Thursday, November 6, 2008

"I'm sure you've heard of him."

One thing we sales people know is crucial to our presentations is sales posture. Posture is how you present yourself, your product, or your opportunity. Face to face sales is a little tougher to make create a fake sense of urgency/elitism...i.e., "Listen, I've got a LOT of appointments in your neighborhood and if you're not serious about this vacuum cleaner, let's not waste each others time."

In the 2-part over-the-phone sale I've been raised in where there's a setter and a closer, I've heard some amazing ways to posture the closer. Sales reps are always finding new and exciting (completely stupid) ways to try create a false sense of reality. Here is one of my all-time favorite sales rep's personal spin on setting up a closer. We'll call him Gary. I sat next to Gary for a few months and got this down pretty much word-for-word. Get your tape recorders out because Gary is about to learn you some skillz.

"Okay, Bob...I'm going to put you on hold for a few minutes while and go see if there's any chance the Executive would be willing to speak with you, could you hold for a few minutes? thanks."

Gary takes off his headset, walks into the bathroom to drop the kids off at the pool. Walks over to the "closer", tells him it's a laydown and waits for a few more minutes. Then the fun begins. 

He would put his headset back on, look at his watch, and then start breathing in and out heavily like he was giving birth. 

"Okay...whooo whooo...Bob, whooo whooo... are you there? Okay, thanks for holding. Man, I'll tell you what, running up 25 floors to those executive suites when you're out of shape feels like I'm running the Boston Marathon again....whooo whooo...(We worked on the 2nd floor of a 2-story building and the only Marathon Gary ever did was a 45 Minute Marathon Dump on the toilet.)

"Okay, I've got some good news, and I've got some bad news. What do you want to hear first? (Even if the client said 'The good news', he'd say) Okay, let's start with the bad news. The bad news is that as I was walking through the executive offices, it was chaos. Not only did his first secretary went home but his second secretary went home! I had to put on a pair of football shoulder pads just to get in the door. And turns out, as soon as I get to the front of the line, the Executive leaves in his helicopter for a seminar in New York. So that's the bad news , is it looks like I can't get you an appointment."

Client: "What about the good news?"

"Well, the good news is as I was waiting by the elevator, an older gentleman in a $2500 suit walked by me and stopped. He asked me what was wrong and I said, 'I've got this client on the phone named Bob who really wants to do our program and the executive just flew off and now I have to disappoint Bob and I don't want to do that because he was very excited about this opportunity.' Then you know what happened Bob? This man looked at me and asked, 'Gary, is Bob serious about his financial goals?' and I said, "Yes!", cuz you are right? And then he said, 'Well, then you tell Bob that I'm going to have my secretary cancel my afternoon meetings and I will get on the phone with him.' So, Bob, you are going to be speaking basically to my boss's boss's boss! His name is Mr. Raddock, write that down, and his first name is Darren. Now, you've been online for a few years, I'm sure you've heard of Mr. Raddock, right?" (Little did the client know that D. Raddock was outside sitting on the tailgate of his 1991 Ford truck, listening to some Lynrd Skynrd, smoking a Marlboro. The only TV he has been on was an episode of COPS.)

And for some reason, the client would always say, "You know what, I think I HAVE heard of him!"

We loved when Gary set up a closer. We'd all stop what we were doing and watch. And the best part is, sometimes he'd yell at us afterwards when we were laughing. 


Gary got fired a few weeks later from pulling an Andy Bernard and punching a couple holes in the drywall...and unlike the Nard-Dawg...I'm sure he's still in anger management.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How to NOT Overcome the Wife Card

I'm happily married and I love my wife dearly. She's the whole package. She makes me a better person. When she leaves to a weekend convention, I turn into a complete tool. I can't get off the couch. I can't get anything done. I can't even feed myself. I stay up late watching Telemundo because I can't fall asleep. I don't even habla the espanol. I think wife's are a precious gold, before it came off it's 100 year high last month.

That being said, Salesmen HATE the wife card!

She takes food off our tables. She keeps our kids in public schools. She is the reason we pick up a $5 Little Caeser pizza 3 nights a week. She is the reason our kids teeth are jacked up. She turns decent commission checks into sub-minimum wage crap. She's a deal killer.

Nothing worse than taking a prospect through a 2-hour presentation, going for the credit card, and then...Joe 6-Pack takes out his wallet...and pulls out...the Wife Card.

No 16 digits on that card.

"I gotta talk this over with the Misses."

Let me give you a great example of what NOT to do in this situation. I'd like to thank a guy I worked with years ago for this gem. To preserve his anonymity, we'll call him, Dumb-A.

It was a Saturday morning. If you worked on Saturday it's because you didn't make enough money Monday thru Friday like the rest of the world so you HAD to come in.  Dumb-A was a punk. He was a total shadester, everything wrong with the sales world. His cheeks sagged like a Sharpe` dog, he would close deals with a HUGE dip in his lip. This dude took a sky-dive face first off the fugly plane without a parachute. Anyways...

He's closing a deal, it's almost lunch, and he's almost tied it up. And then...out comes the wife card.

"I know I told you earlier I didn't need to run this past my wife, but now I know all the details, I really think I'd like to."

Big Mistake. 

Dumb-A HATED coming in on Saturdays. Probably because he got shiz-faced drunk every Friday night and we had fluorescent lights in the office. I was sitting behind him when the top blew off. He started getting so upset at the prospect that the guy hung up on him.

Dumb-A threw his headset on the ground, dropped the muther-eff bomb, picked his headset back up, and hit re-dial.

No answer.


No answer.

"Muther-eff bomb."

Finally, he decided to leave a message. This is as close to verbatim as I can remember.

"Dave, this is Dumb-A. You know what, a few times in my life I meet complete morons with no chance at ever becoming successful, so much so that I actually started a newsletter to sent to people like that, and you just made my mailing list.  I really hope you did not intentionally hang up on me, because if you did, I'll just have my secretary (we didn't have secretaries) send you a bill for $500 for the 2 hours you wasted at my $250/hour rate. I know you're scared, and you're probably hiding behind your wife, which I'm confident she's probably pretty easy to hind behind, but if you can ever find your genitals again, give me a call back. Oh...wait, I forgot...when a squirrell runs up your right pant leg and comes down your left, he's comes out starving. Isn't that right? Because you have NO NUTS up there!!"

(phone slams)

Dumb-A storms out. Gets into his 1992 Jaguar and leaves.

Next Monday. Client calls corporate headquarters. He PLAYS THE TAPE FROM HIS ANSWERING MACHINE to the Sales Director.

Adios Dumb-A. 

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Higher or Lower? Great Way to Get a Credit Card

I was talking with some guys from work, reminiscing on some closing tactics from some sales closers we used to have...and when I say "used to" I mean before we had ethics and started drug-testing. I've seen and heard a LOT of amazing closing strategies to get a credit card number over the phone. This one about takes the cake.

Client: "I don't know...I'm, I'm a bit nervous about this. I need the weekend to sleep on it."

Closer: "Listen sister, you're 16 digits away from success, and I already know the first number is 4, so do us both a favor and read off the other 15, okay?"

(awkward silence)

Client: "I...I can't. I'm not 100% sure I'm confident in your company."

Closer: "Okay, let's do this." (pulls out his wallet, grabs a credit card) You gotta pen? Write this down 4311247728339728."

Client: "Uh...what's this?"

Closer: "I just gave you my credit card number. See...I trust YOU. So you trust me and read me yours."

Client: (even more awkward silence) "What?"

Closer: "Okay, let's play a game. I'll guess the next number and you tell me if it's Higher or"

Client: "Uh...higher?"

Closer: "8?"

Client: "Nope."

Closer: "7?"

Client: "Yup."

Closer: "Okay, let's go for the next one. I guess....uh...2?"

Client: "Higher."

...and this went on and on. No joke. Finally, by about the 11th number the client realized this was retarted and hung up. A valiant effort though. 

This same guy was once set up to close a deal by his little brother who was on his sales team. The client asked him at the beginning of the call somewhat arrogantly, "So, are you like...the closer?"

"Phil...listen, I have actually reached the status of Master Closer, so if you would please refer to me as Master, that'd make me more comfortable."

Is rep drug-testing really necessary? All the fun went out with the urine samples. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stop Kidding Yourself

"I'm a business consultant."

"I'm a financial advisor."

"I'm a petroleum distribution technician."

"I am a facilitator between people's goals and their dreams."

Stop kidding yourself. 

You're a salesman. The most hated profession in the world. You're in the same ranks as defense lawyers and MLM neighbors. When you introduce yourself to people, you pray they don't ask you what you do for a living because you know they won't let their kids hang out with your kids. When you get the guts to blurt out, "I'm a salesman", people look at you as if they just saw George Bush pick his nose and eat it during the State of the Union Address. 

People tell you you're crazy. They think you've failed at everything else in the world, hence, you've decreased yourself to pondscum. You're a shadester, a hustler, you should legally change your name to "Sid Diamond" and put your ring on your pinky finger.


You are my favorite person in the world. I would rather be around salespeople than ANYONE else in corporate America. 

Human Resources people? 

...are we playing Dungeons and Dragons?


...Michael Scott?

Advertising? thanks Johnny Hotnuts.


....(cringe) only to file a tax return extension.

There is something crazy about you that makes me like you. Maybe it's the fact that you're still taking Ritalin at 34. Maybe it's the fact that you still act like you're 12. Maybe it's because I can say words like "Fart" and itch my hemrhoids without losing respect. 

This blog offers refuge for all of us salespeople trying to live the double-life. As Dwight Schrute said, "Salespeople, unite."