Question and Answer


Q.  How do you sell when you don’t have all the tools you should have?


            A.  I’m not sure there is a sales person on the planet who thinks he has all the tools necessary to do the job.  Here’s a list of some of the tools sales people would like to have:

  • A well done, multi-color, glossy piece of literature for every product or service they offer
  • A DVD containing a powerful presentation of every product or service they offer
  • A website containing a streaming video of the above
  • A concise description of every competing product with an accurate analysis of the strengths and weakness of those products
  • Ditto for every competing company
  • Instant cell phone availability of his manager, and every key person inside the company
  • The ability to access costs for every product and service, and the ability to set prices to anything the sales person feels will get the business, regardless of profitability.
  • Instant access to an accurate on-line inventory of every product
  • A well done, thorough account profile of every account
  • A researched and qualified directory of every prospect
  • Unlimited cell phone access
  • Unlimited mileage on a company car
  • Unlimited and instant access to a sample of everything
  • A list of perceptive questions to ask to uncover the need for every product and service
  • A set of letters of recommendations and testimonials for every product and service
  • A list of objections to every product and service, and a well thought-out powerful response to each of those objections
  • A compensation program that pays him forever for every sale, and never reduces his income, regardless of the results.

This is by no means a complete list.  I just arbitrarily stopped adding items to the list.  I could probably double the number of items on it if I really tried.

By now, I hope you are getting the picture.  I don’t know of any company  that has everything on the list.  So, there is probably no sales person alive who doesn’t wish he/she had some tools that are just not available.  The challenge is to sell what you have with the tools that you do have.

That doesn’t mean that you stop asking for additional tools, or that you neglect to inform your management about something you think would be helpful to you.  Your input is often the seed that later germinates into an effective tool for the entire sales force.

However, don’t make that the reason why you don’t perform up to your potential.  You can spend too much time belaboring what you don’t have to the detriment of your sales performance.

Keep it in perspective, let your management know when you think you need something, but sell what you have with the tools you have.  If it were easy, they wouldn’t need you.