Taking aim at some sales technique questions

November 2, 2009
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I get a ton of emails asking to solve sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life — and most important, your sales thought process right now:

Jeffrey,
In the current economic downturn, how should I attempt to sell to municipalities that have no funding through the budget?
Chad

Chad,
The answer is: You cannot sell where there is no budget — unless you’re willing to take future payments against future budgets. My recommendation for you would be to find another resource, because municipalities will be hurting for the next five years.
Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey,
How do you recommend that I sell to a company that’s “weathering the tough economy?” I’m a young company and I’m trying to close that crucial first sale. My product is an advertising/marketing solution, especially advertising for credit card companies. As you know, advertising is one of the first places that companies scale back their spending (even though tough times are the best time to ramp up advertising). My selling proposition is not for companies to increase advertising spending. In fact, my proposition is that my product will decrease advertising spending and augment the effectiveness of their other advertising efforts.
Jeromy

Jeromy,
Stop using the word advertising. Nobody wants to advertise, but everybody wants what advertising does. Focus on words like “increased sales,” “increased traffic,” “increased exposure” and “increased profit.” The key to your sale lies in the customer's ability to see what is in it for them and act accordingly.
Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey,
What is your inspiration for writing? How do you think of your ideas?
Morgan

Morgan,
I pay attention. I think. I read. I wonder. I create. And I observe everything and everyone around me. Those elements form the basis of idea generation. The secret is: The more positive your attitude is, the more likely it is you’ll have a great idea. The BIG secret is: Capture your idea immediately — on your laptop, on your cell phone, on a piece of paper, anywhere you can — because it’s likely you will forget it. I learned this lesson the hard way: thinking of a great idea and telling myself not to forget it, and not writing it down. Gone.
Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey,
I have some feedback that will be positive and challenging. I trust you will consider it. Take it or leave it. Your writing is inspiring, except for one line: "Eh, not you, Sparky!” I often get a lot out of your writing and speaking, but the put-downs do nothing for me. I'm a skilled salesman and I do not consider myself a king, but having you assume I think I'm king gets you no points in my book. You are good. You are funny. I saw you in Minneapolis a few years ago. But the put-downs keep me from referring you to more people.
Positively yours, Tom

Tom,
I write what I believe and I write what I know to be true. Most salespeople — and maybe it's not you, Sparky — are not that good. I'm not putting them down; rather I'm throwing a glass of cold water at them and hoping they will wake up and read what's next. There's a lot worse things in the world of selling than me poking a salesperson in the ribs. Why don't you try passing my stuff along to others and see how they feel about it? I appreciate your comment and I appreciate your support.
Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey,
I am switching my business model from B2B to consumer. I was doing recruiting for big pharma. Now I am selling resume writing and interview prep services to the public. What, if any, differences do you advise from a marketing and selling aspect?
Sincerely, Richard

Richard,
here are 2.5 suggestions for you: 1. Give a few away in exchange for testimonials. 2. Get video clips AFTER they are hired (the real proof). 2.5 Get a few employers to say how impressed they were with the candidate.
Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com.


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