Prospect Asked Me This & I Was "Baffled"...

33 replies
"What do you know that I dont?"

Ive never had someone ask me this before.

I didnt know what to say so I just mumbled something "stupid".

I was selling website design/digital marketing techniques. It was an urban cosmetics store.

What would you say in this situation?
#asked #baffled #prospect
  • Profile picture of the author wlasikiewicz
    I would have replied with this.

    "I know that much I couldn't possibly tell you in your lifetime"
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    It's a BS question from a prospect who is trying to be smart, dunking you through their credibility test, or is in a lousy mood and wants to be rid of you.

    In any case it's still a BS question, because there's no way you could know what he or she doesn't know. It's the same as "Tell me something that will impress me." We can't possibly know what will "impress" someone else. What do they know...what don't they know? And before we've done any questioning at all? No way--it'd be like hitting the lottery. And even then, "So you got one right. What else ya got?"

    The only response you can give is, "How could I possibly know what you know and don't know? Do you want to make more money? Let's talk about your business."

    And if they don't want to play ball, Out they go.
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  • Profile picture of the author john_kennedy
    One thing for certain. They probably know very little about you. I would have regaled them with my experience and how it would benefit them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Its mostly nonsense most of the time like Jason mentioned but in the slim chance that they just wanted to test your moxy or street smarts then I may have said something like this.


    I know that if we work together you are going to invite me out to dinner in a few months and thank me for coming into your life.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I'm assuming that their demeanor wasn't pleasant when they asked so I would have said, What I know that you don't is that you'll never be one of my clients! Then I walk out the door. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
    'That's a great question and I'd be happy to answer it. First though I need to ask you a few questions about your business to see how much of a help I can be to you.'
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  • My experience is these types growl to screen out wannabe salespeople, and also to look tough or cool in front of their employees and coworkers.

    I would just smile big and say, "Well, I know I helped XYZ company grow profits by 20% in only a few months. Let's discuss how I can do that for you."

    Still, unless you enjoy dealing with dorks, there are plenty of good clients out there that need your help and are willing to pay for your expertise. Most people won't put in the massive action it takes to sift, sort and find them.
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  • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
    Originally Posted by RyanLester View Post

    "What do you know that I dont?"

    Ive never had someone ask me this before.

    I didnt know what to say so I just mumbled something "stupid".

    I was selling website design/digital marketing techniques. It was an urban cosmetics store.

    What would you say in this situation?
    Here's two answers I might have used depending on the demeanor and attitude of the person asking the question:

    I can't answer that until I find out what you know. Where do you want to start? - this is if they were half way decent.

    If they weren't:

    I can see you are a balanced person. God gave you high blood pressure and a low IQ to make that balance.

    Yes, I've actually said the last sentence to a prospect. Feel free to use it when and where you believe applicable.

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Originally Posted by RyanLester View Post

    "What do you know that I dont?"
    "Quite a few things I am sure. Just as I know little of the cosmetics business and the many other things that you know that I do not.. If either of us knew everything I would think we would be quite too busy to be having this conversation, wouldn't we?"
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      "Quite a few things I am sure. Just as I know little of the cosmetics business and the many other things that you know that I do not.. If either of us knew everything I would think we would be quite too busy to be having this conversation, wouldn't we?"
      Although I agree with Jason that the question is meant to get rid of you.... and is more of a positioning statement than a question. (He's setting the frame that he is in control)

      I've never had anyone ask that question. But Aaron's answer was pretty good.

      I might ask "Do you show up multiple times on the first page of a Google search for your main keywords?"
      He may say "I don't know" or "Don't you know?"

      Then I would say "Yes. You only show up once on the first page. You are giving your competition the other 90% of the search traffic. I know how to take back that business. How to do that is what I know that you don't. If you're a serious businessman, you want to know how I can do that for you, don't you." (I wouldn't say it like a question)

      There is a 90% chance, just a guess, that the guy can't be communicated with, but it would give me a shot.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Although I agree with Jason that the question is meant to get rid of you.... and is more of a positioning statement than a question. (He's setting the frame that he is in control)

        I've never had anyone ask that question. But Aaron's answer was pretty good.

        I might ask "Do you show up multiple times on the first page of a Google search for your main keywords?"
        He may say "I don't know" or "Don't you know?"

        Then I would say "Yes. You only show up once on the first page. You are giving your competition the other 90% of the search traffic. I know how to take back that business. How to do that is what I know that you don't. If you're a serious businessman, you want to know how I can do that for you, don't you." (I wouldn't say it like a question)

        There is a 90% chance, just a guess, that the guy can't be communicated with, but it would give me a shot.
        I got "Say something that will impress me" thrown at me on a call this past week. There's no good way out of it.

        In DISC terms, it could be the D doing their initial credibility test. But you have to have an advanced answer ready for this.

        You're a web designer, and you call up a plumber. Immediately, the plumber demands, "So what do you know about the plumbing business?"

        What the designer knows about the plumbing business is generally irrelevant to how the site performs, isn't it? But this is what Ds do: they throw this credibility test at you right away.

        The only decent response I know to this is to answer the question with a question (ie. don't take the bait and answer their question, because there is no good answer):

        "Well, when you did your research, what did you discover about web design that's important in the plumbing business?"

        The D, of course, has not done any research, but they won't want to admit it. They'll be impressed and release you from the pressure.

        This doesn't always work, but it has worked for me.

        Usually, however, when I run into this kind of question, I know it's just not a good fit that day and it's time to move on to the next dial.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    That's a closing question.

    "Good question -- Give me 15 minutes tomorrow and I'll show you how what your missing is costing you. Fair enough?"

    I had a guy a few weeks ago say, after asking for an appointment over the phone, "Wow, you don't even show up in person to ask for an appointment? How pathetic.'

    I said, "Mr. Prospect, I'm happy to come down and see you right now in person!"

    Called his bluff for saying stupid shit. Didn't set the appointment though.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    I don't blame the question because some local business owners actually know something about internet marketing, but often not a ton (but they might think they know a lot).

    When I ran a bricks and mortar offline biz, I used to meet with many marketing sales people. I actually knew some of this stuff (that's how I got into it) such as SEO, video marketing, WordPress etc. and I'd ask them questions showing me exactly what they could provide. Rarely did any of them actually come prepared with printouts of traffic, conversion, analytics etc. In fact the sales people could hardly speak the language outside of their script.

    Back then I was willing to spend money, big money (for a local biz) on anything that would generate results. Only one company delivered with their sales info, including references and I ended up forking over to them $30K ... and they delivered in spades (I started doing my own stuff after that because I liked it ... liked it so much I do it for a living).

    If you do this stuff for a living, you probably know more than most local biz owners. But there's no reason to get defensive; instead show them what you can do for them with respect to traffic, conversions and ultimately new business. Even if they know more than you, if you can show that you can deliver results, they'll listen.
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  • Profile picture of the author bawls
    Originally Posted by RyanLester View Post

    "What do you know that I dont?"
    How to make your phone ring with new customers, if you knew how to do this we would not even be having this conversation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Fact is, almost all the time the response to anything you say to the prospect who shoots something like this at you gets this reply:

    "Yeah...nahh I'm not interested. Thanks for the call, though."

    They didn't want to be there in the first place. Bad time, not our market, move on. Call back in 3-6 months, because their situation may have changed.
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  • Ryan,
    Originally Posted by RyanLester View Post

    "What do you know that I dont?"

    Ive never had someone ask me this before.

    I didnt know what to say so I just mumbled something "stupid".

    I was selling website design/digital marketing techniques. It was an urban cosmetics store.

    What would you say in this situation?
    Back when I was selling exclusive ad space on coffee mugs I had a muffle shop owner ask me that very question.

    Here's how the conversation went:

    Muffler Guy: What do you know that I don't?

    Me: Your competitor is around the corner.

    Muffler Guy:
    I do more business than he does and have been here longer.

    Me: Correct and from what you've told me about your business and with my help he's going to grab more of your business.

    Muffler Guy:
    Where do I sign?

    In sales I don't need to know their industry, just their competitor.
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    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post

      Ryan,

      Back when I was selling exclusive ad space on coffee mugs I had a muffle shop owner ask me that very question.

      Here's how the conversation went:

      Muffler Guy: What do you know that I don't?

      Me: Your competitor is around the corner.

      Muffler Guy:
      I do more business than he does and have been here longer.

      Me: Correct and from what you've told me about your business and with my help he's going to grab more of your business.

      Muffler Guy:
      Where do I sign?

      In sales I don't need to know their industry, just their competitor.
      Why am I hearing western theme music and envisioning Clint Eastwood as I read your response.

      You locked his a$$ up so tight, he sees his arrogance could cost him big immediately from your smooth display of confidence.

      This response hands down is the winner!!!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this kind of question.

    If you handle this right you'll win them over easily.

    They are a smart-ass with every one else too probably
    and all they are looking for is someone to step up to
    the plate and match up to them.

    It's very easy to do.

    So lets see....imagine I was selling seo (which I don't) I'd say

    "What do I know that you don't well let's see here....
    do you know the biggest mistake that business owners make
    when trying to get their site visited by lots of potential customers?"

    He may say yes he may say no (in truth he dare not say yes because he realises that he cannot win from here)

    Then I might say....

    "Have you been through all the recent changes that Google have made to their organic search algorithm and applied the neccessary repairs to your website?"

    (Notice I'm not telling him what I know. I'm implying that I know all about these things by the questions I'm asking)

    Yes he may ask me a question at this point but I would handle that more or less the same way...to continue.....

    Have you heard what Google's next move is likely to be in terms of keeping your website at the top of the rankings?

    Again....notice I'm not telling that I know.....I'm just asking the questions...he will likely assume that I know the answers and will eventually conclude that I know a good deal more than he does and is probably regretting the question OR.....he is impressed with my handling of the situation.

    After a few more questions I'd say, "actually Mr customer I don't know 100% the answers to all those questions, but I've been at this game long enough to have learned a few things that the average cookie doesn't"

    Then I'd probably continue with.....

    "If you're interested in having me apply some of that hard won knowledge to your website then lets get down to brass tacks and see what I might be able to do for you...how does that sound?"

    Nothing to it really. It's amazing what you can overcome with 35 years face to face experience ;0)
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this kind of question.

      If you handle this right you'll win them over easily.

      They are a smart-ass with every one else too probably
      and all they are looking for is someone to step up to
      the plate and match up to them.

      It's very easy to do.

      So lets see....imagine I was selling seo (which I don't) I'd say

      "What do I know that you don't well let's see here....
      do you know the biggest mistake that business owners make
      when trying to get their site visited by lots of potential customers?"

      He may say yes he may say no (in truth he dare not say yes because he realises that he cannot win from here)

      Then I might say....

      "Have you been through all the recent changes that Google have made to their organic search algorithm and applied the neccessary repairs to your website?"

      (Notice I'm not telling him what I know. I'm implying that I know all about these things by the questions I'm asking)

      Yes he may ask me a question at this point but I would handle that more or less the same way...to continue.....

      Have you heard what Google's next move is likely to be in terms of keeping your website at the top of the rankings?

      Again....notice I'm not telling that I know.....I'm just asking the questions...he will likely assume that I know the answers and will eventually conclude that I know a good deal more than he does and is probably regretting the question OR.....he is impressed with my handling of the situation.

      After a few more questions I'd say, "actually Mr customer I don't know 100% the answers to all those questions, but I've been at this game long enough to have learned a few things that the average cookie doesn't"

      Then I'd probably continue with.....

      "If you're interested in having me apply some of that hard won knowledge to your website then lets get down to brass tacks and see what I might be able to do for you...how does that sound?"

      Nothing too it really. It's amazing what you can overcome with 35 years face to face experience ;0)
      In person you may get the time to do all this. On the phone, you'll be shut down with "Look I'm not interested" after question #2.

      When I saw you posted, I wanted to see what you had to say because I know you are the real deal. The face to face selling situation is not the one I've been talking about, but I'm glad you addressed it.
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    Thanks Jason........I have bought some of your stuff because I know you are the real deal too.

    Actually on the phone I might do this.

    Brilliant Mr Customer that is great QUESTION....HAVE YOU HEARD THE LATEST?

    They always say....what's that? (or something very similar)

    Give me a minute and I might just be able to tell you something that could change your life.....

    Trust me....they're listening now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      Thanks Jason........I have bought some of your stuff because I know you are the real deal too.

      Actually on the phone I might do this.

      Brilliant Mr Customer that is great QUESTION....HAVE YOU HEARD THE LATEST?

      They always say....what's that? (or something very similar)

      Give me a minute and I might just be able to tell you something that could change your life.....

      Trust me....they're listening now.
      Totally disrupts their process...I love it.

      I'll have a chance to try it out over the next few weeks and will let you know what happens.
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    • Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      Brilliant Mr Customer that is great QUESTION....HAVE YOU HEARD THE LATEST?
      Love this one. Short, fast, effective. Here's more on how you can use it from an earlier thread:
      http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...all-about.html
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      • Profile picture of the author RyanLester
        I forget to add, He said he has a facebook page. I checked, it has 4 fans. Hooray!
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    Used it a lot in the door to door energy business.

    As the market matured here in the UK we got a lot of..."not interested we know all about it"

    We'd say yeah...."have you heard the latest".....etc ....etc ....etc

    By claiming to 'know all about it' they are implying that it is a subject that interests them so they can't not want to know what the 'latest' is.....;0)
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  • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
    I know which competitors are beating you like a red headed stepchild and how they're doing it. I know what that's costing you every month and I know how to close the gap

    then, SILENCE. Not another word until wise guys says something. Control taken.
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  • Profile picture of the author esuresh
    As per my opinion, do not waste your time with these kind of customers. Even if you convince them and get the order, they will never be satisfied with what ever you do for them..... Regarding the question

    I would have answered it in this way...

    I do not know what you know.....

    But if you are interested I can tell you what I know.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ehanson
      /\ Agree.

      I would have said "Ï know enough to know who not to work with in my business" *Click* Move on to people who won't turn out to be a pain and think they know more than you. It's not woth it, even it they're a high paying client.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    So it this your other account or is someone else using your story
    ala J Peterman and Kramer

    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...hole-fans.html
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    • Profile picture of the author LRDavids
      Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

      So it this your other account or is someone else using your story
      ala J Peterman and Kramer

      http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...hole-fans.html
      Yes Eddie, that is my old account. logged in with that by accident. Just needed to complain one more time. Love you man.
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  • Profile picture of the author stone2010
    "What I do know better than you is your competitors have a better website and online presence than you and taking all your business" Then disappeared like a magician lol
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    "A lot". (I'm not as glib and quick as some.)
    And then converse about business or move on.

    Dan
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    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    Any time you get asked an awkward question it can pay to follow
    the basic rule: answer a question with a question.

    "Have you ever created a follow up email for your customers that
    brought in $20,000 in sales?

    "Have you ever worked with a client who did over $1,000,000 in sales
    in a month?"

    etc etc.

    The numbers don't even have to be large...just large enough for him to
    realize you're a professional and you've worked with real clients who've
    made real money.

    If I was in a mischeivous mood I might ask have a dozen questions like
    that in a row, smiling and being friendly the whole time.

    And then said "I guess the answer to your question is you know a whole
    lot about your business but I know a whole lot about how to help businesses
    like yours to make more sales and profits using the internet."

    "If we pool our knowledge I'm guessing it might help you make some serious
    money."

    Making a prospect look or feel stupid is not going to get you hired hence the
    line "you know a whole lot about your business" or "you have a wealth of knowledge
    about your business..."



    One last tip.

    When a question stumps you don't feel like you have to answer immediately.

    Sometimes silence is powerful (and it gives you time to think).

    You'll be surprised what you can come up with if you just wait and give
    yourself a few seconds to think of something.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Hi RyanLester,
    That was a pretty edgy question posed to you by that person. I guess I would have fallen back on my technical experience and background to at least put something out there he could respond to. This would give me the opportunity get my bearings in that situation before going any further.
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