“Don’t sell me a refrigerator;
sell me the solution to
keeping my food cold.
—Bob Janet ”
Bob Janet (
consultant/trainer, speaker and author
of Join the Profit Club (Life Long
Publishing, June 2001).
So you are not comfortable selling. Then
stop selling. People love to buy but hate
to be sold. What people like is having their
problems solved. The number-one rule of
selling is: The business or salesperson who
solves the customer’s problems, needs and
wants in the easiest way will get the sale.
Customers don’t want to be sold. So stop
selling and start solving the customer’s problems, needs and wants. Don’t sell me a refrigerator; sell me the solution to keeping my
food cold. Don’t sell me a car; sell me a comfortable way to get from one place to another.
Make sure you are the expert about your
products and services, and show your customers how purchasing your products and services will solve their problems, needs and wants.
Costco member Brian Azar
www.salesdoctor.com), coach, author,
speaker and trainer based in Durham,
Most sales professionals wait to handle
objections until prospects bring them up,
but that strategy—or lack of strategy—isn’t
nearly as effective as eliminating objections
before making your presentation.
As a “sales doctor,” your first overall step
with a potential client is to perform an examination—a qualifying interview—to find out
where it hurts. During the examination, you
find out if the prospect has a budget. Only
after the examination is well under way do you
offer a prescription by making a presentation.
In the interview process, you effectively diagnose and dispose of the majority of objections.
The first two steps of the interview
process are pre-call planning, and bonding
and establishing rapport, which means doing
your homework on the person you’re calling,
and, once on the phone, getting that person
to feel comfortable with you.
Costco member Brigid McGrath Massie
www.brigidmcgrathmassie.com), business consultant, professional speaker
and author of Selling for People Who
Hate to Sell (Prima Lifestyles, 1996).
We all naturally gravitate to people who
talk, dress and look like us. To be successful in
sales, learning to operate outside this comfort
zone is a must! Specifically, it means attending events—alone—and having the discipline to circulate and hand out business cards
to a minimum of five potential customers.
It means not sitting at the table purchased by your company for a community or
Chamber of Commerce event, but instead to
fan out and introduce yourself to otherwise
inaccessible businesspeople at other tables.
Don’t get trapped in the “low-hanging fruit”
syndrome of approaching family and friends
for your first sales. Push yourself out the front
door—onto the street—and go where the
Costco member Terri Sjodin, author of
New Sales Speak: The 9 Biggest Sales
PresentationMistakes and How to
Avoid Them (Wiley, 2000).
One of the most common mistakes people make when presenting is being too informative versus being persuasive.
It’s very easy to deliver a presentation
that’s informative rather than persuasive. The
reason? A decision maker or prospect doesn’t
say no when you’re only disseminating information. But remember, it’s a teacher’s job to be
informative; in today’s competitive market a
person must also be persuasive.
Design a presentation that anticipates
objections and overcomes them before they
become reasons not to buy. Think like an
attorney, and build arguments for why a
decision maker should work with you and
your company, and/or why they should do it
now. Build a presentation that creates
needs rather than just covers the standard
Roy Chitwood, president of Max
Sacks International, an international
sales training and consulting firm
www.maxsacks.com) based in Seattle.
To close more sales and have more satisfied customers, businesspeople must understand what their prospects want. They should
visualize the prospect holding a sign that says,
“What will it do for me?” Regardless of
whether this question is asked, the prospect is
always pondering it. Thus, it is around this
question that the businessperson should build
his or her presentation, describing product
and service features, as well as offering information about him- or herself and the company, in order to answer it.
The greatest weakness of businesspeople
today is that they are product centered, not
people oriented, and they are sadly unaware
of this shortcoming. A businessperson who
fails to develop the skills to identify and serve
the needs of his or her customers will lose
those customers to the competition. C
Erin Flynn is a freelance writer based in
Philadelphia. She writes on a variety of
topics, including technology and business.