Salespeople have questions and Gitomer has answers

November 25, 2011
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I get a ton of e-mails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and, most importantly, your sales thought process.


Your seminars and books have been highly therapeutic to me, but I have a question I’m having a hard time answering on my own.

My wife is building a Mary Kay business, loves what you do and is dying to put your methods to use. Her business is 80 percent selling product and 20 percent recruiting. A lot of the recruits typically come from the product buyer’s group.

How does one combine those two activities without turning off the "makeup-buying" customers who are not interested in a sales career? Does someone like her put up a "beauty tips" social media presence to promote to her makeup-buying customers and then a separate one for recruiting people to a team? Or do you pepper one in with the other? My concern is turning off the "product-buying public" that is interested in beauty tips but not interested in being recruited.

I appreciate your guidance. Matt


Here’s the wisdom I would share with your wife. Luckily, the product she’s selling has been around for years and enjoys a great reputation. I recommend she interview some recruits who have embraced the opportunity to sell and let some of the more successful people post on the website about how they started out loving the product and ended up reselling the product. If the message does not come from her, it will not be a turn off.

The key is balance — and her job is to balance beauty tips with beauty money-making opportunities, at least 5:1 in favor of beauty tips.

Best regards, Jeffrey


How do buyers decide, and what are buyers looking for? Alana


Buyers are looking for 4.5 things: 1. A perceived difference of your product and service — and that of your competitors. 2. A better perceived value in buying what you have versus buying from a competitor. (Notice I did not say “lower price”; I said “better value.”) 3. Little or no risk in purchasing from you. The buyer must perceive that the gain of ownership is greater than the risk of purchasing the wrong thing. 4. The buyer must like you, believe you, have confidence in you and trust you. But it begins with liking you. 4.5 Lowest price. Many people (maybe even you) will think I have done them a disservice by not focusing on price concessions or winning a bid. But, if you present the first four elements outlined above, price will go away as an issue in 60-70 percent of the sales you make.

The key is this: Buyers and decision makers are looking for “comfort,” not just a “deal.” The decision maker has to feel that it’s a good fit for their company, or they will pass no matter what the price.

The decision maker is also going to take into account past dealings and word-of-mouth advertising. All buyers and decision makers in any given industry know one another. Your job, besides having a great product, is to have a great reputation. Having a great reputation reduces the perceived risk and oftentimes is the very key to getting the order.

Best regards, Jeffrey


In these hard times, what can salespeople do to protect their jobs? Tom


The antidote is to be the best salesman or saleswoman. No one's going to get rid of you then. There is a challenge among salespeople right now. They're not really willing to do the hard work that it takes to make selling easy. You need to tweet, have a business Facebook page, have a LinkedIn account, have a YouTube channel, have a blog, and have a website where you have registered

It’s about building a personal brand. You have to have 500 people following you on Twitter, you have to have 500 LinkedIn connections, you have to have about a thousand people on your Facebook fan page, and you have to have a least a dozen YouTube videos where people give testimonies for you, or where you are giving valuable information to the marketplace. That requires work and time, and you can't do it during your workday.

You’ve also got to network and do prospecting, but it's a lot easier to prospect on LinkedIn than it is to prospect on the phone with people you don't know.

But instead of performing those strategies, a lot of people are going home at night to watch stupid television shows. Think about this: Will what you're watching on television help you double your sales? No! Great salespeople are willing to dig in and do the hard work because they understand there's no 9 to 5 job in selling unless you're working at McDonald's and you’re asking the closing question: "Do you want fries with that?"

Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Gitomer’s website,, has more information about training and seminars, or e-mail him personally at

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