The WOW Factor. Use it to Land a Big Sale.

The WOW Factor. Use it to Land a Big Sale.

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

WOW is your ability to be different. The WOW factor and your closing ratio have lots in common. If you don’t WOW ’em it’s likely you won’t sell ’em. I went to New York to sell a publisher on a book of my first 100 articles. I used the WOW factor.

Background and preparation: I made total WOW preparation:

  • I had sample prototype book cover designs and mock ups
  • I had a 15-page proposal including several letters of reference
  • I named the book The Sales Bible
  • I had a multimedia presentation prepared by the Whitley Group
  • I had a daring marketing concept incorporating a computer disc (high-tech at the time) and a package of wallet sized flash cards to make it different from all other books on the shelf
  • I wrote my pitch and answers to every objection I could think of
  • I selected clothing I thought was appropriate
  • I was ready.

I selected 10 target publishers and contacted four before I arrived in New York. I made one solid appointment. (A major publishing firm with a guy I’m calling Mr. Book.)

This is how the appointment was made: It took me seven calls to get Mr. Book’s name and extension number! Call number eight BINGO. He answers his own phone. (He later said, “The phone is usually more important than what I’m doing.”). I tell Mr. Book everything he needs to know in about 1.5 minutes he seems interested. I tell him I’ll send him a proposal and I ask him for a 5minute appointment. He says, “The old 5minute appointment bit. Did you read that in the Harvey Mackay book?” I said, “Listen, Harvey Mackay is from Minnesota, I’m from Jersey He learned that ploy from me!” Mr. Book laughed and said OK to a 5minute appointment.

I had two mentors helping me. One in Charlotte who put me on the right path. One was in Manhattan and had published 20 books. (Every day I showed up at his place for an hour of coaching. He was instrumental to my success.)

The first appointment: I walked into his office in midtown Manhattan and Mr. Book says “OK Gitomer, I read your proposal, you’ve got 5 minutes.” I start in immediately with background, get to the meat of my presentation in less than two minutes, put my prototype in his hands, sneak in two personal questions (for rapport), and finish my pitch in less than five minutes. Now I begin to listen and take notes. (The longer he talks, the more questions he asks, the stronger my chances are.) Fortyfive minutes later, I’m still in there.

Mr. Book says, “I’m interested, leave me your stuff (my only copies), and let me run it by my CEO.” Great, I’ve got three other publishers to see in the next three days and this guy wants to keep half my tools. “When will you be meeting?” I ask lightly. “Before the end of the week,” he says, trying to gain a position of power. (Here goes my risk statement) “I have a slight dilemma, and I need your help,” I said, “I’ve got several appointments over the next few days. Do you think you might have a chance to discuss this with the CEO by tomorrow?”

“I should be able to,” he said.

“Great, why don’t we set up an appointment for the end of the day tomorrow?” I said, nailing him to the floor. “4:30 O.K.?” I ask. He says, “Looks fine to me.”

I’m so excited I could scream. I walk back to my hotel singing and dancing. (In Manhattan, you can do anything you want. No one notices, looks, or cares.)

I get back to my room and there’s a phone message from Mr. Book under my door. I call. He says, “Can you make it a little earlier, I want to have a few other people present.” “Yeah, sure.” I reply in a millisecond. (If you ever want a dictionary definition of a buying signal, that was it.)

The WOW factor totally separates you from everyone.
Using it turns your prospect into a customer.

The second appointment:
I arrive 10 minutes early the next day. Mr. Book leads me into a conference room so I can hook up my computerized presentation. In walks the national sales manager. I have to convince him why my book will sell. I turn on my computerized multimedia dog and pony show that has him leaning so far forward he about falls out of the chair. Now it’s time to drag out every tool in my box. I talk about additional distribution ideas I have. I tell him I would be glad to go with him on selected sales calls. He is now totally convinced he can sell it.

We then negotiate “what if we accept you” terms. Advances, royalties and publicity. Mr. Book asks, “If I offer you this deal (he lists the bullet points) would you take it?” (there’s a switch now he’s closing me).

“Yes,” I said.

He said, “I’ll call you by noon tomorrow and let you know.” And walked out of the room. Eighteen more hours of agony.

The third appointment: By 1:00pm no call. I call him. He gruffly says he hasn’t met Mr. Big yet, and will call later. Tactically, I tell him I’ll stop by at the end of the day to pick up some of my materials. He says OK. I’m a nervous wreck. At 3:30pm he leaves a message for me. I decide not to call back. At 4:45 I show up at his office. He keeps me waiting until 5:20. He comes out to greet me and says the magic words: Lets talk business.

WOW: I just made the biggest sale of my life.

I also failed: It is important to note that in success there are always failures. In all, I contacted 10 publishers and two agents. All were cold calls. Six publishers turned me down or said I needed an agent before they would talk to me. One agent said no, the other has yet to call me back. WOW.

Next week how to put WOW in your presentation.


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