Ruin Not Thy Word-of-Mouth Quest

Robert D Clarke, copyright 2006.

“The greatest power is often simple patience.”
– E. Joseph Cossman

Highlights

Opening a sale is more difficult than closing it
Most valuable word in your presentation: Consider

Introduction

One of my mentors is James English. He consults to sales organizations, large and
small. He has been self-employed for more than 40 years. Invariably, he is contracted to
help staff close sales. Jim believes people have more trouble opening the sales process
than closing it. I agree.

Most Valuable Word in Your Presentation

Sales trainers teach you to present to people who have needs you can fill, and who have
money to pay for your service. Jim determines (in seconds) whether a prospect is
interested in his services. His opening statement is, ‘May I request an opinion and
direction from you?’ The answer is usually affirmative. He continues with a statement
tailored specifically to his listener, then uses the single most valuable word in an
opening presentation.

Let me demonstrate, using Network Marketing as an example.

‘It seems every successful person in Network Marketing tells me their team members are
reluctant to present the business opportunity to potential recruits.’

Let your listener think about your statement. Generally, they?ll give you their opinion
about its validity. When they?ve responded, (usually with a nod or a statement), continue.

‘If I could show you a way to overcome your team?s reluctance to make presentations, might
you consider doing business with me?’

Pause before consider. Emphasize the word. Pause after consider. There is no other word
which so quickly qualifies your listener.

And Their Answer Is…

Yes, I?d consider it.

They?re not immediately committing to buy your service, yet given you permission to
continue. Although they may not say it, their mind is thinking, ‘Tell me more. If I like
what I hear, I may buy.’

No, I wouldn?t consider it.

Thank them for their opinion. Ifthey are not open initially, they never will be. Move
on. They saved both of you time which would have been totally wasted.

People don?t like to buy. They don?t want to be sold. Your time to attract their interest
is restricted to about seven seconds. In that time, you can ask only one question.

Who could I talk to who may (pause) consider (pause) my services? This open-ended question
focuses your listener on a specific person.

Summary

Feedback from many sources (including several professional sales trainers) convince me
consider is the most important word in any opening presentation. It is also the key word
when requesting referrals.

Excerpted from “How to Increase Sales at No Cost”
Robert D Clarke, 108 pages, paperback, copyright 1994. Online version copyright 2006.

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