Jim Domanski

Jim Domanski is President of Teleconcepts Consulting, a firm that helps businesses and individuals use the telephone more effectively to generate leads and sell more product. Focusing exclusively on outbound, business to business tele-sales, Jim provides both consulting and training services to clients in the US, Canada and Europe. A dynamic speaker and presenter, he is also the author of three highly successful books on tele-sales skills and strategies. For more information visit his web site at teleconceptsconsulting.com or call 613-591-1998.

Add-On Selling by Jim Domanski

Add-On Selling: How to Squeeze Every Last Ounce of Sales Potential From Your Calls by Jim Domanski

Transforming Your Sales Force

Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
The book, written for sales managers and executives in the distribution industry, provides a blue print for executives to transform their sales forces into highly directable, effective, focused performers.
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Grabbing Their Attention: How to Tell Prospects What You REALLY Do

by Jim Domanski

Here's the scenario: You are at a trade show wandering around. Someone comes up to you, strikes up a conversation. At some point the person asks: "So, what do you do?"

Quickly: what do you say? Be honest here!

Chances are you say something like this:

  • I am sales rep with
  • I am a sales consultant with...
  • I am a marketing rep
  • I work for a high tech re-seller
  • I work with a company that sells office supplies
  • I work for a company that distributes electro-medical devices
  • I am a financial planner
  • I market diabetic supplies
  • I work in on-line education
  • I sell to petroleum marketers
  • I'm in sales
  • I work with a company that sells to school boards and districts

Now, next question: What do the two things all these lines have in common? First, they are dull, unimaginative and ho hum. Why? Because every sales rep uses these phrases. Sure they reflect the nature of your job or the company for whom you work, but that's it. No differentiation; just one of many vendors. No umph!

This leads to the second point: these paltry statements squander a huge selling opportunity. By telling people what you do in a more interesting and compelling manner you can actually promote yourself and your company. The very least you will do is get the prospect to say "Hey, that's different. Tell me a little more."

The WWD or WID

What we are really talking about is a WWD which stands for "What we do." It is used in prospecting and typically occurs after you mention the name of your company. It helps orient the customer by giving them a glimpse at what you do. A WWD is also an abbreviated elevator speech. (In other words, you could use it a trade show, at a social function etc.)

The Two Motivators

While a WWD is only a few short words - more a phrase than a complete sentence - it is a powerful way to grab the attention of a prospect during an initial call. By getting the prospect to listen - and I mean truly listen - you improve the odds of success. If you sound like the rest of the vendor 'pack', prospects will tune out.

Before you can craft a powerful-in-your-face-go-get'em WWD you need to know a little about the two strongest motivators.


The first motivator is called 'gain'. In broad terms, people will be motivated to take action (listen, review, ask for a quote, buy, etc.) in order to "gain" or improve upon a situation. For example, people will be motivated to buy or take action in order to save money, make money, save time, improve efficiencies, better service, etc. From a WWD perspective here's what it might look like:

  • "...we help engineers and architects get their educational credits quickly and easily."
  • "...I help people plan their retirement strategies..."
  • "...I help businesses and individuals use the phone more effectively to sell..."
  • "...We work with chiropractors to improve patient healthcare and increase revenues..."
  • "...We work with petroleum marketers to help improve cash flow and increase market share..."
  • "...I help businesses save money on everyday purchases of office supplies..."

Certainly these WWDs are a marked improvement compared the examples cited earlier. They are more effective because they relate a positive benefit to the listener. They appeal to the "gain" motivator.


Pain is the second motivator. Prospects will also take action to avoid or alleviate 'pain'. Pain is just another way of saying avoiding or fixing a problem, concern or predicament. If something is not right, if something is not working, if something is not performing well, people respond by taking action to solve it.

Now this is important so read closely. The real issue about pain is this: all things being relatively equal and given a choice between improving a situation (gain) and fixing a problem (pain), the majority of people will fix the problem first. In other words, pain is usually the more powerful of the two motivators. This makes perfect sense. A 'gain' represents a future opportunity but a 'pain' is usually a current nagging and persistent reality that normally requires immediate attention. Pain is like a toothache: it is constantly throbbing and hard to forget.

What this really means is that a WWD should actually focus on a problem (pain) that you or your company, or your product solves because it appeals to the stronger of the two motivators. Here are some examples to illustrate the point:

  • "...I work with IT directors who are struggling to keep hardware and software costs in line..."
  • "I work with chiropractors who are finding it challenging to attract more clients and manage costs in their practice."
  • "We work with engineers and architects who find it frustrating and time consuming to get their yearly credits.'

Make no mistake about it, these WWDs are going to turn heads (or should I say ears?). Again, if nothing else, they are different. They cannot help but be noticed. With proper thought and wording, the phrase touches a raw and exposed nerve. Prospects who have experienced even the slightest of 'pain' will want to want to listen further. They'll be curious, no question about it.

3 Steps to Building a Painful WWD

I wish I could take credit for this incredible insight but quite frankly I got the concept from marketing guru Robert Middleton (www.actionplan.com). Middleton talks about building an elevator speech and he refers to a WWD as an "audio logo." He offers three steps:

1. Focus on a problem, not a solution
As stated above, the trick to developing a powerful WWD is to focus on the problem because problems get more attention than opportunities. What this means is that you have to sit down and THINK about the problems you solve. This must be clear and concise in your mind. What do we fix? What pain do we remove? What challenges do we solve?

2. Use emotion - packed words
Middleton is emphatic about use hard hitting, emotion packed words. Consider the words 'frustrating', 'struggling', and 'challenging'. Do they not act like verbal beacons? Do they not conjure up vivid images? They tell it like it is. Here are two of Middleton's WWDs for financial planners.

    "I work with couples who are paralyzed about what to do with their investments when the stock market is such a mess."

    "I work with investors who are going nuts about where to put their money in a falling stock market."

These WWDs immediately hit a chord (or should I say, nerve) with me. At one point I WAS paralyzed and going nuts. He hit the nail squarely on the head with his blatant use of the vernacular.

So grab a thesaurus and look for words that relate to the problems you deal with and that evoke emotion.

3. Keep it short and to the point.
A WWD is a parenthetical phrase. It is not a paragraph. Stick to one idea and as Middleton points out and resist the temptation to balance a problem with a solution. The objective of the WWD is to get attention, not to sell them. There will be time for that later. Less is more.

Test the WWD

Unless you are a gifted copywriter, chances are it will take you a few tries before you get the right mix of words. Test them by saying them aloud. Practice them until they flow trippingly from your lips. Then try the WWD on friends, associates and family. Tell them what you are trying to do. Get their feedback. Go back to the drawing board and come up with variations. As with any skill or technique, with practice it gets easier and better.


In today's hectic, high competitive marketplace you need every edge you can get. The edge is often something small and unique that no one else is doing. This may be all you need to get one step closer to the sale. Give it a try.

If you want more to learn more about these types of sales techniques then be sure to order Add On Selling by Jim.

Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
Transforming Your Sales Force for the 21st Century
Buy it now!
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Distribution companies, by their nature, should be sales-oriented companies. But, most distributors don't do sales very well. That's the premise behind this new book.

The book, written for sales managers and executives in the distribution industry, provides a blue print for executives to transform their sales forces into highly directable, effective, focused performers.

The book begins with an analysis of current conditions that pressure the distributor to revise the way he/she thinks about his sales force. Kahle then paints a picture of the distributor sales force of the future. The sales force will be:
  1. more specialized
  2. more directable
  3. more flexible
  4. more professional
  5. more productive.
His advice begins with "See it as a system," a concept that is based on one of the key principles for the book, "When you change the structure, you change the behavior of the people who work within that structure."