Salespeople have questions Gitomer has answers

March 28, 2011
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I get a ton of e-mails asking to solve sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and (most important) your sales thought process:

Jeffrey, I’m building a mortgage retail team in Nashville and surrounding counties. I started my career in Franklin, Tenn., in about 1987. My niche is hiring college and pro athletes at the end of their career and bringing them into mortgage lending. They have proven to be teachable, willing and competitive — and they never give up. Here is my problem: I brought an NHL pro player into the industry and he is doing exactly what he needs to BUT big banks today do not have the ability to allow him to ramp up over 12 months. The strange thing about these athletes is that it takes longer for them to get going. Unless he quickly gets some loans, I will have to let him go. Do you have a solution to quick-start his career? Greg

Greg, In my experience, athletes make great salespeople. They’re fit. They want to compete. They’re coachable. They practice. They follow the rules. And once they learn how to play, they can become an all-star. If you find yourself having to terminate this person because your bosses are either too cheap or too stupid to invest in him, please send his resume to me. I’ll gladly find him a job someplace where people will understand his capability and profit from his work ethic. Here’s my suggestion to quick-start his career: Make the next five sales calls with him. Record his presentation sessions and play them back so he can learn what he’s doing right and what he’s doing wrong. Try to get him a few extra leads and create best responses for all the objections that he’s been facing. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, I want to be in an industry where I can make a great career and provide well for my family. When starting a new career in sales, is selling automobiles a good place to start? Forrest

Forrest, Every salesperson wants to provide well for their family and have a great career. This will not come about working someplace where you feel you can make a lot of money. There is money to be made in any career. Your job is to select something that you believe you can love and identify with. This will not only help you succeed, but you’ll also be happier at home. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, If the customer is telling you they’re not interested because they have a lower price, they’re probably blowing you off. But if the customer is blowing you off, they’re not likely to even set an appointment with you for you to determine the real reason. What then? Barb

Barb, Keep in mind that your question focuses on outcome, not circumstance. When the customer says, “I’m not interested,” it’s because you’re not interesting. If the customer says, “I can get it cheaper,” they may not understand the value difference between you and your competitor. If it’s the exact same thing with two prices, then you have to prove delivery, service, overall value, productivity and greater profitability. When the customer says they can get it cheaper, your response has to be about their values, not about yours; otherwise, they will get it cheaper from someone else. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, You’ve been on a big push with social media. I agree that social media is the new way to go and cold calling is dead. However, what if someone is in the position of needing to make a sale ASAP? What is an approximate turnaround for making a sale from social media? I realize there are many factors in play: how complete my pages are, quality of posts, number of people invited, etc. However, I’m just starting in a new job this week and need to make sales now. Should I split my time between cold calling and social media so I can receive some money? Or could I see decent results this week if I spend today making great social media sites for myself? Scott

Scott, Consider these two words: time allocation. If your biggest concern is making sales now, my recommendation is for you to spend a day talking to existing customers to find out why they buy, to find out how they value your company and your products, and to ask them if they would mind filming their answer. This will give you a better sales lesson than 10 weeks of product training and cold-calling techniques in a classroom. After you’ve finished your day of discovery, allocate two hours a day for cold calling, two hours a day for calling customers who left you, two hours a day getting social media ready, and two hours a day networking in your business community. Try to meet someone for breakfast and lunch who can give you money. If you’re short on cash, limit it to just breakfast. Whatever you do, don’t panic. Slowly build yourself to a point where your social media and networking take over your cold calling — but use the tools that you learned in your day of discovery to make sales on every level. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail to

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