I know I "should" follow up but my results seem to suggest the 1st contact is the important one

25 replies
In the past I used custom video pages along with a email and personal URL link to seek out Facebook PPC clients. I found that all my prospects responded on the 1st email of a 5 email sequence.

I know some will say that a 5 email sequence is too short, but I didn't add to it because the open rate was also sliding. It could be my copy of course. But the trend was pointing south so I sought to just mail more people.

My question to you guys is, is this a bizarre result? Can we safely say my copy was at fault?

Or is the Infusionsoft claim that 80% of sales come after the 5th contact a gross overstatement? If so, what is a more reasonable expectation (for B2B prospecting, if it matters)?
#1st #contact #follow #important #results #suggest
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Delta223 View Post

    Or is the Infusionsoft claim that 80% of sales come after the 5th contact a gross overstatement? If so, what is a more reasonable expectation (for B2B prospecting, if it matters)?
    For e-mails to work after several attempts, you need to change the e-mails to have different appeals. You always get the most response on the first contact. But if you have 30 e-mails in a sequence, you can double or triple your response.

    The claim " 80% of sales come after the 5th contact" is a myth. It's a holdover from the 1950s. It was based on a focus group remembering a brand name. That "5th closing attempt" or "after the 5th contact" has been repeated so often, it's now considered Gospel. But it's nothing.

    But sending e-mails? Why not send 50? Once you write them, the sequence runs itself. Even if 50 e-mails only increases your sales by 25%..why not?

    It would be different if these were personal sales calls, that took your time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      The claim " 80% of sales come after the 5th contact" is a myth. It's a holdover from the 1950s. It was based on a focus group remembering a brand name. That "5th closing attempt" or "after the 5th contact" has been repeated so often, it's now considered Gospel. But it's nothing.
      Not to mention that no one ever kept track of the deals that were closed in one call.

      Every sales book ever written probably contains at least one example of a deal that was closed on the spot, how it happened and the techniques that were used.

      The truth is a lot of deals are closed on the first call. It's just not discussed, even by those who do it.

      Ron
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        Not to mention that no one ever kept track of the deals that were closed in one call.

        Every sales book ever written probably contains at least one example of a deal that was closed on the spot, how it happened and the techniques that were used.

        The truth is a lot of deals are closed on the first call. It's just not discussed, even by those who do it.

        Ron
        Nearly all my sales were closed on the first call. Even cold calls. What is different is sales prospecting....if I made repeated calls for an appointment, I still got results. In fact if I saw the person after a dozen calls...they were more likely to buy from me, because a sort of relationship had been formed by them.

        But that's way different from sending e-mails...to get someone in a funnel. I can't think of a reason not to make repeated attempts.


        I had a discussion with Bill Glazer once (Of Glazer-Kennedy). They filled a room with 1,000 people that each paid $1,500 to be there. He told me that they had 32 direct mail pieces they sent...and then one phone call by a teleshark. He said that two thirds of the sales were made in that one phone call. Twice as many as all the direct mail piece response combined.

        I suspect, but don't know, that the direct mail pieces softened up the prospects for the phone call. And some of the people wee close to buying anyway.

        Most of the people that I missed when selling...were also close to buying. And it drove me crazy.

        As far as multiple sales attempts. My own sales were pretty much sold on the first call...or they wouldn't buy at all. But my reps? About a third of the sales they missed could be sold the next day by either me or my sales manager.

        But that's way different than just sending e-mails...or running ads. Although I've never seen an ad that pulled better the second time it ran....or the fifth.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          Nearly all my sales were closed on the first call. Even cold calls. What is different is sales prospecting....if I made repeated calls for an appointment, I still got results. In fact if I saw the person after a dozen calls...they were more likely to buy from me, because a sort of relationship had been formed by them.

          But that's way different from sending e-mails...to get someone in a funnel. I can't think of a reason not to make repeated attempts.


          I had a discussion with Bill Glazer once (Of Glazer-Kennedy). They filled a room with 1,000 people that each paid $1,500 to be there. He told me that they had 32 direct mail pieces they sent...and then one phone call by a teleshark. He said that two thirds of the sales were made in that one phone call. Twice as many as all the direct mail piece response combined.

          I suspect, but don't know, that the direct mail pieces softened up the prospects for the phone call. And some of the people wee close to buying anyway.

          Most of the people that I missed when selling...were also close to buying. And it drove me crazy.

          As far as multiple sales attempts. My own sales were pretty much sold on the first call...or they wouldn't buy at all. But my reps? About a third of the sales they missed could be sold the next day by either me or my sales manager.

          But that's way different than just sending e-mails...or running ads. Although I've never seen an ad that pulled better the second time it ran....or the fifth.
          I understand what you're saying and I agree. Thanks!

          Ron
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
          [QUOTE=Claude Whitacre;11157178]I had a discussion with Bill Glazer once (Of Glazer-Kennedy). They filled a room with 1,000 people that each paid $1,500 to be there. He told me that they had 32 direct mail pieces they sent...and then one phone call by a teleshark. He said that two thirds of the sales were made in that one phone call. Twice as many as all the direct mail piece response combined.

          I suspect, but don't know, that the direct mail pieces softened up the prospects for the phone call. And some of the people wee close to buying anyway.
          would be interesting to learn how many of the attendees had attended a prior Glazer-Kennedy engagement? How many were already on their mailing list for a newsletter or a package they had purchased? Also, I wonder were the 32 direct mail pieces included as part of another direct mail offer, or the newsletter?

          Most of the people that I missed when selling...were also close to buying. And it drove me crazy.

          As far as multiple sales attempts. My own sales were pretty much sold on the first call...or they wouldn't buy at all. But my reps? About a third of the sales they missed could be sold the next day by either me or my sales manager.
          I'd imagine these were critical, as were any cancel/saves. There's a finite group of in-home buyers in any town. How long would it take you and your team to burn out an area, so that you'd need to move on?
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            [quote=Ron Lafuddy;11158690]
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            would be interesting to learn how many of the attendees had attended a prior Glazer-Kennedy engagement? How many were already on their mailing list for a newsletter or a package they had purchased? Also, I wonder were the 32 direct mail pieces included as part of another direct mail offer, or the newsletter?

            Everyone was a previous buyer. Most had not attended a high end event before. Those people were heavily pre-sold into the next event. The prospects Glazer was talking about were already on the Glazer-Kennedy buyers list. But none of them were from affiliates (a separate list) The 32 mailings were separate from the newsletter, although some of the offers were mailed with the newsletter. The vast majority were subscribers to the newsletter (at $39 a month) at least. I know that when I cancelled my subscription, I simply stopped getting any offers at all. None of the direct mail or phone calls were to a cold list, or an affiliate list. (Until the affiliate customer bought something from Kennedy)

            Glazer told me that they got better results mailing the offers separate from the newsletters. All of them were multi-page long copy them based sales letters.

            They just wanted to break even on the admittance fee. And at $1,500 a pop, they could send a thousand direct mail pieces to get one attendee and still make it pay.
            Twice I got an offer for a "free" ticket. $500 deposit to be returned when I showed up. I took the offer twice and they reimbursed me. All other offers I got were at full price. This is over maybe 12 years.


            I'd imagine these were critical, as were any cancel/saves. There's a finite group of in-home buyers in any town. How long would it take you and your team to burn out an area, so that you'd need to move on?
            It didn't really work like that. We really didn't burn out areas.
            The closest I ever got to burning out an area was to see referrals in the same occupation or family, eventually I'd start getting names repeated. And I twice sold everyone on a city street, so I guess they were no longer prospects.

            But an amazing thing happened. About every 5 years, half of the people had moved, and after 5 years, we could start seeing the people that bought before, and give them a generous trade in.

            But yeah, one huge factor in my high closing rate (and office sales figures) was how much we concentrated on saving cancellations....calling "almost bought"s the next day, and getting credit turn downs financed.

            When I was about 19 years old...trying to sell fire alarms (never sold a one)...I asked my sales manager "What happens after we sell everyone a system?"

            He said "You mean after we sell all 500,000 families in the city? We retire very wealthy people".

            Even in my county of 100,000.....I would never have to travel outside my county, unless a referral was taking me away. Or when I decided to just work a small town nearby.

            When I had a large organization, it was in Columbus Ohio. Easily a million homes within half an hour drive. So it wasn't a problem.

            You may be interested in this...It was a huge advantage if the prospect had previously bought from an in home salesperson. It didn't really matter what it was. But if they told me that they had already seen several products from in home salespeople, and never bought...it was almost a guarantee they weren't going to buy from me (or one of my guys). It had nothing to do with product, or sales ability. They were just now in the habit of not buying. So, when I asked if they had ever had a salesperson in their home before...if they said "Several. We never buy from them. Let's see what you have", I learned to just give them the gift (if there was one) and leave.
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            • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              It didn't really work like that. We really didn't burn out areas.
              The closest I ever got to burning out an area was to see referrals in the same occupation or family, eventually I'd start getting names repeated. And I twice sold everyone on a city street, so I guess they were no longer prospects.

              But an amazing thing happened. About every 5 years, half of the people had moved, and after 5 years, we could start seeing the people that bought before, and give them a generous trade in..
              Yes, I forgot about the 5 year rule, which you've talked about before.
              You're the only salesperson I know of, who even brings it up.
              It must be a secret in the sales community, eh?
              I've used the 5 year rule many times to sell lighting systems, phone systems, houses, boats and other things, but I didn't identify it that way.

              Your best prospects can be your past customers. The next best prospects are someone else's customers.

              It's a ticket to a goldmine.
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              • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

                Yes, I forgot about the 5 year rule, which you've talked about before.
                You're the only salesperson I know of, who even brings it up.
                It must be a secret in the sales community, eh?
                .
                In the in home sales business selling past customers is almost unheard of. Frankly, I didn't do it for the first 25 years. It simply didn't occur to me.

                When I talked to other distributors, and told them about seeing their past customers....and seeing people that previously bought from in home salespeople, they would look at me like I was from Mars.

                I would show them sales figures and they would say something like "Claude, we know you're a great closer. You just don't want to admit it". They would insist it was sales ability that made the sales, not great prospect selection.

                I know why too. An average salesperson would sell 30% of the cold leads they presented to. And that became a sort of industry gospel. The sales ratios became a mantra. Want to sell more? Do more demonstrations. The ratio was 100 calls, twenty appointments, ten presentations, and 3 sales. It was Gospel. It was also low expectations.

                Marketing, prospect selection, seeing old customers wasn't sales, it was marketing....it was record keeping....really outside their comfort zone.

                They were much more interested in learning my "Secret close", than learning about better prospects.

                The only person outside my office that I could reach with these methods was a woman distributor that held the company record of 120 presentations and 60 sales in a month.

                When I talked to her at a convention, she said we had a lot to learn from each other. I said something like "The truth is, I'm never going to do 120 demonstrations in a month. Never. But I can show you how to do 75 demonstrations and still get 60 sales. You just need to single out the most likely buyers, and only see them".
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                • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                  Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                  The only person outside my office that I could reach with these methods was a woman distributor that held the company record of 120 presentations and 60 sales in a month.

                  When I talked to her at a convention, she said we had a lot to learn from each other. I said something like "The truth is, I'm never going to do 120 demonstrations in a month. Never. But I can show you how to do 75 demonstrations and still get 60 sales. You just need to single out the most likely buyers, and only see them".
                  That number, 120 in-home presentations, probably at least 2 hours each, maybe more, in a 30 day time period, is freaking amazing. Especially considering that there were probably several appointments that she went on where she didn't make a presentation for one reason or another.

                  When did she sleep?

                  She had 50% closing, which is also amazing. Imagine if she'd had your qualifying methods

                  I know what you taught her. What was she able to teach you, if anything?

                  Ron
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                  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                    Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

                    That number, 120 in-home presentations, probably at least 2 hours each, maybe more, in a 30 day time period, is freaking amazing. Especially considering that there were probably several appointments that she went on where she didn't make a presentation for one reason or another.

                    When did she sleep?

                    She had 50% closing, which is also amazing. Imagine if she'd had your qualifying methods

                    I know what you taught her. What was she able to teach you, if anything?

                    Ron
                    She told me that she was planning this record month for a few months, and saw mostly referrals. Her presentation was much faster than mine. Maybe 40 minutes....and then close, close, close.

                    She didn't teach me anything about selling, that I remember. I told her my best month was 25 out of 26 presentations. And she thought that made me a better salesperson than she was. I told her that 60 sales proved she was twice as good as I was, although maybe I had better qualifying skills.

                    I remember that we quickly recognized each other as predators. She kept asking me questions about how I sold, and I was just fascinated by how she thought.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                      40 Minutes?? Wow! Given what was involved in the normal presentation, she couldn't have gone through the whole thing. That is some crazy selling.

                      She was averaging more than 3 presentations per day. Who knows how many appointments she had, hauling that vacuum around, where she didn't present.

                      Oh yeah, she had to be a pit bull...and then some. Would have loved to have
                      seen her in action.

                      Ron
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                      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

                        40 Minutes?? Wow! Given what was involved in the normal presentation, she couldn't have gone through the whole thing. That is some crazy selling.

                        She was averaging more than 3 presentations per day. Who knows how many appointments she had, hauling that vacuum around, where she didn't present.

                        Oh yeah, she had to be a pit bull...and then some. Would have loved to have
                        seen her in action.

                        Ron
                        She told me that she averaged 5 appointments a day. Some fell through, but they were mostly referrals from buyers. Lots of retired customers.

                        She was about 35 years old, tall and incredibly....um... healthy. Her husband worked in the business as well. I suspect that someone went with her to speed things along.

                        I used to occasionally do three presentations a day...more grueling than you might think.

                        I remember in one 5 day period, I did 17 presentations and made ten net sales. I used the money to pay cash for a new car. These were all cold calls. It was a personal challenge to see how many I could sell in a week if I did nothing but work.

                        I was so beat by Friday night, I almost quit entirely.

                        Also, to prove a point to my salesmen, I went out on a Christmas eve, at about 9PM, and started knocking on doors cold. I remember that there was a blizzard. About the 6th person I talked to let me in and bought. As I walked up to the door, I decided it was the last door I was going to knock on. It was already about 9:30 at night. I think I left about Midnight. It was really really cold that night.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                          I used to occasionally do three presentations a day...more grueling than you might think.

                          I remember in one 5 day period, I did 17 presentations and made ten net sales. I used the money to pay cash for a new car. These were all cold calls. It was a personal challenge to see how many I could sell in a week if I did nothing but work.

                          I was so beat by Friday night, I almost quit entirely.

                          Also, to prove a point to my salesmen, I went out on a Christmas eve, at about 9PM, and started knocking on doors cold. I remember that there was a blizzard. About the 6th person I talked to let me in and bought. As I walked up to the door, I decided it was the last door I was going to knock on. It was already about 9:30 at night. I think I left about Midnight. It was really really cold that night.
                          Holy Moses!

                          That's really impressive! You're right. I have no idea about selling the residential market, at the levels you are describing here. That kind of selling and workload demand would be physically and mentally exhausting.

                          How many appointments fell through to get those 17 presentations and 10 sales?

                          Your "Christmas Eve with Claude", story is one for the books. Cold walking at 9pm on Christmas Eve? I don't think I would have hung in there past the first couple of doors closing.

                          Talk about taking action to create your own luck. There's many lessons to be learned from this example, including you can change your life at any time - if you really want to.

                          I'm sure you made it worth their while by offering a special, one time only, holiday discount.

                          My hat is off to you, Claude.

                          Ron
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                          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                            Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

                            Holy Moses!

                            That's really impressive! You're right. I have no idea about selling the residential market, at the levels you are describing here. That kind of selling and workload demand would be physically and mentally exhausting.

                            How many appointments fell through to get those 17 presentations and 10 sales?

                            Your "Christmas Eve with Claude", story is one for the books. Cold walking at 9pm on Christmas Eve? I don't think I would have hung in there past the first couple of doors closing.

                            Talk about taking action to create your own luck. There's many lessons to be learned from this example, including you can change your life at any time - if you really want to.

                            I'm sure you made it worth their while by offering a special, one time only, holiday discount.

                            My hat is off to you, Claude.

                            Ron
                            Thanks; I don't think I offered a discount for the "Christmas Eve Lady", other than the standard trade in.

                            The 17 demonstrations were just cold walking, knocking on doors. So there were no cancelled appointments. But I remember I wrote 13 sales out of the 17, and three cancelled.


                            I was asked to work with a distributor in Pennsylvania to train their reps. I remember not having an appointment, and at 6PM, I said I was going out to get a sale. One of the reps wanted to go with me. He had never sen anyone just knock on doors. He asked me "What are the odds of giving a presentation tonight?"

                            I said "To this person (we were about to knock on the first door)? About one in six. The odds of me making a presentation tonight? 100%." To him, it was magic.

                            One thing I should mention....training someone to present the product in a way that generated about a 30% closing ratio was pretty easy. The product does a lot of the selling..the mechanics of the presentation do a lot to move the sale along.

                            But knocking on doors to get in a home to make a presentation? That's actually pretty hard to teach. A lot of it is personality, how you look, if you're funny or not...it's really hard to teach.


                            A new guy on a cold call may close 30%. At my peak, I was only closing about 50% on a cold call. So, not really much difference. But knocking on doors is an art, not a science. Most people could never do it well, I'm afraid.

                            And that's the reason most vacuum cleaner distributors didn't do it.

                            I learned how to profitably knock on doors from a guy that sold encyclopedias. It took me a month or so to learn the patter, the gestures, the cadence. But once I learned it, about every third person would invite me in, and I'd pitch about half of those people.

                            Now that I've said all that, it was really far better if I just ran referrals from buyers...and talked to past customers. My cold knocking days were mostly over about 20 years ago, unless I was testing a new approach...or when I started my Local Online Marketing business.
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        Not to mention that no one ever kept track of the deals that were closed in one call.

        Every sales book ever written probably contains at least one example of a deal that was closed on the spot, how it happened and the techniques that were used.

        The truth is a lot of deals are closed on the first call. It's just not discussed, even by those who do it.

        Ron
        I wonder why. It always seemed to me one call closes were the easiest to track.

        My own experiences is that when I tried one call close, win or lose, I often knew what I said wrong because there were audible clues in the prospect's voice. There's a certain momentum that is hard to get back on subsequent calls.

        I mean, in a single meeting, one can see live reactions and control the outcome to an extent, but outside the call, it's largely a question mark what influences the prospect.

        I think a good part of it has to do with culture.

        Sales seem to attracts a lot of extroverted/"artsy" type. For them, to rationalize human emotions is anathema.

        I ask myself this question for many topics actually. Many organizations and cultures aren't forward looking. They will stick to old ways until their ship is half filled with sea water.

        "200 years of tradition unmarked by progress" as an old adage goes.

        Why do we have to have a blatant display of failure before any changes are made?
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post


          Why do we have to have a blatant display of failure before any changes are made?
          Comfort. After you discover something that works, you keep doing it...eventually accepting it as "the only way". Then we take ownership of the idea, and defend it from other encroaching ideas.

          And defending a position is always easier than testing a new idea.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

          I ask myself this question for many topics actually. Many organizations and cultures aren't forward looking. They will stick to old ways until their ship is half filled with sea water.

          "200 years of tradition unmarked by progress" as an old adage goes.

          Why do we have to have a blatant display of failure before any changes are made?
          Heady stuff!!

          "Why do we have to have a blatant display of failure before any changes are made? "

          Great question. There isn't a simple answer though. It's many things and as complex as humans can make it.

          Sometimes you can see the "iceberg", dead ahead, but the warnings are resisted and ignored. The only thing you can do is get into the lifeboat yourself and get out before the disaster hits.

          It takes upheaval of a sufficient magnitude to make people change and step out of their comfort zone.
          Otherwise, they will resist new ideas or steps towards progress.

          About 25 years ago I stopped into a business that would be considered light manufacturing. It was a good sized company, with over 100 employees. They did work for the automotive industry and U.S government. They were doing ok.

          I was there about their phone service. They were interested in ways to save money and had called for an appointment.

          When I arrived for the appointment, I quickly learned that they were still using rotary dialed phones, in the offices and throughout the building. Stuff you'd have to go to a museum to see, even then. Maybe 50 or so phone sets. All individually wired. Each with it's own landline.

          When I met the owner, he couldn't resist telling me how he'd purchased the phones some 20 years earlier and how well they worked all these years later. It was a real source of pride for him.

          The office worker who had called me for the appointment had already filled me in on the problems. Missed customer calls, no open lines for incoming or outgoing calls, no working voicemail, so they were handwriting messages for staff on various slips of paper that were getting lost. It was a long list.

          While I listened to the owner, I noticed a secretary rolling her eyes and sadly shaking her head from side to side. Change wasn't what he wanted. He was proud of his resistance to change and all the money he'd saved by not purchasing a new phone system.

          I listened, smiled, told him it sounded like he had things under control there and left. If there'd been a lifeboat, I'd have advised the secretary to climb in and row away. Quickly.

          Ron
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

            When I met the owner, he couldn't resist telling me how he'd purchased the phones some 20 years earlier and how well they worked all these years later. It was a real source of pride for him.

            While I listened to the owner, I noticed a secretary rolling her eyes and sadly shaking her head from side to side. Change wasn't what he wanted. He was proud of his resistance to change and all the money he'd saved by not purchasing a new phone system.

            I listened, smiled, told him it sounded like he had things under control there and left. If there'd been a lifeboat, I'd have advised the secretary to climb in and row away. Quickly.

            Ron
            Ron; A tad of topic, but the salesman in me can't resist.

            I've run into this before, lots of times. Someone bought something 20 years ago, and they are proud of that decision. In fact, they brag about how it still works just fine.

            In nearly every case I've run across, they are looking for praise. Ignore the secretary. She is looking for sympathy, and a reason to complain (maybe justifiably)

            I would have asked the owner to describe the purchase he made 20 years ago. Where did he buy? Was it from a rep? What features did he like? Was it a great system when he bought it? Let him relive that buying decision..let him relive the feeling he got from buying that system 20 years ago. A few "Ooohhh"s and "Ahhhh"s would help here.

            Then I would say something like "Bob, from what you tell me, 20 years ago you talked to an expert and decided to invest in a phone system that has served you well for the past twenty years. That's pretty impressive. And you have been happy with your investment for twenty years. Bob, don't you think that history could repeat itself?"

            Bob "What do you mean?"

            You "Well, twenty years ago, your system was about as good as you could get. The best features available at the time. It was a great tool that served you well. And over the last few years there have been great improvements in phone systems, that would be as effective and the same high quality that you experienced for the last twenty years. Would you agree that eventually, you'll need to change what you have to keep competitive?

            Bob, you made a great decision twenty years ago. And frankly, it's good that you waited this long to consider an upgrade. That way you got every dollar out of your equipment, and prices have never been this low, and you waited until all the bugs were out of the new technology to consider a change. Would you like to know what's available, in case you ever decide to upgrade?"


            I had to change that a bit from what I say when they have a 30 year old metal vacuum cleaner that they bought for $59...and it refuses to die...a it's a family heirloom.

            But the gist of it is to praise a former buying decision...and position his refusing to change as smart buying and getting his money's worth.

            For example, I say "Aren't you glad you waited this long?" as though their procrastination is a virtue....and they were "waiting to buy" as though they were waiting for me...on purpose. I praise everything they do, and position it as part of the process of buying from me.

            Has it always worked? Of course not. But it has worked about half the time. You just need to get past the "I'm stubborn and proud" barrier. And Praise is how to do it, and re-positioning it as a virtue....and part of the reason to buy.


            Anyway, I feel better now.
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            • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              Ron; A tad of topic, but the salesman in me can't resist.

              I've run into this before, lots of times. Someone bought something 20 years ago, and they are proud of that decision. In fact, they brag about how it still works just fine.

              In nearly every case I've run across, they are looking for praise. Ignore the secretary. She is looking for sympathy, and a reason to complain (maybe justifiably)

              I would have asked the owner to describe the purchase he made 20 years ago. Where did he buy? Was it from a rep? What features did he like? Was it a great system when he bought it? Let him relive that buying decision..let him relive the feeling he got from buying that system 20 years ago. A few "Ooohhh"s and "Ahhhh"s would help here.

              Then I would say something like "Bob, from what you tell me, 20 years ago you talked to an expert and decided to invest in a phone system that has served you well for the past twenty years. That's pretty impressive. And you have been happy with your investment for twenty years. Bob, don't you think that history could repeat itself?"

              Bob "What do you mean?"

              You "Well, twenty years ago, your system was about as good as you could get. The best features available at the time. It was a great tool that served you well. And over the last few years there have been great improvements in phone systems, that would be as effective and the same high quality that you experienced for the last twenty years. Would you agree that eventually, you'll need to change what you have to keep competitive?

              Bob, you made a great decision twenty years ago. And frankly, it's good that you waited this long to consider an upgrade. That way you got every dollar out of your equipment, and prices have never been this low, and you waited until all the bugs were out of the new technology to consider a change. Would you like to know what's available, in case you ever decide to upgrade?"


              I had to change that a bit from what I say when they have a 30 year old metal vacuum cleaner that they bought for $59...and it refuses to die...a it's a family heirloom.

              But the gist of it is to praise a former buying decision...and position his refusing to change as smart buying and getting his money's worth.

              For example, I say "Aren't you glad you waited this long?" as though their procrastination is a virtue....and they were "waiting to buy" as though they were waiting for me...on purpose. I praise everything they do, and position it as part of the process of buying from me.

              Has it always worked? Of course not. But it has worked about half the time. You just need to get past the "I'm stubborn and proud" barrier. And Praise is how to do it, and re-positioning it as a virtue....and part of the reason to buy.


              Anyway, I feel better now.
              That's brilliant! And you would have gotten their business, I'm sure.

              The phone business corrupted me. It was too easy.

              In those days, the phone company owned 95% of the business but controlled it 100%,

              It was a moment in time. I knew it wouldn't last. I was literally running between appointments to write as much business as I could. It was great while it lasted.

              Ron
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              • Profile picture of the author socialentry
                Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

                The phone business corrupted me. It was too easy.

                In those days, the phone company owned 95% of the business but controlled it 100%,

                It was a moment in time. I knew it wouldn't last. I was literally running between appointments to write as much business as I could. It was great while it lasted.

                Ron
                Was it mainly the near-monopoly that made it easy? Or were there other conditions?

                Do you think that those conditions might come back in other countries or even in North America? Perhaps in other industries?
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                • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                  [QUOTE=socialentry;11163919]Was it mainly the near-monopoly that made it easy? Or were there other conditions?

                  Do you think that those conditions might come back in other countries or even in North America? Perhaps in other industries?[QUOTE]

                  I had to think about this. The opportunity was there despite the monopoly.
                  Anyone who perceived the opportunity - and took action - would have made some very serious money in a short period of time.

                  Looking back on it, I was moving so fast, I passed on a number of much larger opportunities, to take advantage of what was ready and waiting, right in front of me. That's the wisdom of hindsight.

                  The conditions and opportunities are even better today, because of the internet.

                  Geography is no longer an issue. With a bit of knowledge, you can pretty much write your own check.

                  Ron
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                  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
                    Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

                    I had to think about this. The opportunity was there despite the monopoly.
                    Anyone who perceived the opportunity - and took action - would have made some very serious money in a short period of time.

                    Looking back on it, I was moving so fast, I passed on a number of much larger opportunities, to take advantage of what was ready and waiting, right in front of me. That's the wisdom of hindsight.

                    The conditions and opportunities are even better today, because of the internet.

                    Geography is no longer an issue. With a bit of knowledge, you can pretty much write your own check.

                    Ron
                    Interesting that you named the post "follow those guts feelings".

                    How did you get to see said opportunities?
                    Was it a matter of planning or did you fall into it?

                    To what extent is it possible to get that knowledge using only sources open to the public?

                    Once one sees it, to what extent can a solo operator exploit those opportunities without having to JV or partner up with a tech?
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                    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

                      Interesting that you named the post "follow those guts feelings".
                      I was thinking about you, and how you're such a good example of that.

                      You left a highly lucrative sales position, selling stocks. The lucrative part cannot be disputed. It's been proven by tens of thousands of successful salespeople.

                      Even so, you left for whatever reason, perhaps to follow a "gut feeling".

                      You also decided to head back to school, to further your education.

                      You probably have a plan. Is the plan reinforced by a gut feeling?

                      How do you know that it's the right thing for you?

                      How much of your own life is going exactly as planned? How do you select your opportunities? Are you married? Is there someone special to you? Did you meet by chance or was that planned?

                      How much of your life is based on a gut feeling?

                      Ron
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                      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
                        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

                        I was thinking about you, and how you're such a good example of that.

                        You left a highly lucrative sales position, selling stocks. The lucrative part cannot be disputed. It's been proven by tens of thousands of successful salespeople.

                        Even so, you left for whatever reason, perhaps to follow a "gut feeling".

                        You also decided to head back to school, to further your education.

                        You probably have a plan. Is the plan reinforced by a gut feeling?

                        How do you know that it's the right thing for you?

                        How much of your own life is going exactly as planned? How do you select your opportunities? Are you married? Is there someone special to you? Did you meet by chance or was that planned?

                        How much of your life is based on a gut feeling?

                        Ron
                        In retrospect a great deal.

                        Most of my long term decisions all comes down to "would it make me happy? Can I do this for the rest of my life? Do I enjoy the people I work with? The culture of the industry? Is the path I've chosen true to my values?"

                        I don`t think it`s possible to do without gut feelings especially as an entrepreneur, because there`s always an unknown factor before taking the plunge. Only so much can transpire from textbooks. One is forced to make decisions with incomplete information.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
                          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

                          I don`t think it`s possible to do without gut feelings especially as an entrepreneur, because there`s always an unknown factor before taking the plunge. Only so much can transpire from textbooks. One is forced to make decisions with incomplete information.
                          Always.

                          Action is required to move forward.

                          You have to go with what you've got and make the best of it.

                          The lack of action is a killer. It destroys more opportunity than all of the other
                          reasons or obstacles combined.

                          Ron
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