The Ben Franklin Sales Close.

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In 1982 I bought my first great book on selling. It was How To Master The Art Of Selling by Tom Hopkins. It took me a weekend to read it, and it dramatically improved my selling. Over the decades, I have actually used several ideas from the book...one I say exactly the way it was presented.

Which brings me to The Ben Franklin Close. I have seen several versions of this, but essentially it's this...

You take a piece of paper and draw a line across the top, and a line down the middle of the page. You now have a T on the page. At the top of the page you write "Yes" on one side, and "No" on the other side. On the left side of the page you write down all the reasons against buying...and on the right side you write all the reasons for buying. Sometimes these lists are reversed, but that's essentially what you do.

And then you count up the reasons on both sides. The side with the most items listed...wins. And you say "Well, the decision seems pretty obvious, doesn't it?"

Of course, you help suggest items on the side under the word "Yes", and leave the prospect to fill out the other side on their own. And almost always there are more items under the "Yes" side than there are on the "No" side.

I was soooo excited when I read about this close. I tried it just as it was stated in the book, and they didn't buy. And then I tried it maybe a dozen times more...and they didn't buy. They would just say, "Well, we have to think about it"....which is where I was at before trying the close.

The question is...why didn't it get the response I wanted?

Because you are using a logical technique to solve an emotional problem. Nearly all sales objections are just justifications for not buying, because the prospect doesn't really want what you are selling....or...they just haven't spent enough time mulling it over in their mind...to get used to the idea of buying. You see, most buying decisions are arrived at unconsciously. They are just a feeling that they should buy or not buy. There isn't much inner dialogue going on.

Most sales objections aren't thought out before they are given. If they say "I can't afford it", that's what they reflexively told the last ten salespeople..when they didn't want to buy. It's the equivalent of "I'm getting my hair done that night", when a girl doesn't want to date someone. And again, most objections aren't being played out internally in the prospect's mind. It's just a feeling. They just either don't want it, and don't want to be rude, or they aren't ready to commit.

And after decades of thinking about why this close didn't work for me, it dawned on me...this close isn't really logical, it just looks logical. Because it uses a graph (of sorts) and bullet points...it seems logical.

Here's a reality...the things you list, the reasons for buying and not buying...don't have the same importance, the same weight to the prospect. One one side you list 35 features (reasons) that the prospect told you they liked...reasons for buying. You can call them benefits, if you like. But on the side where they list the reasons not to buy? To the prospect, these reasons (true or not) carry an immense importance to them.

Here is a simple example, in the extreme...

You are being shown a cat toy (I know, but bear with me). On one side of the Ben Franklin page you write down 15 things the prospect liked about the cat toy. On the other side they may write anything..but what they may want to write is "I don't care about cat toys" or "I don't like my cat" or "I don't have a cat", or "I don't like you". But they won't want to be insulting, so they say "Well, we'll have to think about it".



You may be thinking "So, Mister Sales Genius! What do you suggest instead?"

When they say "I want to think about it", I say "Oh?"...as though nobody ever says that. And I wait for them to talk. They always do. I want them to describe their hesitation. Usually, the first few things they say are just defenses...not the truth. And after I say "Tell me more" and "Oh? why is that?"...they generally will just blurt it out. "The last guy we bought from, screwed us over. And I promised never to buy from a salesman again"...or "My brother in law says he can buy these for half price"..or "I read online that this thing causes cancer".... extreme examples, I know, but I want them to simmer for awhile, so the idea can sink in that they're probably going to buy this. And sometimes, there isn't a real objection to uncover..it's just a general feeling of unease...uncertainty...hesitation....and they just need some reassurance. One good way to do this is to praise previous buying decisions that they have made. It makes them feel acknowledged, smart, and subconsciously they associate buying with good feelings. Strange, I know. But it's advanced selling.



It's why I like them to know the price going in, or at least at the beginning of the presentation. I want the price to sink in...to simmer...to start sounding normal.



At the end, I want them to feel like buying is normal, even expected behavior.
#ben #close #franklin #sales
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Great point. The most important decisions are often based on a single reason. As Nassim Taleb advises:

    "If you have more than one reason to do something (choose a doctor or veterinarian, hire a gardener or an employee, marry a person, go on a trip), just don't do it. It does not mean that one reason is better than two, just that by invoking more than one reason you are trying to convince yourself to do something. Obvious decisions (robust to error) require no more than a single reason."
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      Great point. The most important decisions are often based on a single reason. As Nassim Taleb advises:

      "If you have more than one reason to do something (choose a doctor or veterinarian, hire a gardener or an employee, marry a person, go on a trip), just don't do it. It does not mean that one reason is better than two, just that by invoking more than one reason you are trying to convince yourself to do something. Obvious decisions (robust to error) require no more than a single reason."
      I want to address that, because it's blindingly intelligent.

      One of the major things I do now when building a sales presentation for someone (or teaching someone to sell better) is to have them list all the reasons someone should buy from them, from the customer's point of view.

      But then I go back to that list and explain that there is something hidden in the list of reasons to buy...

      Reasons that are so profound, so perfectly matched to the buyer, that this one reason alone is enough for them to buy....again, from the customer's point of view.
      And after you asked the prospect the right questions, you'll know which reason to buy that is. And then that becomes the hub of the presentation. Not necessarily one feature ...but one result they will get that just makes them salivate to get it.

      In a related story, in my own decision making, one reason not to do something is reason enough. And that's why most sales arguments fail...dancing around hoping to eventually "convince" someone to buy. They haven't perfectly matched their offer to the customer, so that any other option just seems absurd.

      By the way, none of this comes easy. Hard to teach, and harder to learn.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    The Ben Franklin Close.

    Was the first close I was taught.
    ...which kinda makes it worse.


    It was also the first close that I realized was useless
    and stopped using as soon as the fear of losing my job was gone.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Well...

    if you've got to the close and have to do all that, you've probably not done a good job up to that point.

    So, like you, I can see why that close is bonkers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Well...

      if you've got to the close and have to do all that, you've probably not done a good job up to that point.

      So, like you, I can see why that close is bonkers.
      You have to understand that I was not seeing people who had requested information, or had shown an interest. I was creating sales from out of thin air. And the Ben Franklin close was designed (I suppose) for that kind of selling.

      Why would you have to go to all that effort in the closing..answering objections, and closing again?

      Because my experience is that most missed sales aren't missed by a mile, they are missed by inches. And watching a new salesperson kill a sale...by inches...makes me grit my teeth to this day.

      Why does repeated closing actually work? Because most objections are actually stalls, because the person isn't ready. They are almost ready to buy...but not quite.
      Personally. when I get a sales objection, I just assume it will take a tad longer before their conscious mind says "OK, let's do it". And just about any banter, tanking about what ht they like most about the offer, or even unrelated conversation about their family...it just gives their mind a chance to settle, and a moment for them to process the information.

      Of course, that's assuming they are actually considering buying. If they give anything close to a "No", I know not to waste any more time. I can't change a "No" to a "Yes". All of that should have been handled in the initial qualifying and the presentation, not at the closing.

      How long will I keep it up? As long as I can see they are getting more emotionally involved, their questions are getting more attune to buying, and our rapport is getting stronger. That's their brain's way of telling me that they are going to buy...even before they know it consciously.

      But...if I see they are growing impatient at all, pulling away emotionally, or they repeat an objection (even once)..I know they aren't going to buy. And I stop.

      They are literally telling me whether I should keep going, or politely stop.

      That said, I've also sold where they first showed interest, usually by hearing me at a speech. But also calling me because they watched my videos online, or read one of y books. And in the store...they saw an ad, and came in.

      Those people almost never need more than one opportunity to buy. In fact, one "Well, we'll think about it", and I'm just about done. They came in with the idea of buying on their mind...and somehow I killed that idea. Sometimes they come back, but I never make a further attempt to call them or try another close. In my experience, it just doesn't pay off.

      But if they keep asking questions? I'll stick with them as long as it takes, or until they let me know they aren't going to buy. It's extremely easy to get me to stop selling. If I can see them pulling away (emotionally), if they give me an objection twice, or I can see that rapport is eroding...I just stop. There isn't any need for them to go through any pain, or me.

      Another thought. I have hundreds of sales books written before the 1990s. Many in the 1940s-1970s. They all treat selling like a contest of wills. They give pithy answers to objections, and "beartrap" closes, that I found never worked.

      Marketing and advertising books from the 1950s? Gold, pure gold. But sales books? They read like they were written by oily sharks.

      And some salespeople still sell that old way. It works, I guess.....but only on people that will buy if you wear them down. I used to sell that way, decades ago...and it angers me that I didn't know any better.
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


        And some salespeople still sell that old way. It works, I guess.....but only on people that will buy if you wear them down. I used to sell that way, decades ago...and it angers me that I didn't know any better.

        I call that repeat closing and the wear down method "grinding" and sure it'll get the job done, but it breaks people in the process and there are sooooo many better ways.

        I have witnessed many a potential super star either quit or start drinking /drugging after a few years of that.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          I call that repeat closing and the wear down method "grinding" and sure it'll get the job done, but it breaks people in the process and there are sooooo many better ways.

          I have witnessed many a potential super star either quit or start drinking /drugging after a few years of that.
          I did it for about the first 20 years I sold in people's homes.

          But because these were non-referrals, and weren't incoming inquiries, it was the only way to make sales in any volume.

          But you are right, it was exhausting. I could do maybe two appointments a day like that. And even then, I was beat....and the prospects were beat too.

          I used to say that I could close for 12 hours, and never repeat myself. And that was probably true. But it was such a waste of resources.

          Eventually I figured out the qualifications that would make them highly likely to buy from me, and simply went to see those people. Life changing stuff.

          I call the way I used to sell "Classical Selling" because that's the way nearly every book used to teach, and every sales speaker used to teach.
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          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Eventually I figured out the qualifications that would make them highly likely to buy from me, and simply went to see those people. Life changing stuff.
            There ya go dreamers and wannabes...the secret sauce.

            It is life-changing stuff Claude.

            I'm just pointing it out a second time because I bet most of the skimmers missed it.
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

              There ya go dreamers and wannabes...the secret sauce.

              It is life-changing stuff Claude.

              I'm just pointing it out a second time because I bet most of the skimmers missed it.
              After about 20 years of selling, I lucked into a referral technique that got me 16 sales in a row..then I missed one...then got the next 24 in a row. Up until then, I was a solid 40% closer on cold called presentation.

              So...I had to find out what the difference was. Sure, they were referrals, but I had never experienced results like this before.

              Luckily for me, I had notebooks full of notes on every sale I made from the first 20 years in selling vacuum cleaners in people's homes. I did a deep dive into the notes to find what commonalities these people had that had bought from me.

              I found about 18 factors that heavily contributed to whether they would buy from me or not. These aren't "qualifications", as much as past buying habits they had.

              I did the math. Lots of math.

              And if a sales prospect was qualified...but they didn't have one of the factors I discovered...there was between a 2-15% chance that they would buy from me..no matter what sales techniques I used. (For example, if one spouse wasn't there for the appointment, and I did it anyway, I sold about 2% of them. It still took me almost a year of that before I just stopped doing those appointments)

              If they had only one factor I had listed, the chances of them buying from me shot to between 60-80%. A few factors were so strong that having that factor alone would get me 80% closing rate.

              And the people I saw that I sold 40 out of 41? They all had three factors that contributed to my sales success.

              The study I did took me about 2 years, while still selling. Some testing to make sure I was on the right track. Some stupid backslides because I thought it was me (and my Godlike sales ability), and not the prospect selection.

              I taught this material to some of my salespeople, with mixed results. I found that the prospect selection was the biggest factor in my sales success. But you still needed to do everything else right.....building value, matching the offer to the prospect, creating the image of an advisor instead of a sales rep.....

              So reps could still kill a sale...even one that would normally buy. I did it myself occasionally. We all slip up. Nobody is always at their best.

              But these "buying factors" are invisible to most. Even to other experienced reps, it mostly looked like luck.
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              • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                But these "buying factors" are invisible to most. Even to other experienced reps, it mostly looked like luck.
                I don't know why or even how, but lucky for me I caught on quick.

                -After I switched jobs and started working warm leads. 900 numbers I think.
                It was fairly pricey and I hated wasting my time pitching empty wallets.
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          • Profile picture of the author socialentry
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            And if a sales prospect was qualified...but they didn't have one of the factors I discovered...there was between a 2-15% chance that they would buy from me..no matter what sales techniques I used.
            If you had access to a person's innermost thoughts, if you knew them like you knew yourself, do you think you could change their mind?

            It seems that there's always a set of core beliefs that can't be changed by the spoken word alone.
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

              If you had access to a person's innermost thoughts, if you knew them like you knew yourself, do you think you could change their mind?

              It seems that there's always a set of core beliefs that can't be changed by the spoken word alone.
              The answer is an absolute Yes. But maybe not permanently.

              You have to understand what "changing your mind" actually is. It's just accepting new information, and accepting that what you thought you knew was wrong.

              The problem is, it's impossible to know someone's innermost thoughts. We can guess, based on what they say, their tone of voice, and facial cues.

              But even the person thinking, doesn't know their inner most thoughts. These are unconscious drives that percolate to the surface, and we interpret them as thoughts. But almost all the work goes on in our brain, before we are conscious of it.

              Our thoughts aren't what our brain does. Our thoughts are just the result, the effect, of what our brain does. Our decisions are made, and then we are aware of them.

              As far as changing someone's mind... (I hope this doesn't get deleted. I think it makes a strong point)

              I have no beliefs in the supernatural.

              But here is something to consider. I've had several in depth conversations with friends who have tried to..well...convert me.

              In two instances, I got them to change their minds about their beliefs. I mean real 180 degree shifts. In both cases, it was just a series of questions, and the use of logic. One discussion was about gods, and one discussion was about ghosts.

              But in both cases, by the next day, they had reverted to their previous beliefs. And to me, that was telling. It meant (to me), that these beliefs are so deep, that they cannot be rooted out. It's part of their very being.

              So could I get someone to change their minds about something that is part of their identity, if I knew everything about them? Yes. Would it be permanent? Probably not.

              Could I change someone's mind about a product or service? Yes. And probably permanently, until new information was available to them.

              Added later; I used to ponder this question...If I knew everything about the person I was showing a vacuum cleaner to...could I sell them all? I think if I knew everything about them...yes. But could I convince them that they are not real, and are a robot? probably not. At least not permanently.
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              • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                The answer is an absolute Yes. But maybe not permanently.

                You have to understand what "changing your mind" actually is. It's just accepting new information, and accepting that what you thought you knew was wrong.

                The problem is, it's impossible to know someone's innermost thoughts. We can guess, based on what they say, their tone of voice, and facial cues.

                But even the person thinking, doesn't know their inner most thoughts. These are unconscious drives that percolate to the surface, and we interpret them as thoughts. But almost all the work goes on in our brain, before we are conscious of it.

                Our thoughts aren't what our brain does. Our thoughts are just the result, the effect, of what our brain does. Our decisions are made, and then we are aware of them.

                As far as changing someone's mind... (I hope this doesn't get deleted. I think it makes a strong point)

                I have no beliefs in the supernatural.

                But here is something to consider. I've had several in depth conversations with friends who have tried to..well...convert me.

                In two instances, I got them to change their minds about their beliefs. I mean real 180 degree shifts. In both cases, it was just a series of questions, and the use of logic. One discussion was about gods, and one discussion was about ghosts.

                But in both cases, by the next day, they had reverted to their previous beliefs. And to me, that was telling. It meant (to me), that these beliefs are so deep, that they cannot be rooted out. It's part of their very being.

                So could I get someone to change their minds about something that is part of their identity, if I knew everything about them? Yes. Would it be permanent? Probably not.

                Could I change someone's mind about a product or service? Yes. And probably permanently, until new information was available to them.

                Added later; I used to ponder this question...If I knew everything about the person I was showing a vacuum cleaner to...could I sell them all? I think if I knew everything about them...yes. But could I convince them that they are not real, and are a robot? probably not. At least not permanently.
                So could I get someone to change their minds about something that is part of their identity, if I knew everything about them? Yes. Would it be permanent? Probably not.

                Playing a little Devil's Advocate here. Well, moral and philosophical aside, in the marketplace and in OLD world dance/fight/WIN strategy, one only needed to get them to YES, the one time...and hand over the dough.

                It has been said, "if you don't take their money, they will give it to someone else".

                So, be it a Ben Franklin or a Frank Bettger technique, the changing of a mind only has to occur long enough for the transaction to be completed, and yes, it did bring about the cooling off legislation and 3 day refund rule in some industries.

                An old saw, "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still".

                The mind seems to spring back to a familiar position, even as it has been changed.

                Which is why some of us have moved away from products which need selling, to those products/services that people buy, automatically, without thinking.

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

                  So could I get someone to change their minds about something that is part of their identity, if I knew everything about them? Yes. Would it be permanent? Probably not.

                  Playing a little Devil's Advocate here. Well, moral and philosophical aside, in the marketplace and in OLD world dance/fight/WIN strategy, one only needed to get them to YES, the one time...and hand over the dough.
                  In the part of my post you quoted, I was talking about actually changing someone's mind in an intellectual argument. Not a sales situation.

                  When selling, especially in closing, I don't think you actually change anyone's mind about a belief they have.

                  Bear trap closes, and arguments designed to hard sell a point..don't change minds. They bully people into submission. Sometimes, if a prospect can't think of a good comeback (Or rationale) they just give up and submit.

                  It's why these sales almost always cancel (if they can).

                  But you are right. I started selling in people's homes, just after the "3 Day Rule" went into effect. And I heard stories about getting the contract signed, and racing to the bank to cash it, before the customer called the bank.

                  I suppose such tactics are still "Selling", but they sure aren't a way to build a sustainable business.



                  Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

                  [B]
                  Which is why some of us have moved away from products which need selling, to those products/services that people buy, automatically, without thinking.

                  GordonJ
                  I think all new ideas (New to the customer) need selling. Maybe Explaining is a better word.

                  But aren't you talking about meeting a demand that is already there?
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                  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                    In the part of my post you quoted, I was talking about actually changing someone's mind in an intellectual argument. Not a sales situation.

                    When selling, especially in closing, I don't think you actually change anyone's mind about a belief they have.

                    Bear trap closes, and arguments designed to hard sell a point..don't change minds. They bully people into submission. Sometimes, if a prospect can't think of a good comeback (Or rationale) they just give up and submit.

                    It's why these sales almost always cancel (if they can).

                    But you are right. I started selling in people's homes, just after the "3 Day Rule" went into effect. And I heard stories about getting the contract signed, and racing to the bank to cash it, before the customer called the bank.

                    I suppose such tactics are still "Selling", but they sure aren't a way to build a sustainable business.





                    I think all new ideas (New to the customer) need selling. Maybe Explaining is a better word.

                    But aren't you talking about meeting a demand that is already there?
                    Yes, meeting a demand that is already there, somewhere along the supply chain.

                    And as for changing minds in selling, just from a no to a yes, being as, the sale begins when the prospect says no, yes?

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

                      Yes, meeting a demand that is already there, somewhere along the supply chain.

                      And as for changing minds in selling, just from a no to a yes, being as, the sale begins when the prospect says no, yes?

                      GordonJ

                      I'm glad you brought that up.

                      "The sale begins when the prospect says No" has got to be one of the 5 worst things ever uttered in sales mythology.

                      Why in the world would someone ever say "No" to you, if your offer was reasonable and you communicated clearly.

                      What are you saying...what questions are you asking...what mistakes are you making...that gets you a "No"?

                      In my entire sales career selling in people homes (at least selling vacuum cleaners), I have been on about 12,000 presentations. A tad over 7,200 said "Yes". How many said "No"? One. Just one.

                      If you are courteous, and don't act like a fool, it's almost impossible for someone to say "No" to you. You may get an excuse, a rationale, a situation that's usually fabricated, to let them out of the conversation gracefully. But a "No"? Almost never.

                      If you ask a buying question, and the prospect says "No"...that means they don't want it. And not wanting it is the perfect answer. What comes after you hear "No" Arguing. That's what hardcore objection handling is...just bad arguing. You give up, or they give up.

                      When a salesperson (never a good one) asks me if I want to buy something they are selling (assuming I don't want it), I just say "No, thank you". And they inevitably ask "May I ask why?", and I say "Because I don't want it".

                      I don't think I've ever changed a prospect from a No to a Yes. But I've changed plenty of "Maybe"s to a "Yes" . But in that "Maybe " wasn't a "No". It was more a "Probably".

                      If you are encountering people that say No to you often, you are talking to the wrong people...or you are so bad at selling that you are creating a "No" where one didn't exist before.

                      This is right up there with "Every "No" gets you closer to a 'Yes"". Mindless patter that is repeated as though it's an insight of some sort.

                      I wasn't really directing that at you.

                      Added later; By the way, the sale begins before you pick up the phone to call, or walk in their office. Everything you do or say is part of the process, part of selling. And to me, when the person says "No", that's the end.

                      That's like saying "The play begins when the curtain goes down". Sorry, I'm old and grumpy.
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                      • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
                        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                        I'm glad you brought that up.

                        "The sale begins when the prospect says No" has got to be one of the 5 worst things ever uttered in sales mythology.

                        Why in the world would someone ever say "No" to you, if your offer was reasonable and you communicated clearly.

                        What are you saying...what questions are you asking...what mistakes are you making...that gets you a "No"?

                        In my entire sales career selling in people homes (at least selling vacuum cleaners), I have been on about 12,000 presentations. A tad over 7,200 said "Yes". How many said "No"? One. Just one.

                        If you are courteous, and don't act like a fool, it's almost impossible for someone to say "No" to you. You may get an excuse, a rationale, a situation that's usually fabricated, to let them out of the conversation gracefully. But a "No"? Almost never.

                        If you ask a buying question, and the prospect says "No"...that means they don't want it. And not wanting it is the perfect answer. What comes after you hear "No" Arguing. That's what hardcore objection handling is...just bad arguing. You give up, or they give up.

                        When a salesperson (never a good one) asks me if I want to buy something they are selling (assuming I don't want it), I just say "No, thank you". And they inevitably ask "May I ask why?", and I say "Because I don't want it".

                        I don't think I've ever changed a prospect from a No to a Yes. But I've changed plenty of "Maybe"s to a "Yes" . But in that "Maybe " wasn't a "No". It was more a "Probably".

                        If you are encountering people that say No to you often, you are talking to the wrong people...or you are so bad at selling that you are creating a "No" where one didn't exist before.

                        This is right up there with "Every "No" gets you closer to a 'Yes"". Mindless patter that is repeated as though it's an insight of some sort.

                        I wasn't really directing that at you.

                        Added later; By the way, the sale begins before you pick up the phone to call, or walk in their office. Everything you do or say is part of the process, part of selling. And to me, when the person says "No", that's the end.

                        That's like saying "The play begins when the curtain goes down". Sorry, I'm old and grumpy.
                        Elmer Leterman's book was written in the 50's. The Sale Begins When the Customer Says No.

                        The book listed at Amazon includes a nice FORWARD you will like. It was written by Eric Johnston, President Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.

                        Eric tells his story about selling vacuums in homes and how he learned to do it, in the 1920's.

                        Leterman's idea was {is) that if there is no resistance, objection or curiosity there, you are just a clerk, an order taker, and sometimes that is true. But hall of fame insurance salesman Elmer who wrote some of the largest policies of the day and had a Who's Who of clients was as professional a salesman as they get.

                        Both of his books are classics. In addition to THE SALE BEGINS WHEN THE CUSTOMER SAYS NO, he also penned PERSONAL POWER THROUGH SELLING.

                        You are right, of course, in what you say about NO, but walking away without a sale, they don't have to actually say it.

                        In the context of Elmer G. Leterman's idea, which is, if you don't get an order, you got a no, spoken or otherwise.

                        GordonJ
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                        • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
                          Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

                          You are right, of course, in what you say about NO, but walking away without a sale, they don't have to actually say it.

                          In the context of Elmer G. Leterman's idea, which is, if you don't get an order, you got a no, spoken or otherwise.

                          GordonJ
                          The sales manager at my second sales job (warm leads - not cold) harped on that sentiment.

                          Anything less then a sale was a no. Upto and including not having any money.

                          His view and what he taught me, well, unrelentingly pounded into my head was... if you did your job properly, everyone wants what you have, period and if they don't really have the money then they will beg, borrow or steal it in order to buy what you have.

                          Sometimes in my weaker moments - meaning I was lazy and didn't qualify properly...I would fall back on that mentality. Its hard to break the brain washing and the cycle of wrong.

                          Also, I was making close to 180k a year in an area where the median was 20ish.
                          So...its really really hard to see or understand what your doing wrong when it feels
                          like everything is going your way.
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                          • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
                            Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

                            The sales manager at my second sales job (warm leads - not cold) harped on that sentiment.

                            Anything less then a sale was a no. Upto and including not having any money.

                            His view and what he taught me, well, unrelentingly pounded into my head was... if you did your job properly, everyone wants what you have, period and if they don't really have the money then they will beg, borrow or steal it in order to buy what you have.

                            Sometimes in my weaker moments - meaning I was lazy and didn't qualify properly...I would fall back on that mentality. Its hard to break the brain washing and the cycle of wrong.

                            Also, I was making close to 180k a year in an area where the median was 20ish.
                            So...its really really hard to see or understand what your doing wrong when it feels
                            like everything is going your way.
                            Some of us old guys didn't have the best role models, but in their defense, like you say, it worked and they brought home the bacon.

                            Now, I think many of us Liked the dance, battle, mano a mano thing of selling the old fashioned way, especially when the sales were pouring in.

                            For me, it took meeting a guy working half a week, making twice the dough and he simply took orders. He never tried to make a sale, the DEMAND was there, and he was in the right place in the supply chain.

                            Hardly ever spoke to anyone, just counted things and filled up the orders.

                            But in my youth, like you, getting hammered with the what and how to do it, getting a sale or getting disgraced...it took a long time to see it for what it is. WRONG.

                            Glad younger people want to get into sales and selling. But I will only advise it for someone with no experience to get a taste of what it takes to do it. Then, maybe, advise them of trying something different.

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

                          In the context of Elmer G. Leterman's idea, which is, if you don't get an order, you got a no, spoken or otherwise.

                          GordonJ
                          Thanks for letting me know about the books. I just ordered copies of both. I may already have them in my library, but who knows?

                          When I hear "The sale begins when the prospect says No" I always assume they mean answering objections and closing after the customer gives a firm objection...basically a "No".

                          My guess is that Leterman almost never heard "No". High end salespeople pick their clients, see prospects by referral mostly, and sell to their old customers.

                          Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

                          Now, I think many of us Liked the dance, battle, mano a mano thing of selling the old fashioned way, especially when the sales were pouring in.
                          GordonJ
                          Most salespeople I know have felt that. I never did. The only feeling I got out of it was occasionally knowing that I did something (specific sales) that not one person in ten thousand could do.

                          But I never understood the guys that got a thrill out of a sale, or were depressed (or angry) when they missed one.
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                          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
                            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                            Thanks for letting me know about the books. I just ordered copies of both. I may already have them in my library, but who knows?

                            When I hear "The sale begins when the prospect says No" I always assume they mean answering objections and closing after the customer gives a firm objection...basically a "No".

                            My guess is that Leterman almost never heard "No". High end salespeople pick their clients, see prospects by referral mostly, and sell to their old customers.
                            I never hear no. Ever. When I tell anyone that hasn't seen me work that, without fail they think I am lying.

                            Whatever.

                            In the retail world its location location location.

                            In the sales world its position position position.

                            Of course, I don't bother asking questions that will elicit a no,
                            I mean come on ...you still gotta follow the fundamentals and sell.
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                          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
                            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post



                            Most salespeople I know have felt that. I never did. The only feeling I got out of it was occasionally knowing that I did something (specific sales) that not one person in ten thousand could do.
                            But I never understood the guys that got a thrill out of a sale, or were depressed (or angry) when they missed one.
                            When you're grinding and (hopefully) learning, sales are emotional.

                            Add few dozen years of experience unlearning all the grinding bs and you wind up chucking 90% of what you thought you knew. Mind bending and IF you make it back out of the rabbit hole and have learned the art of wooo saaahh. It translates into emotionless sales, because we just don't care.

                            Which is the entire lesson. Learning not to care.

                            Sounds to me, you had an unfair advantage
                            I had to learn the hard way to ditch that nonsense.

                            - I forgot how much fun talking with you is.

                            Edit a min later, I'm rethinking the advantage, since I know you a little bit based upon your own words.
                            It seems like you tend to hyper-focus on specific things for a bit.

                            Such as journalizing your sales experience. Another example in my humble opinion is when you say
                            you run the numbers. Mathematicians do that. Usually everyone else is just spouting a line.
                            I absolutely believe that you have run the numbers. Many, many times.

                            I wonder if that type of one tracking is what kept you in blinders for the first twenty years.

                            I've listened to you speak now for a long time, you appear intelligent to me and based on what you've said - smarter than myself and it didn't take me twenty years and bookoo reading and record-keeping to figure it out.

                            So maybe an unfair advantage .... but only after you got your shit together.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                              Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post


                              Edit a min later, I'm rethinking the advantage, since I know you a little bit based upon your own words.
                              It seems like you tend to hyper-focus on specific things for a bit.

                              Such as journalizing your sales experience. Another example in my humble opinion is when you say
                              you run the numbers. Mathematicians do that. Usually everyone else is just spouting a line.
                              I absolutely believe that you have run the numbers. Many, many times.

                              I wonder if that type of one tracking is what kept you in blinders for the first twenty years.
                              First, it's a rare privilege to be able to talk with people that share insights with me, and understand the ones i share. There are a few people here that are word class in selling. They know who they are. So, Thank you.

                              What kept me in blinders the first 20 years was a combination of factors. I had no mentors that were exceptional in selling. The vast majority of sales books I read then were what I call "Classic selling" books. You know...Attention, Interest, Desire, Action...Always Be Closing...that sort of thing.

                              But after a few years in selling, I decided that I wanted to be the greatest vacuum cleaner salesman alive. A strange goal, I know. But I was always fascinated with human nature, and selling was the lab I used to test ideas. That was when I was barely making a living. I read several books written by sales superstars and I identified with them.

                              That's when I started keeping track of every presentation. Had I thought about it more clearly, I would have also kept track of every lead generation method sooner, because that's where many of the big improvements came.

                              When did I really start making serious progress in selling? When I started studying advertising, copywriting, and marketing. That's when I started finding out about keeping track of your numbers.

                              So I went back over maybe 20 years of sales (or not sales) results, and found out the really big Aha moments.
                              I found the hidden groups buyers, and the groups on non-buyers. And I found out how to identify them. More marketing than selling, and that's why it took me so long.

                              And all during that time I was testing different approaches I had learned, different answers to objections, different ways of bringing up price, and different language that improved sales.

                              To be fair, I think it's impossible to think about one thing most every day for 35 years, study it for 35 years, keep notes for 35 years. test everything you do for 35 years, and not be at the top of the pack. So, it may not be a matter of intelligence, but of interest in the subject.

                              It is amazing how much of that early technique I have scrapped. It's like you become a master of crawling..until you stand up...and then you have a different thing to learn.
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                              • Profile picture of the author socialentry
                                Originally Posted by kenmichaels

                                Add few dozen years of experience unlearning all the grinding bs and you wind up chucking 90% of what you thought you knew. Mind bending and IF you make it back out of the rabbit hole and have learned the art of wooo saaahh. It translates into emotionless sales, because we just don't care.

                                Which is the entire lesson. Learning not to care.
                                If I want to do wooo saaah, do I wait another decade or two or can I just sit down and say "Well, today, I don't care." and see what happens as long as I believe in it?

                                I can't say I never tasted the koolaid, but well, Claude wrote a nice cheat sheet and I basically learned the basics here, how much of an advantage does that give someone? I mean: is it mainly the old school 90s culture that was holding you back or was it something else?

                                Would it be fair to say "if you're straining yourself, you're doing it wrong"

                                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                                When did I really start making serious progress in selling? When I started studying advertising, copywriting, and marketing. That's when I started finding out about keeping track of your numbers.
                                Was it a result of the lessons taught or was it mainly tracking your numbers?
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                                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                                  Originally Posted by socialentry View Post




                                  Was it a result of the lessons taught or was it mainly tracking your numbers?
                                  It was the lessons taught, which included tracking your numbers.

                                  It started with advertising my store, and keeping track of the responses, and return on e advertising investment.

                                  Then I started studying copywriting to make my ads pay better. And that led me to Dan Kennedy and the huge world of marketing.

                                  It wasn't until a little later that I figured out that these lessons could be applied to direct selling, in people's homes...and by extension, all selling, no matter what the industry of method of selling.

                                  And to be frank, much of this overlapped. For example, 20 years ago, I was studying sales books and courses, testing my own ideas...but I was also reading books on psychology, logic, and marketing.

                                  All these studies overlapped, it 's the emphasis that changed over time.

                                  But it wasn't until I started studying marketing that I went back over all my old records to build a pattern of who was buying, and what was working.

                                  Before that, I would simply test ideas (or verbal patterns and techniques) several times to see if they worked or not. For example, I tested raising my prices twice over the years, to study the effects on sales, and arrive at the most profitable price. I did that before I studied marketing in depth. And all this time, I was still selling in people's homes.

                                  Added later; Something that may be useful. Remember that I have said that I used to be a solid 40% closer on cold called presentations? And this is after real serious study for a decade or more.

                                  Several years ago, I went back to my records of those sales, and found the exact same patterns of who would buy and who wouldn't.

                                  I was selling 40%. But I dissected who made up that 40%. And I found a couple of groups that made up nearly all my sales, and the rest made up almost none of the sales. A few tweaks, better decisions on who I was seeing...and even with my backward sales techniques of old, my closing percentage would have jumped to almost 80% had I known this information from the beginning.

                                  Live and learn.
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                                • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
                                  Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

                                  If I want to do wooo saaah, do I wait another decade or two or can I just sit down and say "Well, today, I don't care." and see what happens as long as I believe in it?
                                  Can you not care on a whim? If so, do it. Most can't. I mean really, not caring. For instance, you must be able to reliably turn off your emotions so that you can digest the responses from the prospect and think ahead of the conversation. Rebuttals are reactive, sales are proactive. Anyone with training can react within a subset of taught, repetitive actions.

                                  Since sales are proactive, you have to be too and you gotta be able to do it under YOUR worst circumstances, whatever they are. In my case, I lost about twenty blood relatives in less than ten years while being sued by uncle sam and friends, lost a financial partner and friend to a disease, got divorced, became a single father, found out my friend who I agreed to be a godfather to his two kids...got murdered so now I'm sporting three kids, one of them autistic... and brother, I'm just hitting some of the high points. Try keeping your zen in the middle of that.

                                  You can get to that woo saah a few different ways. All of them quicker than a few decades. You have the internet and an infinite amount of people willing to help you. Claude and I had libraries and ourselves. Huge difference, plus anyone who has been in the sales game for any length of time seemingly hits that mark intermittently without them even realizing what they are doing. I have heard hundreds of names for it over the years. Hot streak, zone, etc. They vary in length of time, I usually see it happen once per shift by a few people...not always the same people. The better they are at sales, the more consistent the streaks are. The better ones tend to streak for a week. People that can streak for more then a week consistently...they don't work for anyone but themselves. Not for long anyway.

                                  Just so you know, I consider those false woo saas, because they are usually followed up with the salesperson flat-lining when the run ended.

                                  And it always ends, because in the middle of the zone - they start thinking and questioning why things are different now...it usually starts with them thinking that the leads are better and when they exhaust all of the external reasons, luck, better leads, fav timezone...etc, then they start paying attention to what they are saying and the very moment they do that... it's over AND ...they can't stop spiraling down and not selling anything.

                                  I think I remember talking to you about getting comfortable asking for higher ticket items and I explained to you that the comfort was relative to your financial experiences. Other words if your bank account is empty and you're not used to making five thousand dollar decisions, it's difficult to ask someone else for that, no matter how much you believe in the product. You can double down on that sentiment if it's your product or service you're trying to sell.

                                  My point of bringing that up is, I think to figure out how to whoo saa and figuring out how to be comfortable outside of your comfort zone is in the same ballpark. Asking for five thousand dollars is easy once five thousand dollars means nothing to you because you have ceased looking at it emotionally. Understand?


                                  Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

                                  I can't say I never tasted the koolaid, but well, Claude wrote a nice cheat sheet and I basically learned the basics here, how much of an advantage does that give someone?
                                  No idea buddy. With that said - when I was hammering the phones, I hung my script, rebuttals and common math formulas on the walls surrounding my workspace. I assume it's the same advantage as far as they both are cheats sheats following a plan (script). However, I imagine Claude breaks down the why's and in my opinion, often knowing why something works is more important than just knowing it works and using it (usually wrong or ineffectually).

                                  Do you need to know why to procure a living? Hell...no ya don't!

                                  You only need to know the whys if you want to grow your sales acumen.
                                  I will tell you ...knowing the why's helps translate many other areas of business, such as signage, promotions, situational awareness and much much more.

                                  Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

                                  I mean: is it mainly the old school 90s culture that was holding you back or was it something else?
                                  The only thing that ever held me back in life and sales was, is and always will be........me.

                                  When I first started in the game I was lazy and lucky. I started part-time because I was in school. - just like you -

                                  The lucky part is I did not think I knew anything about sales, so I listened to what they told me to do. Which was - read the script verbatim and don't take it personally when people say no or hang up. Followed up with - stand up and walk around in front of my desk and make sure I smiled when I dialed.

                                  What they told me to do worked. It was way too easy for me, so I slacked on the clock, the entire company was based on phone time vrs sales and if you were like me - having the proper percentages on paper, the company let you do what you wanted. In my case, I would come in for just a few hours a day and hammer out twenty or so sales and go home.

                                  With my next few jobs, the same things happened. Once I became top tier at the company I got lazy and came and went when I wanted to.

                                  I did not truly care about learning anything about anything until I started building my own business. That's when I realized how important this stuff is. Even then I only cared upto a point. My epiphany came when a west coast company offered me half a million bucks to come set them up like my room was. The epiphany wasn't getting offered that money, the epiphany was I had to turn it down...because these guys were asking me shit loads of questions...that I did not have the proper answers to.

                                  That entire deal would have been worth over a million in my pocket for less than twelve months of work and I could not accept it, because I was a lazy business bum. That's when I started learning.

                                  Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

                                  Would it be fair to say "if you're straining yourself, you're doing it wrong"
                                  Hmmm...not to be pedantic, but doesn't "strain" mean to force or injure?
                                  Also, I'm of two minds on that thought, so I'm not sure.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
                                    Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

                                    I think I remember talking to you about getting comfortable asking for higher ticket items and I explained to you that the comfort was relative to your financial experiences. Other words if your bank account is empty and you're not used to making five thousand dollar decisions, it's difficult to ask someone else for that, no matter how much you believe in the product. You can double down on that sentiment if it's your product or service you're trying to sell.

                                    My point of bringing that up is, I think to figure out how to whoo saa and figuring out how to be comfortable outside of your comfort zone is in the same ballpark. Asking for five thousand dollars is easy once five thousand dollars means nothing to you because you have ceased looking at it emotionally. Understand?
                                    Yeah think I got what you mean bro.

                                    Hmmm...not to be pedantic, but doesn't "strain" mean to force or injure?
                                    Also, I'm of two minds on that thought, so I'm not sure.
                                    I'm not sure if I used the right word.

                                    To force or injure is perhaps a bit too strong in retrospect.

                                    Perhaps effort might be more like it, but this might be too weak: I feel a bit silly saying that making effort is the wrong way to go about anything or at least its deeply counter-intuitive.
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

              It seems that there's always a set of core beliefs that can't be changed by the spoken word alone.
              A separate example.

              I once (maybe a decades ago) read an article in a science journal that was so well crafted, the logic was so orderly and unassailable, that it convinced me temporarily that this universe is a computer simulation.A world changing moment for me.

              I thought about it for days, before coming to the conclusion that, even though the reasoning was perfect, the original premise was faulty.

              But over the years, I have looked for this article. And every article of its kind that I've found gives faulty reasoning. I've often wondered if I misunderstood the first article I read.
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              • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                A separate example.

                I once (maybe a decades ago) read an article in a science journal that was so well crafted, the logic was so orderly and unassailable, that it convinced me temporarily that this universe is a computer simulation.A world changing moment for me.

                I thought about it for days, before coming to the conclusion that, even though the reasoning was perfect, the original premise was faulty.

                But over the years, I have looked for this article. And every article of its kind that I've found gives faulty reasoning. I've often wondered if I misunderstood the first article I read.
                Sounds to me like you took the blue pill.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    It's a truism that there's no reasoning someone out of a position he hasn't reasoned himself into. Fortunately, reason often has very little to do with buying decisions.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      It's a truism that there's no reasoning someone out of a position he hasn't reasoned himself into. Fortunately, reason often has very little to do with buying decisions.
      ...and very little to do with decisions in general.

      Our decisions are mostly made on an unconscious level, before we are even aware of them. The question remains, "What is the brain doing before our conscious awareness?"

      Is it reasoning? Is it accessing our brain stem to serve our more primal instinctive needs?

      Is the process creating a justification for giving in to a need like lust, greed, anger?

      I don't know.

      About reason..like in my example I gave using logic, I temporarily "changed someone's mind" because they couldn't argue intellectually. But soon after the argument was agreed on, the need to keep their self image intact took over...like stretching a rubber band, you can make it change the length, but once the tension is released, it snaps back in place.

      Like "Bear trap closes". Sometimes they work. But it's not because they actually change anyone's mind, but it's because the sales prospect is bullied into surrendering.

      It's very difficult for the vast majority of humans to simply say "No, I don't want to"....partly because they want to keep rapport.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    I have adapted the "Ben Franklin" Close over the years. I remember getting this book - I want to say it was my first sales book actually... Once I was done reading this, my Grandfather and I had "Lunch" to discuss the book. It was a great time... with many memories to recall. The BIGGEST one was this...

    The Ben Franklin Close historically ( as in how Ben Franklin used it was to make a decision ) writing out the pros and cons... As my Grandfather explained this was a very personal experience. A single persons thoughts on why or why not to buy or do something. To throw in a more modern term this is NOT a crowd Sourced activity. He made it very clear that writing a list of pros and cons is NOT a method for selling.

    A couple of weeks later I was doing my work on a weekend at the family business ( garbage cans and sweeping etc ) and my Grandfather calls me into his office. We sit down and he draws out the T with Pros and Cons... he then says something to the effect of I told you not to use this right? of course I responded "yes".

    He then flips over the piece of paper and rotates it in landscape format and draws 2 lines to create 3 equal sections and writes "Wants" "Needs" and "Provided" across the top.

    So you speak with a client and in the far left column you write the clients WANTS. in doing this you want to leave a space between each. You then do the same process for NEEDS - except this time your experience comes into play for added "NEEDS" the client may need. This time you will match NEEDS with wants and fill in the blank space with NEEDS that are not represented as WANTS:

    Want #1 Need #1
    AAAAAAA Need #2
    Want #2
    AAAAAAANeed #3
    Want #3 Need #4

    Want #4 Need #5

    From here you then goto the third column and have a clearly defined list of customer wants and needs. You then match what is being provided that matches either Want, Need or Both. You can then start in with "If I supply A would you be comfortable with the deal?" kind of strategy.

    There are times I have done this and found The clients Wants, and my injected client needs are just flat out way off and we are the farthest thing from a match ever - other times I have found how I can bend the conversation to make things work.

    I find this method makes for a good reset point when needed.

    Hope that Helps!
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      I have adapted the "Ben Franklin" Close over the years. I remember getting this book - I want to say it was my first sales book actually... Once I was done reading this, my Grandfather and I had "Lunch" to discuss the book. It was a great time... with many memories to recall. The BIGGEST one was this...

      The Ben Franklin Close historically ( as in how Ben Franklin used it was to make a decision ) writing out the pros and cons... As my Grandfather explained this was a very personal experience. A single persons thoughts on why or why not to buy or do something. To throw in a more modern term this is NOT a crowd Sourced activity. He made it very clear that writing a list of pros and cons is NOT a method for selling.
      My God!

      It took me 65 years to hear the actual use of the Ben Franklin method. You made it very clear why this is a legitimate private decision making method, and why it's not a sales technique...at least not a good one.

      I can see how this is a great method to make your own decisions by clarifying your own thinking, and forcing your brain to process thoughts in a more orderly way.

      Your Grandfather sounds like a fascinating man.

      Thank you, this is one of those AHA moments for me, thanks to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    I make a presentation. The presentation is designed to create a desire to purchase my product in a large way. I know not everyone will buy or buy large though who I bring in as potential clients have indicated in some way they may be good opportunities.

    That presentation I just mentioned? It's actually designed for the better clients. It's made to speak to them. That's to say, the better client will respond most favorably to it.

    In this way when I run across the better client type they'll say "yep, that works for me" and buy nicely. Intricate closes to convince them to buy aren't needed. But negotiation abilities usually are.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      I make a presentation. The presentation is designed to create a desire to purchase my product in a large way. I know not everyone will buy or buy large though who I bring in as potential clients have indicated in some way they may be good opportunities.

      That presentation I just mentioned? It's actually designed for the better clients. It's made to speak to them. That's to say, the better client will respond most favorably to it.

      In this way when I run across the better client type they'll say "yep, that works for me" and buy nicely. Intricate closes to convince them to buy aren't needed. But negotiation abilities usually are.
      I'm following this line of thinking in my last project, a course on selling.

      All the marketing to get them on a webinar (or to see a speech) is targeted not to catch the widest audience, but the one that most precisely matches my approach and style of selling.

      And the webinar (and speech) is crafted to serve that same purpose...attract and sell the best clients/students, and repel the rest.

      As much as I love making sales, I hate problems with customers more.

      Being old, and having saved money.,,.has its rewards.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    "because they are usually followed up with the salesperson flat-lining when the run ended"

    When I was in sales back in the 1800's we used the phrase - green, ripe and rotten.

    Salespeople started off green.

    Then they got in their groove and were ripe.

    Then they started taking short cuts - pre-judging people and the list goes on - and became rotten.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post


      Then they started taking short cuts - pre-judging people and the list goes on - and became rotten
      .
      I want to address that, because it's very true.
      But why? Why do reps go rotten?

      I think I may know.

      At first, they know they know nothing, so they listen. And they are taught what works. But they aren't taught why it works. Usually the manager or trainer doesn't cover that because they don't know...and they don't know that it's important.

      Eventually, the rep starts thinking they know what they are doing, and since they know something...they think they need to change what they are doing.

      The problem is, they don't know the whys. They don't have any deep knowledge. Their knowledge ends at the scripts.

      They want to get better. The problem is, they don't know the difference between an improvement and a mistake. So they make mistakes. These "improvements" are based mostly on superstitions, rumor, taking out what they don't enjoy doing, changing the order of what they do because it's different. And to an uninitiated mind, Different is always better.

      So after (let's say a year) they think they know the entire program. They think they have the inside story. So they take out things that are key. They get sloppy. They develop prejudices in prospecting.

      What haven't they done? They haven't tested. They haven't recorded results. Keeping accurate records is their enemy, because accurate records reveal the truth. And the truth is bothersome. So the management (the ones that gave them the tools of success) becomes the enemy. They spend the day complaining to each other....about the manager, the business, the customers. Lunches become hours long, and golf becomes more important than work.

      But if they knew why the things they do work...and why a technique works or doesn't...it builds a solid foundation beneath them. And they need the desire to know these things...alas.

      The unfortunate fact is, this kind of deep revelation takes more time than most reps have, and takes a hell of a lot more interest in the subject, than most reps...or even managers have. It takes a desire to learn selling way beyond jut making the next sale.
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        The unfortunate fact is, this kind of deep revelation takes more time than most reps have, and takes a hell of a lot more interest in the subject, than most reps...or even managers have. It takes a desire to learn selling way beyond jut making the next sale.
        People in my life think I'm greedy about money, it's not true. While I do enjoy the benefits money brings...

        Its more about wanting to understand...so I can use it to my benefit, whatever
        that benefit happens to be at the time.

        I'm often asked why specifically sales considering my background.

        My answer is: because everything on this planet is sold.

        The next question is: Why sell leads?

        My answer is: because every salesperson on the planet ... needs leads.

        I think big and I make big plans, but I try to keep things realistically simple.
        So that there is a better than average chance for success.

        and all of that came from understanding and perspective.... after years and years
        of doing things the hard way.

        Not just sales...everything in my life.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          People in my life think I'm greedy about money, it's not true. While I do enjoy the benefits money brings...

          Its more about wanting to understand...so I can use it to my benefit, whatever
          that benefit happens to be at the time.

          I'm often asked why specifically sales considering my background.

          My answer is: because everything on this planet is sold.

          The next question is: Why sell leads?

          My answer is: because every salesperson on the planet ... needs leads.

          I think big and I make big plans, but I try to keep things realistically simple.
          So that there is a better than average chance for success.

          and all of that came from understanding and perspective.... after years and years
          of doing things the hard way.

          Not just sales...everything in my life.
          My interest in sales comes from three sources...and as I type this, i know how childish this sounds, but here goes.

          When I was a kid growing up in Lodi Ohio (population 3,000), Everyone was either a farmer, worked at a factory. or worked at one of the small retail stores on the town square.

          In my town, there was only one man that drove around in a new car, wore a suit, and wore a hat. He sold life insurance. And to me...this was my ticket out of that town. I wanted to be that guy.

          When I was a kid, I read comic books, superheroes mostly. In a Daredevil comic book, there was a villain called The Purple Man. His ability was that he could make anyone do anything with his voice alone.In my little brain, that sounded great. And selling is the closest I can come to having a super power.

          And growing up, I had real difficulty socially. I didn't understand why some things were taboo, some things weren't funny, and why some people were liked, and some weren't.

          I always studied human behavior, even as a kid. At first, to fit in, and later to understand how selling worked. Fortunately for me, this fascination never left me, so my studies never stopped.

          Why sell vacuum cleaners in people's homes? They are shiny, new, and it's a fun sale. But it's the process that's important to me, not the product.
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          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            In my town, there was only one man that drove around in a new car, wore a suit, and wore a hat. He sold life insurance. And to me...this was my ticket out of that town. I wanted to be that guy.
            I guess you're pretty lucky the guy was into sales and not a drug dealer or mafia type.

            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            I always studied human behavior, even as a kid. At first, to fit in, and later to understand how selling worked. Fortunately for me, this fascination never left me, so my studies never stopped.
            Me too, I'm not sure why. I didn't fit in as a child, not until people figured
            out how good I could be at sports. Then I had friends, but I knew it was fake.

            It's weird being clued in that early.

            Added a bit later after some thought:
            I don't think fitting in had anything to do with it.
            Ever since I can remember I've wanted to know everything about everything.
            I guess that means I'm just nosy
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