

—and don't say another thing until the customer has responded. 

That's it! Five words. So simple that I dedicated an entire page to them. These words reflect clarity, 
sincerity, innocence, and professionalism. Go ahead, put the book down and say them aloud. Say them 
again. These five words are applicable to all four behavioral styles. Any one of the four styles will 
appreciate the intent and clarity of your question. 

As you can clearly see, your Sequential Model need not rely on clever closing gimmicks to trick people 
into buying something they don't want. The beauty of this approach is that you know what you are 
saying, and the customer knows what you are asking. Forget about memorizing 50 different power 
closes—keep it simple. 
What often sabotages this clean, refreshing approach is the confusion generated by the numerous 
books available on closing skills. Many of them, by title alone, suggest the need to build an inventory of 
closing techniques. Some books even suggest "The more closes you know, the better you're prepared 
to face the moment of truth." Nonsense. Consider this passage taken from Dartnell's publication, Close 
It Right, Right Now!: 

Contrary to the popular belief that closing is an "end-game," or a final manipulation that sparks 
agreement, closing is a constant and continuing activity. I warm to the salesperson who shows interest 
in me. That helps me decide in his or her favor. I am attracted by a sales presentation that gives me 
clear information. That helps me favor that product. I appreciate learning about how the product fits my 
needs and benefits me. That helps me exclude other products I may have considered. 

In the absence of all those good things, I am not likely to buy, no matter how clever the salesperson is 
in trying to button up the sale. In fact, I am driven from closing when I perceive too much cleverness in 
the procedure. [1] 

I have seen numerous books outlining countless closing techniques, all advocating the need to have a 
ready supply of closes to apply when needed, and all suggesting that an inventory of closes is directly 
related to your success. One such publication goes so far as to offer: "Twenty-Nine Special Closings 
That Rock Holdouts and Crack Hardcases." [2] Another publication, The Sales Closing Book, offers 
"more than 270 powerful sales closes that can skyrocket your sales and income." The ultimate prize for 
trickery goes to a publication that offers this gem: "35 Tactics for Psychological Manipulation: The 
Master Closer's Mind Game List." [3] Some typical closes include: 

The Whispering Close The Blitz The Airplane Close 
The Half-Nelson Lost Sale Close Extra Incentive Close 
Ego/Profit Close P.O.W. Story Conditional Close 
Puppy Dog Demo The Silent Close Callback Close 
The Columbo Close Return Serve Close The Negative Close 
Door Knob Close The Grind Emotional Close 
Mutt and Jeff Last Resort Close Assumption Close 

Imagine the mental gymnastics required to sort through all those memorized "closes" to decide which 
one to use. Unbelievable! I think the only thing that will skyrocket will be your level of stress and anxiety. 

Once again, the entrepreneurial sales call should be a dialogue, a conversation between two human 
beings. Forget about memorized closings, putting cute names on closing techniques, or rehearsed 
scripts. These memorized closes are often manipulative, guerrilla approaches that compensate for not 
being good. 
Customers like to be asked and they respect the salesperson who asks for their business in an honest, 
confident, nonmanipulative manner. However, research suggests that in approximately 70% of sales 
calls, there is never a direct request for the business. It may seem like an unbelievable statistic given 
that confirming is the final effort of a gold-medal performance (second place is the first loser), but it's 
true. Many salespeople attempt to confirm the sale but end up skirting the issue with a weak, 
unconvincing request to do business. A common attempt at confirming sounds like this: 
S: Is there anything else I can show you or answer for you today? 
C: No, thank you. You've answered all my questions and I have all the information I need. 
S: Okay then. Well, let me leave you with our most recent brochure and a copy of my presentation. Mr. 
Smith, let me ask you, are you available next week? 
C: Yes, I expect to be around. 
S: Great. Why don't I give you a call early next week and we can discuss my proposal further and see 
how you feel about it. Is that okay? 
C: Sure, that's fine. 
S: Great. Thanks for your time. 
A classic unsuccessful close. The salesperson has avoided asking a direct question to buy and is 
leaving with nothing more than hope and a sense of accomplishment. Of course, in the meantime, the 
salesperson is totally vulnerable to the prey of the competition. As coincidence would have it, the 
competition shows up the very next day offering the customer the same solution, but the difference is 
that she exercised the power of asking. She wins the gold, the salesperson wins nothing more than 
experience. I implore you to safeguard yourself against the competition and reevaluate your confirming 
tactics. No customer, at least that I'm aware of, will ever reward you for just showing up and making a 
good sales pitch. Ask yourself: Is my confirmation a direct invitation to purchase? Is it clean, honest, 
direct, and nonmanipulative? Test it out on fellow sales entrepreneurs, your sales manager, or your 
Tim Commandment #6 
Confirm the sale with a direct, simple question. 
Ask: Did I ask for their business? 
Now, before you unceremoniously discount my confirming theory, appreciate that I'm only suggesting 
this approach (the five words) in the interest of simplicity, honesty, and the power of asking. I recognize 
that there are other tactics to confirming. In fact, I endorse more than one approach. For example, 
simply ask your customer, "Since we both appear to be in agreement, what's our next step?" or 
alternatively ask, "Where do we go from here?" You can preface this confirmation question with a 
summary statement outlining the accepted benefits. 
[1]The Editors at Dartnell. Dartnell's Professional Selling Series Volume 2: Close It Right, Right Now: How to 
Close More Sales Fast. Page 3, 1995. The Dartnell Corporation. 
[2]Roth, Charles B. & Roy Alexander. Secrets of Closing Sales. Page 209, 1993. Prentice Hall. 
[3]Pickens, James W. The Art of Closing Any Deal: How to be a "Master Closer" In Everything You Do. Page 
91, 1991. Warner Books. 
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Is It No, or Is It Know? 

Time for a spelling lesson. It's important to understand the difference between no and know. Sales 
representatives spell no as no, taking the meaning literally as more rejection, another opportunity lost. 
(But of course you can't lose something you never had.) Conversely, sales entrepreneurs spell no as 
know: the customer simply needs to know more information before making a positive buying decision. 
It's not interpreted as rejection but more as an invitation to explain the possible benefits of doing 
business. By saying know, the customer has not yet seen the value in your offering and needs to know 
more about your tailored solution. This means going back to feature fishing and scrolling your corporate 
menu for appropriate features (hot-buttons), then bridging to create a benefit package worthy of 
consideration. That's value. Upon hearing a know, you might consider asking the customer: "What is 
the single barrier preventing us from moving forward?" A candid response may spotlight a potential 
objection that when managed effectively produces a yes. Until the customer sees value, you'll continue 
to hear knows. 
Remember, earlier in the book I defined selling as the process of disruption. Making a change in 
suppliers or adding a new supplier to the list is scary at the best of times. Customers experience fear 
and anxiety just as we do. Your benefit package has to be convincing enough to disrupt customers into 
change. Customers will continue to say know if there is a bigger yes offered by the competition. 

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Three Ingredients of a Yes 

Just as a good fire needs three ingredients to burn, so does a successful confirmation. Take away any 
one of the three ingredients and you have no fire, no sale. The three ingredients of a Yes are: rapport, 
trust, and the power of asking. Just as with the five rights of passage in our definition of selling, you 
can't take away or fail to establish any one of the three. Unfortunately, many salespeople create rapport 
and trust comfortably, but fail to ask a direct, honest, confirming question. Sometimes they do ask, but 
have failed to first create rapport or trust. Would a customer give you a bag of money if he trusted you 
but you failed to ask? Not likely. Would he say yes if he didn't like you or trust you? Not likely. It's all 
part of engineering commitment. You start confirming the sale the second you come in contact, by 
telephone or otherwise, with your potential customer. 
I find it amusing to hear the different excuses as to why a customer didn't buy. Sales representatives 
are the best "fire-dancers" on the planet. Each probably has 50 excuses, all conveniently memorized, 
and of course none blame themselves. During my years as a sales manager, I could have written a 
book on. "The reasons why I didn't get the sale." No doubt it would have challenged David Chilton's 
book, The Wealthy Barber, as an international all-time best seller. I offer only one reason why a 
salesperson didn't get the sale and ended up in second place. My reason doesn't make me popular but 
it's inarguable: "You didn't get the business because you were outsold." Pure and simple. Strip away all 
the excuses and that's what's left. The customer had a need and a bag of money and decided to give it 
to your competitor. Why? Your competitor probably offered a better, value-added solution having asked, 
better, smarter questions. 

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When to Confirm 

When does one confirm the sale? When have you earned the right to ask this most feared and sacred 
question? The answer remains elusive, subject to broad interpretation, often founded on your 
interpretation of perceived buying signals. The majority of sales literature suggests confirming, "When 
the prospect is ready and communicates a buying signal," or, "When the buyer appears ready." I have 
always marvelled at the ambiguity in terms of when to confirm. Several authors suggest that you rely on 
little more than your own perception of body language and discrete buying signals to interpret when 
they're ready to buy. Unless body language or buying signals are very obvious, you run the risk of 
misinterpreting the customer's nonverbal communication. I agree that body language is a powerful 
component of the communication model, but not as the sole method of interpreting when to close. 
Everyone is different, just as behavioral flexibility suggests, each individual has a unique body-language 
style (Chapter 6). Socializers adapt their body language differently from Directors but they could be 
thinking the same thing. I don't think that we can apply a universal set of standards to effectively and 
accurately interpret body language. 

When discussing body language at my seminars, I often notice a participant leaning back in his or her 
chair with arms folded. I ask the participant not to move and point out their posture to the class. The 
class usually agrees that the school of body language would have us interpret that posture as detached, 
uninterested, and guarded. I then validate my theory by asking the participant with folded arms, "Are 
you comfortable?" The answer, not surprisingly, is usually, "Yes." My suggestion is not to concern 
yourself with body language unless it's obvious or unless there is a drastic change during the sales call. 
Let your customer be comfortable without interpreting posture as a negative buying signal. The only real 
body language that I respond to is if my customer gets up and leaves the office. Then I clue in that 
perhaps the call isn't going as well as I'd hoped. 
So, when do you confirm the sale? Confirm the sale when you have successfully bridged a minimum of 
two features to benefits. You have now earned the right to ask. One bridged benefit is usually not 
enough to convince them to buy, which is why I suggest a minimum of two. If the customer says yes, 
that's great. Go to Step #8. If they say know, then go back to feature fishing and continue to bridge. As 
we can appreciate, each customer is different. Some only require two benefits to confirm, others may 
require several. Once again, customers may simply need to know more before they say yes. 

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Nine Tips for Confirming the Sale 

Ask a confirming question only after you have effectively bridged a minimum of two 
appropriate features to benefits. 
Help people make buying decisions by pointing out how your value-added solution will 
benefit their business. 
Highlight how the benefits outweigh the costs; create value. 
Successful confirmation isn't an isolated tactic, it's creating value throughout the 
Sequential Model. 
If you can't confirm, you didn't successfully complete a prior step—planning, discovery, 
or presenting a creative, value-added solution. 
Before asking for a decision, expect customers to say yes—mentally picture them 
saying it. 
When you ask people for a buying decision, be quiet until they respond. 
A confirming question asks for a decision. A trial close such as, "What do you think of 
my presentation so far?" calls for an opinion. 
If you can't make a sale, make a friend. 
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Doubling Your Close Ratio 

Recall that approximately 80% of purchases occur after the order has been requested five times and yet 
only 10% of salespeople ask five times before quitting. Likewise, 40% of salespeople ask only once, 
then quit. These 40% quit for a variety of reasons: impatience, the craving for instant gratification, poor 
follow-up, no time-management system, or just simple laziness. There is no doubt that these statistics 
are shocking, but customers are the victims of these lackluster performances on a daily basis. 
Imagine having to confirm five times before you get a yes. That means, on average, there are four knows 
before a yes. That's a lot of work! Some authors suggest selling is a numbers game: talk to ten people, 
get five presentations, close two deals. That sounds like a lot of work—not selling very smart. It bears 
out the fact that the average close ratio is only 20%. That means, on average, salespeople close only 
two out of ten potential opportunities. Funny, I always thought selling was about people, not a game 
with winners, losers, and average, mediocre performances. Don't fall victim to the numbers game, 
condemning your career to a life of mediocrity. Don't measure your success against the masses. By 
comparing yourself against the averages, you only fuel a false sense of productivity. I say set your own 
standards. Don't take pride in being average—it's too easy and not very satisfying. 

Remember that confirming is not an event but a process that begins within minutes of meeting the 
customer. Customers are very quick to pass judgment, wasting no time deciding if you are likable and 
trustworthy. The first step to doubling your close ratio is to ensure the first six steps of your sequential 
model have been completed to the customer's satisfaction. 

Hence, if close ratios are a meager 20% that means the customers' ratio is 80%. Ouch! Customers are 
closing more often than we are. They sell us on the concept of not doing business with them. They offer 
a multitude of excuses, objections, and justifications all in the interest of selling us their "no." The 
problem is we are too quick to accept their rejection and with a bruised ego return to the adult day-care 
center to lick our wounds and seek support. Sound familiar? 

So, what is a good close ratio? I would suggest that as a sales entrepreneur your target should be no 
less than 40–50%. That means if you approach ten potential customers, ones with a need and a bag of 
money, you should confirm at least four to five. Sound daunting? It isn't. Some top-notch sales 
entrepreneurs are confirming up to 75% of potential customers. 

Start by evaluating your current ratio. Track it for a month or two and reality will quickly reveal itself. It 
may not be as high as you think it is. If yours is higher than 20%, congratulations, you are in the 
minority. But I will remind you, your objective is 40–50%. Proper execution of your Sequential Model will 
certainly contribute to doubling your current close ratio. It simply means building rapport and trust as 
you navigate through the first six steps of your model coupled with the confidence to ask for their 
business. Customers expect to be asked; don't disappoint them. They get irritated by reps who fail to 
complete the sales call with no direct close. You represent a solution to their needs, so the only 

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outstanding issue is to ask them. If you don't someone else will—and be rewarded with a bag of money. 
Hence, taking your close ratio to 40% is not an impossible, arduous objective. 

However, I caution you, don't strive to achieve a 100% confirmation ratio. Not only will it never happen, 
you don't want 100%. You couldn't handle it. You're already time-starved with what you have. Free up 
time by firing C accounts (and C activities) and increase productivity by doubling your confirmation ratio 
on A and B opportunities. If a 100% confirmation ratio is your goal, then work at McDonalds or Burger 
King. Everyone who walks in buys something. When was the last time you heard this conversation in 

"May I help you?" 

"Oh, no thanks, just looking." 

My point is this: Achieving a confirmation ratio of 50% is hard work, and yet it can be very rewarding. 
Success is hard work. A job that has a 100% confirmation ratio generally pays minimum wage. 

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Be #2 

When it comes time to confirm, you will certainly encounter customers who say no, and mean no. Don't 
despair. An excellent alternative plan is to have your customers place a small order with you. Tell them 
you are not expecting them to make a wholesale change in suppliers, but ask them to place a small 
order to test you out. The proof is in the pudding. It's okay to be #2, just ask the people at AVIS 
Rent-a-Car. If you are successful at getting and delivering a few small orders, it won't be long before you 
build up to getting the lion's share of their business. Chances are your unsuspecting competitor won't 
know what happened until it's too late. I have personally converted several accounts from a no to a know 
to a yes by using this strategy. Customers can be creatures of habit and usually go with what's been 
tested and proven. Your #2 strategy provides an opportunity to showcase your stuff while building 
confidence and trust in you. Remember, the fifth pillar of success is Patient yet Persistent (Chapter 2). 
Quiet persistence, coupled with patience, ultimately pay off handsomely with the reward of becoming 
their #1 supplier. 
Always act like a professional. Don't take the customer's rejection personally. Recognize it as a 
business decision based on circumstances you may be unaware of. Be grateful for the opportunity to 
meet and discuss the possibility of doing business. The professional handling of a no sale situation 
actually helps build a sound relationship by developing a spirit of professionalism and persistence. The 
customer will be much more receptive to a #2 strategy if you handle the no sale situation professionally. 
Remember, if you can't make a sale, make a friend. 
One of the greatest pleasures of selling is the adrenaline rush and elation when the customer says, 
"Yes, let's do business." This is the moment of yes. There have been many private dances in 
customer's parking lots, clenched fists pumping through the air accompanied by triumphant shouts of, 
"Yesss!" and smiles that make dentists proud. Confirming the sale is the pinnacle of achievement—all 
your efforts have paid a handsome return. Unquestionably, the greatest thrill for a sales entrepreneur is 
the moment of yes when the customer agrees to buy from you in the interest of a honest, mutually 
beneficial solution. 
Become comfortable with using the five magic words and make them part of your professional equity. 
Confirming with these five words communicates confidence and offers a refreshing change for the 
customer. Another tremendous advantage is that this approach is universal—the same five words can 
be used regardless of what you are selling. Big-ticket items, long sales cycles, short sales cycles, a 
product or service, it doesn't matter—the five words must be applied to every possible sales scenario. 
Sales entrepreneurs understand that the power of asking is what ultimately separates a professional 
salesperson from a professional conversationalist. 

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1. The Editors at Dartnell. Dartnell's Professional Selling Series Volume 2: Close It Right, Right Now: 
How to Close More Sales Fast. Page 3, 1995. The Dartnell Corporation. 
2. Roth, Charles B. & Roy Alexander. Secrets of Closing Sales. Page 209, 1993. Prentice Hall. 
3. Pickens, James W. The Art of Closing Any Deal: How to be a "Master Closer" In Everything You Do. 
Page 91, 1991. Warner Books. 
Congratulations, you have now completed Step #7 

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Chapter 10: Creative Negotiation: There is Always a 


Children are accomplished negotiators. If they need extra allowance, a later bedtime, a sleepover, they 
usually get it. Children can be relentless in their pursuit of what they want. Familiarity gives them the 
advantage of knowing what parental hot-buttons to push. They are the best examples of ideal 
negotiators. Then they grow up and abandon the natural negotiating talents they learned instinctively. 

Like selling, negotiation is something we use in every facet of our lives. I am often entertained just 
watching my three teenagers negotiate the use of one car. Amazingly, it usually works out. I think most 
of us are better negotiators than we give ourselves credit for. Negotiation is one of those transparent, 
interpersonal skills we use unconsciously. Negotiation is really a relationship skill used by people to 
deal with their conflicts and differences. Throughout this chapter, my goal is to leverage existing 
negotiation skills to build confidence and an awareness of long-forgotten negotiation principles and 

Unfortunately, the very thought of negotiation conveys negative connotations, striking fear in the souls of 
most salespeople. Often the outcome of negotiation leaves people feeling dissatisfied, worn out, or 
alienated. A win-lose mindset has prevailed for decades. The negotiator (customer or salesperson) 
attempts to win important concessions and thus triumph over the opponent. It resembles the outcome 
of most sports: winner-loser. Not all successful salespeople are good negotiators. Most salespeople are 
not adequately trained in the art of negotiation and don't understand its many nuances. The necessary 
traits for successful negotiation vary somewhat, but some characteristics are universal, including 
patience, persistence, stamina, and confidence. Each negotiation is situational, with both sides 
discussing the points over which disagreement exists. In reality, no single negotiation session covers 
exactly the same issues or demands. 

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When Do We Negotiate? 

Almost anything can be negotiated with the application of sound principles. The biggest 
misunderstanding is not so much how to negotiate, but when. Salespeople eager to do the deal often 
initiate premature negotiation, trying to negotiate before the time is right. 
So, when is the best time to negotiate? In the majority of sales situations, salespeople attempt to enter 
into negotiation before the customer has agreed to do business. There is a better, more productive 
Sales professionals engage in negotiation when a customer has expressed an interest to do business. 
We negotiate after the confirmation step, after the customer has agreed to do business with you. 

Upon initial reflection this concept may seem bizarre and contrary to traditional sales techniques, but 
that's only because you've done it that way for years. Although it may have worked for you in the past, 
it's not a very smooth or fluid approach. 
Confirmation has two aspects: initial confirmation, where the customer is in agreement and willingly 
moves into the negotiation phase; and final confirmation, where the customer has accepted all the 
terms and conditions of your solution, including price. Initial confirmation may sound like this: "If we can 
work out a competitive price, may I have your business?" If the customer is in agreement, you now have 
earned the right to negotiate. It's much easier to negotiate terms, conditions, and price once you have a 
willing party. Your next step is final confirmation: "Now that we have agreed on a competitive price may I 
have your business?" It doesn't need to get any more complicated than that. 

In our two-day sales negotiation seminar, salespeople are often shocked to learn that price should not 
be part of the sale. It's a separate discussion that takes place as part of negotiating final confirmation. 
It's no different than buying a house. You decide on location, size, number of bedrooms, and other 
features. After you pick a home you make an offer, which means you are now negotiating. The offer 
goes back and forth as both parties negotiate all the details, including price. In most cases the 
negotiating goes smoothly because there are two willing parties, a seller and a buyer. Use the same 

advantage in sales, by using your Sequential Model to create a willing buyer. 
Tim Commandment #7 
Negotiate after initial confirmation. 
Ask: Have I earned the right to negotiate? 
Now it's in each party's best interests to negotiate a win-win-win-win solution. The four winners are your 
customer and his or her company, and you and your company. With two willing parties there is always 
a way, in spite of initial barriers and disagreements. Details can be worked out when both parties are 
motivated to do so. If not, details can easily undermine a possible solution. It's not a good deal if one of 
the four wins is missing or compromised. The idea is to reach mutually beneficial agreements that 
resolve inconveniences or dissatisfaction and solidify long-term relationships. 

Trust plays a major role in successful negotiation. Although there is no guarantee that trust will lead to 
collaboration, mistrust will inhibit collaboration. When people trust one another, they are more likely to 
communicate openly and honestly. In contrast, if people do not trust you they are more likely to 
withdraw and be less cooperative. Acting in a trusting manner throughout the relationship serves as an 
invitation to others to be trustworthy, especially if your trusting manner is consistent. Each negotiator 
must believe that both parties choose to behave in a cooperative manner. Trust is not a one-time, 
singular event. It is established over time by demonstrating professionalism, honesty, integrity, 
consistency, and cooperation and by following through on promises and commitments. Cooperative 
behavior is a signal of honesty, openness, and a shared commitment to a joint solution. Take advantage 
of the trust engineered throughout the first seven steps of the model. Remember, people judge us by our 
actions, not by our intentions. 
Approaches to negotiation tend to reflect personal experiences, biases, and perceptions of the 
individuals involved. They are often reflected in one of two ways: flight or fight. People who take the flight 

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approach are uncomfortable with conflict and try to avoid possible rejection, frustration, and anger 
associated with negotiation. They become masters at avoidance and readily prefer to take flight rather 
than experience any degree of conflict. Relaters tend to take the flight approach. 

The fight approach is supported by a mindset of, "Only the strong survive," and "Do unto others before 
they do unto you." Directors tend to favor this approach. It's a classic win-lose scenario. Bargaining and 
compromise are two components of fight. Bargaining is where you have a predetermined position and 
you haggle back and forth, working hard, grinding your opponent down. You pursue this approach until 
you are victorious. Compromise occurs when both sides give in and split the difference, settling for half 
a loaf. Compromise may satisfy both parties, but only to a limited extent. Of course, half a loaf in a 
highly competitive arena may be viewed as better than none but if it becomes normal practice the 
results may be less than desirable for both sides. 
A more effective approach, one that fosters long-term relationships, is creative negotiation. Creative 
negotiation is defined as: "Both parties seek to resolve their differences by working synergistically to 
create a higher quality, value-added solution. Both parties acknowledge the need to reach agreement, 
working amicably and creatively toward a solution that satisfies each." [1] 

[1]Achievers International. Creative Negotiations Workshop. 1989. 
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Five Principles of Creative Negotiation 

Dealing with conflict and differences is rarely an easy task. Barriers to creative negotiation can be 
numerous and are often the saboteurs of a potential sale. Remember: your goal is to reach 
win-win-win-win settlements with qualified customers. To that end, I offer these five principles of creative 
sales negotiation: 

Principle #1: Attitude First 

Are you a good negotiator? Your answer reflects your level of confidence in your negotiation skills. 
Creating a positive mindset involves basic attitudinal characteristics, which become the building blocks 
for successful negotiation. As discussed in Chapter 2, attitudes and skills must work in harmony. 
Attitudinal characteristics of negotiation include self-awareness, self-belief, and an openness to other 
viewpoints. Salespeople frequently overlook the importance of preparing themselves mentally. Attitude— 
how we deal with others when negotiating—drives the relationship. Develop a win-win-win-win attitude 
toward negotiation, and don't be satisfied until all parties are pleased with the solution. 

Principle #2: Planning and Preparation 

You may be thinking, "Deja vu—didn't we already discuss this?" Yes, we did, in Chapter 3. We need to 
talk about it again. For many of us, planning is boring and tedious, easily put off in favor of leaping into 
action quickly. However, devoting insufficient time to planning frequently results in failure to negotiate a 
mutually beneficial agreement, and raises feelings of hostility and frustration. 

The cornerstone to effective, creative negotiation is a carefully designed blueprint outlining specifically 
desired results for both you and your customer. The first step is to clearly articulate your position—know 
what your objectives are. Know the issues that are not negotiable and the issues that are negotiable. I 
refer to them as your "must-have" and "nice-to-have" issues. Must-have issues are predetermined prior 
to negotiation and are essential to a satisfactory agreement. They are simply not negotiable. Your 
nice-to-have issues are negotiable. Although they would be nice to have, they are not essential to the 
agreement. They are issues you are prepared to concede or use as trade-offs in the interest of 
concluding the agreement or maintaining the relationship. 

Your window of flexibility is guided by your predetermined min-max points—min being your lowest 
acceptable point and max being your best, most ideal position. So, in the interests of creative 
negotiation, each of your must-have issues should be accompanied by a window of flexibility—your 
min-max points. Let's look at the example below. 

As a sales entrepreneur, your must-have issue is making a profit. To do this, you are guided by the 
flexibility of your predetermined min-max points. As in Figure 10.1, the ideal situation is a max-point of 
$150 whereas your min-point is $100. Any price lower than your min-point is unacceptable—you may 
have to entertain other avenues, such as concessions or tradeoffs, to secure the deal. The wider the 
spread between your min-max points, the more flexibility you have to negotiate. Otherwise, you may 
become too rigid and inflexible, deadlocking the negotiation. In terms of your nice-to-have issues, I 
suggest there are no min-max points. These issues are subject to negotiation and may be used as 
concessions to advance the deal. The key to creative negotiation is knowing your parameters prior to 
negotiation. Whenever possible, plan your strategy beforehand. It's tough to negotiate creatively if you 
don't know the parameters of your destination. In creative negotiation, those who ask for more typically 
get more ... and those with low targets typically underachieve. 

Also, consider whether negotiation is appropriate at all. It may be a C account or a C opportunity. In 
some sales situations negotiation can take place spontaneously, so be aware of the status of the 
opportunity: A, B, or C. You may have to respond on the fly so be sure to have the complete account 
file with you at the call for quick reference to previous discussions. 

The second step in negotiation planning is to define the issues worthy of negotiation. Refer to all your 
notes and assemble all the issues, yours and your customer's, into a comprehensive list. Some issues 

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may have been resolved prior to the negotiation, which is fine, but be sure to identify any outstanding 
issues. It can be frustrating and costly—in terms of time and success—if the customer calls you just 
prior to inking the deal with an unresolved issue. After the issues are assembled, the next step is to 
prioritize them. By sharing the list with your customer, you continue to build trust and confidence as 
you work through it together. Extract relevant information from your notes to enhance your position. A 
comment in your notes from six months ago may be a valuable piece of information. Salespeople often 
compensate for inadequate planning by conceding more than necessary. This shortcut can be very 

Sales entrepreneurs cannot afford to be quick and clever during the give and take of negotiation. 
Planning increases your negotiation success substantially and helps you achieve solutions that you 
never thought possible. Invest the time and energy (during janitorial hours) to prepare a strategy in line 
with your customer's behavioral style. Your strategy will help you relax, face fewer unknowns, and 
reduce stress. 

Principle #3: Know the Lingo 

The negotiation arena has a language of its own. I have seen many negotiation sessions fail simply due 
to not understanding the language of negotiation. My objective here is not to provide you with an 
in-depth study of all the nuances of negotiation but to create a mindset, an awareness, and an overview 
of the logistics of creative sales negotiation. I suggest you augment your negotiation skills and 
confidence by considering other publications on the subject. Consider this chapter as your springboard 
to further study. 

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Language of Negotiation 

The following terms should become part of every sales entrepreneur's vocabulary. 

Concessions. Giving in to a customer's request without asking for anything in return. 
Concessions are central to creative negotiation. They are the backbone to a mutually 
accepted outcome as they acknowledge the other party and communicate sensitivity to 
his or her issues and demands. Initial concessions can be effective—they communicate 
that you are willing and that your intentions are honorable. Many authors suggest that 
negotiation involves a "progression of concessions." 
Once again, your min-max points must be clearly defined prior to giving concessions. Know 
your parameters and don't give away the farm. Begin the negotiation by offering small 
concessions. Concede the items or issues to which you attach little importance. The sooner 
you demonstrate your willingness to negotiate, the sooner the customer will respond in kind. 
Don't give away big concessions too early. Use them to respond to a customer's concession 
or to secure the deal: "Can we confirm the deal, if I give you XX?" However, you need to draw 
the line when your min-point is being compromised. 
Trade-Offs. Give customers what they want in return for something of comparable 
value. Value is perception. The item may not be equal in monetary terms, but it may be 
equal in perceived value. As you've heard before, "One man's garbage is another man's 
treasure." Once again, know your must-have issues and your min-max points before 
determining what you are willing to trade. 
The power of trade-offs is enormous and can have a tremendous impact on your productivity. 
By asking for a trade-off you elevate the value of your concession. It also stops the grinding 
process. Marry your concession to a trade-off, otherwise your customer will continue to 
make demands. You might as well say, "Sure, here you go, it's yours for the asking." A 
confident negotiator exercises give (concessions) and take (trade-offs) throughout the 
negotiation process, moving the dialogue toward a win-win-win-win solution. However, the 
rule of thumb is to stay flexible—there is always a way. 
Walk-Point. The point where you walk away from the deal because your minimum 
must-have issues are not being met. If through trade-offs and concessions you are 
unable to reach an agreement that satisfies your predetermined parameters, your only 
option may be to walk. However, walking may only be a temporary solution. Both 
parties may be receptive to a recess, a cooling-off period. In the interest of an 
agreement, you may both agree to revisit your parameters and get together again 
tomorrow, next week, or next month. Although both parties may privately wish there 
were some way to get back together, they usually don't know how to arrange a 
reconciliation. Open and honest communication, coupled with an attitude of 
win-win-win-win, is your key to avoiding an impass. 
Impass/Deadlock. Where communication no longer moves the agreement forward and 
conversation seems to go in circles. There is nothing wrong with deadlock—either party 
has the right to prefer no deal to one that falls short of their min-point. How do we break 
an impass? Change the negotiators, change the parameters, call a third party to 
mediate, change the shape of money (larger deposit, different terms, cash versus 
credit), or consider changing venues. These tactics can help create a climate in which 
new alternatives can be developed. There is always a way. 
Agree to Disagree. Both parties may agree to disagree rather than reaching an 
agreement that compromises both parties, leaving each resentful and disappointed. If 
your agreement is undermined you may lack the commitment necessary to carry it out. 
Once again, this could be a temporary situation. Negotiation might be better served two 
or three months down the road. This tactic can be effective in personal relationships as 
well. It can even work with your spouse! 
Confessions. Not only are confessions good for the soul, but they can be a good tactic 
for negotiators. Confessing— telling all you know, revealing your motives and needs— 
can be a good way to gain empathy. People tend to be more charitable to someone 
who tells all. You also demonstrate honesty and a sincere desire to do business. 
However, no need to share your personal net worth or your most recent sexual fantasy. 
Principle #4: Negotiate Price, Don't Sell It 

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Is price the most important aspect of the sale? No. Never has been, never will be. Customers have never 
based their buying decisions solely on price and I doubt they ever will. However, salespeople convince 
themselves that price is the number one motivator to purchase. Studies show that salespeople bring up 
price before the customer does 60% of the time. Why? I'm not sure but I suppose salespeople feel 
obligated to bring it up, or perhaps they have been trained to do so. It could even be lack of confidence 
or corporate self-esteem. 

Many salespeople violate the sales process by introducing price too soon. Ideally, price should not be 
discussed until after your initial confirmation. During the call you need to focus on selling value and 
benefits to the customer. Don't mention price unless the customer asks or you are negotiating. I realize 
this concept may seem somewhat manipulative and irresponsible, but it isn't. I have confirmed several 
deals without the customer or me mentioning price. I think it's part of the rapport and trust issue I spoke 
of earlier. If a customer trusts you and feels comfortable with you, price is not an important issue. There 
is an implied understanding that your price will be competitive, otherwise you wouldn't be in business. 
By shifting the conversation to price prior to initial confirmation, the salesperson has invited the 
customer to openly challenge the price. Some salespeople are convinced the customer's mandate is to 
hammer the salesperson into submission, finally succumbing to a rock-bottom price. Classic tactic of a 
C account. How to negotiate against price and discount pressure is a common challenge among sales 
professionals. You've probably heard it before, "Your price is too high. You'll just have to do better," or 
"It's a competitive market. Your competitors can beat that price," or "You'll have to show more flexibility 
on your discounting," and so it goes. When salespeople concede too quickly in these situations they 
not only reduce profitability, but also devalue their customers' perceptions of the product or service. 
Don't respond by asking, "What's the price they're offering you?" or "What price do I have to beat?" This 
is a common mistake because it shifts the focus to pure price and discount levels. Experienced 
negotiators shift the focus to value comparisons versus price comparisons. 

When dealing with the price issue, be guided by knowing your min-max points. If you have price or 
discount flexibility, do not give it all away at once. Instead, concede slowly and reluctantly. Also, 
consider trading price concessions for major commitments. It could sound like this: "If I give you X 
price, will you give me net 10-day terms (or COD terms)?" If the customer is insistent on a discounted 
price don't hesitate to ask for something from them that makes the deal a win-win-win-win. 
Acknowledge the customer's curiosity about price, but don't get sucked into a price debate prior to 
initial confirmation. For example, when you ask for their business using the five magic words in Chapter 
9, your customers may inquire about your price. Simply say, "Yes, I'm sure we both recognize that 
price is important, but at this point can we agree to do business together based on the benefits 
discussed, as long as I can give you a competitive price?" If the customer says yes to your initial 
confirmation, you now have a willing party with whom to negotiate. Consider the initial confirmation as a 
conditional sale; conditional upon working out terms and conditions supported by a competitive price. 
What salespeople need to realize is that if a fair price cannot be worked out then there is no deal. Final 
confirmation is conditional upon successful negotiation. However, don't negotiate all aspects of the deal 
and then focus separately on price. Make sure price or discount is part of the whole package, not a 
separate negotiation. 

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During negotiation be cognizant of your customer's behavioral style, and adapt. If you are selling to a 
Director and she wants to know the price prior to initial confirmation, I would be inclined to acknowledge 
the request and offer a price range. Don't be exact with your answer. 

Principle #5: Negotiate the Issues, not the Personalities 

Often, what causes you to become frustrated or angry in a negotiation is not the topic or issue, but your 
customer's personality traits. By putting emotional distance between yourself and the negotiation you 
gain a tremendous advantage. Negotiations often unleash emotions that short-circuit rational processes. 
We sometimes abandon our carefully designed strategy and resort to a flight or fight response. The key 
to effective, win-win negotiation is to react unemotionally. 
From time to time you may find yourself dealing with an individual you do not particularly care for. 
Chances are you wouldn't invite him to go camping with you, but he may represent an A account and a 
sizeable business opportunity. Experienced negotiators understand that professionalism requires the 
ability to distance oneself from any emotional distractions. These may include biases, perceptions, 
values, fear of being exploited, egos, feelings, moods, stress, and so on. Parties can get too caught up 
in the emotions of negotiation. They become too close to the deal and overlook important facts that may 
help move the deal forward. In spite of all your efforts to build a personal relationship you may find 
yourself dealing with just a corporate relationship. You can both still benefit by simply doing business 
together and nothing else. Don't entangle relationship challenges within the negotiating process. 
For most salespeople, the major barrier is simply the fear of negotiation. The very thought sends 
paralyzing shivers up their spines. The toughest hurdle is learning to be confident enough to stand up to 
the challenge. This means developing the ability to comfortably express a position without hurting 
anyone or being hurt. Many people find the straightforward, aggressive, business dialogue of negotiation 
intimidating. It's the same challenge with confirming: the fear of rejection or perhaps sounding too 
aggressive. Our natural human tendencies prevail—in our adolescent years we were taught that it was 
polite not to ask for things and never to be confrontational. 
The best approach to dealing with the emotional aspect of negotiation is the pause button. Pushing the 
pause button means putting the negotiation on hold while you take a break to reevaluate the situation. 
This may be for a few minutes or an hour or after you have slept on it. Michael and Mini Donaldson offer 
this explanation in their book, Negotiation for Dummies: 

Knowing when and how to push the pause button not only endows you with an aura of composure and 

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confidence, but also gives you control over all the critical points of the negotiation. 

They go on to say: 

No single skill can be as helpful to you as the pause button in any situation laden with heavy emotional 
overtones. Almost by definition, you cannot fully prepare ahead of time for these situations. Your 
judicious use of the pause button can compensate. Pushing the pause button produces better results... 
or at least results that you feel better about. 

The message is clear: don't be afraid to utilize your pause button. Use it to re-evaluate your position. 
Perhaps in the interest of flexibility it can become an opportunity to reconsider your must-have issues 
and your min-max points. Remember, with two willing parties, there is always a way. 

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Low of 10 Options 

A few years ago I had the pleasure of hearing Jim Rohn, an international motivational speaker, speak at 
a sales conference in Calgary. One of his many suggestions was to be guided in life, and in sales, by 
the Law of Ten Options. His point is this: with a cancellation or postponement of an event, there are 
always ten other options—ten alternatives to consider. For example: if you and your spouse had 
planned an evening out with the Jones but at the last minute they gracefully declined due to sickness, 
you now have ten options to consider—go see a movie, see a play, visit other friends, clean the garage, 
read a book and so on. All is not lost because of a sudden change in plans. The first five or six options 
may present themselves quite readily, whereas the final three or four may require some creative thinking 
—perhaps even some alternatives outside your comfort zone. It works well. My wife and I often discuss 
our ten options and frequently come up with options that are as enjoyable or more enjoyable than the 
original cancelled event. 

Rohn's law can be applied to all situations and it can be particularly useful in pursuing the spirit of 
creative negotiation. Have some fun with it. Anyone with teenagers will immediately understand how 
effective it can be—teenagers exercise the Law of Ten Options on a daily basis. 

Negotiation is not a game with a single objective but rather one step in building effective long-term 
relationships. It is only one of the ten steps in your Sequential Model but it can be the pivotal point in 
your relationship and your success. During negotiation you forge an agreement—like taking the 
relationship from a courtship to a marriage. "Will you marry me?" may not be your actual request but 
your final confirmation (the five magic words) certainly suggests the commitment and responsibilities of 
a marriage. 

One of the surest ways to successful negotiation is to be well prepared. It's essential, but planning is 
often overlooked in the excitement of approaching the finish line. It's like training and conditioning to run 
a marathon but then running out of steam at the 24-mile mark. So many salespeople come close to the 
finish line but fail to complete the race because of a lack of training and preparation. We cannot afford to 
ignore the dire consequences of inadequate preparation. Planning is not an isolated step of your 
Sequential Model but is a prerequisite to successful graduation of each and every step—including 
creative negotiation. 

The skills outlined in this chapter will help you to build confidence and reach your business and 
personal objectives. Understand not only how to negotiate, but when. Review the five principles regularly 
and continue to fuel your confidence to not only run a good marathon, but to finish it. 

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1. Achievers International. Creative Negotiations Workshop. 1989. 
Congratulations, you have now completed Step #8 

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Chapter 11: Action Plan: Implementation 

Congratulations on your successful negotiation. The customer said yes, you reached a win-win-win-win 
agreement, and now it's time to take action. This is what you have been working so hard to achieve, the 
opportunity to showcase your company and your product, and to deliver on all the benefits and 
promises you presented earlier. However, in many ways, your job is just beginning. Just as in a 
marriage the, "I do" should be, "I will do."Your customers have high expectations—don't let them down. 
In fact, the more they spend, the higher their expectations. People expect their purchases to be perfect 
and hassle-free. 

Surprisingly, the details of an effective action plan are often overlooked in the euphoria of finally 
anchoring the deal. Nevertheless, your role now is to quarterback all the activities necessary for a 
smooth, seamless implementation rather than race to the car, dig out a calculator and excitedly work 
out your commission and/or bonus. It's important that you identify and delegate responsibilities to 
ensure a timely, hassle-free delivery of your solution. A big part of what your customer just purchased is 
peace of mind about a worry-free delivery. Customers need to feel they have made a wise, intelligent 
investment. Initially they may feel a little uneasy, insecure about their decision. After all, you have 
convinced them to embrace change. 

My People Need to Talk to Your People 

All parties must understand their roles and responsibilities and work in harmony for a smooth 
implementation. It's a good idea for both you and your customer to identify all parties involved in the 
implementation: "This is what I'll do, within this time frame, and these are the people to involve." Parties 
involved may include management, operations, accounting, manufacturing, engineering, 
shipping/receiving, inventory control, technical people, delivery people, and so on. You can't do it alone, 
so draw on the strengths of your internal customers and your customer's people to ensure a smooth, 
speedy, hassle-free implementation. With all parties working in harmony, the story of these four people 

becomes a reality: [1] 
This is the story of four people: Everybody, Anybody, Somebody, and Nobody. There was an 
important job to be done and Nobody was sure that Anybody would do it but instead Somebody did 
it. Nobody got angry because it was Anybody's job. There was no need for Nobody to blame 
Anybody—Somebody did the job Anybody could have done. Nobody made excuses but 
Everybody was satisfied. 

Communication at the best of times is fraught with uncertainty, biases, and individual perceptions. 
Effective communication is a topic onto its own. Poor communication often results in costly oversights 
and mistakes. Communication is a very delicate, fragile process. As responsible sales entrepreneurs, 
we need to ensure an effective exchange of information. 

For larger, more sophisticated deals, I suggest both parties safeguard themselves against the normal 
pitfalls of communication and consider drafting a letter of intent or a letter of agreement. I don't mean a 
legal document that requires hiring a lawyer at $50 for every three minutes, I simply mean putting a 
letter together on your company letterhead outlining the logistics of the deal. Who is doing what and by 
when? You and your customer can review it for accuracy and completeness, signing your respective 
Part of your responsibilities also include avoiding, or at least minimizing, user error. To do so you must 
evaluate your customer's abilities, technical or otherwise, and recommend training if necessary. 
Research suggests that up to 30% of the time customers are wrong. Reported product and service 
problems resulted from customer error, product misuse, or failure to read the instructions. Customers 
do screw up, but as professionals we have to allow them to maintain dignity. It takes a strong attitude to 

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let certain things go while biting your tongue. You must also make your customer aware of the break-in 
period, the time required to fully appreciate the benefits of your product or service. This may not be 
apparent initially. True happiness will only come once everyone is using your product correctly. 

Tim Commandment #8 

Create an action plan. 
Ask: What are my implementation strategies? 

[1]Achievers International. Situational Selling Workshop. 1989. 
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Customers Don't Shoot the Messenger 

We no longer live in times where they behead the messenger, although I'm sure that on occasions 
customers are tempted. In the eyes of customers, the salesperson is ultimately responsible for seeing 
that the product or service is delivered when promised. If problems arise when filling an order (and this is 
not unusual), customers should be informed promptly. The progress of the order or any possible back 
orders should also be monitored and communicated to the customer so that if something goes wrong 
alternative arrangements can be made. Customers may not jump for joy at the news, but they will 
certainly appreciate the opportunity to take corrective action. 
Customers can become disgruntled for a number of reasons, most of which turn out to be minor when 
handled properly, tactfully, and in a timely manner. Dealing with panic-stricken customers demanding 
instant satisfaction can be an emotionally draining exercise. These intolerable nuisances, if left 
unresolved, can easily and quickly escalate into a mountainous catastrophe. Unfortunately, human 
beings tend to focus on the negative—what went wrong versus what went right. Your phone call will go a 
long way to prevent the proverbial poop from hitting the fan. Be the bearer of bad news before your 
customers call you. When you call they will be easier to manage, but when they call it's too late—they're 
in no mood to listen to your blamefest. 
Monitoring order processing and other after-sales activity is critical to developing a partnership. A 
Purchasing Magazine study indicated that failure to follow through after the sale was the second-biggest 
complaint of buyers. What was the first one? Talking too much. 

Many specific activities are essential to ensure customer loyalty and satisfaction. Sales entrepreneurs 
must be jugglers. Continue to build trust, monitor proper usage, assist in servicing the account, and 
provide expert guidance and assistance. Adopting an empathetic attitude to a real or imaginary problem 
cannot be overemphasized. 

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1. Achievers International. Situational Selling Workshop. 1989. 
Congratulations, you have now completed Step #9 

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Chapter 12: Follow-Up: You Never Call or Write 


Have you ever heard that line? I have. Your parents and friends sometimes say it to you, but your 
customers have a different way of saying it. Customers complain with their feet; they walk. If a customer 
ever says it or suggests it, you had better pay attention. It could be the death knell for your relationship. 

Effective follow-up after confirmation and successful negotiation means going that little bit extra for your 
customer. The little things often move a relationship forward. The result is a win-win-win-win. The win for 
you is anchoring a solid client, a source of referrals, and second-selling opportunities within an existing 
account. When we treat our customers with respect and appreciation we feel good about ourselves. At 
the same time, our customers feel good about working with us. A long-term business relationship is 

It's a fact that customers will forget you within 27 days. Your parents might even forget you every couple 
of months. You have worked hard through Steps #1 to #9 and now it's time to use all your resources 
and tools to protect your newly acquired asset. You must build a fortress of loyalty to keep the watchful 
eye of your competitors out. I have often said that getting the first sale is easy. It's getting the repeat 
orders that truly validates your performance as a sales entrepreneur. 

Keeping your customer happy and satisfied requires conscious effort. It is part of the ongoing process of 
assessment, feedback, and reassessment that makes you continually responsive to your customer. It's 
difficult to coordinate the pursuit of new customers while servicing and growing existing accounts. I think 
this anonymous quote says it well: "A relationship will deteriorate over time. A natural tendency of any 
relationship (business or marriage) is toward erosion of sensitivity and attentiveness. It requires a solid 
effort against the forces of decline." A powerful statement indeed. 

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Too often we take our good customers (As and Bs) for granted. They are the ones who are easy to deal 
with, rarely giving us trouble. They even provide positive word-of-mouth, recommending our product or 
service to associates and friends. Because they give us little trouble and are low-maintenance, we often 
forget about them. "Out of sight, out of mind." Sales entrepreneurs realize the adage: "Business goes to 
those who want it and work hard for it, and stays with those who work even harder and show 
appreciation for it." You must guard against complacency and overconfidence. Don't become vulnerable 
to your competition. 
Here's something I bet you haven't even thought about, much less analyzed. What is your customer 
attrition rate? Surprisingly, most businesses experience a 10–30% attrition rate, but few salespeople 
are aware of the impact customer erosion has on a business. Unfortunately, experience tells us that the 
"customer for life" concept is only a myth. Customers are only for a measurable period of time. The goal 
is to build loyalty to have (and to hold) as much of the customer's attention as realistically possible, for 
as long as possible. Buyers are selective today and can be frighteningly fickle. The fact is that by not 
appreciating or expressing gratitude for their business, 10–30% of your customers will leave or at least 
reduce the frequency of business they do with you. Ironically, you probably wrestle with, "Where do I 
find new business?" Yet the easiest and most inexpensive method is not to lose them in the first place. 

Price is rarely, if ever, the culprit for high attrition. In the majority of situations, it is an attitude of 
indifference that drives customers away, motivated by a competitor who is more than happy to shower 
them with lots of attention during the courting phase. Your customers want to feel that they are 
appreciated and valued by you, not merely seen as a dollar transaction. I'm not suggesting you can ever 
eliminate attrition, but you can proactively minimize its debilitating effect on the growth of your business. 

Just as little things can turn a customer off, little things will turn a customer on. 

Protecting your customer base is a top priority. It's the difference between selling hard or selling smart. 
Research tells us that it's five to six times more expensive to replace a customer than to keep one. I 
suppose it's no different than divorce. So, how do you show your customers that you think of them often 
and that you love 'em? In a relationship there is only one way to say, "I love you," but there are 

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countless ways of showing it. Speaking for my gender, males are known for not communicating feelings 
or expressing emotions. In relationships, we don't tell our spouse or significant other, "I love you" often 
enough. The response is more like this; "Honey, you know I love you and if that changes, you'll be the 
second to know." Your mate appreciates hearing, "I love you," just as your customers need to hear and 
see your appreciation for their business. 

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Ten Follow-Up Letters 

Don't underestimate the power of the humble thank-you note. Thank-you notes clearly indicate to the 
recipients that you've made an effort to think about them and thank them for their support. Consider the 
last time you received a handwritten invitation or note of thanks. Feels good, doesn't it? You can use 
thank-you notes for a variety of occasions. They confirm your commitment and help solidify your 
business relationship, making it more difficult for your competitors to replace you. Use handwritten 
notes for just about any situation or occasion. I offer you these ten suggestions for follow-up notes. Feel 
free to modify or tailor these notes to your specific situation. I offer these as guidelines only. 

After a purchase. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of providing you with the 
benefits of our product. I am confident that you will be happy with your investment and I 
will endeavor to offer excellent follow-up service. I do appreciate your support. 
A first meeting. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I enjoyed our visit and 
the opportunity to learn more about your business. I look forward to our next meeting. 
Telephone contact. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me on the 
telephone.You'll soon receive all the information we discussed. I look forward to 
following up with you next week to discuss the details of our proposal and the 
possibility of a win-win agreement. 
After a presentation/demonstration. Thank you for the opportunity to showcase our 
products and services to you (and to your committee). My presentation highlighted the 
key benefits of our product and outlined the mutual benefits of an association of our 
firms. I look forward to our follow-up meeting next Wednesday at 2:30 PM. See you 
A turndown or they buy from someone else. Thank you for taking the time to 
analyze my proposal. I regret being unable, at this time, to demonstrate our 
capabilities. However, we are constantly responding to our customers' expectations and 
to new trends, developments, and changes in our industry. Thus, I will keep in touch 
with the hope that in the near future we will be able to do business. 
This classy tactic clearly shows your professionalism and encourages the customer to 
seriously consider you for next time. A great tactic to become #2. 
A gatekeeper. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to meet with Mr. Smith. 
Our meeting was productive and there may be an opportunity for our companies to do 
business. I will let you know how things work out. 
A referral. Thank you for the valuable referral. I look forward to meeting with Ms. Jones. 
You can rest assured that I will exercise the same level of professionalism that I have 
with you. I will let you know how things work out. 
A turndown but they offer to give a referral. Thank you for your generous offer to 
provide me with a referral. I am saddened to hear your immediate plans do not include 
us but I will keep you posted on new services that may benefit you. 
An anniversary. Thank you. It's with pleasure that I send this note on the one-year 
anniversary of your patronage. Your support is appreciated—clients like you contribute 
to our success. I have enclosed an update on our latest advancements and I'll give you 
a call next week to discuss them further. 
A cold call. Thank you for making the time to chat with me when I visited your office 
recently. I learned a great deal about your business needs and expectations. I look 
forward to following up with your people next week. I'll stay in touch. 
Follow these six suggestions to maximize the impact of your note: 

Handwritten. Personalize it with your own handwriting. If your penmanship is sloppy, 
write slower. 
Don't use company letterhead. Buy some nice stationary that doesn't scream 
"business letter." It must be a personal gesture. 
Handwrite the envelope too. Personalize the whole package. 
Buy stamps. Use a stamp. Don't put it through a mailing machine. A typed envelope 
with a corporate stamp on it takes away from the personal touch. It also looks lazy. 
Include your business card. It clearly indicates who this note is from. A handwritten 
note simply signed by you may cause confusion or uncertainty as to the sender. Your 
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customer may not know you all that well—yet. 

Don't expect a response. Although it may seem your efforts have gone unnoticed, 
your customers do appreciate it. In these busy times, customers simply don't have time 
to pick up the phone and thank you. I once sent a note and heard nothing back but the 
next time I made a call my note was displayed on her credenza. 
Tim Commandment #9 

Business will stay where it's appreciated. 
Ask: How have I demonstrated my appreciation? 

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I Still Love You 

How many ways are there to express your appreciation and show your customers you love 'em? That's 
up to you. Just as Paul Simon suggested that there are "50 ways to leave your lover," there are 
countless ways to show your sincerity to the relationship. Let's consider a few: a simple phone call, a 
note on their invoice or delivery box, a delivery of balloons, cookies, chocolates, a fruit basket, a lottery 
ticket, a corporate treat (logo'ed pens, hats, shirts, note pads, golf balls, etc.) a gift certificate for two at 
an upscale restaurant, a copy of this book, (yes, that was a pitch, I couldn't resist!) or any other 
publication or magazine, tickets to a sporting or community event, the list goes on. Highlight any that 
may have triggered some ideas to pursue with your customers. "We love you and appreciate your 
business" should show in your every deed, because business usually stays where it's appreciated. 
Give us a call or e-mail me at  with any unique, off the wall, follow-up tactics that 
have worked for you. For sharing your ideas, I'll send you a treat. The bottom line is, follow-up is the 
essence to any successful relationship. 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #10 

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Congratulations. You've covered a lot of material, and have successfully graduated through all ten steps 
of your Sequential Model. Welcome to this year's graduating class of sales entrepreneurs. You are now 
part of an elite group of professionals. 

Now the fun begins. Application of the strategies and techniques throughout the Sequential Model 
enables you to navigate with confidence through the entire sales call, steadily moving your customer 
toward a buying decision. Your completed Sequential Model is a continuous loop guiding you through 
every aspect of the relationship, with each completed step setting up the next. Your biggest challenge 
now will be to unlearn cherished old sales habits and to embrace the new techniques outlined 
throughout the Sequential Model. 

Change is a prerequisite to success. Learning is a sequential process marked by stages of growth and 
development. Learning is cumulative. Practice is the key. 

A central theme throughout the book focuses on the role and responsibilities of sales entrepreneurs. 
Sales organizations are slowly reshaping themselves to foster entrepreneurial approaches to selling. 
You are no longer expected to be servicing a territory, but managing a business. The future will not be 
an option for sales representatives—they need not apply. 

I share with you a comment from a very successful sales entrepreneur: "You beat 50% of the 
salespeople in North America just by working hard. You beat another 40% by being a person of honesty 
and integrity. The last 10% is a dogfight in the free enterprise system." I agree. His comment is a 
strong reminder of the importance of embracing an entrepreneurial code of conduct, guided by your 
Sequential Model. 

Earlier in the book I discussed the importance of a winning edge and the compelling influence that 
attitude has on your personal life and your career. The importance of the five attitudinal pillars and how 
they are intrinsically linked to success cannot be underestimated. Attitude drives skills. Without it all 
other skills are handicapped. Attitude is a powerful differentiator in a world of fierce competition riddled 
with "pick me, pick me" competitors. 

One of the emerging challenges of our times is not about price or product performance—it's about 
providing after-sales service that exceeds the expected, that delivers the 1% Solution. Use effective 
implementation and follow-up strategies to minimize your customer attrition rate. Complacency is the 
most common thief of good customers. Let them know frequently that you think of them and you still 
love 'em. 

Again, congratulations on a successful journey through your Sequential Model. I leave you with three 
powerful words: JUST DID IT 

P.S. I would love to know how these strategies are helping you. Send me your success stories at: < 
tim@spectrain.com> or fax me at (403)269-3483. 
Thank you. 
Tim Commandment #10 
Celebrate and reward yourself. 
Ask: What went right? 
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Alessandra, Tony and O'Connor, Michael. People Smarts. (San Diego: Pfeiffer and Company, 1994). 
Alessandra, Tony and O'Connor, Michael J. The Platinum Rule. (New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996). 
Boyan, Lee. Successful Cold Call Selling. (New York: American Management Association, 1989). 
Carlson, Richard. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff. (New York: Hyperion, 1997). 
Carnegie, Dale. How To Win Friends & Influence People. Carnegie, Dale (New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 
Chilton, David. The Wealthy Barber. (Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co. Limited, 1989). 
Chapman, Elwood N. Life Is An Attitude! (Menlo Park: Crisp Publications, Inc., 1992). 

Creative Negotiation. Achievers International (1989). 
Donaldson, Michael and Mimi. Negotiating for Dummies. (Foster City: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 1996). 
Nelson, Bob and Economy, Peter. Managing for Dummies. (Foster City: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 1996). 

Situational Selling: Focus on the Customer. Achievers International (1989). 
Tieger, Paul and Barbara. The Art of Speedreading People. (Little Brown, 1998). 
Wilson, Larry. Changing the Game: The New Way to Sell. (New York: Simon & Schuster Inc., 1987). 

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Recommended Readings 

Alessandra, Tony and O'Connor, Michael J. The Platinum Rule. 
Bolton, Robert and Grover, Dorothy. People Styles at Work. 
Boyan, Lee. Successful Cold Call Selling. 
Canfield, Jack and Hansen, Mark Victor and Hewitt, Les. The Power of Focus. 
Carlson, Richard. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff. 
Carnegie, Dale. How to Win Friends & Influence People. 
Chapman, Elwood N. Life Is an Attitude! 
Chilton, David. The Wealthy Barber. 
Cloke, Kenneth and Goldsmith, Joan. Thank God It's Monday! 
Covey, Stephen. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 
Frankl, Viktor E. Man's Search for Meaning. 
Hill, Napoleon. Think & Grow Rich. 
Nelson, Bob. 1001 Ways to Reward Employees. 
Reeve, Christopher. Still Me. 
Sharma, Robin. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. 

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A accounts, 81–82, 83 
account classification, 80–87 
A accounts, 81–82 
B accounts, 82 
C accounts, 82–87 
evaluating opportunity and, 86 
acquisition/mergers, prospecting via, 118 
ACT, 101 
goals and, 36–37 
just did it! attitude, 27–30 
tape recorders and, 29–30 
action plans, 189–190, 241–246 
communication in, 242–243 
adaptability, 126–127. See also behavioral flexibility 
administrative duties, 93–94, 95–96 
adult daycare center, 20–21 
retreating to, 218 
time management and, 95 
Advanced Selling Strategies (Tracy), 40–41 
advantages, FAB approach, 74 
making clear, 70–71 
primary and secondary, 70 
synchronizing, 52–53, 154 
time management and, 101–102 
agreeing to disagree, 86, 233 
Alessandra, Tony, 127, 138 
Allen, Woody, 123 
allies, 13–14 
prospecting via, 115 
Art of Speedreading People, The (Tieger), 127 
asking, power of asking, 206–212, 213–214 
attitude, 25–57, 256 
choice in, 53 
comfort zone and, 44–49 
customer complaints and, 102–103 
enjoying yourself and, 183–184 
goals and, 30–37 
humor and, 42 
just did it!, 27–30 
managing objections and, 191–192 
in negotiation, 227–228 
patience and persistence, 49–55 
self-esteem, 38–44 
self-reliance and, 54–55 
of top achievers, 27 
toward user errors, 243 
win-lose, 223–224 
attrition rates, 112, 248–250 

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B accounts, 82, 83 
bags of money, 13 
bags of wind, 16 
personal planners and, 99 
self-esteem and, 41–42 
stress and, 105–107 
time management and, 92 
behavioral flexibility, 125–145 
adaptability in, 126–127 
behavioral styles, 128–140 
closing and, 215 
different vs. difficult people and, 139–140 
Directors, 132–133 
negotiating and, 236 
recognizing types in, 138–139, 140–144 
Relaters, 136–138 
in sales calls, 151–152 
Socializers, 130–131 
tailoring presentations and, 185–186 
benefits, 72–74 
bridging, 79, 166–170 
definition of, 73–74 
FAB approach and, 74 
inverse bridging, 168–170 
orienting presentations toward, 187 
Bennis, Warren, 43 
biases, 159–160 
blame, 14–15 
born-again customers, 15–16 
Boyan, Lee, 35 
breakfast, 108 
clubs, prospecting via, 115 
bridging, 79 
closing and, 215 
customer questions, 172 
effective, 166–170 
inverse, 168–170 
bringing it forward, 200–201 
brochures, 75–76 
Brooks, William, 199 
building directories, prospecting via, 117 
business directories, prospecting via, 116 

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ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 


C accounts, 82–87 
changing the terms of, 85 
doubling prices of, 84 
getting rid of, 83, 85–86 
negotiating with, 229–230 
as practice, 83–84 
recognizing, 87 
time management and, 95 
Canadian Ski Patrol System, 29 
Carlson, Richard, 106, 127–128 
Carnegie, Dale, 43 
Carnegie Foundation, 18 
certification, 20 
challenges, 44–49 
planned vs. spontaneous, 48–49 
change, 255 
embracing, 23 
importance of, 5–6 
selling as, 17 
Changing the Game (Wilson), 181 
Chapman, Elwood, 26 
Chilton, David, 42, 214 
Clarke, Jamie, 50 
closed probes, 158–159 
Close It Right, Right Now (Dartnell), 209 
close ratio, 2 
doubling, 216–219 
evaluating current, 218 
targeting, 218–219 
closing the sale, 205–222 
accepting second place and, 219–221 
confirming vs., 205–206 
doubling your close ratio, 216–219 
engineering commitment in, 205–206 
fear or, 206–207 
first calls and, 70 
how to, 208–212 
initial vs. final confirmation in, 224–225 
negotiation and, 224–227 
no vs. know and, 212–213 
power of asking in, 206–212 
techniques for, 209–210 
three ingredients of a yes in, 213–214 
tips for, 216 
when to, 214–215 
clothes, 67, 68–69, 150–151 
for presentations, 188–189 
Thinkers, 135 
clutter, 96–98 
cold calls 
best times for, 122–123 
definition of, 118 
follow-up letters, 252 
inverse bridging in, 168–170 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 

professional, 118–124 
prospecting via, 118 
ride-alongs, 123 
comfort zone, 44–49 
planned vs. spontaneous stretching, 48–49 
commitment, 23 
engineering, 205–206 
to goals, 35 
to time management, 96–98 
committees, presenting to, 186 
communication. See probes 
in action plans, 242–243 
behavioral flexibility and, 125–145 
follow-up, 244, 247–254 
jargon and, 187 
model of, 125 
sensitivity in, 174–175 
compensation, 53 
performance and, 20–21 
competitive edge, 1, 164 
complacency, 256 
computers, personal planners vs., 99–101 
concessions, 231, 232 
price negotiations, 234–235 
confessions, 233 
cold calls and, 123–124 
enjoying yourself and, 183–184 
in negotiation, 227–228 
in price negotiation, 233–234 
probes and, 155 
in sales success, 18 
self-esteem and, 38 
selling yourself, 80, 200–201 
confirming the sale, 205–222 
contact management software, 101 
Control Data Corporation, 2 
conversational probes, 160 
cookie-cutter calls, 69–70, 156 
cooling-off periods, 232 
core competencies, 3 
core knowledge, 43–44 
corporate cascading, 122 
corporate hygiene, 67 
corporate incentives, 53 
corporate jargon, 187 
creative negotiation, 223–240 
creative visualization, 40–41 
credibility, 153 
advanced, 17–18 
allies, 13–14 
answering questions of, 170–174 
attrition rate of, 112, 248–250 
bags of wind, 16 
behavioral flexibility and, 125–145 
born-again, 15–16 
dealing with complaints by, 102–103 
different vs. difficult, 139–140 
external, 13 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 

gathering information about, 62–65 
internal, 14–15 
keeping, 248–250 
knowledge of, 59 
on planning and preparation, 62 
point of view of, 182–183 
prospecting for, 111–124 
prospecting via, 117–118 
repeat, 15 
time limits by, 78–79 
top annoyances of, 59 
training, 243 
types of, 13–16 
unexpected inquiries from potential, 66–67 
customer satisfaction, 148–149, 243–244 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



deadlocks, 232–233 
decision makers 
allies, 13–14 
cold calls and, 120–122 
external customers, 13 
identifying, 158–159 
decoding. See communication 
delegating, 93–94, 241–243 
demand, creating, 164 
dialogue, 18 
differentiation, 1 
attitude in, 256 
with client knowledge, 66–67 
features and, 80 
needs analysis and, 148–149 
planning in, 63 
probes for, 156, 164–165 
sales entrepreneurs in, 19–20 
dinner, 109 
directness scale, 129–130 
Directors, 126, 132–133 
recognizing, 141, 142, 143 
tailoring presentations for, 185–186 
action and, 28–30 
goals and, 36 
proactive strategy and, 102–103 
discomfort zone, 45–47 
discovery process, 148–149. See also probes 
disruption, selling as, 17 
Donaldson, Michael, 237 
Donaldson, Mini, 237 
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and it's all small stuff (Carlson), 106, 127–128 
Dun & Bradstreet, 44 
duplication factor, 80 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



echoing, 172 
economic growth vs. real growth, 112–113 
80/20 rule, 96 
Emerson, Ralph, 184 
emotional distance, 236–238 
empathy, 1–2 
attitude in, 26 
self-esteem and, 38 
encoding, 175. See also communication 
energy levels, 97–98 
stress and, 105–107 
winning edge and, 147–148 
closing and, 207 
exceeding, 181, 187–188, 256 
objections and, 192 
synchronizing, 52–53, 154 
external customers, 13 
extroverts, 129 
Relaters, 136–138 

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FAB approach, 74 
face time, 96–97 
comfort-zone syndrome and, 45–49 
in follow-through, 244 
planning and, 59–60 
Families and Work Institute, 105 
family. See also personal life 
FDH syndrome, 37 
of closing, 206–207 
of cold calling, 119 
comfort-zone syndrome and, 49 
customer, 213 
of negotiating, 237–238 
winning edge and, 147–148 
feature dumps, 74–77 
brochures as, 75–76 
informing vs., 154 
price negotiation and, 199 
so-what information in, 79–80 
feature fishing, 166 
features, 72–74 
bridging, 79, 166–170 
categories of, 73 
definition of, 73 
duplication factor in, 80 
FAB approach and, 74 
inverse bridging, 168–170 
in purchase decision, 76–77 
feedback, action plans and, 189–190 
Feelers, 126 
feel-felt-found method, 195 
field trips, 189 
fight or flight approach to negotiation, 226–227 
first impressions, 149, 152 
in negotiation, 228–230 
time management and, 103 
focus, 35–36 
follow-up, 244, 247–254, 256 
letters for, 250–253 
Ford, Henry, 45 

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ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



gatekeepers, 120 
follow-up letters, 251 
Gates, Bill, 29 
goals, 30–37 
benefits of setting, 34–36 
commitment to, 35 
deadlines for, 106–107 
discomfort zone and, 46–49 
failure and, 32–33 
motivation and, 36–37 
personal vs. career, 36–37, 41–42 
reasons not to set, 31–32 
short-term vs. long-term, 34 
SMART, 33–34 
stress and, 106–107 
time management and, 101–102 
writing, 31 
Gretzky, Wayne, 9 
grooming, 67, 68–69, 150–151 
for presentations, 188–189 
growth, economic vs. real, 112–113 
Gulf Resources, 2 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



Heisberg, Werner, 157 
hierarchy of needs, 37, 176 
Hill, Napoleon, 44 
Hobson, Alan, 50 
honest vs. best answers, 173–174 
How to Win Friends & Influence People (Carnegie), 43 
attitude and, 42 
learning and, 2–3, 7 
hurt and rescue, 164–165 
hypothetical cases, 200–201 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 


Iacocca, Lee, 84 
image, 68–69 
impasses, 232–233 
inconvenience, 165 
industry associations, prospecting via, 114 
closing and, 212–213 
in negotiation, 230 
information, types of, 79–80 
information sources, 65–67 
inform stage, 154 
Initiators, 126 
instant gratification, 51–53 
demonstrating, 149 
inverse bridging for, 168–170 
probes and, 155–156 
internal customers, 14–15, 242–243 
prospecting via, 116–117 
International Standards Organization, 20 
prospecting via, 115 
time spent on, 42 
interpersonal skills, 18. See also communication; skills 
interruptions, 178 
introverts, 129 
Directors, 132–133 
Thinkers, 134–136 
inverse bridging, 168–170 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



janitorial hours, 95–96 

J.M. Schneider, Inc., 2 
Jung, Carl, 126 
just did it! attitude, 27–30 
stretching with, 48–49 
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core vs. peripheral, 43–44 
customer, 59 
differentiation through, 66–67 
product, 18, 25, 74–77, 80 
self-esteem and, 43–44 
KPMG, 105 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 


for negotiation, 230–233 
of negotiation, 230–233 
Law of Ten Options, 238–239 
leads, 81 
humor in, 2–3, 7 
knowledge types and, 43–44 
learning how to learn in, 43 
lifelong, 44 
practice and, 6 
reading in, 42–43 
as sequential process, 6, 9–10 
unlearning old habits, 255 
letters of intent/agreement, 243 
libraries, prospecting via, 115 
licensing, 20 
Life Is an Attitude! (Chapman), 26 
likeability, 126–127 
Lincoln, Abraham, 139 
note taking and, 179 
objections and, 192–193 
reasons for poor, 175–179 
using probes and, 163 
loyalty, 243–244, 244–254 
lunch, 108–109 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



MacKay, Harvey, 51 
magazines, prospecting via, 116 
mailers, 75–76 
markets, targeting, 116 
Maslow, Abraham, 37, 176 
Maximizer, 101 
McQuaig, Jack H., 50 
meal protocol, 108–109 
mental drift, 163, 177 
negative, 27 
mental preparation, 104 
mental rehearsal, 40–41 
min-max points, 228–230, 234–235 
trade-offs, 231–232 
models, 12. See also Sequential Model of Professional Selling 
moment of yes, 220 
attitude and, 29–30 
goals and, 36–37 
managers and, 101–102 
positive vs. negative, 37 
stress as, 106–107 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



needs analysis 
possible scenarios from, 163–164 
probes for, 156–157, 163–164 
negative thoughts, 27. See also attitude 
closing and, 207 
negotiation, 223–240 
attitude in, 227–228 
creative, 227 
fight or flight approach to, 226–227 
issues vs. personalities in, 236–238 
language for, 230–233 
mindset for, 223–224 
options in, 238–239 
planning and preparation for, 228–230 
price, 233–236 
principles of, 227–238 
trust in, 226 
when to use, 224–227 
win-win-win-win, 225–226, 228, 235 
Negotiation for Dummies (Donaldson, Donaldson), 237 
newspapers, prospecting via, 113–114 
Niche Selling (Brooks), 199 
no, learning to say, 98, 101–102 
Noble, Charles, 34 
nonverbal communication, 176 
of attitude, 26 
behavioral types and, 138–139 
believability and, 184 
closing and, 214–215 
note taking, 179, 195 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



objections, 190–201 
acknowledging and validating, 193–194 
clarifying, 194–195 
factual vs. emotional, 194–195 
responding to and solving, 195 
strategy for managing, 193–196 
tough questions vs., 193 
uncovering up front, 196 
validating satisfaction of, 196 
obligations, 93–94, 97 
learning through, 42–43 
prospecting via, 117 
openness scale, 129–130 
open probes, 157–158 
opportunity, 53, 86 
order fulfillment, 243–244 
organization, 96–98 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



passion pursuits, 41–42 
path of least resistance, 28–29 
patience, 49–55 
pause button, 237–238 
peak time, 97–98 
penalty box, 170–174 
People Smarts (Alessandra), 127 
accountability for, 20 
compensation and, 20–21 
standards, 12 
peripheral knowledge, 43–44 
persistence, 49–55 
accepting the #2 position and, 219–221 
close ratios and, 216–219 
preparation and, 63–64 
self-esteem and, 38 
silver platter syndrome and, 51–53 
personal development, 41–42 
personal life, 15. See also balance 
personal planners, 99 
PEZ method, 76, 175 
planning and preparation, 59–87 
account classification and, 80–87 
for cold calls, 120 
communicating information types and, 78–80 
compared, 61–62 
consequences of failure to, 62 
feature and benefit approach and, 72–74 
feature dumps and, 74–77 
goal setting and, 32–33 
importance of, 59–60 
information for, 62–65 
information sources for, 65–67 
to manage objections, 191 
mental preparation in, 104 
for negotiations, 228–230, 239 
for presentations, 184–185 
sales call, 67–71 
showing off, 72, 152–154 
when to do it, 67 
pleasantries, 150–152 
power of asking, 206–212 
as ingredient of a yes, 213–214 
practice, 6 
with C accounts, 83–84 
in identifying behavioral styles, 143–144 
mental rehearsal, 40–41 
for presentations, 185 
precall checklist, 63 
predictability, 78 
preparation. See planning and preparation 
presentation skills, 181–203 
customer point of view and, 182–183 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 

follow-up letters, 251 
managing objections, 190–201 
neutralizing the competition, 183 
ten key, 183–190 
approaching objections to, 195–200 
competitive, 198 
negotiating, 198–199, 225, 233–236 
objection vs. resistance to, 199 
value vs., 234–235 
when to discuss, 233–234 
priorities, 94 
proactivity, 94, 101–104 
probes, 79 
closed, 158–159 
conversational, 160 
creating demand with, 164–165 
for customer expectations, 192 
on existing supplier performance, 164–165 
feature fishing and, 166 
finding objections with, 195 
getting permission to ask, 162 
to identify decision makers, 158–159 
listening and, 163 
needs analysis with, 156–157, 163–164 
number of, 161 
open, 157–158 
reflective, 159–160 
social approach to, 161–162 
problems, acknowledging, 102 
procrastination, 27–30 
product delivery, 243–244 
productive interruptions, 178 
productivity, 2, 8 
product knowledge 
attitude and, 25 
feature dumps, 74–77 
importance of, 80 
in sales success, 18 
professional behavior, 12, 22, 256 
grooming, etc., 67–69 
language, 188–189 
in presentations, 188–189 
rejection and, 220 
professionals, definition of, 98–99 
profits, 81 
min-max points, 228–230 
prospecting, 111–124 
cold calls and, 118–124 
growth vs. real growth and, 112–113 
ideas for, 113–118 
importance of, 111–112 
PSIP method, 150–156 
Psychology Types (Jung), 126 
punctuality, 67, 103–104 
Purchasing Magazine, 244 

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ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



rapport, 23 
behavioral flexibility and, 125–145, 151–152 
building, 72 
in closing, 213–214 
price negotiation and, 234 
probes and, 149 
as secondary agenda, 69–70 
trust compared with, 125–126 
readiness, 67–71. See also planning and preparation 
reading, 42–43 
realism, in goals, 33–34 
cold calls and, 120 
as information sources, 66, 67 
referrals, 81, 248 
follow-up letters, 251 
prospecting via, 116 
reflective probes, 159–160 
regrets, 28–30 
rejection, 39, 220 
Relaters, 126, 136–138 
finding objections of, 195 
recognizing, 141, 142, 143 
tailoring presentations for, 186 
relationship building, 18 
attitude and, 25–26 
reminders, 29–30 
repeat customers, 15 
reputation, 19 
research sources, 65–67 
resistance, 149 
vs. price objection, 199 
respect, 23 
responsibility, 243–244, 255–256 
return on energy (ROE), 81 
business meals and, 108–109 
return on investment (ROI), 
account classification and, 80–81 
return on occasion (ROO), 81 
return on time (ROT), maximizing, 92–94 
revenue, 81 
ride-alongs, 123 
rights of passage, 16–17 
risk, 45–46 
Rohn, Rim, 238 
role playing, 160 
Ruskin, John, 197–198 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



sales calls, 147–180 
bridging in, 166–170 
C accounts and, 85 
communication skills for, 174–179 
cost of, 83 
feature fishing in, 166 
needs analysis in, 148–149 
penalty box in, 170–174 
probes in, 155–166 
PSIP method in, 150–156 
synchronizing, 154, 174 
Sales Closing Book, 210 
sales entrepreneurs, 18–20 
compared with sales representatives, 22–23 
gathering information from, 66 
responsibilities of, 255–256 
skills of, 20–21 
sales funnel, 111–112. See also prospecting 
sales managers, 85–86 
sales representatives, 18–20, 22–23 
scheduling, 102–103 
self-esteem, 38–44 
building, 40–43 
closing and, 207 
definition of, 38 
knowledge and, 43–44 
personal and career, 38–40 
in price negotiation, 233–234 
of sales approach, 5–6 
of time management, 92–94 
self-fulfilling prophecy, 39 
self-help books, 4–5 
self-reliance, 54–55 
self-talk, 39 
closing and, 206–207 
definition of, 16–17 
entrepreneurial, 19–20 
yourself, 80, 200–201 
selling hours, 95–96 
senses, involving, 186–187 
Sensors, 126 
Sequential Model of Professional Selling, 3, 9–23 
adult learning and, 9–10 
advanced selling skills and, 17–18 
attitude, 25–57 
completing steps in, 12 
customer types and, 13–16 
definition of selling, 16–17 
guidelines for using, 4–7 
planning and preparation, 59–87 
steps in, 10–12 
working it, 22 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 

Shaw, George Bernard, 55 
show-off stage, 152–154 
silver platter syndrome, 51–53 
Simon, Paul, 253 
simplicity, 1 
sincerity, 253 
60/40 rule, 103 
skills, 1–2, 12, 256 
advanced selling, 17–18 
changing, 20–21 
communication, 174–175 
core competencies, 3 
negotiation, 223–240 
presentation, 181–203 
reading people, 127–128 
taking ownership of, 6–7 
SMART goals, 33–34. See also goals 
attainability of, 103 
stretching with, 48–49 
time management and, 101–102 
social clubs, prospecting via, 118 
social contacts, prospecting via, 117 
Socializers, 126, 130–131 
finding objections of, 195 
recognizing, 140, 141, 142, 143 
tailoring presentations for, 185 
so-what information, 79–80 
Spectrum Training Solutions Inc., 2–3 
stress, 105–107, 149 
dealing with, 107 
identifying source of, 107 
symptoms of, 107 
subconscious, 45 
subscriptions, prospecting via, 116 
accidental, 34 
change and, 255 
goals in, 34 
passion pursuits in, 41–42 
self-esteem and, 39 
Successful Cold Call Selling (Boyan), 35 
sympathy, 102 
agendas, 52–53, 154 
expectations, 52–53, 154 
sales calls, 154, 174 

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ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



tape recorders, 29–30 
technology, 1–2 
for action, 29–30 
adult daycare center and, 20–21 
computers, 99–101 
personal planners, 99–101 
time management, 99 
television, 42 
thank-you notes, 250–253 
Think and Grow Rich (Hill), 44 
Thinkers, 126, 134–136 
recognizing, 141, 142, 143 
tailoring presentations for, 186 
Tieger, Barbara, 127 
Tieger, Paul, 127 
Tim Commandments, 8 
action plans, 243 
agendas, 70 
asking questions, 163 
confirming the sale, 212 
demonstrate appreciation, 253 
goal setting, 36 
stretching, 47 
time management, 97 
time limits, 78–79 
cold calls and, 121–122 
time management, 89–109 
adult daycare center and, 20–21 
attitude and, 90 
awareness of time in, 94–95 
business meals and, 108–109 
commitment to, 96 
goals and, 89 
organization in, 96–98 
principles of, 92–104 
proactivity vs. reactivity and, 101–104 
punctuality and, 67, 103–104 
return on time and, 92–94 
self-evaluation in, 92–94 
selling vs. janitorial hours and, 95–96 
stress and, 105–107 
time equity and, 90–92 
tools for, 98–101 
time-wasters, 93, 94, 97 
stress, 105–107 
timing objections, 200–201 
Tracy, Brian, 39, 40–41 
trade-offs, 231–232 
trade shows, prospecting via, 114 
training, 2–3, 243 
Training Magazine, 59 
trust, 23 
behavioral flexibility and, 125–145 
building, 72 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 

in closing, 213–214 
in negotiation, 226 
price negotiation and, 234 
probes and, 149 
rapport compared with, 125–126 
self-esteem and, 39–40 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



user error, 243 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 


value-added solutions, 181–203 
creating perception of value, 199 
vehicles, prospecting via, 114 
verifying questions, 172 
visual input, 187 
visualization, 40–41, 47 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



walk-points, 232 
Wealthy Barber, The (Chilton), 42, 214 
Wilson, Larry, 181 
winning edge, 147–148 
win-win-win-win situations, 225–226, 228, 235, 244 
Woods, Tiger, 9 
wristwatches, 94 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



Yellow Pages, prospecting via, 114 
moment of, 220 
three ingredients in, 213–214 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 



Ziglar, Zig, 45, 198 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 

List of Figures 

Chapter 1: The Sequential Model of Professional Selling 

Figure 1.1: The Sequential Model of Professional Selling 

Chapter 2: Attitudes of Success: Five Pillars 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #1 

Chapter 3: Planning and Preparation: Measure Twice, Cut Once 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #2 

Chapter 5: Prospecting: I Know Where You Are Hiding 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #3 

Chapter 6: Building Rapport and Trust: Behavioral Flexibility 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #4 

Chapter 7: Discovery: Game Day 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #5 

Chapter 8: Presentation Skills: Value-Added Solutions 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #6 

Chapter 9: Confirming the Sale: Closing 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #7 

Chapter 10: Creative Negotiation: There is Always a Way 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #8 

Chapter 11: Action Plan: Implementation 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #9 

Chapter 12: Follow-Up: You Never Call or Write Anymore 

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #10 

ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, ABC Amber CHM Converter Trial version, 

List of Sidebars 

Chapter 2: Attitudes of Success: Five Pillars 
Tim Commandment #1 
Tim Commandment #2 

Chapter 3: Planning and Preparation: Measure Twice, Cut Once 

Tim Commandment #3 

Chapter 4: Time Management: It's About Time 

Tim Commandment #4 

Chapter 7: Discovery: Game Day 

Tim Commandment #5 

Chapter 9: Confirming the Sale: Closing 

Tim Commandment #6 

Chapter 10: Creative Negotiation: There is Always a Way 

Tim Commandment #7 

Chapter 11: Action Plan: Implementation 
Tim Commandment #8 

Chapter 12: Follow-Up: You Never Call or Write Anymore 

Tim Commandment #9 
Tim Commandment #10 


<<10 Steps To Sales Success - The Proven System That Can Shorten The Selling Cycle>> 〔完〕


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