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, I am reading your article on trade shows and there are a couple of phrases I’ve not run across. What exactly is a “power question” or a “power statement”? I would appreciate any helpful definition. They sound important for the sales professional. Sincerely, Peter

Dear Peter

Power Question is a question about the prospect that makes him STOP AND THINK, and answer in terms of you. Example: If I’m selling pagers, I would ask a salesman at a trade show, “If your biggest customer called you right now, how would you know it? How long would it take you to get the message? How important is it to get back to your customer when they need you?”

Power Statement is one that builds your credibility because of help you have given to others. Example: “We’ve been selling and servicing FedEx for the past four years, and your situation is almost identical. Let me give you the name of our contact there for you to call and ask how we have helped them.” Jeffrey Gitomer

Dear Jeffrey, The woman I am working for is a control freak. Any ideas? I may start looking again, but hate to give up my stock options. Ann

Dear Ann

It’s a problem because that’s part of her personality and always will be. It stems from her own lack of confidence in herself, and a basic lack of trust in others. But there are a few things you can do…

1. Get a written definition of the terms, conditions and description of your job.

2. Don’t go outside your bounds once established (raise no eyebrows).

3. Get reports in EARLY.

4. Get everything done EARLY (this will build some trust).

5. Make sales calls with her (let her see you work as often as possible).

6. Develop a business friendship confide a few things to her and get her to do the same the best way to get trust is to give it.

7. Gently slip in a few “why” questions about issues of control. Ask what alternatives exist. Ask why these issues are important to her.

NOTE WELL: There are no easy answers to this situation ultimately you have to do what is comfortable don’t stay just for the money money isn’t worth misery work it out, or get out. Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey, my question is…I sell mortgage products to homeowners. Every once in a while I come across a prospect (homeowner) who is so ignorant, bitter, and untrusting that they just do not want to buy.

The service I am selling can literally save them thousands of dollars a year if they would just listen. It is so frustrating because my persistence usually ends up with my potential customer either hanging up on me, telling me to never call his house again, or screaming at me.

Sometimes I am able to get through to these types of customers. Other times, I do not. What can I do, or how can I convince them that I am for real, not a pushy salesman, and can honestly help them? Frustrated, Frank

Dear Frank,

The more you sell the faster they run the other way. Ask questions about what they would do with the extra money if they had it? Where would they spend it? What would they buy? Take a vacation? Calculate an amount they will believe and put in what they can get for the money rather than an amount. A brand new Lexus with leather seats and no car payment, sounds better than $35.000.

The customer many times has never seen that amount of money BUT they can see the car in a second and “no payment” has real appeal.

AND there is even a better way.

Just have an existing customer (or two) call the prospect and tell him they were just as skeptical but they bought your services, and recommend the new skeptic do the same. Two testimonials are more valuable than 200 presentations. Stop pushing start pulling. Jeffrey Gitomer

Readers have ideas that work

Dear Jeffrey, I have a new comeback for rejection. A prospect tells me “NO!” I Respond, “What do you mean NO, it’s such a vague, ambiguous term.”

Art Hotz, New York City

(where else?)

Send me your sales ideas, problems, objections and questions. Free answers and prizes. If your tip or question is answered in print, you get a free copy of my new book Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless Just go to click Free Stuff the click GitBit register and add your idea, problem, objection, or question in the comment box.

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

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permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112