South Dakota, Snow Blowers, and Trust

Snow blowin'

Joe Moore, VP Sales & Marketing, Native American Herbal Tea Company, South Dakota is a closer.

Joe was a contractor for the U.S. Department of Education and recovered billions of dollars for the agency during his ten year stint with them. His job was to get students now in the workforce to pay back their student loans. He closed most all the deals he was involved in because he earned people’s trust. What he passes on can help you close – or lose – more sales.

The department head of a local hardware store in his South Dakota neighborhood offered to help Joe find some of the supplies he needed to winterize his home. The supplies were scattered throughout the store. After helping with the first two items, the salesman simply thanked Joe and walked away. Joe needed to buy more, but the salesman was two and done.

The salesman’s vanishing act reminded Joe why he was such a successful closer: he could create trust with just two words. Joe gained enough trust to get the former students to repay their loans.

What are Joe’s two secret words? After each question was asked and answered, Joe would always prod for more.

“What else?”

There may be another question or ten, but after each answer, Joe kept returning to the well with “What else?” until the well was dry. At the end of the call Joe knew the individual felt comfortable enough with him to stick to the payment plan agreed to.

“What else?” creates trust because it shows that you care and that you’re not distracted by the next shiny object.  Joe said that “If only the hardware store had asked ‘What else?’ that day he could have made a snow blower sale.”

It’s no snow job: Harvard psychologist and Professor Dr. Nalini Ambady found that 71% of the purchasing decision is based upon trust between the salesperson and the prospect.


It’s Okay to Be a Coward When Cold Calling

People ask why I call my seminars and book Cold Calling for Cowards®. Here is an excerpt from my book explaining the reason behind the use of the word “coward”:

“Dr. Viktor Frankl was an Austrian, psychiatrist – and Jewish. Dr. Frankl and his sister would be the only two from his family to survive the German death camps. At the end of the war he wrote the book, Man’s Search for Meaning.

“Dr. Frankl created the word logotherapy. He’s also the father of the phrase paradoxical intention, which is what logotherapy means. His concept says that it seems the more you want something, the more elusive it becomes. The harder you try to grasp the prize, the more slippery it becomes. He said you can actually use this concept to your advantage, especially when it comes to physical sensations.

“For example, in the morning you’re staring at that 300 pound phone, knowing you need to make your cold calls. Your hands begin to shake. Perspiration forms on your brow. Your breathing is rushed. Your voice squeaks. You surrender to your fears. You can’t do it. You suddenly remember the report that’s due next week. (Sales managers know that if they have paperwork that needs to be completed, just tell their salespeople to cold call.) You’ll make your calls tomorrow.

“No you won’t. Who are you kidding?

“Use Dr. Frankl’s paradoxical intention to overcome your fears.

“When you’re cold calling, get a 3×5 card and write the word COWARD on it. Try to be a coward when you call the people. Try to physically shake. Try to hyperventilate. Try to have your mind go blank. The funny thing is, the harder you try, the calmer you get. Paradoxical intention.”

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Why Are You Always Surprised When Cold Calling?

The following is an excerpt from The Blueprint for Cold Calling Scripts:

As more than one salesperson has described cold calling to me, “It’s 15 seconds of sheer terror.” Actors and public speakers call it stage fright. And because they can’t handle the stage fright, many future actors, speakers, and salespeople change careers.

But as everyone admits, once you go on stage, once you speak your first lines, you begin to relax and wonder why you were so scared in the first place. Once you start, your knowledge, experience, and skills take over and guide you to a successful conclusion.

On the first call, one, maybe two things are going to happen:

  1. You will talk with the gatekeeper.
  2. You will talk with the principal.
  3. You will get someone’s voicemail.

Since you know any of these three things is going to happen, there’s no reason you can’t be prepared. When you’re prepared, all those physical sensations of the sweaty palms, shaking hands, and blank mind go away.

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You Know Your Stuff, but You Don’t Know People

The following excerpt is from Sales Psych – 45 sales motivation tips for tough times:

Harry Beckwith (What Clients Love) says to “Hire for relationships, train for skill.” He said there are two reasons for this. First, people constantly grow at their tasks but few improve at relating. Second, people forgive the mistakes of others who seem to care for them.

Selling is a relationship business. That’s why accountants, attorneys, and engineers have a difficult time when starting their own business. They know their business, they know their numbers, but they don’t know their clients. Or at least how to relate to them. How many times have you heard friends say, “He’s a great doctor, but he has no bedside manners.”

Sales managers know it’s easier to hire a nice person and teach him how to sell, than it is to hire an experienced nasty salesperson and train him to be pleasant. Relationships have made more sales than knowledge ever has.

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The Naked Cowboy of Times Square

The following is an excerpt from Selling Doesn’t Always Have to Be a Struggle – 45 ways to put the fun back into selling:

The focus of your marketing is to surprise with the unexpected so your message won’t be ignored.

Returning to our hotel in the middle of Times Square we saw a crowd gathered at the corner across from the kiosk’s neon sign proclaiming “New York Police”. We heard the laughter. Crowd? Laughter? People having fun? Times Square? July? Must be something special.

We inched our way to the front of the gawkers. Playing his guitar and wearing just his hat, boots, and BVD’s we met the Naked Cowboy of Times Square. His singing sucked, and I don’t think he knew a chord on his guitar. But his open guitar case was producing money faster than the U.S. Mint. A minimalist who knows how to market.

Marketing is about getting remembered. New York City. Population nine million. I remember one.

What are you doing to surprise others so you’ll be the one?

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