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February 20, 2014


Greetings Sales and Marketer:

The way to sell ANYTHING to anyone is really very simple: assuming you have a VENUE you simply i) QUALIFY, ii) Create AGREEMENTS and then REPEAT. It goes without saying that you need to have CREDIBILITY, build TRUST and offer the right PRICE. Beyond that, the real clinker is that you have to be able to offer something your customer NEEDS or WANTS.

At this point, you may have already gleaned what I am trying to get at with this article. If by "selling" you mean trying to PERSUADE someone to do something - potentially against their best interest or desire - then I am afraid to have to inform you that this is IMPOSSIBLE to do EVERYTIME ("You can fool some people all of the time and all people some of the time but you cannot fool all people all the time").

On the other hand, if sales to you means FINDING and SERVING a legitimate need or want then all you are doing is LOOKING for the right person to connect with. Once you CONNECT with a qualified prospect and create agreements around what they are looking for vis a vis what you are offering, the rest happens by itself like MAGIC. There is a great sales adage that you cannot say the RIGHT thing to the wrong person and you cannot say the WRONG thing to the right person. Once your customer "sees the light" of how you are going to immeasurably BENEFIT them, your product or service really will sell ITSELF.

You may be thinking, "well, that is great for the perfect customer but what about everyone ELSE?" Here's the thing: IF you have the right solution at the right price and have established trust with your customer, qualifying and creating agreements will do the rest of the job for you. Of course, there will ALWAYS be exceptions to EVERY rule and you will continue to encounter those "perfect" sales opportunities that just do not happen. I guess I should apologize and admit this outright but here is how you turn qualified "so-so" prospects into customers using these 2 steps...


I have written extensively about the importance of qualification in the sales process and the PURPOSE is for you and your customer to agree that you are a good fit for each other. Remember that just as you have a SELLING process your customer has a BUYING process. They are measuring you up against a number of personal and professional criteria and part of your job is figuring out just what those key checkmarks they are looking for are. In my articles I talk about


The sum total of what you are trying to accomplish in sales may be condensed into a MAGIC question which is:

"Mr. Customer, if I could show you how to acheive [a, b, c benefits] using [x, y, z features] at a great cost and with a guarantee of your satisfaction, is that everything you need in order to commit to doing business with me?"

Just as with sales scripts and lines, this is not a "silver bullet" magic question or anything like that and should be tweaked and tuned to fit your personality and purposes. However, the gist of it is that you have followed a process of ASKING and AGREEING in order to come up with the makings of a "deal". What you DON'T do is simply show up and start talking about how great you product, service and company is. Rather, ASK your customer what they are looking for and let them do most of the talking. You hone a qualification into an agreement by asking something like, "So, if you could take care of that problem for you then that would mean a lot to you."

By AFFIRMING customer needs and wants at every step, as well as everything they are looking for in this purchase, the "sale" happens itself, once again. It is like Woody Allen said, "98% of success is showing up." This is what I mean by creating a venue and building a trusting relationship with someone. It takes a bit of time but at that point they are all yours; if they have a legitimate need or want that you can fulfill as good or better than anyone else - forgetting the hassle of actually bringing someone else to the table - then why would they not buy from you? Here is a simple example...

You: Thank you for inviting me today. I understand you wanted to discuss [1, 2, 3 needs/ wants]

Customer Yes, what I am looking for is [1, 2, 3] but we want to avoid [a, b, c problems] we are having now

That is basically it; at this point, as long as PRICE and TRUST are in place, you can ask the magic question and be on your way. Once again, once you have covered off ALL of your customers needs and wants and have solved all of their problems - as per your discussion and agreement with them - then what else is there? By going through repeated iterations of ASK and AGREE you solidify your position as a concerned consultant as opposed to a salesperson. Here is another magic question to ask as a precursor to reaching that "feel good" agreement with your customer:

"If we can do [a, b, c] and [1, 2, 3] just like you have asked, is there anything else in the way of our doing business?"

If you follow these steps then you will sell ANYTHING to ANYONE each time and hopefully at this point you will agree with me. My regular readers may have been saddened to see a "spammy" kind of sales missive from me in their inbox, like magic diet pills or programs designed to change your life overnight. I am a firm believer in there being NO silver bullet or free lunch or anything like that. Everthing in life follows a certain PROCESS and all you need to be able to do is understand the STEPS of that process and then IMPLEMENT them consistently over time. Everything else follows...


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