What does “no” mean? Redefining the words of selling.
John Kruk, the former all star (but overweight) first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies in their 1993 NL championship year, was asked this chastising (weight oriented) question by a reporter: “What kind of an athlete are you?” “I’m not an athlete,” snapped Kruk without hesitation. “I’m a ball player” A classic redefinition. His own.
While the RULES must be followed, each person plays the game of business and baseball by their own beliefs and definitions. What are yours? Or are you still looking words up in the dictionary to get the meaning? Big mistake.
Noah Webster was good at the definitions of words but lousy at their meanings and obviously never in sales. Some of the things he defined were not realistic in a business or sales sense.
I challenge you to begin thinking beyond “dictionary” definitions. Take the phrase, “cold call.” It’s defined in the dictionary as a “first time” sales call to someone you don’t know. The word “sale” is defined as the act of two people getting together to transact business. That may be the dictionary definition but it’s far from the MEANING.
For example, what is your definition of a prospect that just turned you down? It may be a little rougher than the one in the dictionary. Webster’s might say, “someone who refused your offer to buy.”
Yours is a bit different. You may define a prospect that just turned you down as: “A dumb stupid yoyo that wouldn’t return my phone calls, lied to me, jerked me around, took the lowest bid, and cost me making my quota.”
But the realworld “sales definition” of a prospect that just turned you down is… “Someone who decided to buy, but not from you.” That’s the REAL definition. If you think of it any other way, you are just kidding yourself.
Let’s try a few more the “real world” way:
Definition of selling… Opportunity to be your best. Opportunity to help others. Opportunity to give value. Opportunity to earn. Key word “opportunity.”
Definition of a cold call… Waste of time. The lowest percentage sales call often performed by the least trained. Everyone hates them the caller and the callee. A great place to learn how to sell a lousy place to make a sale.
Definition of the customer… Your paycheck. Food on your dinner table.
OK, get it? Here goes a bunch of them. Here for your thought provoking pleasure, with no particular rhyme, reason, or order (certainly not “alphabetical order”) are the new definitions of the words you sell by:
Gatekeeper… The only person in the company directed to tell you no. Someone you try to phony up to and she reads right through it because she’s heard it a million times.
Customer’s office… The worst place to make a sales call. A place where you have no control.
Personal information (about the prospect)… The pathway to a sale.
Lunch (with a prospect or customer)… The pathway to gaining personal information.
Late (for an appointment)… I don’t respect your time.
Sales presentation… A place to discover needs and create an atmosphere in which the prospect wants to buy.
Question (asked by the salesperson)… Opportunity to gain information, determine needs, qualify the prospect, get to understand the situation better, and look intelligent.
Question (asked by the prospect)… A sign of interest. A buying signal.
Objection… Buyer interest. Opportunity.
Reduced price… Your kids eat less.
Close the sale… The delicate balance between your words and actions and the prospects thoughts and perceptions.
Followup… Creative opportunity to build value and earn the sale. Having a good reason to call a prospect besides, “are you going to buy now or not,” or “where’s my money?” or “I’m calling to see if you got my mailing, letter. proposal” and other puke.
No returned call (from a prospect)… You haven’t gained my interest. You have built no value. You’re only asking for my money. You have not earned a returned call.
No (told to you by a prospect)… Not yet.
Getting your customer a lead or a sale… A mind blowing strategic advantage that creates customer confusion the next time you call them, they won’t know if you’re buying or selling. An act that puts you on their team. The most powerful relationship building tool in the box.
So many definitions so little space. As Yogi Berra says, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Next week you’ll get a bunch more that deal with the service and reorder side of the sale.
Until then may I be the first to tell you, “Have a nice day.” Which could also be defined as “insincere words used by everyone as a nonthinking way of saying goodbye. See (a more creative way): “Thanks for your business,” or “Thank you for being our customer.”
FREE GitBit… Want five getreal definitions that could make a difference in the way you look at the sale and your career forever. Just go to www.gitomer.com click Free Stuff the click GitBit register and enter the secret word, “DEFINITION”.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112