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Professional Achievement Group, Inc. | Rockville, MD


Many selling professionals are of the mindset that it’s inappropriate to ask clients for referrals until after the clients have experienced the outcomes promised by the product or service. Their thinking is that if they deliver the intended outcomes, and do so in an exceptional manner, clients will be more willing to provide a name or two when asked.

Have you ever made a prospecting phone call whose central message sounded something like this?

How good would you say you are at listening to your prospects?

Most selling professionals I talk to rate themselves pretty highly in this area. Yet most, sad to say, fail the Tooth Fairy Test.


Most of the sales managers that I encounter participate in ‘need-based’ recruiting for salespeople. When they lose a strong performer, plan to expand geographically, or wish to take a new product or service to market, this is when they begin the recruiting process.

With everything else that goes on during the day, your shouldas become a distant memory - lessons that could have been learned, but were lost instead. Invest 89 cents in a spiral notebook and keep it on the corner of your desk. (Alternatively, you can use a visually driven note-taking application, like Pages or NoteBook+ for the iPad.)

With tough competition, many sales professionals are more tempted to offer discounted prices and fees in an attempt to win the business. Have prospects asked you for discounts, promising to give you the business if the discounts are granted?

Run from weak words and feeble phrases. People may forget what they hear, but they will remember what they see. That's why someone once said, "The most effective orator is someone who can make people see with their ears." The well-chosen word has the ability to create a vivid, and unforgettable, mental image.

Prospects often hide the real intent of their questions. Here's an approach for getting the clarity you deserve before you answer.

You’re meeting with a prospect. You’ve asked all the appropriate questions to uncover the prospect’s problem, concerns, desires, goals, and expectations. After fully analyzing the situation, you announce with no hesitation whatsoever, “No problem. I have exactly what you need.”

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in discussion with a prospect about the possibility of working together. The meeting is going well. You’re working your way all through the questions you know you’re supposed to ask at this stage. You’re paying close attention; you’re taking notes. One of the questions you ask strikes a nerve with the person to whom you’re talking.