Why I never give out reference list's EVER!!

57 replies
When I was a roofing contractor I was continually updating my reference list. All of the contractors have one and in almost EVERY case prospects ask for them.

One day I was updating my reference list and while I was going through the job files I noticed something about what I was doing.

I was literally hand picking the cream of the crop they'd have me over for dinner and let me marry their daughter customer files.

It dawned on me how contrived this was! Not only that every other contractor was doing exactly the same thing!

Well the salesman in my instantly saw a way to separate myself from the competition!

I'd stop giving prospects a referral list!

Then I thought to myself, hmm what would be my reasonable, logical explanation to my prospects for saying no to their request!

So in a nutshell here's how it goes!

Prospect: Everything looks great! Do you have a referral list?

Me: I'm glad you asked because it brings up an important point. What exactly is a referral list? Have you ever asked yourself that? What I mean to say is that every contractor me included just hand pick all the jobs that went absolutely perfect! Not a bush trampled, not a scar on the driveway, every nail perfect!

Me: Do you think that's a fair and realistic portrayal of my company? Any one's company?

Prospect: Actually come to think of it, no.

Me: Exactly! It's like, here we are perfect! Well I'll be the first to tell you that stuff goes wrong, flowers get trampled and that's the reality. We make mistakes!

What you REALLY want to know is, how do I handle it when I make a screw up on the job. Do I avoid your phone calls? Do I blame it on the contractor that followed behind me that did other work?

Or, do I address it quickly and rectify it. I think that's what's more important to you as a customer right?

Prospect: Where's the contract I'm ready to sign.
#give #list #referrence
  • Profile picture of the author maxrezn
    ......I'd have to completely disagree with this approach. You're denying your potential customers social proof that they aren't the first ones to give you money in exchange for services. People want to feel nice and cozy inside when they're forking over their money to a service professional....they don't want to go on a gut feeling or rely on your logic/explanations. They simply want a list of 10 others in their city who have given you money and would gladly do it again.

    This is business suicide.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      Thanks for your reply but I disagree with you.

      So I guess its suicide to even start out because oh well I don't have any social proof. rubbish! What do you say? Do you tell the truth and say, I don't have any referrals to give you because you are my first job, or only my 5th job?

      It's not about what you say, it's how you say it, and if you are an expert a referral list isn't going to be a deciding factor when it comes down to getting a contract and the deposit.


      Originally Posted by maxrezn View Post

      ......I'd have to completely disagree with this approach. You're denying your potential customers social proof that they aren't the first ones to give you money in exchange for services. People want to feel nice and cozy inside when they're forking over their money to a service professional....they don't want to go on a gut feeling or rely on your logic/explanations. They simply want a list of 10 others in their city who have given you money and would gladly do it again.

      This is business suicide.
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    • Profile picture of the author bob ross
      Originally Posted by maxrezn View Post

      ......I'd have to completely disagree with this approach. You're denying your potential customers social proof that they aren't the first ones to give you money in exchange for services. People want to feel nice and cozy inside when they're forking over their money to a service professional....they don't want to go on a gut feeling or rely on your logic/explanations. They simply want a list of 10 others in their city who have given you money and would gladly do it again.

      This is business suicide.
      Unless you're working out of your truck and only need to land a job a month, business suicide would be just giving all your prospects that list and telling them to check them out and call you later.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        Oh yeah! I feel great! I pitched 8 people and gave them all a referral list. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the calls to come pick up the contracts.

        NOT!

        The phone won't ring and none of those people bothered to call or drive by any of the mentions on the referral list.

        Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

        Unless you're working out of your truck and only need to land a job a month, business suicide would be just giving all your prospects that list and telling them to check them out and call you later.
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        • Profile picture of the author bob ross
          Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

          Oh yeah! I feel great! I pitched 8 people and gave them all a referral list. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the calls to come pick up the contracts.

          NOT!

          The phone won't ring and none of those people bothered to call or drive by any of the mentions on the referral list.
          lol right. I'm sure you've done this too, but offer to call referrals right that moment at the table, and watch the homeowners start freezing up and thinking of another BS excuse.
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          • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
            Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

            lol right. I'm sure you've done this too, but offer to call referrals right that moment at the table, and watch the homeowners start freezing up and thinking of another BS excuse.
            Whoa! Thanks for this. I've been selling for longer than I care to tell you and I never thought of doing that. I will use it this week. Thanks again.
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          • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
            Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

            lol right. I'm sure you've done this too, but offer to call referrals right that moment at the table, and watch the homeowners start freezing up and thinking of another BS excuse.
            Bob,

            Great response as beeswarm already mentioned. My pardon to Rus for interjecting this little jewel but it is sorta kinda in line w/the excuses he tossed out. It is the we have to think it over excuse.

            When we get that from someone we simply say, no problem. I have some calls to make. Should take about 30 to 40 minutes and I'll call from my car so I'm not disturbing you while you are thinking. That should be plenty of time for you, right?

            If you think about it, what's the difference between my scenario and the customer asking you for a reference list and you then using Bob's above technique? None.

            All we are trying to do is give each other info we know, or forgot we knew, to use the next time we run across some BS jive.

            Other than that, how'd you like the play Mrs Lincoln?

            Have a great day,

            Tom
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            • Profile picture of the author bob ross
              Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

              Bob,

              Great response as beeswarm already mentioned. My pardon to Rus for interjecting this little jewel but it is sorta kinda in line w/the excuses he tossed out. It is the we have to think it over excuse.

              When we get that from someone we simply say, no problem. I have some calls to make. Should take about 30 to 40 minutes and I'll call from my car so I'm not disturbing you while you are thinking. That should be plenty of time for you, right?


              Tom
              Right, and don't forget to bring a baby monitor so you an keep it in your briefcase, then have the receiving end in your car so you can hear their real concerns while you wait in the car.

              I KID, I KID!
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        • Profile picture of the author Morphius
          Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

          Oh yeah! I feel great! I pitched 8 people and gave them all a referral list. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the calls to come pick up the contracts.

          NOT!

          The phone won't ring and none of those people bothered to call or drive by any of the mentions on the referral list.
          That's exactly what happened to me. I gave a list of 10 satisfied clients. I wasted my referrals. The guy called them, they replied and the call never came in. I was very upset. I shouldn't bothered old clients.
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    • Profile picture of the author MaxwellB
      Originally Posted by maxrezn View Post

      ......I'd have to completely disagree with this approach. You're denying your potential customers social proof that they aren't the first ones to give you money in exchange for services. People want to feel nice and cozy inside when they're forking over their money to a service professional....they don't want to go on a gut feeling or rely on your logic/explanations. They simply want a list of 10 others in their city who have given you money and would gladly do it again.

      This is business suicide.
      First of all saying a sales rebuttal/policy is business suicide is not only wrong but it's way too dramatic.

      There's only one way to know if this is "business suicide" and that's to employ the tactic. If it works how he says and you close business it's an absolutely perfect tactic AND better anyway because wasting time with a reference list is just that...a time waster and keeps you from getting money sooner.

      If it doesn't work then you STOP doing it, obviously...and you go back to doing what you've always done.

      If you get an objection after you employ this tactic...you say "John it just sounds like you want to make sure your not the first who we've (service) for right?"

      "well actually yeah"

      "Okay, I'll send you a reference list with the contract"

      done....
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    I co-own a remodeling company, this is virtually the same way I train my sales reps to handle that questions as well. We do keep a large list of satisfied customers that's impressive to look at but we use this same response to get over the procrastination.

    The whole purpose of handling it this way instead of just giving them a referral list is to close them now. Often the 'referral list' request is just smoke and mirrors for the real objection they have.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      BINGO! Yes that's exactly right, just like the request to leave a business card is also.

      Truthfully the referral list is just a bunch of BS anyways.

      Thanks for the validation Bob!

      Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      I co-own a remodeling company, this is virtually the same way I train my sales reps to handle that questions as well. We do keep a large list of satisfied customers that's impressive to look at but we use this same response to get over the procrastination.

      The whole purpose of handling it this way instead of just giving them a referral list is to close them now. Often the 'referral list' request is just smoke and mirrors for the real objection they have.
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    I give a referral list only when I'm sure the prospect won't give my cream-of-the-crop list to a competitor to "cold call" really warm leads.

    Almost always, this request is a delaying tactic just like "I have to talk to my wife/husband/whatever."
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    • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
      I am in a completely different business as many of you know - insurance. A referral list to us is the customer/client GIVING US a list of his friends and relatives to call. It is exactly backwards from your description. We never give a referral list, we always get it from the client.

      If I was a roofer, I'd get one from the client after the job is complete. It would seem only natural to me to ask them for referrals. Hell, I just completed a job, they liked it, wrote the check and now bingo! who the hell else do you know that might need my services.

      I don't think I'm off base but one never knows in the year 2012...

      Tom
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      • Profile picture of the author bob ross
        Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

        I am in a completely different business as many of you know - insurance. A referral list to us is the customer/client GIVING US a list of his friends and relatives to call. It is exactly backwards from your description. We never give a referral list, we always get it from the client.

        If I was a roofer, I'd get one from the client after the job is complete. It would seem only natural to me to ask them for referrals. Hell, I just completed a job, they liked it, wrote the check and now bingo! who the hell else do you know that might need my services.

        I don't think I'm off base but one never knows in the year 2012...

        Tom
        Yeah definitely, he's talking about two different things though, getting referrals is an integral part of our business too.

        My sales system is ten steps and the tenth step is "replace the lead", where you make it a habit of replacing each lead with another one via referral (whether they bought or not).

        We also use closes where the price is discounted in exchange for referrals.
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        • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
          Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

          Yeah definitely, he's talking about two different things though, getting referrals is an integral part of our business too.

          My sales system is ten steps and the tenth step is "replace the lead", where you make it a habit of replacing each lead with another one via referral (whether they bought or not).

          We also use closes where the price is discounted in exchange for referrals.
          Bob,

          I get your point and replacing the lead certainly is important. I guess I've been mired in this insurance game too long and can only think horizontally, or is it vertically...

          State law prevents me from using a discounted pricing exchange technique. They call that rebating and frown upon it. However, just plain ole vanilla asking for a referral is alright with the coppers.

          Have a great day,

          Tom
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        While this topic is about a reference list, the best time to get referrals is when they hand you the deposit check.

        Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

        I am in a completely different business as many of you know - insurance. A referral list to us is the customer/client GIVING US a list of his friends and relatives to call. It is exactly backwards from your description. We never give a referral list, we always get it from the client.

        If I was a roofer, I'd get one from the client after the job is complete. It would seem only natural to me to ask them for referrals. Hell, I just completed a job, they liked it, wrote the check and now bingo! who the hell else do you know that might need my services.

        I don't think I'm off base but one never knows in the year 2012...

        Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
    I don't see the point in doing this. Most people just want the assurance of knowing that you will provide them. If you have a portfolio of work, they may not even crosscheck your references.

    I can see the value in being upfront and honest about these things, but my immediate reaction to this would make me feel uneasy - as I would start to wonder why/if you are avoiding it.

    In my opinion, if you are going to go this route, state your case, but still make the option available to them to see your references. If the principle bothers you that much, grab them all and let your client randomly select which ones they want to see.

    Just my opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    when i am asked about referrals, i say "no". Then follow up with, " i can give you all the referrals you want, but, how are you going to know if they are telling the truth, or i payed them and told them what to say?"

    I give them a moment to digest that, and then follow up with,

    "you would not be asking about referrals, unless you were unsure of some thing, lets talk about that."

    works MOST of the time.

    When i was taught sales, one of the fundamental rules were,

    More info, faxes, ill call you back, can i have referrals, were all just a way to get you to go away ...
    and you had to thump em a little bit to get there attention.

    I will also say this, the better you get at sales, the less you get asked any of those questions.

    I hardly ever get asked nowadays.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post


      I will also say this, the better you get at sales, the less you get asked any of those questions.

      I hardly ever get asked nowadays.
      I was going to say that as well but didn't want to come across better than thou to some people on the forums. The reality is, that the better you do get at sales the less you get asked for references.

      Guys do yourself a favor and stop giving them out even if you are still learning the ropes in sales. It will just FORCE you to get better at sales much quicker.
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      • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
        Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

        I was going to say that as well but didn't want to come across better than thou to some people on the forums. The reality is, that the better you do get at sales the less you get asked for references.

        Guys do yourself a favor and stop giving them out even if you are still learning the ropes in sales. It will just FORCE you to get better at sales much quicker.
        Rus,

        You are 100% correct. I never thought about me having to give a referral list. That wasn't and isn't part of my nature. If I can't sell me, I can't sell my product. Over the years selling everything from puts and calls to houses to cars to insurance I made sure the client bought me first. After that, it was whatever we were discussing.

        Put away the list(s) and learn how to sell you and everything else will follow. I guarantee it!

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

          Rus,

          I made sure the client bought me first.
          Any one who can learn to put ALL the BS aside, and just learn that
          one tiny little line of info you just gave them, can be the next
          sales super star.

          Your product hardly matters, people buy YOU, not your product.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    I just want to say thanks to Rus for posting this though, it's good to see solid information on this forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua N. Rabon
    For the people who disagree, you need to think about positioning, uniqueness and being memorable.

    From a copywriting perspective what Rus does hits all 3 of those.

    Maxrezn brings up social proof which is a powerful persuader, but when persuading someone we can't possibly deploy every principle of persuasion ( there's at least 26 powerhouses).

    We have to use a handful and go with what feels right to us (congruency). Don't get caught up thinking we have to do what people are used to (rapport) or what everyone else is doing (bland sameness).

    You see, something can be persuasive from one perspective and totally ineffectual from another.

    Rus beautifully capitalizes on this truth. Bravo
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    • Profile picture of the author Joel
      I do sales training, this is from my FAQ's:


      > Can I speak to someone who took the course?

      Answer: I can understand that you might want to speak to someone who took the course or used our services. But, it would be unfair to ask our clients to interrupt their busy schedule to take phone calls. Besides, who do you think we would refer to you ... only happy clients! See our refund/guarantee policy below.
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Joel View Post

        I do sales training, this is from my FAQ's:


        > Can I speak to someone who took the course?

        Answer: I can understand that you might want to speak to someone who took the course or used our services. But, it would be unfair to ask our clients to interrupt their busy schedule to take phone calls. Besides, who do you think we would refer to you ... only happy clients! See our refund/guarantee policy below.
        Does that mean, that you automatically remind them of,
        or tell them you have a refund policy if they ask for a referral?

        if i am wrong skip this question, however if that is what it means...

        How are you handling all the refunds / charge backs?

        What your showing us is a classic example of "pitching a refund "

        So if your really using that rebuttal then we know your getting them...
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        • Profile picture of the author Joel
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          Does that mean, that you automatically remind them of,
          or tell them you have a refund policy if they ask for a referral?

          if i am wrong skip this question, however if that is what it means...

          How are you handling all the refunds / charge backs?

          What your showing us is a classic example of "pitching a refund "

          So if your really using that rebuttal then we know your getting them...

          Let me address your points:

          "How are you handling all the refunds / charge backs?" Why do you assume "all the refunds" ... I over deliver and am not concerned if someone should ask for a refund.

          "What your showing us is a classic example of "pitching a refund " & "So if your really using that rebuttal then we know your getting them..."

          I am not pitching a refund, I am using the existence of a refund as a counter weight to not giving references for those who read my FAQ's. I almost always speak by phone to people before taking my sales training course and establish a high level of trust so that references or refunds are really a non-issue.

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

            Let me address your points:

            "How are you handling all the refunds / charge backs?" Why do you assume "all the refunds" ... I over deliver and am not concerned if someone should ask for a refund.

            "What your showing us is a classic example of "pitching a refund " & "So if your really using that rebuttal then we know your getting them..."

            I am not pitching a refund, I am using the existence of a refund as a counter weight to not giving references for those who read my FAQ's. I almost always speak by phone to people before taking my sales training course and establish a high level of trust so that references or refunds are really a non-issue.

            Joel
            OK i get it, its a little different then i was expecting, IT is completely different when your using that with existing customers... altho still dangerous if you let a lesser experienced rep do it

            btw, your sig is great !
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            • Profile picture of the author Offline Doctor
              When someone wants to see your reference list they simply have not bought into you. 99% of the time it's a smokescreen for something else.

              They want to continue to shop price, etc... it's like when someone says they need to talk with their spouse, business partner, etc... SMOKE!
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  • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
    It's not always a smokescreen for something else. People want to know that you are credible, able and reliable etc.

    When you apply for a job, fill out a resume, apply for a spot to volunteer or attend college etc. etc., you may supply references as well.

    They do serve a purpose. Whether or not selective references makes things moot, is another matter.

    Like I said before, I'd venture to say that most of the time, regardless of the situation, just being able and willing to provide them is sufficient to those requesting them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Offline Doctor
      That's why True professionals "position" themselves before the sale. Any questions about you, your company, your BBB rating etc... should have been disclosed before you ask for the sale.

      I've been in sales for a long, long time. I can tell you the majority of the time "it's the MONEY!"

      It's SMOKE!

      Originally Posted by Stranger Danger View Post

      It's not always a smokescreen for something else. People want to know that you are credible, able and reliable etc.

      When you apply for a job, fill out a resume, apply for a spot to volunteer or attend college etc. etc., you may supply references as well.

      They do serve a purpose. Whether or not selective references makes things moot, is another matter.

      Like I said before, I'd venture to say that most of the time, regardless of the situation, just being able and willing to provide them is sufficient to those requesting them.
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      • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
        Originally Posted by Offline Doctor View Post

        Any questions about you, your company, your BBB rating etc... should have been disclosed before you ask for the sale.
        -Surely, you do not believe this...?

        Just to be clear, I am not saying that one way is better than the other, or that we should or should not offer our references up. I am only arguing the simple truth - that references, whether they are being requested or provided, serve a legitimate purpose, and that it is not always about smoke and mirrors.
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        • Profile picture of the author Offline Doctor
          I've made millions in sales and trained by the best. Continue to believe what you want to believe. In the majority of the time when someone wants more "info" it's SMOKE!

          I never said references were bad. If need be then give these up front. If the prospect ask for references (SMOKE) then say the following: Mr Prospect, I can supply you with a long list of references of past and current customers that are very happy with our product/services, other than that, is there anything else that is stopping you from moving forward today?

          Originally Posted by Stranger Danger View Post

          -Surely, you do not believe this...?

          Just to be clear, I am not saying that one way is better than the other, or that we should or should not offer our references up. I am only arguing the simple truth - that references, whether they are being requested or provided, serve a legitimate purpose, and that it is not always about smoke and mirrors.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        I'm a TRUE professional but don't get me started on the BBB. I'd never pay that organization a RED CENT! Talk about a scam!


        Originally Posted by Offline Doctor View Post

        That's why True professionals "position" themselves before the sale. Any questions about you, your company, your BBB rating etc... should have been disclosed before you ask for the sale.

        I've been in sales for a long, long time. I can tell you the majority of the time "it's the MONEY!"

        It's SMOKE!
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        • Profile picture of the author Offline Doctor
          The BBB and AARP are two of the biggest scams going.

          The point I was trying to make is that you should position yourself as much as possible before meeting any prospect. Use whatever resources you have available to separate yourself from the next guy.

          When a prospect says he needs more time, need to talk to spouse, do more research, etc... what they are really saying is "I'm not comfortable with you, your company, pricing, etc..."

          The majority of the time it's SMOKE!


          Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

          I'm a TRUE professional but don't get me started on the BBB. I'd never pay that organization a RED CENT! Talk about a scam!
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Offline Doctor View Post

        That's why True professionals "position" themselves before the sale. Any questions about you, your company, your BBB rating etc... should have been disclosed before you ask for the sale.

        I've been in sales for a long, long time. I can tell you the majority of the time "it's the MONEY!"

        It's SMOKE!
        Its always the money, no ifs and's or but's about it.

        If you did your job right, they want whatever it is your selling.

        The question is, do they have the money, and are they willing to part with it

        I mean seriously, when is the last time someone said...

        No, i don't want it

        No that's not for me

        or even no that wont work for me...

        It just doesn't happen. Of course they want it, of course they can see it, feel it ...

        they make excuses, because

        they don't want to tell you they are broke... ( that's what pre- qualifying is for )

        or too scared to spend it if they do have it ... ( that's what tie downs are for )


        Sales 101 ... Its always the money
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        • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
          Ken you are so right and if you've done your job well enough the prospect will sometimes FIND the money to hire you as well.

          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          Its always the money, no ifs and's or but's about it.

          If you did your job right, they want whatever it is your selling.

          The question is, do they have the money, and are they willing to part with it

          I mean seriously, when is the last time someone said...

          No, i don't want it

          No that's not for me

          or even no that wont work for me...

          It just doesn't happen. Of course they want it, of course they can see it, feel it ...

          they make excuses, because

          they don't want to tell you they are broke... ( that's what pre- qualifying is for )

          or too scared to spend it if they do have it ... ( that's what tie downs are for )


          Sales 101 ... Its always the money
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          • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
            Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

            Ken you are so right and if you've done your job well enough the prospect will sometimes FIND the money to hire you as well.

            I agree again and will add if they are claiming it is the money why they aren’t buying then you as the salesman have not added enough value. It the value it there they will indeed pay. (yes unless they are broke, that is a given)

            I hear a lot of salespeople blaming a non sale on the customer at times when there is a sale. As long as you are pointing your finger at someone else you don’t have to change.

            Look at yourself first and see what changes you need to make in order to close the next person that gave the same objection. I am not saying every time it is the salespersons fault.

            I am saying that in training sales people I have seen them blame the customer which in turn causes them not to have to change.

            Well I can tell you this, in the sale you are the professional. The customer is going to be who they have always been, you are the professional adapt and tweak yourself until you are a closing machine.

            Remember what our grandparents told us. "When you point one finger at someone else you have three pointing back at you."

            Adapt, grow, change and be a warrior.
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            • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
              Originally Posted by Michael Bucker View Post

              I hear a lot of salespeople blaming a non sale on the customer at times when there is a sale. As long as you are pointing your finger at someone else you don’t have to change.
              The way i was trained was very very simple.

              If you did not make the sale, it was your fault, not the prospects.

              always,

              money issues included, because like russ said, if you did your job properly they WILL find the money.

              if we tried to deflect blame, we would not have a job.

              It was a very simple if we got the sale... we might hear "good job",

              if we lost the sale we always heard, "ya *ucked up, don't let it happen again"
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              • Profile picture of the author John Durham
                Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

                The way i was trained was very very simple.

                If you did not make the sale, it was your fault, not the prospects.

                always,

                money issues included, because like russ said, if you did your job properly they WILL find the money.

                if we tried to deflect blame, we would not have a job.

                It was a very simple if we got the sale... we might hear "good job",

                if we lost the sale we always heard, "ya *ucked up, don't let it happen again"
                Thanks for the confirmation Ken. I think people think Im just talking BS, when they hear about how telemarketers do not get treated with Kid gloves.

                Thats why they are MACHINES!

                Its hard to hold back my REAL advice alot of times here at the WF... because mostly its "Quit whining and dial"... but if you say that too much in a place like this people get their feelings hurt.

                In fact, I think sometimes if I come off as cocky its just because Im using the same kind of terminology we would use in a sales room..

                "What? Only 5 closes this week...? You need to pick up your gonads and get on the ball man... Remember when I told you the quota was three per day in the interview and you agreed that you could do the job? Do me proud, okay?"

                Usually I blame it on the owner...but still use the hardcore come on... only with the owner as the scape goat:

                "Listen man, I cant keep getting my behind chewed off everyday for keeping you if you are just gonna sit there and do one sale a day then go on holiday for the rest of the day...in fact he just had me place an ad today, so I need you to pick it up if you want to be here next week. I want to see you here but..."

                See, it isnt so much cocky, its a telemarketing cultural thing.

                Yeah smack talk is part of it, you have to sike yourself up sometimes to do 3-5 closes per day. Champions always sike up...most people have no idea , EARTHLY idea of the energy they would need to generate to beat a good telemarketer...but the thing is that they dont NEED to, because if you can even do 25% of the closes most of them do, you make 50 times the money!
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                • Profile picture of the author David Stewart
                  I can't and won't debate the pros in this thread but I want to tell about my recent experience of mine. Recently I was at a meeting with a gentleman who also has a partner (wasn't at the meeting) in the skin care niche. He owns his own product. We get to talking and he goes over all of his 'requirements' that they had in order to bring someone on board to work with them. He told me that is was crucial that I listed a reference in order to move forward (amongst many other requirements) I had no problem with that and gave my reference and was awarded the $24k contract.

                  Now my question is how could I have gotten out of giving the reference after he looked me in the eye and said "Yeah, and my partner wants to see a reference. She's very pick about who we work with"? The woman did actually call my contact a few days later.

                  I'm still learning a lot and perhaps it was the lack of my sales ability which was the reason I agreed to give a reference. But what if I didn't? Think I would have still gotten the gig?
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                  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
                    Originally Posted by David Stewart View Post

                    I can't and won't debate the pros in this thread but I want to tell about my recent experience of mine. Recently I was at a meeting with a gentleman who also has a partner (wasn't at the meeting) in the skin care niche. He owns his own product. We get to talking and he goes over all of his 'requirements' that they had in order to bring someone on board to work with them. He told me that is was crucial that I listed a reference in order to move forward (amongst many other requirements) I had no problem with that and gave my reference and was awarded the $24k contract.

                    Now my question is how could I have gotten out of giving the reference after he looked me in the eye and said "Yeah, and my partner wants to see a reference. She's very pick about who we work with"? The woman did actually call my contact a few days later.

                    I'm still learning a lot and perhaps it was the lack of my sales ability which was the reason I agreed to give a reference. But what if I didn't? Think I would have still gotten the gig?
                    I think you were wise and 24k was worth jumping through a hoop...I think that what we are trying to relay is that you should try to avoid that through making "yes" the logical answer by truly selling them...but there are certain personality types as Mike says "the owl", who HAVE to see a reference.

                    If you dont have any, no big deal move on...but if you have one and 24k is on the table, I'd bust it out.

                    As you stated the guy was ready to go, so you sold him, but he had a "guard dog" who wasnt present, it was a one legger, and more importantly he had a "company policy" that deserved honor.

                    I think you did the right and wise thing, and admire your closing skills. Nice deal dude.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
                    David, I'm glad you got the contract and your situation is more rare then most I think. It's good you provided the reference and ended up with the job.

                    Personally I would have tried to pitch both of the decision makers at the same time if at all possible. Usually if I can't get both decision makers I've either ineffectively communicated how important it is what I do, or the other parties just doesn't care enough to have both decision makers present. If it's the latter I don't bother with trying to close the deal, doesn't matter how much its for.

                    I learned a long time ago when you close a deal based on just one persons decision and some one else was or is supposed to be involved it can go badly due to unfulfilled expectations of the person who didn't attend the presentation meeting.

                    Originally Posted by David Stewart View Post

                    I can't and won't debate the pros in this thread but I want to tell about my recent experience of mine. Recently I was at a meeting with a gentleman who also has a partner (wasn't at the meeting) in the skin care niche. He owns his own product. We get to talking and he goes over all of his 'requirements' that they had in order to bring someone on board to work with them. He told me that is was crucial that I listed a reference in order to move forward (amongst many other requirements) I had no problem with that and gave my reference and was awarded the $24k contract.

                    Now my question is how could I have gotten out of giving the reference after he looked me in the eye and said "Yeah, and my partner wants to see a reference. She's very pick about who we work with"? The woman did actually call my contact a few days later.

                    I'm still learning a lot and perhaps it was the lack of my sales ability which was the reason I agreed to give a reference. But what if I didn't? Think I would have still gotten the gig?
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                    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
                      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

                      Its hard to hold back my REAL advice alot of times here at the WF...
                      I don't even know how you do the dance. Even tho, i see it almost daily.

                      Me personally, I know how much I hold back, and i am not even a teacher
                      like you.

                      Some of the things that need to be said, just cant be, because people
                      don't have enough of a grasp on sales. It will just sound like out right lies.

                      Another part is judging when it time to say something or not, since we know
                      people learn sales in stages, and if you try and say something ahead of where they
                      are in there learning cycle, it just wont make sense, and will confuse them.

                      and that just a tiny tip of the iceberg
                      talking about sales in a forum format is full of negative caveats ...

                      the fact that you have managed over come them, and actually help people amazes me

                      As far as holding back, I realized just today when trying to explain something
                      to payoman, exactly how much i have been holding back.

                      I think i am over it. Its not being true myself, so i am just going to start
                      saying what i have to say, and let the chips fall where they may.



                      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

                      I learned a long time ago when you close a deal based on just one persons decision and some one else was or is supposed to be involved it can go badly due to unfulfilled expectations of the person who didn't attend the presentation meeting.
                      Amen !
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  • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
    Offline Doctor-

    Nobody is questioning your ability or accomplishments (not that it matters). There is no need to take these matters personal.

    You did dodge the question, however. I do not proclaim to be an expert, and my curiosity was genuine. I am always open and willing to learn from others...should you care to explain your reasoning.
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    • Profile picture of the author Offline Doctor
      I don't take it personally, I know I'm right. I've been around the block many times, spent a fortune on sales training, coaching, etc... I know what works and what doesn't.

      It's all about making the sale.

      Find out the real reason a prospect is asking for references. In most cases it has nothing to do with references, they simply know that most sales people will comply with their request and move on.

      Originally Posted by Stranger Danger View Post

      Offline Doctor-

      Nobody is questioning your ability or accomplishments (not that it matters). There is no need to take these matters personal.

      You did dodge the question, however. I do not proclaim to be an expert, and my curiosity was genuine. I am always open and willing to learn from others...should you care to explain your reasoning.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Harper
    So Rus, it does sound like (although unmentioned) one of the keys is that you need to be willing and able to walk away from the business. Perhaps that goes without saying.

    CT
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    • Profile picture of the author Offline Doctor
      You should always be prepared to walk away. Prospects need to feel they want your services or product over the next guy. Look at Apple, it's hard to get people to switch away from the iPhone to the new Samsung III.

      80% of all people do not make their decisions based upon the price. It could be your guarantee, the way you presented yourself or your product, better service, etc... you need to get to the reason WHY!

      Everything else is just SMOKE!

      Originally Posted by Charles Harper View Post

      So Rus, it does sound like (although unmentioned) one of the keys is that you need to be willing and able to walk away from the business. Perhaps that goes without saying.

      CT
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
        Originally Posted by Offline Doctor View Post

        You should always be prepared to walk away. Prospects need to feel they want your services or product over the next guy. Look at Apple, it's hard to get people to switch away from the iPhone to the new Samsung III.

        80% of all people do not make their decisions based upon the price. It could be your guarantee, the way you presented yourself or your product, better service, etc... you need to get to the reason WHY!

        Everything else is just SMOKE!

        I have to agree with the doctor here, 84% of all purchases are emotion based. What, when, where and how are fact finders. “Why” is the emotion behind it.

        Get to the why and you have the emotion; have the emotion you have the motive. 84% of all purchases are emotion based. Price is not near the issue people make it. After you get the "why" add value to help with the reasoning the customer needs to justify their purchase.

        Once you have the "why" it should not be hard. Big part of my training is "why". I like it doc.


        @russ and the main thread content. I am with you brother, I see a lot of good in the main point you are making.
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  • Profile picture of the author maxrezn
    This is turning into a thread with some gold nuggets. I'd like to semi-retract my initial statement.
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    @maxrezn Live and learn. There are some very good sales people in this thread, myself excluded. The Referral Request is a huge time waster and deal killer that sales people struggle with everywhere.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Good one Rus, nice nugs here!
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  • Profile picture of the author dennis09
    What about phrasing your response as a matter of respect? Something like:

    "Im sorry, but it is my policy not to give out contact information to those i do business with. How would you feel if I gave YOUR number out every single day for other people to call and bug YOU about a referral?"

    ...moment to digest...

    "Now, if you're still uncomfortable about something, then we can go through my portfolio and you can ask any questions ...etc. etc. etc."

    I can't really see them not being able to understand where im coming from once they put themselves on the other side of the referral list.
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  • Profile picture of the author qu4rk
    Great thread.

    Value. If you provide this up front, price is only a formality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Buyers are liars. Remember the 80/20 principle.

    When you become an excellent sales person, you will begin to pre-qualify hard, right up front, to get those BS objections out of the way. Then YOU can figure out whether or not they're worth presenting a solution to.

    The objection is because you lack credibility or they don't know how to not embarrass themselves and tell you they can't afford specifically your initial offer. Both issues you can easily handle by building up your presentation and pre-qualifying skills.

    And anyways. 70% to 75% of your prospects are broke, don't have a true need, or don't have the character to make a decision to buy. You won't sell them all.
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    David Duford -- Providing On-Going, Personalized Mentorship And Training From A Real Final Expense Producer To Agents New To The Final Expense Life Insurance Business.
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

      Buyers are liars. Remember the 80/20 principle.

      When you become an excellent sales person, you will begin to pre-qualify hard, right up front, to get those BS objections out of the way. Then YOU can figure out whether or not they're worth presenting a solution to.

      The objection is because you lack credibility or they don't know how to not embarrass themselves and tell you they can't afford specifically your initial offer. Both issues you can easily handle by building up your presentation and pre-qualifying skills.

      And anyways. 70% to 75% of your prospects are broke, don't have a true need, or don't have the character to make a decision to buy. You won't sell them all.
      DUDE, where did you come from? trying to get any one to talk about pre qualifying
      is like pulling teeth around here.

      welcome to the forum

      Pre qualifying is probably one of the most UNDER used tools...
      I am a huge advocate for it. Glad to see some one else here willing to
      talk about it.

      "70% to 75% of your prospects are broke" That i dont agree with

      Shot in the dark... your are or were a B2C rep?
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      • Profile picture of the author Rearden
        Thanks Ken.

        Let me clarify.

        I peddle burial life insurance -- we have a phrase -- "the policy that stays is the policy that pays."

        Sometimes being TOO persuasive in giving up the maximum of your dollars will result in lapsed policies and the carriers coming after YOU the agent for their money back.

        That's why I want to know up front what they are comfortable with -- we aren't selling timeshares sight unseen -- hell, these people won't ever actually realize the benefit because they'll be dead when it occurs.

        I suppose if you're selling a one-shot deal you'll want to go for the nuts every time.

        ...And 70% to 75% of folks won't buy for some reason -- if you're closing 25% of leads with an initial interest, you're elite.



        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        DUDE, where did you come from? trying to get any one to talk about pre qualifying
        is like pulling teeth around here.

        welcome to the forum

        Pre qualifying is probably one of the most UNDER used tools...
        I am a huge advocate for it. Glad to see some one else here willing to
        talk about it.

        "70% to 75% of your prospects are broke" That i dont agree with

        Shot in the dark... your are or were a B2C rep?
        Signature
        David Duford -- Providing On-Going, Personalized Mentorship And Training From A Real Final Expense Producer To Agents New To The Final Expense Life Insurance Business.
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