Ask Jeffrey about sales and you get answers

Ask Jeffrey about sales and you get answers

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at



Ask Jeffrey about sales and you get answers.

Answers. Salespeople want answers. Here are a few of the answers to questions I get in the mail (fax, e, and snail). The purpose of this column is twofold. First to give you a sampling of what people ask, and second to assure you that you are not alone in experiencing the weirdness that everyday selling seems to breed.

And by the way, in case you forgot the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask.

Dear Jeffrey, Your Sales Moves articles are very important to me. What strategies can you give me on setting up a productive sales and salescall cycle? What issues do I need to address when setting a call cycle up? Thanks, Scott

Dear Scott good question

Here’s a simple identification and action process that will get you from start to sale:

1. Identify each step of the sale in order (include diversions like objections and proposals)

2. Detail each step and what information is provided. And in a perfect world, estimate the time it will take to complete each step.

3. For each step develop a door, and a bridge. The door lets you know that the step is over and the door is shut it may be a question you ask, or an action you take. The bridge is what segues you from one step in the cycle to the next from call to appointment, from appointment to proposal, and so on.

4. List every objection and every barrier to advancing each cycle, then you can have your answers and actions prepared in advance.

4.5 Practice until you own it

Best regards


Dear Jeffrey, I need a little help. My sales manager asked me the other day what the seven basic parts (steps) to a sale are. You know; 1. Opening

statement; 2. Probing questions; etc. For the life of me I can’t remember them and I’ve looked around a lot yet can’t find them. Please help. Dave

Dear Dave, There are no “seven steps” that are 1990’s relevant all that “system” crap went out in the 1970’s the old way of probe, presentation body, address objections, close, are history ancient history. For the record, here are the “elements” I recommend:

1. Greet and be friendly.

2. Ask great questions and present a few ideas you discovered from your preparation for the sales call.

3. Get the prospect to like you and trust you

4. Don’t make your presentation until the prospect asks a question about it

5. Tell the prospect you will ask for the sale, and why you believe it will help him.

6. Cover all known objections in your presentation.

7. Ask approval questions along the way.

8. Ask for (or assume) the final approval

9. Get a signature

10. Agree on the next step.

10.5 Get out

Try to work these steps into a style that suits your personality. The more real you are, the more sales you’ll make. Best regards, Jeffrey

Dear Jeffrey, Really enjoy reading your articles in the San Antonio Business Journal. We are a boot and shoe store known as having footwear for work, and supply mostly the blue collar worker with the a top of the line product. One of our challenges deals with handling situations involving customer adjustments due to defects and poor workmanship. The manufacturer has a liberal return policy but there are situations where we know they are not going make it good. In some cases, the customer may not have oiled the boot or perhaps the soles have worn out prematurely based on their perception. Realizing that I may have to “eat” them on occasion, what decisionmaking process do you suggest we use that determines who is going to suffer the loss? Thanks for your help. Rob

Dear Rob, There are no “losses” for great service. Only gains Here are a few ideas that will help you make eating the boot more palatable.

1. Your supplier will replace more if you demand it.

2. Your customer could be educated on boot care as part of your purchase and “throw in” the first bottle of boot oil with each sale as a premium

3. The cost of replacing the boot is far less than the cost of a negative story about you. What is the cost of a negative story? More than the cost of a pair of boots?

4. Look at all the advertising you do that costs a fortune. It may result in sales but does nothing to promote wordofmouth advertising a much more powerful form. Compare your ad budget to the cost of a few pairs of boots and the positive stories spread about you wordofmouth advertising stories that are worth a fortune.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to

1999 All rights reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document or it’s contents without the written approval of Jeffrey H. Gitomer or Buy Gitomer 704/3331112