Archive for August 5th, 2010


Give your client time to marinate, not stew!

I recently moved into a lovely historic home that had everything I wanted except energy efficient windows. Being a good project manager, I went out for multiple bids and began doing my research on the Internet. Many of my past jobs involved me finding qualified contractors to complete a job on schedule, on budget, and to a quality standard.

After getting eight separate bids, I came to the overwhelming conclusion that there are still industries out there that have no idea how to effectively sell in the 21st century. I encountered archaic pitches, tactics, and pricing that I had no idea still operated in today’s sales and marketing environment. I felt like I was back in the stone age of buying a used car on a lot in the prehistoric town of Bedrock. Here’s a list of the things I saw guaranteed to make a potential client stew and not marinate:

Don’t diss the other company’s product: This got old after one time. Each company points out how bad the other company’s products are. Problem is, after each one left and I researched them on the Internet and the Better Business Bureau website, I found that they had more than their share of complaints. You will always have some customer complaint issues, the real issue is how well do you deal with resolving them for your client.

Don’t claim you’ve got some kind of patent unless you are in a scientific industry: This also got old and after a while I felt everyone just said that because if they had a brand, it meant they had a patent. Everyone said they were the only ones that had this special type of material for the frame, type of glass, or coating. It’s a window. And while I understand there are different coatings and efficiencies, we’re not building a rocket ship. I’m a consumer, not a scientist. I am not interested in your patents.

Don’t tell me that this offer is only good for right now: I am not going to sign anything within 24 hours of it being put in front of me. Period. I know that means you have to follow up, but seeing as windows run in the thousands to the tens of thousands in replacement costs, expect it.

Don’t start with a high cost and then bring it down by 50 percent; I learned this “strategy” years ago. It’s called “anchoring”. I throw out a high price and then ratchet it down “just for you” so you can see what a great deal you’re getting. I had no idea this archaic practice was still in use other than for selling jewelry.

Don’t call your sales manager to see how good a deal I can get; this is by far the goofiest and most disturbing thing yet. Seriously, you work for an idiotic company if you have to call for permission to get me a really great deal. I fell for this once about a year ago. Never again.

Don’t tell me that I am wasting your time because I won’t sign a contract at your initial meeting. Yes, someone actually said this to me. And yes, I told them I wouldn’t want to waste any more of their time and to leave my home now.

Give your client time to marinate, not stew. Let them take the time to do the research and verify that you are all the things that you say you are. How is your sales force doing? Do they display any of the behaviors listed above?

I have a couple of books I would highly recommend your sales force take the time to read. Did you know that the average salesman reads less than one book a year? That’s why they are average. No business can afford to be average.

How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling, by Frank Bettger

The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino

How to Master the Art of Selling, by Tom Hopkins

Good Reads, Great Results, A Tremendous Life!!!

Tremendous Tracey

CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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August 2010

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