The obvious way to sell — eliminate the risk of buying!

The obvious way to sell — eliminate the risk of buying!

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

The obvious way to sell — eliminate the risk of buying


Theobvious way to sell — eliminate the risk of buying!

Eliminate risk and prospects are more likely to buy.

What a concept. How much simpler can selling get?

In order to harness the power of this strategy, ask yourselfthese five questions as they relate to your product or sale:

1. What is the definition of risk?

2. What is the cause of risk?

3. How much risk am I asking my prospects to take when theymake a purchase?

4. How do I uncover risk factors?

5. How is risk taken away, removed, or eliminated?

A risk of purchase is some mental or physical barrier, realor imagined that causes a person to hesitate or rethink ownership. As asalesperson your job is to identify the risk and eliminate it.

Interestingly risk is harder to identify than it is toeliminate. What is risk to some people is a walk in the park to others. Whatmay seem ordinary, or of no consequence to the salesperson, is a HUGE risk to aprospect. What may be just a few thousand dollars” to some,may be Oh my God, THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!” to others.

What are the most common elements of the risk of purchase?Here are several to think about in the way they may go through the mind of yourprospect:


Worriedabout the value of dollars spent. The risk of overpay, or not getting mymoneys worth.

Financial risk.Is it affordable? Am I spending too much? Is this a budget violation or will Ilack the ability to pay

I don’t really needit. What if I get it and never use it? Do I really NEED this? Am I riskingregret?

I may be able toget the same thing cheaper someplace else. I don’t want to

get it now. I want to shop around, I may be riskingoverpayment.

Not what I picturedin my mind. This isn’t what I really want. I’m risking getting something Ireally don’t want.

Not what Iperceived or thought at first. This isn’t how I pictured it.

(this is also known as second guessing judgment). I’m risking getting the wrong thing.

Quality of productmisjudgment. Therisk of poor performance. I’m risking this thing falling apart.

Service after thesale won’t be there Will it be what I expect? Will it be there when I needit? Do I want to risk poor service?

Product won’tperform as I expected. The function or utilization of product is in doubt.I am risking poor performance.

Something betterexists. The risk that there might be a better mousetrapif I just look around a bit longer.

Obsolete soon afterI get it. The risk that a new model will come out the day I make mypurchase. (computers do this all the time)

Looking foolish.The risk of making a bad/dumb choice in your own mind and inthe minds of others. The risk of ridicule.

Salesman is lying.The risk of non delivery or, or overstated (not-what-he-claims-it-to-be”)promises. I don’t trust this guy.

Will someone be madat me? Will I get in trouble? Obvious thought patterns of buyers havingtrouble making a decision on their own. Do I want to risk getting yelled at forthis purchase?

Risk is actually a lack of confidence, trust, andbelievability either in the product, the service, the company, the salesperson,or in oneself. The absence of these elements causes doubt and rethinking thepurchase.

REALITY: If there’s a need, if there’s an ability to buy, ifthere’s not a hidden agenda (existing relationship, friend in the business, notthe real decider) — then the person who hesitates is doing so for one of thefollowing reasons…

1. Cold feet

2. Their gut” says no

3. Fear of the unknown

4. Not enough information

4.5 lack of confidence or trust in salesperson, company, orproduct

inshort — the potential risk of purchase outweighs the reward of ownership.

Here’s what to do:

SUCCESS STRATEGY: Find out their tolerance for taking arisk. Some people take more risks than others. Ask about gambling. Ask aboutentrepreneurial risks taken before. Ask about previous purchases. Measure theirtolerance and their previous experiences. Look for causes.

SUCCESS STRATEGY: Know your risks of purchase. There areless than ten. List them and have risk removing” answers for them. List whatyour prospect has to lose if they buy. List the corresponding (or canceling)gains you if they buy. Ask your prospect to weigh the total package — not justthe weaknesses or risks.

SUCCESS STRATEGY: Identify and eliminate (or outweigh) askyour prospect: What’s the risk? Then ask What’s the reward?” If the risk islow, and the reward is high, then the decision is obvious.

The aspect of risk is a subtle one. Only the best ofsalespeople will get this concept and harness it. If you don’t, there’s abigger risk. The risk that the competition is kicking yourbutt.

Free GitBit… Want toknow the best way to overcome an objection? Sure you do. Just go, register if you’re a first time user, and enter the wordOBJECTION in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and CustomerSatisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President ofCharlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, andconducts internet training programs on selling and customer service He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to