Salespeople have questions. Jeffrey has answers.

Salespeople have questions. Jeffrey has 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


Salespeople have questions. Jeffrey has answers.

I get a ton of emails asking to solve sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life, but most important, your sales thought process:

I recently started in sales with a small company that doesn’t have a training department. I’ve been reading as much as I can, but am looking for something specifically on selling sponsorship. Do you have any advise on sponsorship sales or know of a good resource? Jennifer

Sponsorship is a form of marketing, branding, and advertising. There is no quick answer in a book. But there are quick answers in other sponsors. Look at the companies in your area that are currently sponsoring things other than what you sell. Charitable events. Golf tournaments. Sporting teams. Business events. Talk to the people who purchase these sponsorships and find out why they bought them, what their experience has been, and whether they would buy them again. This will not only give you answers to help you sell your new venture but it will also put you in front of prospective sponsors.

I am in phone sales and believe I do a fair job, however, I’m curious about ways to establish a sense of urgency in the people I talk with. Often times they agree to needing our services, but put off the registration etc. Help please! Brad

Everyone wants what you sell. The question is do they feel the need combined with the urgency. In order for you to create greater urgency, you have to find out how they intend to use the phone, not simply tell them what kind of phones you have and then ask them to buy. Once you find out what their five prime uses are, then you can begin to create urgency around each one. And once your customer sees the real need based on his or her own intended use, they will create their own urgency and buy from you.

My question involves the idea of leaving business cards “out in the open” as a form of generating leads. There are two schools of thoughts: 1) Leave them out on tables at conferences, at the bar in restaurants, at sports events, wherever there’s people. It’s practically free and if even one sale is made as a result it far outweighs the cost of printing cards. What have you got to lose? 2) It’s a waste of trees, ink and money and can possibly reduce the image of your company’s brand. Put them directly into the open hand of a prospect; and only after you’ve expressed your business’s value proposition. Which school of thought do you belong to Jeffrey? Paul

I think leaving business cards lying around is totally tacky, and a poor way to build image. Have you ever come out of a ball game and seen a flyer on your windshield or a business card tucked into your window? What did you think? How fast did you throw it away? Business cards are a secondary marketing source. They’re to be given away AFTER an introduction has taken place, not before. Instead of leaving things laying around, why not make a firm marketing plan so you can actually meet people, engage people, interest people in what you’re doing, and then professionally exchange business cards.

When selling a product for the first time in a city where no one knows the name of your company. What would be the first step to introduce people to the new product especially if they already are using a different company? David

When Debbie Fields opened up a new cookie store in any city, the first thing she did was give away cookies. People liked them, began to talk about them (and the experience), and ultimately returned to buy more cookies. She was not the only cookie store in town. She was not the only bakery in town. But she ended up being the most successful in town. There are two things you need to do: 1) Bring testimonials from existing customers in video format to your new city. Testimonials are proof that your product is great, that your service is great, and that you deliver what you promise. 2) Find one or two great prospective customers and give your product away in exchange for local testimonials. Most companies make the foolish mistake of trying to make sales before they make friends or build relationships. Once you have developed a few loyal customers, begin a testimonial advertising campaign, letting your customers speak for you.

Well…here’s my embarrassing story. I spent money on a marketing campaign in January, called a few of the leads, and got busy with one client and did not follow up on the leads. The quandary is do I call them back now and if so, what do I say? “Gosh, I’m so stupid for forgetting you existed, please forgive me, I’ll lick you boots if you’ll talk to me!” Would it just be better to start a new campaign to get fresh leads and include them in the mix of calls? The egg on the face is all mine and it’s running. Cletus

You don’t have to lick anybody’s boots. But you do have to stay in touch. The reason you didn’t connect with all your prospects is because you were not prepared. You found one and ignored the others. My weekly email magazine Sales Caffeine stays in touch with every customer, every week. It contains a value message and an opportunity to connect with me. If you had created a weekly email with one paragraph of value, you wouldn’t be in this mess. As it stands right now, you’re actually embarrassed to call people. Do not start another campaign until you’ve created an ability to follow through and communicate with everyone, either directly or indirectly. Otherwise, all you’ll be doing is doubling the amount of boots that you would potentially have to kiss.