What Can You Control In Selling?

18 replies
Some self-discovery ahead. I'd like you to really consider your answers to these questions about you and your sales process:

1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?

2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?

3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?

4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?

5. Can you control whether they buy or not?


Really consider what you believe to be true about these questions. Let us know below, and later on I'll give you my answers. I'm sure the results will surprise us all.
#control #selling
  • Profile picture of the author daniyal100
    In practical I can't control any of the 5 points you mentioned Jason, but hey I can control point no # 6 mentioned below

    6 # Just F*** him and dial the next number
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    Some self-discovery ahead. I'd like you to really consider your answers to these questions about you and your sales process:

    1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?

    2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?

    3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?

    4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?

    5. Can you control whether they buy or not?
    #1-3? No.

    #4? A little. You can be interesting. You can interested. You may be able to gain enough rapport to further the call to create interest. But your ability is very limited here. Can I control whether they are initially interested? No.

    #5? My experience is that, if they are qualified, and if there is a spark of interest at the beginning...that you can greatly affect the flow of the conversation.

    I can't control what's going on in their life or their office.

    I can't control how they react. I can't control if they buy. But I can influence if they buy. That's a different subject.

    Added later; Here's what I can control;

    Everything I do. How I prepared, the approach I use, the tone and tempo of my voice. Whether I use humor or not. My method of asking questions. My ability to keep them on topic.

    These things greatly influence the outcome of the call.
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  • Profile picture of the author PanteraIM
    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post


    1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?
    No.
    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?
    No.
    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?
    No.

    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?
    No.

    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    5. Can you control whether they buy or not?
    No.

    You are responsible for your emotions, your results and your reactions. You can't reliably depend on any of these things working out because life is unpredictable.

    Most of these questions become irrelevant when you think in terms of abundance, because it really doesn't matter if 1, 5 or 10 people don't buy from you in a row as there's always more that will.
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    I have no idea what I'm doing.

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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
    This is an enlightening way to look at things. Getting me thinking. Thanks for another great post!

    By the way, you look like you've lost a lot of weight. Yes?
    Signature

    It is unwise to trust all you read on the internet.
    - Benjamin Franklin

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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      In my "Phone-Calling" days to find prospects for my Home Alarm Systems I used what I call my "PRE-Conditioned-Controlled Mailing".

      I'd phone prospects (home owners) starting at 6pm....asking the home-owner permission to Mail my "Info-Package" on How to Protect Against Burglars".

      IF they gave me the OK to "mail" my Info Package.....I'd mail it the next morning and phone back in 3 days.

      They had heard my name 2 times and seen it printed once. When I phoned the 2nd time I assumed they had received my Info-Package and I set an appointment to give them an Estimate....which usually turned into a sale.

      Long story short.....I started from an apartment and in 2 yrs had 17 employees and a new house.

      Don Alm
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?

    No but you can control to a point how that will effect you and the sales process you are involved in. Everyone has "junk" in their heads. Things that have nothing to do with the moment they are currently in. But as readers of people (what good sales people are) we can see that their mind is off. Once we see that and understand that we can work to create a better moment in the now for them to focus on.

    His wife may have just cheated on him but that doesn't mean he isn't a buyer. In fact buying the right thing might just change his entire day around.

    If you truly care about your prospects and their needs you will help them. Rather that help means listening or selling them ____.

    In fact some of your best sales can come when it's not the best time for them. The only question is can you and what you are selling make it better. You of course can if you try. And if the product is the right fit it can too.

    2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?

    No but
    you can give them reasons to talk to you. Trust me if you sound like a nice person and one ho truly cares about people more often than not they will talk to you. Even if you find out that what you are selling isn't a good fit for them.

    3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?

    No but
    same as last. You can make more of them have time by being the type of person they want to talk to.

    4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?

    Yes if
    you focus on saying things that interest them. Little circular there but the only way to make them interested in what you have to say is to say things they would be interested in.

    No one is going to get me interested in talking about wall paper. Even if i needed wall paper you wouldn't get me interested in it. But I bet you could talk to me about my house, you know the one that needs wall paper (I really don't need wall paper). Bet you could lead that back to my garage. Then talk about my Corvette. Learn that I have a red Vette but like blue better. Find out that blue would look great in the room I need wall paper for. And etc etc.

    Selling People is about them not about you. I don't care if you hate football. If they love the Cowboys you use that.

    It's funny people tell sales people to avoid talking politics. You don't have to. I've made several sales by talking politics. The key is knowing that you have to agree with them. And depending on how you feel you can simply agree with them even if you actually disagree (been there a few times).

    There are no taboo topics if they want to talk about them. There are just topics that dumb sales people can't remember to agree with the prospect on. A prospect tells me that Obama is the best President of all time. I agree. You think he's the Anti-Christ. I agree. Though I may agree to only a degree. But I will never disagree.

    5. Can you control whether they buy or not?

    Yes as long as
    what you are selling meets their needs, wants, and budget (real budget not the one they tell you). If they would buy ______ from anyone and you sell ________ why wouldn't they buy from you?

    Certain items that people sell this would be nearly a 100% yes. While other items might only be yes 10% of the time.

    But if they are qualified (not finances but really qualified) to buy what you sell then yes you can control that.

    So the real answer to all of these is YES You Can!*

    *Control the Sales Process
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?

    2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?

    3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?

    4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?

    5. Can you control whether they buy or not?
    I just had to be different from everyone else. :rolleyes:

    1. Yes - If you know the kind of business you are calling - don't call right when things are happening. For example a restaurant during lunch rush. Call very early so nothing bad has happened yet. Same thing with contractors and such - get there before bad stuff begins. You can't completely control it - but you can time your contact to avoid trouble.

    2. Same as number 1 - if you call before they get too busy or before any other employees are there - they might just answer the phone themselves.

    3. Same as the first two - you can time your contacts based on the industry to give yourself the best chance possible.

    4. Yes - absolutely. Your tone and enthusiasm can be contagious.

    5. Again - Yes for many. Some sales people close 10%. Some close 60%. For a top notch seller, it is likely that anyone who CAN be closed will be. So - get yourself in the league of the best sellers and you will know that you made every possible sale.
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    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Hi there,

    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?
    Sure you can You can create an event around your arrival or your call. For example, we had a really hard time getting hold of a top executive for one of our client's biggest prospects. She had a bulldog for a gatekeeper. So we sent a HUGE bunch of flowers with a card that said "I'll call you to congratulate you in 10 minutes!".

    Needless to say, she took the call.


    2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?
    Similar to above - yes you can. You can ask when they might be available or the best time to talk. If you have qualified the prospect properly and know you are offering something they should be interested in, they''ll make time to talk. You can also befriend their gatekeeper and ascertain when is the best time to catch them at their desk.

    3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?
    Yes - again with the right planning or event you can literally force them to pick up the phone.

    4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?
    Yes - if you've done your homework and qualified them correctly.

    5. Can you control whether they buy or not?
    If you've provided the correct message to market match and have the right product for the job the only obstacle might be their budget.

    You're asking these questions without the framework of a sales process and without a sales process you are simply guessing which is at best what these questions will get you in this format - guesses.

    All the best,

    Sasha
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    I see the "experts" have answered, but few of the regulars have responded.

    I'd like to see more everyday folks share what they believe. Be brave! As you can see, there are differing opinions even among those who do this every day. There is huge value in exploring your beliefs about these questions and their answers.
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    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      Control? No.

      Mitigate? Yes.

      Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      I see the "experts" have answered, but few of the regulars have responded.

      I'd like to see more everyday folks share what they believe. Be brave! As you can see, there are differing opinions even among those who do this every day. There is huge value in exploring your beliefs about these questions and their answers.
      I agree. There is no "right or wrong" answer to these. It is about the thought process. Why do you think ____ is the answer. The more people who interact the more value we all get.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

        I agree. There is no "right or wrong" answer to these. It is about the thought process. Why do you think ____ is the answer. The more people who interact the more value we all get.
        Aaron; You are wrong. There is a right answer. Mine...and all you guys that said the exact same thing as me? You were all wrong.

        I called it! No backsies.

        "It is not enough that I am right..everyone else must be wrong"--Claude "The Merciless"
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    • Profile picture of the author Arzak
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      I see the "experts" have answered, but few of the regulars have responded.

      I'd like to see more everyday folks share what they believe. Be brave! As you can see, there are differing opinions even among those who do this every day. There is huge value in exploring your beliefs about these questions and their answers.
      I was going to say this while no one responded but decided against it, but I guess I'll say it now. Technically you could control all 5 with a gun to their head.

      On a more serious note:

      1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?
      Yes, have somebody else "control" what happened before you get there.

      2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?
      Yes, if they're too busy talking to you then they won't be available to talk to anyone else.

      3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?
      Sure, set up appointments.

      4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?
      Yes, find out what they're really interested in and use that to get in. Oh, they have golf trophies? Maybe they'd like more time off to play golf.

      5. Can you control whether they buy or not?

      Technically you won't be able to truly control whether or they buy or not but sure, you can persuade and convince them to and move the arrow on the meter over to "BUY".
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Arzak View Post

        I was going to say this while no one responded but decided against it, but I guess I'll say it now. Technically you could control all 5 with a gun to their head.

        On a more serious note:

        1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?
        Yes, have somebody else "control" what happened before you get there.

        2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?
        Yes, if they're too busy talking to you then they won't be available to talk to anyone else.

        3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?
        Sure, set up appointments.

        4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?
        Yes, find out what they're really interested in and use that to get in. Oh, they have golf trophies? Maybe they'd like more time off to play golf.

        5. Can you control whether they buy or not?

        Technically you won't be able to truly control whether or they buy or not but sure, you can persuade and convince them to and move the arrow on the meter over to "BUY".
        The "gun to the head" would be duress, and the contract wouldn't be enforceable. Also you can see how you'd get just a little buyer's remorse from this method
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  • Profile picture of the author kemdev
    Control can mean a lot of things. A good poker player can control which cards to play from the beginning, how to play those cards, and how to react to his opponents betting. But he can't control which cards he's dealt.

    The same idea holds true in this scenario, with sales. We can't necessarily control (in a black-or-white, yes-or-no sense) what our prospects think or do, but we have control in our processes and delivery - which if done correctly, give us a better chance of hitting our target (a sale).

    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?
    No, not at all. That's why it's always a good idea to ask if it's a bad time.

    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?

    3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?
    No, but yes. If we acknowledge the fact that our first round of calls is mostly to gather important information, we should be able to find out who we need to talk to and when they're normally available to pick up the phone. When we're calling DMs at those times, our odds of connecting increase substantially.

    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?
    No, but yes. We can't make someone interested. This is really, REALLY important for people new to this to understand. But we can get their attention. This happens by seeing things from their world (and expressing that), providing genuine proof, expressing utmost confidence in your product, having a product that truly sticks out, etc etc...

    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    5. Can you control whether they buy or not?
    Again. No, but yes. Pretty much for the same reason above.

    Admittedly, I've been doing this (selling websites, SEO, errrr.... anything) for less than two years. I've done well, but there are people in the world and on here than no a lot more than I do. But as I continue to be out there, I've found that you can't really control a buyers decision... or availability... or whether they'll even talk to you. Not from 0-100%.

    But you can do a million different things (before, after, and during the sale) to increase your odds of reaching your desired outcome.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

    Some self-discovery ahead. I'd like you to really consider your answers to these questions about you and your sales process:

    1. Can you control what happened at your prospect's place of business just before you called over there or walked through their front door?

    2. Can you control whether they're available to talk to anyone right now?

    3. Can you control whether they pick up the phone or have time to see you, or not?

    4. Can you control whether they're interested in what you have to say or not?

    5. Can you control whether they buy or not?


    Really consider what you believe to be true about these questions. Let us know below, and later on I'll give you my answers. I'm sure the results will surprise us all.
    1 - No, unless I just called or set up a visitor to put them in a fantastic mood (which is a great idea for a huge figure sale) I cant control what went on just before I call or go in, but I do have some control over their reaction to it once I am communicating with them , can I use it to help us create some common ground between us upfront?

    2 - instantly, no, but with the right introduction, yes . OK if they are literally away or in a meeting that's that, usually. But if its a bad time I have the opportunity to make it a damn sight better time if they allow me enough seconds to get their interest in me more than in what they were doing/going to do, however that isn't an easy thing to achieve especially if their PA was just bending over the desk, in which case I agree to ring back in 5!

    3- Similar to 2 really, instantly no, I can not make them pick up the phone no matter how long I leave it ringing. Time to see me, if they give me enough seconds to convince them then yes.

    4 - I can discover what THEY are interested in, and frame what I say around that , use analogies, experiences , are they are seeing, smelling, hearing, touchy sort of person or is it all down to experientials? What resonates with them , after all why the hell SHOULD they be interested in what I have to say

    5- Totally I can control whether they buy or not, as can anyone. If they didn't need it I wouldn't likely be engaging with them, if there wasn't room for a deal to be done, I wouldn't be engaging with them, if I couldn't deliver for them I wouldn't be engaging with them, educating, informing, caressing their egos, ensuring I will work to complement what they've already done rather than push against it etc , hell I will even supply the pen and ink.
    Signature

    Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    1 through 4 vary greatly if you are talking about cold calling vs. dealing with people who have been pre-sold on you via your marketing system: industry content, speaking, writing, referral... Within cold calling, it would vary a lot if you are just calling lots of numbers or calling people you really, really want to do business with - as per Sasha' s example. So I think less control per prospect with cold calling than if they are pre-sold on you.

    With respect to number 5, I did telemarketing for a telemarketing firm that had a contract to sell long distance phone services. While we did get some sales, for the most part we (myself, the telemarketing contractor, and the phone company - MCI) learned that you had to have a product or service that meant something to prospects.

    The significant majority of people who were spending $50 per month or less on log distance just really did not care to go through the hassle of switching carriers for little or no savings.

    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 Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by bizgrower View Post

      1 through 4 vary greatly if you are talking about cold calling vs. dealing with people who have been pre-sold on you via your marketing system: industry content, speaking, writing, referral... Within cold calling, it would vary a lot if you are just calling lots of numbers or calling people you really, really want to do business with - as per Sasha' s example. So I think less control per prospect with cold calling than if they are pre-sold on you.

      With respect to number 5, I did telemarketing for a telemarketing firm that had a contract to sell long distance phone services. While we did get some sales, for the most part we (myself, the telemarketing contractor, and the phone company - MCI) learned that you had to have a product or service that meant something to prospects.

      The significant majority of people who were spending $50 per month or less on log distance just really did not care to go through the hassle of switching carriers for little or no savings.

      Dan
      My intention with the original post was about prospects you've never contacted before.
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