In response to requests from Plumbing Manufacturers Intl. (PMI) and its members, as well as from other supporters of the U.S....
I was reading that a major insurance company measures just
one thing before it decides who to hire. That one thing is optimism. It is the
number-one ingredient in success. How much do you have? Not only do we need to
be optimistic to keep prospecting in the face of rejection, we need it in every
phase of the sale. The best way to develop optimism is to have a few key
phrases ready to inject in things that happen on a regular basis during the
sales process. Here are a few examples.
spouse is not here. You get to your appointment, someone answers the door and
he tells you his spouse isn’t home. You can pout and go away, you can
proceed and lose the sale or you can use the magic phrase, “No
problem.” “No problem. You see, this is a two-step process. I am
just here to pick up a water sample tonight. I’ll run it through the lab
and go over the results when you and your spouse have more time.”
am just not interested. Once again you start with the magic phrase and have a
line ready such as, “No problem. None of our customers are interested
when we get there. However, they have found--just as you will--that
once you know a few facts about your water, you may want to know more.” Having
an optimistic line ready breaks through and keeps you on track.
in the close, the reason many of us fail is that we are surprised when the
customer says, “No.” Learn to expect a “no” the first
five times you ask for the order and learn to use optimistic replies. Have them
ready and pull them out.
want to think it over. “Normally, I’d want to let you think it
over, but I just can’t do that. It wouldn’t be fair to you, you
see....” Fill in a reason why they are better off to go ahead with the
purchase than to wait. Just being ready and optimistic will keep them off
balance. They expect you to crumble--when you don’t, they
aren’t sure what to do next.
to laugh and enjoy yourself when with customers. The people who have the most
fun sell the most. No one wants to be too serious. Remember, we are all in show
business, not the resin and steel business. Let’s look at a few more road
blocks and why they are no problem.
just rent my home. “No problem. It is good you called us, sir. We
specialize in saddle hook ups for your filtration system, we don’t need
to cut any pipes, and we use your soap dispenser hole for the faucet so we
don’t cut or drill.”
cannot afford another payment. “No problem. It is good you called us. I
am not here to give you a payment, I am here to take away the payments you make
for bottled water and for cleaning products. I guarantee you will have more
money every month if you listen to what I am proposing.”
are buying it when our tax refund comes back. “No problem. Right now we
have a program that is geared just for customers like you. We will install your
equipment tomorrow and you can take a full 90 days before you make any payment.
That should give you lots of time to get your refund. You can enjoy better
water starting tomorrow, and you can pay for it when your refund arrives. What
could be better? I’ll get the paperwork started.”
I could use a lot more examples, but I am sure you get the
picture. The secret is to work out in advance sentences that get around any
problem. Proudly say, “No problem,” and act as if you are genuinely
happy the problem came up. Have blinders on that only allow you to see the
benefits and the path to the sale.
Optimism also is necessary to look at changes at your
company in the correct way. Let’s say your equipment was sold for $3,995
and there is a price increase to $4,500. You only have two choices: Sell
yourself on the new price or quit. You need to convince yourself that the old
price was too low. It cheapened the product in the mind of the buyer. Best of
all, the company will use the extra selling price for better advertising,
service or facilities. If you go to your next call thinking you are selling a
$3,995 conditioner for $4,500, you will fail miserably. It is all in our heads.
Also, eliminate everyone that seeks to get you down. This
could be family, friends or other salespeople. There is only one reason they
un-sell you ... they want you to fail. When I first got into the water
business, my wife told me she thought soft water felt slimy, and she
didn’t like it. I sat her down and explained that I was in this business
and that if she wanted to eat and if she wanted me to be successful she would
have to convince herself that soft water, my company and the brand I sold was
the greatest thing since sliced bread. She did it and that contributed a lot to
Remember that customers can see directly into your soul. You
can fool a few of them into buying a product you don’t believe in or you
think is over priced but in the end, you will fail.
No one is as naturally optimistic as you need to be for
success in selling. You need to practice and develop it until it becomes a part
Take the time to develop your optimism. Wipe out all
negatives and sell yourself every day. You will find it makes a big difference
to your sales and your mental health.