Expose Yourself to No and Not Now to Get to Yes

By Jeffrey Gitomer Ninety-seven percent of all sales are not made on the first call. It takes five to ten exposures (follow-ups) to a prospect to make the first sale. The prospect may not actually say “no” each time, but each time you follow-up and the prospect doesn’t buy, he’s saying: “not now, buddy; do something else for me; I’m still shopping around; I haven’t met with my partner; try again later; in short, you haven’t sold me yet”. As a professional salesperson, you better have what it takes to persevere through the follow-up process and not quit. Be willing to put forth the effort to get to the last “no,” or consider taking a job in a warehouse with a salary. Here are some follow-up guidelines to ensure early closing success…

  • Know the real reasons your prospect wants your product.
  • Know the real reasons your prospect does not want your product.
  • Know your prospect’s hot buttons (things you think will make the prospect buy), and work with them in constructing your follow-up plan.
  • Present new information relative to the sale each time you call or visit.
  • Be creative in your style and presentation manner.
  • Be sincere about your desire to help the customer first, and earn the commission second.
  • Be direct in your communication. Beating around the bush will only frustrate the prospect (and probably cause him to buy elsewhere). Answer all questions. Don’t patronize the prospect.
  • Be friendly. People like to buy from friends.
  • Use humor…Be funny. People love to laugh. Making your prospect laugh is a great way to establish common ground and rapport.
  • When in doubt, sell the prospect for her reasons, not yours.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale each time.