December | Click links (>>) below to read articles
  • Don’t Waste My Time! by Kelley Robertson >>
  • Selling Your Invisibles by Jim Meisenheimer >>
  • How To Gain A Thirteenth Month Every Year by Jonathan Farrington >>
  • Reviving Prospects Who Disappear into the Black Hole by Jill Konrath >>
  • Simple "Sales Math" Should Be Taught in Schools by Art Sobczak >>
  • Happy Anniversary by Jim Meisenheimer >>

Don’t Waste My Time! by Kelley Robertson

Many participants in my programs ask how to deal with people who appear to be seeking information and nothing more. In many environments these individual’s are called time wasters. Time wasters come in every shape and form but they usually possess a few consistent characteristics – they ask a continuing stream of questions, take up loads of our time, and seldom end up buying anything.

What is particularly interesting about these situations is that many time wasters don’t set out to be that way. It is usually our fault that this happens because we don’t control the sales process. And in many cases, we become the time waster.

Most sales professionals know they are supposed to ask questions to learn about their customer’s needs but I have learned that the majority of sales people tend to be more comfortable responding to questions rather than asking them. Here is a simple fact…the person who asks the questions is the one in control of the sales process.

I have conducted hundreds of sales training workshops in the last ten years and I consistently have people tell me they know the importance of asking questions. As the discussion continues I usually discover that they do in fact ask questions – after they encounter objections or resistance from the buyer or customer. But that means it’s too late. Now it will appear that you are trying to justify your product, service, price, etc.

Sales people hear this, but it seldom sinks in. Here is a personal example.

After reading one of my weekly sales tips a sales person emailed me (for the second or third time) and said he had been focusing on his needs rather than mine in his previous correspondence. He presented a couple of good points so I agreed to a telephone conversation. When we connected he immediately launched into a ten-minute monologue about his company and its services. At this point it still wasn’t clear what he wanted from me so I asked. He went on to say that he wanted me to endorse his product to my clients and newsletter subscribers. I then stated that my target market is mostly specialty retailers and asked how his product would help them. His reply, “Oh, it won’t.”

He had now just wasted almost 15 minutes of my time – valuable time that could have been used to work on one of the many projects on my desk. As a sales person, he had just become a time waster. If he had asked one simple question in his email he could have saved us both time because he would have learned that our companies were not compatible.

In another situation, I listened to a sales person pitch his product by reading PowerPoint slides. His slides discussed his company, their financial backing, their products, their clients, blah, blah, blah. Not once did he ask me what I wanted in a solution. Instead, he kept his attention focused on his agenda, once again, wasting my time by talking about something that had no relevance to my situation or business.

Professional selling means helping someone make an educated buying decision. That means you need to determine how your product or service fits into their situation. I was once asked by an advertising sales rep what to do if the prospect’s publication targeted a different demographic that the advertisers. My answer was simple, “Move on.”

In some cases, your product or service may not be needed by your prospect or may not fit into their plans. This means you move on to the next prospect. Don’t waste their time and yours trying to reconfigure everything hoping something will work out.

Virtually everyone I know is pressed for time. Respect that fact. Save your customers time by asking a few well-thought out questions BEFORE you suggest a product or service. That way you won’t become a time waster.

But, how do you control a customer who is a time waster? There are a couple of ways…

First, ask a few high-quality questions early in the sales process to determine exactly what your customer is looking for and what their buying criteria are. One of these questions should be something that identifies the time-frame that your customer is working with.

The second thing you can do, particularly if the other person has indicated that they aren’t making a buying decision in the near future, is to direct them to your website or offer other printed materials for them to review.

Third, ask them to make a buying decision. This approach is effective because the time waster will become uncomfortable and will often end the sales discussion himself.

The fourth strategy is to drop them like a hot potato. Don’t waste your time trying to close them. Be pleasant, firm and direct. Tell them that you must take care of other customers and move on. You only have a certain number of hours of prime selling time in any given day. Don’t waste your time selling to people who have no intention of ever buying. And, avoid wasting the time of your customers.

© 2011 Copyright Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved.

Get your FREE copy of 100 Ways to Increase Your Sales by subscribing to Kelley’s free newsletter, “59 Seconds to Sales Success” at

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps sales professionals close more sales at higher profits with less effort. Kelley conducts sales training workshops and speaks regularly at sales meetings and conferences. Contact him at 905-633-7750 or

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Selling Your Invisibles
by Jim Meisenheimer

You've heard this before. People buy from people they like. And why shouldn't they?

Don't ever think your product is so good that it needs little or no salesmanship because your product is quite capable of selling itself.
Throughout the day when you're talking with new sales prospects and even with your existing customers there are lots of little things that are either helping your sales effort or in some cases might be hurting your sales effort.

These little things are mostly invisible. But you can bet the ranch they are tagging along with you on every sales call.

During my speaking engagements and corporate sales training programs I can't help but envy salespeople who always seem to be smiling. For them smiling comes naturally. Not so for me because I have a serious side and so I have to make an extra effort to crank up a genuine smile.

Just because you can't see these things, don't ever underestimate their value, especially during your sales calls.

I encourage you to embrace these invisibles and do what you can to make them work for you.

The smile factor. In sales, nothing beats a smile and I mean nothing. Your smile can light up entire room or if you're not careful blow out all the candles in this room.

If you've been a subscriber to this newsletter for any length of time, you know that I'm originally from New York City. The only people New Yorkers talk to are the people they know. Saying hello to strangers is about as common as ordering cold slices of pizza. It just doesn't happen.

Try doing this the next time you're visiting New York City. Smile at everybody you encounter, on sidewalks, in the hotel lobby and even in hotel elevators. Guess what happens? When you smile the other person automatically smiles back at you.

There's no reason to stop smiling during a sales call. If your sales prospect gets upset with you because he says, "Your price is too high." Wait a moment and put a big smile on your face and say, "I was expecting you to say that."

Your smile will warm-up the coldest room so don't forget to use it. If the people you're with aren't smiling that's a pretty good indication that you aren't either. If you're in sales, you should smile first.

The likability factor. How likable are you? Do you attract people to you or do you push them away because of your personality and behaviors? I used to go to neighborhood parties and there's one neighbor who just could not stop talking. Surprisingly he was in sales. Got to the point where no one asked him any questions because he could take an hour to answer your question. It was pretty sad.

Don't treat people the way you want to be treated, treat people the way they want to be treated because that's one of the secret keys to becoming more likable. And the more they like you, the more they'll buy from you.

The power of positive thinking. Why be negative when you can be positive? Being positive increases your self-confidence. Being positive enables you to stand out from a mostly negative crowd. Always expect every sales call to be your best sales call. Always expect the outcomes of your sales calls to be the best they can be.

Here's one more reason for you to choose positive thinking over negative thinking. Look at the faces belonging to people who are positive thinkers and look at the faces of people who are mostly negative thinkers.

Enough said? Looking good has an awful lot to do with your invisible attitude. Cicero once said, "After 40, your face is your own fault." Ya know - he was right.

Exuding passion for your work. Do you love your work? Have you ever really thought about this? Why would you spend any part of your life working in a job that you're not passionate about?

Some people believe, and count me as one of them, that if you love your work, it's not really work. Ask somebody who has a job that they don't seem to be passionate about how long do they have until they retire. Without thinking or blinking they'll tell you exactly how many years until they retire.

On the other hand ask the same question to anyone who seems really passionate about their work, and they probably will not be able to answer that question. When you love what you're doing, what would motivate you to stop doing it?

The gratitude factor. Living your life is a little like traveling on the highway. It's seldom a straight road. Oftentimes you face unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes we're so busy, we don't take time to appreciate everything we have.

Don't let a day go by without saying "Thank you" to someone who has made your day a little brighter or a little easier.

The more you work with your "Invisibles" the more visible they become.

Start selling your invisibles today and every day and watch your sales take-off.

About The Author:

Make sure you check out Jim's Sales Trailblazer program:

Jim is a Sales Strategist and is the creator of No-Brainer Selling Skills. He shows salespeople and entrepreneurs how to increase sales, earn more money, have more fun, and how to do it all in less time. His focus is on practical ideas that get immediate results. He offers Advanced Sales Management Workshops, Sales Coaching, Consulting, In-house Sales Training Programs, and a wide variety of Learning Tools i.e. books, special reports, sales manuals, and CDs.Jim Meisenheimer is a member of The National Speakers Association, where he earned the C.S.P. designation, Certified Speaking Professional. He has authored five books including, "The 12 Best Questions To Ask Customers," and the recently published “57 Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life”.


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How To Gain A Thirteenth Month Every Year
by Jonathan Farrington

Time is your most valuable resource and until you realize this, you will continue to wonder where all your time goes!!! If you consider those times in your life where you’ve experienced disappointments – e.g. the lost sale, the breakdown of a relationship, etc. – and ask yourself “If I’d had more time to prepare, to talk, etc. would the outcome have been different?” - the answer almost certainly will be YES!

Introducing the Ivy Lee System

In the early 1900′s, Ivy Lee, a management consultant, visited Charles Schwab, then president of Bethlehem Steel Company.

Ivy asked, “If I could increase the productivity of your managers by at least 20 percent, what would it be worth to you?”

Schwab said he didn’t know but it would be definitely worth a lot.

Ivy Lee then taught Schwab a time management skill that took 10 minutes to learn and increased productivity by at least 20 percent.

Lee didn’t want to be paid upfront…Schwab could decide for himself and send a check later.

Schwab agreed.

There are many time management systems around, they usually involve attendance on training courses and the purchase of a vast amount of specially designed documentation. However, The Ivy Lee System, like all good ideas, is very simple and yet effective. It could find you an extra hour a day, which is equivalent to an extra twenty hours a month – resulting in an extra month per year!

The Method

You must commit yourself to trying this system for a minimum of 30 days – thereafter, I am confident you will never look back!

Week One

Write down all the tasks you need to complete the next day (rather like a “to do” list). It is advisable to do the next day’s list at the end of each day.

Then priorities those tasks, but be careful not to give tasks a higher priority because you enjoy doing them (from experience, it is often best to get those tasks you are less keen on completed first, then you have the most pleasant tasks left as an incentive).

At the end of each day, you may be left with tasks that you have not completed and the temptation (as with a “to do” list) is to automatically carry them over to the next day. A lot can happen in a day and tasks that are important today are not necessarily so tomorrow.

During any normal working day, there will be an element of the unexpected – so what you need to do, in the first week, is make a note of how much of your time was taken up with the unexpected tasks.

Week Two

Build in times for the unexpected – i.e. continue as for week one, but also allocate time to handle the unexpected. How much time can be calculated from your first week’s activities? In addition, during the day, make a note of how long it took you to complete each task.

Week Three

Make a habit of allocating a time target against each task. You will now have a fair indication of what you can achieve each day – including coping with the unexpected – and how long it should take you. By allocating time targets to each task, you’ll be more likely to complete all of them.

When you have written your task list and set time targets, but before you prioritize them, ask yourself three questions:

• Do I need to do this? If the answer is ‘no’, then consider delegating it.

• Do I need to do this today (i.e. what will happen if I don’t do it?). If the answer is ‘no’, why is it on your list?

• Does doing this task add value to the company or me? If the answer is ‘no‘, then why are you even considering it?

Remember: By following the Ivy Lee System, you now have 13 months to reach your annual target!

Schwab taught this technique to his staff, and after one month he was so impressed that he sent Ivy Lee a check for $25,000.

Not bad for ten minutes work!

I have been using this system for thirty years, and I really don’t know how I would manage without it.

About The Author:

Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, consultant, and sales strategist, who has guided hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals around the world towards optimum performance levels.

He is the CEO of Top Sales Associates, Chairman of The jf Corporation and the creator of, and the annual Top Sales & Marketing Awards.

Jonathan is based in London and Paris.

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Reviving Prospects Who Disappear into the Black Hole
by Jill Konrath

Have you ever had hot prospects who suddenly stopped returning your call? Then you know how disconcerting it can be - especially when they'd expressed so much interest in your product or service only days before.

At first, you assume their lack of responsiveness is an isolated situation that will quickly self-correct. But after repeated failed attempts to connect, you start to question your own sanity.

You could have sworn they were interested, but their current behavior indicates otherwise. And, not wanting to appear too desperate or to come across as a real pest, you're stymied in terms of what your next steps should be.

Why They Disappeared

As a seller, it's always important to analyze what may be causing this behavior before taking action. In my experience, these are the typical reasons why prospects disappear into "The Black Hole."

  • They're totally swamped.  Without a doubt, this is the most common. In virtually every company today, people have way too much to do and not nearly enough time to get it all done. They fully intend to continue the conversation, but not right now.
  • Priorities changed.  This can happen overnight. Changing market conditions, bad 3rd quarter results, and new leadership are just a few of the possible root causes. But when this happens, it's darn near impossible to regain your momentum in the short term.
  • Lack of urgency.  Sometimes sellers confuse a prospect's interest level with a desire to take action today. As such, they share all the glorious details about their offering instead of building a business case for immediate change.
  • Column fodder.  Occasionally prospects just need comparative bids/pricing to justify their decision to go with another company.
  • They know everything.  When prospects feel they have all the information they need, there's literally no reason to talk with you any further.

Different reasons call for different actions. Some you can prevent by doing things differently in your customer interactions. Always be open to this possibility since prevention is your best cure. Others you have no control over.

In any case, you need answers! Is it "yeah" or "nay"? Are they still interested or not? Should you keep pursing them or find new prospects?

What You Can Do

When you don't know what's behind their silence, figuring out how to respond can be a dilemma - especially since you don't want to be a pest. Here are some strategies you can use in dealing with "The Black Hole:"

  • Just keep trying.  Realize that prospects expect you to carry the "keep in touch" burden - so do it. It can often take 8-10 contacts before you actually reach them again. Don't panic. This is normal in today's business environment.
  • Make each connection valuable.  Don't just say, "Hi Eric. Just getting back to you as I promised about your xx decision. If you have any questions, give me a call.
Instead, you might say, "Eric, Based on our conversation last week, I know how important it is to you to shorten your sales cycle. There's a white paper on our website that addresses this issue. I'll be sending you a link via email shortly."
  • Have a sense of humor.  After 4-5 contacts, leave a funny message such as, "Eric. I know you're swamped. But I also know that shortening your sales cycle is important to you. That's why I keep bugging you. I'm looking forward to FINALLY reconnecting."
  • Leverage a variety of mediums.  Mix up phone calls with emails, mailings, invitations to upcoming events, sending articles, etc. To position yourself as a resource, makes sure each connection educates, informs or adds insights.
  • Create multiple entry points.  Never let one person be your total gateway to a company. Identify and nurture multiple relationships concurrently. When appropriate, reference others you're talking to in your messages/emails.
  • Re-evaluate your initial connection.  How could you increase their urgency? Determine if you're just column fodder? Or, tie your offering more into their business priorities? In way too many cases, sellers have done a product/service dump when talking to prospects. Instead you need to focus on critical business outcomes and the difference you can make.
  • Plan your next step now.  Never leave a meeting without a homework assignment (for you and/customer) and a firm follow-up appointment scheduled. If they're unwilling to do this, it's an indicator that something may not be quite right - which should prompt you to explore their need and urgency in greater depth.
  • Let them off the hook.  Send an email stating that you thought they were interested, but perhaps you misjudged the situation since you haven't heard back from them in the last 6 weeks. Believe it or not, this strategy often gets a response & an explanation from a prospect who is feeling guilty about not reconnecting.
  • Reduce your contact frequency.  If, after ten touches, you still haven't heard, start contacting them less often. A quarterly schedule might be more appropriate. Or, you might want to keep on top of what's happening in the account and reconnect at a more appropriate time.

By leveraging one or more of these strategies, you'll often be able to re-engage a prospect who has disappeared into "The Black Hole." Not always, but often. And, if you've continually provided value and focused on the impact your offering makes, they'll likely be ready to implement your solution yesterday.


Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling (#1 Amazon sales book) and Selling to Big Companies, a Fortune "must read" selection. She's a frequent speaker at sales conferences and kick-off meetings. For more fresh sales strategies and free sales tools that work actually with today's crazy-busy prospects, visit

© Jill Konrath 2011 All Rights Reserved. For permission to reproduce this article, email

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Simple "Sales Math" Should Be Taught in Schools
byArt Sobczak


Thinking back to all of the math I took in high school and college, most of the algebra, calculus, statistics and accounting was never of any use to me in the real word. What would have been really helpful is some basic sales math that most of us use the rest of our lives.

Numbers of course play a huge role for anyone in sales, and business. Look around you and in the news...NBA players and owners were arguing about percentages of revenue, congress and the President are arguing about budget numbers, tax percentages, etc. And we use numbers in a variety of ways to persuade and sell.

We use numbers to describe degrees of pain, pleasure, profits, losses, income, and time. And there are smart ways to use numbers on the phone in your sales. Let's look at a few of them.

Reducing Price to the Ridiculous
This old technique refers to minimizing your price or difference in cost between you and a competitor. "Ridiculous" refers to how insignificant the amount really is when you put it in daily terms.

"Pat, we're really only talking about a difference of two dollars a day to have the souped-up model."

(Or, ridiculous could mean how crazy someone could get with this technique, which can sound cheesy: "Chad, it's only 30 cents per hour difference over the 10-year life of the machine.")

Raise it to the Outrageous
Conversely, this is taking a savings and extrapolating it over a longer period. It's useful in pointing out how much someone will save, over a greater period of time, by buying from you.

"You'll save the shipping cost on every order. On two orders per month at an average of $15 per, we're looking at $360 for the year."

Can You Say "Dollars"?
When you want to maximize the perception of a number, say the word "dollars."

"With us, your savings will be over three-thousand

Conversely, to minimize it, just say the number

"To upgrade will only be an extra one-fifty."

Use Exact Numbers
Stating exact numbers adds more credibility to your statements than using rounded numbers. For example,

"Our program is in place at 358 dealerships," sounds authoritative.

"Our program is in about 400 dealerships," leaves a feeling that the number might be fudged a bit.

Likewise, if you want to minimize the importance of a number, you could use a rounded figure.

"We're only looking at a figure for customization somewhere in the 200 range."

Place Price in a Different Perspective
You probably can recall those hair-pulling situations here you've established the savings or additional profits you could help someone realize, but yet, they don't act on it. It's normally because they don't see the number as being significant enough. So put it in terms they can understand.

"Paul, you're right, we're only talking about $600 a month savings here. But I bet that would make the monthly payment on one of your delivery vans."

Or, here's a powerful one:

"The $200 cost reduction might not seem like a lot, but let's look at it a different way. You said you're profit margin is about 10%. You'd need to do
another $2000 in sales per month just to make the
$200 I'm basically offering you, for free."

These examples just scratch the surface of how we use numbers all of the time in sales. I'd like to hear yours. Please email me with some numbers-techniques that you use to persuade and sell.

Continue having your best sales week ever!

About the Author:
Art Sobczak, President of Business By Phone Inc., specializes in one area only: working with business-to-business salespeople--both inside and outside--designing and delivering content-rich programs that participants begin showing results from the very next time they get on the phone. Audiences love his "down-to-earth,"entertaining style, and low-pressure, easy-to-use, customer oriented ideas and techniques. He works with thousands of sales reps each year helping them get more businesses by phone. Art provides real world, how-to ideas and techniques that help salespeople use the phone more effectively to prospect, sell, and service, without morale-killing "rejection." Using the phone in sales is only difficult for people who use outdated, salesy, manipulative tactics, or for those who aren't quite sure what to do, or aren't confident in their abilities. Art's audiences always comment how he simplifies the telesales process, making it easily adaptable for anyone with the right attitude.

Contact Info
Art Sobczak
Business By Phone Inc.
13254 Stevens St.
Omaha, NE, 68137

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Happy Anniversary
by Jim Meisenheimer

Let's say you’ve been selling for almost 10 years. Your 10th anniversary in sales will be in September. Imagine getting a card from a business associate that simply said, "Congratulations on your 10th anniversary in sales."

How would that make you feel? Probably pretty good. How would you feel about the person who sent you this thoughtful card? Once again - probably pretty good.

What would sending this card say about the person who sent the card to you? Well, it might say he was thoughtful and professional and that he cared enough about you to send a card.

This is a little idea that always has a big impact. And it only requires a little extra effort on your part. Your sales prospects and customers will think more of you and less of your competitor – guaranteed!

Here's the game plan and you can use this with existing customers as well. Whenever you meet someone for the first time ask them, "How long have you been doing this work?"

For example, if you're talking to a purchasing agent you could ask, "How long have you been in purchasing?"

If they say, "18 years" be sure you confirm the exact year and then ask “Which month did you start?”

You see everybody knows the answer to this question.

You then take this person's name and the anniversary number and put it on your electronic calendar so that it pops up every year on the same anniversary date.

Just imagine this for a moment. You make a sales call and talk to Bill Anderson for the first time. You ask him this question and make note of it on your electronic calendar.

Now up to this point Bill hasn't given you a stitch of business. One month after meeting Bill you send him a card that says, "Congratulations on your 18th anniversary in Purchasing."

Bill will feel good about the card and probably will feel even better about you. Now get this - you've known Bill exactly 1 month and send him a personal anniversary card.

His current supplier has been selling to Bill for 12 years. Do you think Bill might wonder why he didn't get a card from his current supplier?

Try this and you'll be very pleased with the results.

This is just one of 57 Sales Tips you'll find in my Sales Manual, "57 Sales Tips To Reinvent And Distinguish Yourself From Your Competition."

Get your copy here:

About The Author:

Make sure you check out Jim's Sales Trailblazer program:

Jim is a Sales Strategist and is the creator of No-Brainer Selling Skills. He shows salespeople and entrepreneurs how to increase sales, earn more money, have more fun, and how to do it all in less time. His focus is on practical ideas that get immediate results. He offers Advanced Sales Management Workshops, Sales Coaching, Consulting, In-house Sales Training Programs, and a wide variety of Learning Tools i.e. books, special reports, sales manuals, and CDs.Jim Meisenheimer is a member of The National Speakers Association, where he earned the C.S.P. designation, Certified Speaking Professional. He has authored five books including, "The 12 Best Questions To Ask Customers," and the recently published “57 Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life”.



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The Only Way To Handle Price Objections
by Jonathan Farrington

Sooner or later whenever any of us buys something we will want to know the price. Then, in our heads we go through an internal process of evaluating whether it’s worth it and if we decide that it is, we make our purchase.

Very often what is perceived as a price objection is actually a request for more information, without knowing the price we are unable to decide. Interestingly, if people only made purchases on price alone 93% of organisations would be out of business. Price objections can be dealt with much more effectively by incorporating the following suggestions within your team’s sales approach.

My advice is always to postpone talking about prices until after you have demonstrated the value of your product or service. If people are informed of the price too early, they’ll make an instant judgment that can close their mind towards what you are telling them.

For example, if you were told that a grubby stone was 10,000 Euros, you’d be very closed about what the seller was going to say next.

Alternatively, if you were shown an uncut diamond that was thirty carats with a photograph of how it would look cut, its value will be perceived as dramatically higher meaning that when the seller tells you that it’s 10,000 Euros, you’ll have already appreciated the fact that it’s a diamond. If a prospect asks the price too early in the sales process its good practice to say something along the lines of: “Before we can discuss prices we both need to be absolutely sure that we are right for you. So, if it’s all right with you, we’ll come back and discuss the price in detail when we both know what you need.”

As with any objection, it’s important to understand the basis of their objection. For example, if a prospect says, “It’s too expensive” an experienced sales person will drill-down to find out why they are making this statement. Precision questions can achieve this such as:

- How do you know?
- Compared to what?
- Compared with whom?

If a sales person asks “why?” this will only encourage the prospect to reiterate all the reasons why they believe you are expensive, which installs this belief at a deeper level making it harder to overcome.

When customers perceive the value of a proposition outweighs the risks then generally speaking they will go ahead and make the purchase.

Customers will often pay more for added value, which is usually related to one of the “Three Rs”: Reputation/Reliability/Relationship.

Good sales people are able to paint a graphic picture of what is at stake, quantify the value, and help the prospect understand how it will make them feel. It’s important that your team really believe in the value of what they are offering, so that they are better equipped to convince their prospects. If your team are unsure about the value their product or service can provide, they will project this unconsciously onto their prospects. If your team are completely convinced that their product or service offers superb value for money then their entire communication, from their voice tone, their eye contact and their gestures will convey ‘VALUE’.

It is also a good idea to break down the price into small chunks, such as cost per use or per week. “And you can enjoy all those benefits for just £2.97 a week.” The smaller the number the more attractive it will to the prospect. and it helps put a manageable context around the prospect’s possible outlay.

If you are producing a quotation for a product or service than has multiple elements, itemise the cost for each element. This helps to build the value because prospects can see at-a-glance all the elements involved and the individual prices for each element will be lower than the total sum.

If you have correctly identified the prospects requirements and proposed aligned solutions then chances are, you won’t be suggesting a ‘Rolls Royce’ version when the customer was requiring a ‘Mini’. It’s much more effective to give the prospect something they have asked for and makes it easier for them to compare prices. Once the prospect is satisfied that your prices are pretty much the same, you have created a stronger platform to ‘up-sell’ from.

Focus on the difference between what they say they are willing to pay, and what you are asking for. This reduces the amount in their mind and is another opportunity to highlight the additional benefits they will gain. For example, “You’ll get all these extra benefits for just (difference in price) a week more than you’re paying at the moment.”

If you need to lower the price, then change the deal. This can help you to maintain your credibility and justifies the reason for you lowering your price. If you simply comply with their request to match a competitor’s price, you imply that you were asking too much in the first instance. Take out aspects of your proposition to bring the cost within their budget.

Ultimately, the price of something is what the customer invests now. The cost is what they end up paying in the longer term. A product/service that requires a higher initial investment may be more cost-effective and provide long-term better value for money.

For example, imagine two brands of dishwashing liquid. Brand A costs more to buy initially than Brand B, yet because Brand A is more concentrated, (feature) it washes twice as many plates as Brand B (benefit). So, overall Brand A is actually much better value in the longer term. In fact, if you calculate the investment per ‘plate’ then you have reduced the price to the lowest common denominator.

Objections do not go away, they are real, and the most successful sales professionals anticipate them and deal with them head on!

About The Author:

Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, consultant, and sales strategist, who has guided hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals around the world towards optimum performance levels.

He is the CEO of Top Sales Associates, Chairman of The jf Corporation and the creator of, and the annual Top Sales & Marketing Awards.

Jonathan is based in London and Paris.

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