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Questions and Answers for Sales People

 

Questions and Answers

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Once a month, Dave responds to questions from sales managers in his Ezine, “Thinking about Sales.” This is a compilation of those answers. To subscribe to the Ezine, click here. Check back often, as new answers are added regularly. If you are a publisher, feel free to use these in your publication as they appear, or edit them to fit your publication's needs. Make sure that you print and return the publication terms of agreement if you decide to use any portion of the editorial content offered here.

To view the list of magazines, websites and newsletters that have published articles by Dave Kahle click here. To review the books that Dave has written, click here.

QA-S-77 Q. My boss recently decided that we must call prospects once every hour, every day, until we get a yes or no, regardless of what they say, or if it's voicemail. What's your opinion of this?
A. I really think there are two questions here. The first has to do with this practice - Is it a good idea to do this? The second is more personal and implied - What should you do? Let's deal with each of them separately. Is it a good idea to call prospects every hour, every day, in order to get a definite yes or no? I don't think so, with some exceptions... [Read More]

QA-S-76 Q. How do we get more calls in when driving time is so long?
A. I'm going to answer this on two levels. First, when you have a big geographical territory with lots of windshield time, you have to do a better job of routing your calls to maximize the time with the customer. Plan your basic itinerary at least a month in advance, and try to schedule your calls in a logical pattern so that you are not driving back and forth... [Read More]

QA-S-75 Q. What are your views on dress? Does it matter?
A. Sure it matters. Everything that you say and do matters. Dress can be a powerful part of your persona. On one hand, how you dress can facilitate your objectives and make you more effective, and on the other, inappropriate dress can present an obstacle to your interaction with customers. Let's get some basics out of the way... [Read More]

QA-S-74 Q. If you dropped the ball with a customer, how can you redeem their trust again?
A. By "dropped the ball", you can be referring to two different situations. First, it was your company who messed up. Your company didn't fulfill the promises you made. Or, second, it was you. You didn't do what you said you would do, or you somehow personally violated the customer's expectations for you. Regardless, the remedy is similar... [Read More]

QA-S-73 Q. Dave, I have been a fan for a number of years, and have a number of your books. In the last couple of years, I have grown increasingly frustrated. Why won't people respond to my emails, return my voice mails, or even see me when I show up in person? Am I doing something wrong?
A.
  You have asked a question that tens of thousands of other sales people have bouncing around in their heads every day. I hope the response which follows will be helpful. [Read More]

QA-S-71 Q. What is the worst single piece of advice to a sales person you have ever heard?
A.
Wow. I love this question. I don’t think I have ever been asked it before.

I can’t identify one single piece of advice. I’ll have to opt for two. I’m going to identify them, and then explain why I think they are so damaging. Here they are:

  • 1.  Be yourself.
  • 2.  Learn on your own by trial and error. [Read More]

QA-S-70 Q. Dave, on several occasions you have said that our customers want us to understand their business. How do we do that when we call on lots of different types of businesses? How do we become experts in everything?
A.
  Unless you are a real genius, you don’t.  Rather, you do two things: [Read More]

QA-S-69 Q. How many sales calls should a sales person make?
I hear this question in about half of the seminars that I do.  From sales managers, it springs from their concern for defining what constitutes a “good sales day.”  From sales people, they often want to know so that they have some ammunition in talking with their managers.  [Read More]

QA-S-68 Q.  You’ve said on several occasions that the most important part of my job is interacting with the customers.  How important is it to spend time with the customers out of the office, and what percentage of time should I spend doing it?
So many of these answers begin with the phrase “it depends.”  This is another one of them.  The amount of time and money you spend entertaining customers, or spending time with them outside of the office, depends on the value of the account.  The larger the annual dollar potential, the more time you should seek to spend with the customer on a personal level. [Read More]

QA-S-67 Q. In regards to working on a big new project with a prospect, we showed a huge savings and better operation.  The customer gave all our information to the current supplier and they matched it.  Is it ok to go above the buyer’s head?
I’m going to make a lot of sales managers uncomfortable with this answer.  This is not going to be what you expect to hear. [Read More]

QA-S-66 Q. What’s the good news?  Where is the silver lining?
Great question. So many of us have been concentrating on the clouds recently, that we haven’t noticed the silver lining around the clouds. Certainly the economy is just limping along with no signs of a dramatic improvement on the horizon.  It is easy to become depressed and discouraged. [Read More]

QA-S-65 Q.  Is “being yourself” a sales strategy?
If you are naturally an attractive, sensitive, empathetic human being who everyone loves to be with, if you have a great measure of sensitivity and perceptiveness coupled with outstanding intelligence and unshakable integrity, then the answer is “Yes, of course, be yourself.”  If you are anything less than perfect, though, maybe you ought to carefully consider it. [Read More]

QA-S-63 Q. How do you handle a customer who talks all the time?
Your question reminds me of an ex-neighbor - the ultimate non-stop talker. A single guy, he had adopted our family as his, and was in the habit of showing up for dinner at every holiday.   [Read More]

QA-S-61 Q. It seems like the price is even more an issue today than ever before. In this environment, how do we get the margins up to increase the bottom line?
Thanks for the question. Believe me, I understand the constant pressure on your price. I wish there were a simple, 25-words or less formula for increasing your margins. There isn’t. What there is, though, is a set of tactics that have been proven effective in increasing your margins, even in the most difficult of markets.  [Read More]

QA-S-59 Q. I worked on a large bid for a company with which I had relationships in the past. I knew that we could do a great job for them but...
This is one of the most difficult issues a B2B sales person faces. It represents one of the true “lows” of field sales. We often talk about the “highs” of gaining a big deal, but rarely the “lows” that come with being used and abused. [Read More]

QA-S-58 Q. We use the phone for keeping contact with many accounts.  I also use it for cold calling phone prospects.  Any hints on how to entice prospects to call back, since over 60 percent of calls are answered by voice mail?
Welcome to the bane of 21st Century sales people – Voice Mail!  Yes, I have a number of ideas... [ Read More]

QA-S-57 Q. In a situation where I have made contact with the decision maker, I have provided samples and prices but...
Let’s look at the situation from the customer’s point of view. He probably has more important things to do than test your product. Your project has become a low-on-the–to-do-list item. He’ll get to it when he gets to it. [Read More]

QA-S-56 Q. Sales are down, operating expenses are up, management is crying that sales expenses are up.  What should a sales person do in such a situation?
These certainly are challenging times.  I’ve been through enough of these to have learned some things. Even though I never liked going through difficult times, and would not wish them on anyone, I can honestly say that I always came out of them stronger, more confident, with more capabilities and more security than ever.  You can, too.

Here are a few things that I have learned along the way…[ Read More ]

QA-S-55 Q. Every one of my customers is buying less this year than last year.  My sales are down. What can I do?
You really have two choices.  The first, which, unfortunately, is the solution to which most companies and sales people currently subscribe is this:  Do nothing differently, complain a lot and hope that things change.  Maybe the government will fix everything... [ Read More ]

QA-S-54 When we get through to the person we want to talk to, we most often hear that they are happy with their current supplier. How can we overcome that?
There are a number of ways to deal with this. Here's one. Let's recognize that the conversation seems to be centered on the wrong issues. When you call for an appointment, the issue is not whether that company should buy from you. The issue is whether or not the person on the other end of the phone should invest 15 - 30 minutes of time with you. You should be selling the appointment, not your company. In other words, focus on giving them a reason to see you. The reason to buy from you will come later... [Read More]

QA-S-53 Q. How would you suggest I respond when a customer gets abusive and uses profanity with me? That’s a difficult call. I have had only a couple of these experiences in my career. Let me do a little thinking out loud (or as it may be, on the computer.) .... [Read More]

QA-S-51 Q. I find it difficult to stay upbeat and positive all the time. I have a tendency to get down on myself when something goes poorly and then find it hard to look forward to the next sales call. I can’t be the only salesperson who struggles with this. Can you help?
Thanks for asking a question that the vast majority of salespeople don’t have the courage to ask. Yep, the situation you described is an occupational hazard. Most salespeople have times when they are hesitant to make the next call or take the next step because they’ve just be rejected in the last.....[Read More]

QA-S-50 Q. Any advice for a salesperson in this economy? It seems like almost every customer is saying that they are cutting back and delaying spending. How can I get them to loosen the purse strings and buy?
Great question. I’m sure this change in the economy and your customer’s reactions to it are very frustrating. I have several ideas. [ Read More ]

QA-S-49 Q. Part III: I’m seeing a lot of anxiety and nervousness about the economy all around me. Do you have any thoughts on how to respond to this?
A little background. In September, just as this crisis was beginning to show itself, I wrote an email to my adult children addressing this issue. What follows is ... [ Read More ]

QA-S-46 Q. What do we do when a customer wants to spread the business between several vendors, even though I know we can provide better service?
A. If you are looking for a short, easy solution, there isn't any. The solution to this, like so many sales problems, is a matter of a long term, consistent approach on your part. There is probably nothing you can say or do, in the short term that will impact this... [Read More]

QA-S-45 Q. Giving quotes. Client (prospect ) seems interested but never gets back to you.
I'm assuming that the question here is, "How do I get the prospect to give me an answer when I provide a quote?" This is one of the most common frustrations for salespeople..... [Read More]

QA-S-44 To what extent should salespeople be responsible for collecting accounts receivable? Isn't it a conflict to be responsible for both sales and collections?
Great question, and one that comes up fairly frequently. Let's think it through. First, I believe the credit department has the responsibility to ascertain an account's credit worthiness and to provide specific and timely direction to the salespeople. If an account's credit line is reduced, for example, that decision needs to be clearly communicated to the salesperson in a timely fashion so that the salesperson doesn't spend inappropriate time trying to sell to that account. Nobody wants salespeople spending time selling to an account when the company won't accept an order from that account...[Read More]

QA-S-41 What is the best and ideal number of visits to be done on a current customer on a regular basis to retain his loyalty?
Here I go again. It depends. So many questions in the world of professional sales are answered by that phrase. It depends on how detailed your product line is. The more complex and difficult it is for the customer to decipher, the more visits by you. The more simple the product line, the fewer the visits. It depends on how active your competitors are in the account. The more active, the more visits. The less active, the fewer visits. [Read More]

QA-S-40 I work with a number of people who have little sense of professional treatment and courtesy for internal customers. The behavior is now escalating to a higher level to the customers, and is giving our show room a bad rap. How do I maintain a professional standard and prevent my co–workers from sabotaging my sales?
Welcome to the world of sales. Believe me, there may be a salesperson out there somewhere who has not shared your same frustrations, but I have yet to run into him. In other words, you are not alone. Frustration with co–workers seems to be one of the things that is part of the job of the field salesperson, like sitting in waiting rooms for hours, getting slowed down in heavy traffic, and dealing with voice mail – it just comes with the territory. Every salesperson has, or will have, a story about a customer lost because of uncaring and unprofessional behavior from a co–worker... [Read More]

QA-S-35 Q. I have been receiving your monthly e mail and have read several of your books. I work as an account manager for a large industrial supplier. I love your strategies and ideas but I haven't found a specific way to overcome my most recent obstacle. I have been moved around from several successful territories, and now find myself trying to sell to companies that are lead by close friends of my main competitor. This competitor is a former employee of our company and is bound and bent to destroy us. How can I get between him and these contacts that are, in some cases, close friends with him for 20+ years? You guys are in my opinion THE best in the business! You must have an answer to this.
A. You certainly have a difficult challenge, but not one that is insurmountable... [Read More]

QA-S-33 How much time should you expect from a customer for an appointment?
This is one of those many questions for which the answer always begins with "It depends." It depends, first of all, if this is a prospect (someone who has not purchased) or a regular customer (someone who buys regularly). Generally speaking, you can expect more time with a customer than with a prospect. It depends, secondly, on the understanding your customer has about the purpose and agenda of the call. For example, if you asked for 60 minutes in order to detail your response to his request for a proposal or a piece of equipment, than you should expect 60 minutes. If you asked for a short period of time to introduce you and your company, than you are probably lucky to get 30 minutes. [Read More]

QA-S-32 You stated "Anything else?" as one of your "really good sales questions" I see it as a close-ended question. Is "What else can I do?" as effective, or more or less effective?
I'm sticking with "Anything else?" as a "Really Good Sales Question." Yes, it is a close-ended question, but that doesn't make it bad. There is a time and place for close-ended questions. Remember, "Anything else?" is always used to follow up on some piece of information the customer has given you. Typically, it follows an open-ended question, as in, "Tell me what you look for in a vendor." You generally get one of two answers.... [Read More]

QA-S-29 Q. Dave, I've tried for months to see a prospect account, but can't get them to return my calls. When is it best to just give up?
There is a question we have all asked at one time or another. As usual, there is no simple answer. Let's explore this. First, let's decide whether or not the potential of the account is worth some extraordinary measures and additional investment of your time. Is the potential dollar volume substantial? Is it just an ordinary account? Is it smaller than most? If it is a small account, I'd say give up and move on right now... [Read More]

QA-S-27 Help! I'm so frustrated. I just attended a "sales training" program that never addressed the real issues that I have to deal with every day. What causes me problems is not my lack of sales ability; it is my company's back orders, the lack of responsiveness and competence in my customer service people, the mistakes in delivery by the warehouse. Those are the real issues. What can I do about those things?
Thank you for a " real world" perspective on the real issues that impact the ability of real salespeople to do their jobs. I appreciate you asking the question that so many salespeople are hesitant to ask. Believe me, I understand. For much of my life, I dealt with those same issues. It seemed like my results (and my income) were totally dependent on how well someone else did their jobs - materials management, customer service, delivery, etc. No matter how effective I was, my efforts could be totally sabotaged by a problem in inventory, quality control, warehouse or delivery.... [Read More]

QA-S-25 Suppliers to the automotive industry do not accept price increases unless they have zero alternatives. How do we handle this?
I'm sure you are not the only person thinking this way, nor is the automotive industry the only industry that holds this position. We commonly hear from our customers that our prices are too high, and that they won't accept price increases. Now, I'm assuming that the reason you want to increase their price is because your cost has increased. In order to maintain your margins, you have to increase the sales price to proportionately reflect the increase in your cost. .... [Read More]

QA-S-24 In regards to personality conflicts with an account, at what point do you walk away and let someone else in your organization try?
Great question. Let me answer in two ways. First, from a purely theoretical perspective, a professional salesperson should be able to build relationships with anyone regardless of the personalities involved. So, from a theoretical point of view the answer would be "never." It is the responsibility of the salesperson to figure out how to sell to every account. There are some selling situations where this "theoretical" position becomes part of the practical expectations for a salesperson. Large geographical territories, for example, don't allow for the option of letting someone else try...... [Read More]

QA-S-23 We do not want to turn salespeople into collection agents, but there certainly is a role that salespeople can play in the process. Do you have any thoughts? Yes, I do. Like you, I don't want to turn salespeople into collection agents. Let's consider this piece by piece. First, I believe the credit department has the responsibility to ascertain an account's credit worthiness and to provide specific and timely direction to the salespeople. If an account's credit line is reduced, for example, that decision needs to be clearly communicated to the salesperson in a timely fashion so that the salesperson doesn't spend inappropriate time trying to sell to that account. Nobody wants salespeople spending time selling to an account when the company won't accept an order from that account. [Read More]

QA-S-22 How do you know how far to push a sale without overstepping your bounds and threatening the sale and/or the relationship with the customer?
First, understand that it is OK, every now and then, to overstep your bounds. That helps you understand where the boundaries are. If you never push it to the limit, you'll never know where the limit is. Let me illustrate with an example from my selling career. At one time I sold surgical staplers. I would approach a surgeon in the surgeon's lounge of an operating room suite, demonstrate the staplers, and then ask to accompany the surgeon into surgery where I'd talk him through the application of the instruments. Getting into surgery was the absolute essential step to selling our stuff..... [Read More]

QA-S-21 If you dropped the ball with a customer, how can you redeem their trust again?
By "dropped the ball" you can be referring to two different situations. First, it was your company who messed up. Your company didn't fulfill the promises you made. Or, second, it was you. You didn't do what you said you would do, or you somehow personally violated the customer's expectations for you. Regardless, the remedy is similar. You must make a personal, heartfelt and detailed apology, as soon as possible. And you must do that to everyone who is impacted by the problem. If the problem was your company, apologize on behalf of the company. If the problem was you, personally apologize..... [Read More]

QA-S-20 Dave, how can a sales person have a life at night and not be reactive to customers calling at night - seven or eight per night?
I have a hard time imagining why you would need to receive seven or eight calls every night from customers. I think the issue lies in your view of what the job of the salesperson really is, and what strategy best brings success to the salesperson. A lot of sales people view themselves as merely extensions of the company's customer service operations. In other words, they believe that the reason their customers do business with them is because they (the sales person) bends over backwards to respond to every whim of the customer. These salespeople then inadvertently train their customers to call them with every problem and need they have. Many times, many of these calls and problems could and should have been better directed to the company's customer service representatives.... [Read More]

QA-S-19 Mr. Kahle, was there ever a time in your sales life that you just decided to be the best? Or was it something that you have always had? I started a business a few years ago, and need to take it to the next level.
Let's begin by defining the terms. First of all, I rarely compared myself with other people. So, when you use the words "the best" it wasn't that I wanted to achieve more than other people. Instead, I wanted to become the "best" that I was capable of becoming. So, my motivation has always been to make the most of the opportunities and gifts given to me. It was never to be better than someone else. "The best" was never a statement relative to my standing with other people. It always was an internal goal, relative to the situations in which I found myself..... [Read More]

QA-S-18 How do we handle an unethical customer? One who says he would do anything to make money on a job, or to get a job?
Fortunately you are not responsible for the ethics, or lack thereof, of your customers. The short term answer is that as long as your customer doesn't encourage you to participate in his greed-at-all-cost philosophy, it's a non-issue. Just make sure that you don't get tempted to sink in the mud with him.... [Read More]

QA-S-17
I recently gained an order from a new customer for 10 items. We back ordered four of the ten. My customer is quite upset with me and my company's purchasing agents. Our relationship is strained because of someone in my company's poor performance. What would you do?
Ah. The proverbial backorder problem. What would we talk about if we couldn't complain about backorders? First, let's recognize that the problem is as old as the job of the salesperson, and we will have to deal with this problem until the day we retire. The problem is a result of conflicting pressures. On one hand, your company only has so much money and space, and just can't buy and hold or produce everything in the hopes that someone somewhere will eventually buy it. As a salesperson, however, you want everything available instantly. So someone is always going to be disappointed. Throw in the fact the customer probably doesn't want to pay anything but the lowest possible price for the product, and you can see that there is an inherent tension here. If the customer would be willing to pay twice as much for the product, you company could afford to build huge inventories. But, since that is unlikely to happen, your company needs to control its investment inventory so that the company has a chance of making money. In other words, you are always going to have some backorders!.... [Read More]

QA-S-16 I have many customers who refuse to even consider some of my products because the one they have now is working fine and they don't want to change something that is working well for them. They feel they are opening themselves to potential dangers, problems and nightmares by fixing something that isn't broken. Any suggestion for how to deal with the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude?
This is one that frustrates every sales person. Let's start by putting yourself in the customer's shoes. You've shown him your product, and it's noticeably better/cheaper than what they are currently using. Or, they won't even take the time to look at your latest and greatest solution. Regardless of where you are at in the sales process, the problem is that you have something better, and they won't budge from using an inferior solution.hy not? Let's analyze the situation. As is almost always the case, the solution becomes really obvious when we have done a good job of analyzing the problem. So, let's consider the reasons why the customer won't budge. Here are the big three.... [Read More]

QA-S-15 Occasionally, customers may say they have seen or received a lower price for the same product in order to receive better pricing from us. How would you handle that type of call?
You mean this only happens occasionally? I'll bet thousands of my readers see it frequently. Regardless, there are a number of things you can do. First, assess the validity of the customer's comment. Your question says that your customers "may say..." That implies that sometimes, at least, you think they are just saying it, and not meaning it. So, you have to determine the likelihood that they really have seen the same thing at a lower price. If you think they are just making it up, and they really don't have a lower-price option, then just diplomatically ignore it. Say something like this, "I really don't know what else is available, but I do know that this is a fair price. Should I send you one or two?"..... [Read More]

QA-S-13 In your recent phone seminar on handling objections, you talked about using "Proof" like letters of recommendation and testimonials. How do you get them?
The short answer is that you ask for them. That's overly simple, however. It's a bit more complicated than that. First, make sure that your customers are satisfied with the product or service you sold them. So, shortly after experiencing your product, call for an appointment and visit the customer..... [Read More]

QA-S-12 Dave, I'm interested in what you would recommend for a subscription to a monthly sales magazine and a sales improvement seminar.
You have touched one of my hot-buttons with this question. So, forgive me if you get a longer answer than you expect.

First, let me applaud you for asking the question. As amazing as it sounds, I have come to the conclusion that only about 5% of salespeople ever invest in their own growth and improvement. My understanding of that number has evolved over the years. I used to think it was much higher, but the more experience I gain, the more I'm convinced that it's a rare and unusual salesperson who will actually spend $20.00 or so to improve himself/herself, much less to actually go to a seminar. So, just by asking the question, you have indicated that you are probably in that top percentile of salespeople. And, the fact that you probably will invest in improving yourself means that, over time, you will distance yourself from the pack.... [Read More]

QA-S-11 How do you make in-roads with a prospect who is happy with another supplier, who is providing a similar product at a lower price? Product is lower quality, but perceived as the same.
It's OK to make a cold-blooded business decision not to pursue some accounts and some business. Assuming, of course, that your manager agrees. This is a situation that will take a lot of your time, and your success is certainly not assured. So, first decide if your time is best invested in this account or some place else. Let's assume that you have decided that the potential is worth the time, or that your manager has directed you to hang in there on this account. Now what?..... [Read More]

QA-S-10 How do I get to see new prospects who won't return voice mail?
This continues to be one of the most asked-questions I receive. I wish I could provide you with a magic phrase or set of "secret" words that are guaranteed to get the prospect to return your call and grant you an audience. But it is just not that easy. Influencing new prospects to return your call and to invest their time in the speculative venture of seeing another sales person is not a simple thing. And, clearly, it is growing more difficult. There is no one strategy, no simple guaranteed set of tactics that will work magic for you. There are, however, some principals and strategies that will increase the likelihood of you getting an appointment with the elusive prospect.... [Read More]

QA-S-8 What do I do when my goals don't match the company's goals for me?
I can look at this is in two ways - expressing two different situations. In the first, there is a legitimate difference in the expectations for a salesperson, but a basic agreement on the issues to be focused on, as well as the values of the organization. In the second, there is a deeper and more significant difference of opinion. Let's consider each separately. In the first scenario, the salesperson and the company differ on the degree of what is possible. The salesperson expects a 10% increase, while the company thinks 15% is reasonable. Both agree that sales growth is reasonable, but the amount of growth is the issue. What do you, the salesperson, do in this case.... [Read More]

QA-S-7 How do I insure that I get the last look in a competitive bid situation?
This is a question that I'm often asked. In a lot of industries, particularly those involved in construction, government purchases and large-volume manufacturing, most of the customers require an official bid. It's not unusual for these to be highly formal and structured. Here's a typical scenario. The customer sends a bid to five suppliers, and each responds with a written document by a certain specified date. The customer reviews the bids, and awards the business.. [Read More]

QA-S-6 I'm one of those salespeople who haven't spent $20.00 this year on a book or seminar to improve myself. I just don't want to go to the trouble. I believe that I can learn sufficiently on the job, and I'm tired of going to school. Should I feel bad?
Now that's an honest question. Should you feel bad? My knee jerk reacting is to say, "Of course." But, on further reflection, it depends on your approach to your job, and on your aspirations for yourself. First, a definition -- "mastery." You achieve "mastery" of any profession when you are in the top 5% of performers in that profession. Pursuit of mastery is the continuous striving to achieve and then to remain in the top 5% of your profession. I believe that every serious professional salesperson ought to strive for mastery...... [Read More]

QA-S-5 Q. I've read your ideas about the need to invest in developing myself. Can you quantify that? How much time and money should I spend on my own education?
A.
  Now that's a question I'm rarely asked. Its refreshing to receive it. [Read More]

QA-S-4 Recently, as I was cold calling my target list in a new industry, I stumbled on my first serious opportunity. After meeting and gaining commitment from my new prospect, I asked the woman who first tried to screen me, "Why did you pass my call on to your boss?" She said, "You had finesse." That was the first time anyone ever described it that way. I have no idea what that means, nor would I know how to teach that to others. So, my question is, what is finesse? Can it be described and learned, or does one just have to learn it by years of enduring screening gymnastics excellently performed by gum-popping receptionists?
What an insightful and articulate question. Honestly, until this question was asked, I had never thought about it. But, I have now, and here's my response. Finesse, according to the dictionary, is "the ability to handle delicate and difficult situations skillfully and diplomatically -- artfulness." Let's think about this, and try to flesh out a picture of what the person with finesse looks like..... [Read More]

QA-S-3 How do you provide a solution when selling a commodity?
There are a number of options. First, before you even get to that point, think about calling after you have sent something to the prospect. In other words, the phone call is not the first contact you attempt, but rather follows some other contact. Now, let's say that whether or not you sent something first, you still have made a couple of phone calls, left voice mail messages, and the message is not being returned. What now?.... [Read More]

QA-S-2 Dave, I have read your comments about the value of entertaining, and I agree with you. But, I have a problem. I still find a percentage of customers who keep me at "arms length." How do I overcome this attitude from the select few of my customers?
I have ideas to share with you on a couple of levels. First, it is possible that you may never create good relationships with a certain percentage of your customers. I'm assuming, of course, that you are not an abrasive, insensitive clod. If you are sincere, professional and committed to developing excellent business relationships, and if you have a modicum of people skills, then you can reasonably expect to successfully build excellent business relationships with most people. There are almost always, however, some customers who won't respond to you because of issues on their side of the equation.... [Read More]


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