Something Strange Happening in Sales

Copyright 2006 Top Dog Consulting

That nasty, predictable objection doesn’t have the same old sting it used to have.

You know, the objection most of us think is a not-so-subtle brush-off. The one stated by the gatekeepers who cut us off mid-sentence saying, “Could you send him something in writing?”

It’s strange how one day a phrase can sound so negative. Then, with one teeny, tiny change in thinking, the very same words bring hope.

All of the sudden, instead of rejection and a tightly closed door, these words bring to mind the picture of a wide open door and a fountain spilling over with opportunity.

At least that’s what’s happening in the minds of your colleagues who have enough profitable experience now to wholeheartedly embrace this change in thinking. Those who no longer interpret “Could you send him something in writing?” as a semi-polite “thanks, but no thanks!”

Many successful sales professionals now welcome those words as they filter them through a new lens of understanding. These sales pros know that the request for something in writing is “executive assistant shorthand” for:

“I’ve heard enough. You’ve made it past me. Give me something good to give him”

Her thought process goes along these lines, “I think he very well may be interested in what you have to offer. Having said that, my executive has so much going on in his brain that he needs help getting his brain out of the stratosphere to settle down on one topic, in particular, a new topic such as yours! Please, help me help him by sending something in writing that will give him a good idea of how your products/services will help him resolve his most pressing business issues.”

This interpretation of gatekeeper lingo makes you pause and rethink, doesn’t it?

As you ponder this angle, your next question becomes, “OK, now that I have an open door to send them something, what can I send that will compel the decision maker to invite me in for a meeting? What exactly should I send to this particular prospect?”

Let’s start with what you don’t send.

Do not send the 4-color glossy brochure packet that talks all about your company, how long it has been in business, and the oh-so-flattering picture of your company president. Your prospect doesn’t care. Nothing in that brochure helps him figure out how to solve his business problems.

Now, here’s what you do send.

Fax a one page, black and white executive summary of results, preferably in the form of testimonials from other executive clients of yours who articulate what your products and services have contributed to their businesses.

At the top of the sheet, in bold and centered print, be sure to put your carefully crafted benefit statement. You know, the statement that answers your prospect’s unspoken question, “What will I get out of the deal if I do business with this caller?”

The more specific you can get, the more compelling the benefit statement. Here’s an example to which most of us can relate. The phrase “Domino’s Delivers” doesn’t pack nearly the same punch as the phrase “Domino’s Delivers in 30 minutes or Less, Guaranteed!”

On the balance of the faxable one-sheet you’ll want to pack in testimonials, comments from your happy clients that reveal the results they have reaped from doing business with you.

Note: When you say how great you are, the words sound distastefully prideful. But when your clients sing your praises (or the praises of your company) in their own words, the song is sweet to the ears of your prospects that are looking for solutions.

Make sure your testimonials are specific and include numbers.

The secret to powerful testimonials is in the bottom line results described by your happy clients, such as, “These guys increased my revenues by more than 20%.”

Let’s face it. Those 4-color glossy brochures that go on and on and on about your company have an unintended impact. They leave your prospects ‘underwhelmed’, with thoughts of “who cares?”, and the sense that you expect them to break into a chorus of “How Great Thou Art!”

If you listen to your prospects and really hear what they need from you in order to invite you in, your approach will be considerably different. Better yet, the impact will be different as they receive a one-sheet from you that presents solutions to their problems.

Stop sending the stuff that makes you look like a feathered peacock. Start sending the stuff that assures your prospects that the solution to his or her most pressing business problem is your products and services.

Focus on you and you’ll be spending more time with you. Focus on serving the needs of your prospects and marvel as they roll out the red carpet with welcoming trumpets, et al!

Forward this article to friends—they’ll thank you for it!