A mask may disguise, but what a person says is a real give away

Welcome to Monday

I could feel the energy draining from my body as I listened to the woes of my prospect. The more I listened and focused on building rapport the worse I felt. I had to do something.

I dragged up all the positive energy I had and asked “Sharlene, what is it about your company which works well?”

I could see the colour in her face change almost instantly and over the next few minutes I managed to resuscitate the sales call into positive territory.

I find it easy to reflect the mood of people I meet with. The mood, however, is usually a Mask reflecting things which have been going on in their life and at work in the immediate past. It is easy to assume the mask is a true indication of the character and state of mind of the prospect/client.

The risk is you reflect the mask they are wearing and not the person. You do this assuming rapport is being built and merrily go on to present your product or service. I know I have done this, particularly when I was a rookie sales person, and was totally dumbfounded when my prospect/client dismissed my proposal or offer out of hand.

A professional  salesperson takes note of the mask people wear. They also seek to test the initial impression the mask portrays with thoughtful questions. Actually, it doesn’t really matter what the question is, what is more important is the tone and manner that the prospect/client uses to answer the questions.

We all want to see behind the mask. It is the words a person uses which gives away what is really going on behind the mask.  Even more specifically its…..how they say it.

The success of a sales presentation or attempt to influence is dependent on these critical early interchanges.

Let’s look at some examples, how they respond to your question and how a professional might best deal with them.

Example #1 – Mr Peters

THE MASK:      Stern and somewhat forbidding

ANSWER:        Mr Peters answers your question in a self assured and somewhat masks-meanopinionated manner

RESPONSE:     The professional knows immediately that they need to use strong eye contact and respond in a firm and confident manner.  They know that if they slip back into a more obliging posture, this Mr Peters will chew them up and spit them out.

This is an easy example as the Mask that Mr Peters wears is usually  consistent with the manner in which they answer your question.

Now lets contrast Mr Peters with the next example

Example #2 – Ms Noble

THE MASK:      Stern and somewhat forbidding

ANSWER:         Ms Noble answers your question in a very formal manner and she offers a masks-meanrational and considered response

RESPONSE:      Although the professional saw the same Mask on Ms Noble, her answers denote a less aggressive style of person who will respond to a more intimate but business like approach.

Mr Peters will respect the more intense “I’m not to be toyed with” approach whereas our Ms Noble would expect and respond better to a formal yet more engaging approach.

Same MASK different ANSWER, different RESPONSE

Now lets look at another example with an entirely different Mask

Example #3 – Mr Harper

THE MASK:      Affable and friendly

ANSWER:         Mr Harper answers your question with some enthusiasm but somehow turns your question into a question for you

RESPONSE:      The professional quickly realizes that Mr Harper’s Mask seeks to presentmasks-happy-jpeg an affable image but in reality he is actually sizing you up and trying to ascertain whether and how this encounter is going be to Mr Harper’s advantage.  The professional will quickly adapt to the situation and start highlighting what is in this for Mr Harper (The WIIFM)

The professional is also aware that if he is not calm, careful and alert he/she will end up being sold by Mr Harper on why Mr Harper is not buying today.

The mask is often an unconsciously acquired form of sales resistance.  A mask does exactly what one would expect. It conveys to all and sundry an image that suits the wearer not necessarily where they are at or what they are actually thinking…..But the answer is the real give away.

Today’s question and actions

What Masks have you observed? Even the most crusted on Masks can be seen through with good questions.

  • Have a few really positive questions up your sleeve like “What is working well” or “Where can you see something like this adding value?”
  • Use the ‘sharp angle’ if you feel yourself drowning in negative territory. “That is exactly why I called …can you see why?”
  • Sometimes you can just ask them to remove the mask “Jason, is that how you really feel? or is that just where you are today?”

Some masks are easier to spot that others.  Of course you can read more about the Masks people wear in the book “Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles or downloading the Sales Analyzer app (see link on the right)

Take a magnifying glass and zoom in on the Buying Style of your prospect.

Have a great week!

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Six core sales and business principals. How sharp are your skills?

By Greg Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Like many weekend handymen I have a shed full of tools I use only occasionally. This saw-blade-sharpeningweekend I pulled out my power saw and expected a perfect cut in the expensive piece of timber I had just purchased. You can imagine my surprise, and the expletives I muttered under my breath, when the timber split along the cut.

I took the old blade with me to the hardware store to make sure I replaced it with a compatible blade. The first thing the salesperson asked was if I wanted to have the blade sharpened as it was perfectly good, just dull from exposure, wear and tear.

I was reminded of an important lesson from the Seven Habits taught by the late Stephen Covey. I had not used the Power Saw for a few years and I had expected it to perform to the same specification as the day I purchased it.

Last week I was talking with a business owner who was lamenting the poor quality of people applying for sales roles. If he offered a big guarantee he would get hundreds of applicants. If the sales person had to rely on their own skill set to earn commissions he might get one or two applicants.  He made the bold claim there were only about 500 professional sales people in Australia who earned more than $250,000 and most never made more than their base salary.

Brian Tracy, in his program ‘The Psychology of Selling’, relates a recent study which outlines the sad fact less than 5% of full time sales people have ever attended a sales training course, read a book about selling, or listened to a tape or CD by their own choice.

Selling, the powerhouse of every business, is the most profitable and rewarding career. In fact, there is so much money to be made in a selling career failure to believe high achievement is possible is often the most significant limiting factor in a sales career.

The basic laws of business and selling are simple, well known and the foundation of all excellent training programs – it is just that so few people follow them! Here I have taken six core principals. If you can focus on just ONE and improve in that area you can dramatically improve your results

The more your client talks, the more they like you

I regularly hear comments like ‘He must be a good sales person – he can talk the leg off an iron stove’ or ‘John is a great sales person – but he just talks too much’.

I have never heard ‘Jill is such a nice person – but she just listens too much’.

People want to be heard and understood before hearing about us. To build a business and sales you need to be listening all the time. Developing your skills of asking the right questions at the right times is fundamental to listening – and listening is the foundation of success.

Professional sales people never make a sales call

Professional sales people make calls to be of service to their client. When you make calls for any other reason the client will know immediately and treat you like a sales person rather than the ‘consultant’ or ‘business advisor’ you may have built your reputation on.

If you’re making a sales call to meet quota, earn bigger commissions, move the “special of the month” or any other reason not arising from your clients needs you need to check your integrity.

One of the main reasons selling has a negative public perception is too many sales people sell for their own reasons, not their customers’ reasons.

A qualified prospect has the need, receives the value, has authority and power to buy.

Sales Professionals are born the same way as Doctors, Lawyers and other Professionals

Brian Tracy tells us that the average sales person lasts less than 90 days in this profession. As with every profession, highly skilled sales professionals have studied and learned their trade.

Top sales professionals pay for and attend training sessions every year. They read regularly and research their profession to be the very best all the time. Research reveals that regardless of age, race, gender or experience, a novice salesman with effective sales training can become as successful as his veteran counterpart.

The number one question is ‘What will it do for me?’

Before you pick up the telephone to talk to your client ask yourself the question ‘If I was the person I am calling what is it that the service or product being sold will impact on my world?’ If the definition of selling could be boiled down to a single sentence or question, this would be it.

Constantly put yourself in your prospects shoes by asking this question. It will help you focus on their needs and the appropriate corresponding benefits.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Your client must believe that you will do everything possible that’s in his or her interest. Without this trust, all the facts, figures and discounts don’t mean anything.

Once you gain the prospect’s trust, however, you become much more than a supplier — you become a trusted business advisor, strategic partner not easily replaced, despite your competitors’ lower price, supposed faster delivery and so on.

People buy emotionally then justify logically

Contrary to what many salespeople believe, this reality actually works in your favour if you’ve done a thorough job of helping your prospect buy.

Your prospect, once they have engaged with you emotionally, find it hard to say ‘no’ as they are saying ‘no’ to someone they like and care for. Once engaged emotionally they will work hard to justify a purchase.

Discuss benefits related to your prospect ONLY

There are more than 1 million 8mm drill bits sold annually, but people don’t want 8mm drill bits. They want 8mm holes. Show your prospects the benefits of your product or service.  If they want am 8mm hole discuss 8mm holes, not the speed of the drill.

Sell value, not price

I was shopping for clothes for my next sales training trip. I commented to my wife that there were a lot of very ugly clothes around. This got me thinking. At some stage these clothes will go on special and at some point, when the price has been reduced enough, someone will buy them. This is a Loose-Loose situation as there is no margin for the store and the buyer will wear the item only once.

Selling the value of your services or product to address business issues will win all the time.

Today’s question and actions

When was the last time you did anything about developing your business or sales skills? Here are two things you can do immediately to start sharpening your saw.

  • Load up motivational, business and sales training audio files on you iPhone or in-car CD player. Listen to these every time you jump into the car – even if it is for just a few minutes.
  • Plan to attend business building or sales skills programs on a regular basis. There are many good one or two hour skill based programs run by training companies which cost nothing more than a few minutes listening to their sales pitch
  • When you find a good program take the plunge and make the investment in yourself

Selling and business building skills, the backbone of the economy, need to be learned, honed and sharpened just like any other professional skill. You are a valuable and important  person and you deserve the best chance of success.

Have a great week!

Reprint permission

Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; mailto:greg.ferrett@mondaymotivationalmoment.com

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If only everyone wore a ‘tell all’ Tee Shirt

tell-all-t-shirtWouldn’t it be great if everyone wore a tee shirt that told us what they think and even better still, how they want your product or service presented to them.

Well, in a lot of ways that is exactly what people do whether they are aware of it or not. Prospects and clients are telling us who they are and what turns them on. They express themselves uniquely by the way.

  • They dress
  • What they talk about
  • How they make comments about other people
  • How they express their opinions

All business people and salespeople have to do is….

  • Ask the right questions
  • Listen
  • Observe

To explore this theme further, lets look at the commonly used expression:  “Been there – Done Thattee-shirt-got the tee shirt

This expression first started to appear in the 1970’s and by the 1980’s Australians with their typical laconic sense of humor extended the saying to “Been There – Done That – Got the Tee Shirt”

So if everyone wore that TELL ALL Tee Shirt it would help us recognize the seven (7) primary Emotional Buying Styles. Lets have a quick look at each of them.


tee-shirt-I could have done such a better jobThis FIRST style is not just happy to wear the Tee Shirt, he/she also wants to know how it was made what materials were used and how can it be made better.



tee-shirt-and I won this tee shirtThis SECOND style wants to tell you how terrific he/she is…..all the time Persistent perseverance will be required here.



This THIRD style cares very deeply about a lot of different issues so tread carefully or youtee-shirt-how much I care will alienate them with a clumsy or insensitive remark.



tee-shirt-safety colourThis FOURTH Buying Style spends their life anticipating problems. They worry far to much and would not like to admit that worry is experiencing the physical affect of something that hasn’t actually happened. If your product or service implies any form of risk they will retreat very quickly and just not buy.


The FIFTH Style buys early, buys quickly then they stop listening. If you want to keep their tee-shirt-one forall my friendsbusiness be aware of this and persevere until you are convinced they are buying for good substantial reasons. Otherwise, expect to find a cancellation on your desk the next day.


You need to be on the ball with Style number SIX or you will end tee-shirt-two for oneup with a Tee Shirt that you didn’t know you wanted.



Style number SEVEN is most likely prepared to give you a hearing but if you suggest any tee-shirt-Been There Done Thattype of one-off special deal or the product is cheap (inexpensive) you will have them suggesting that you should leave. But they will do it all so politely.


As professionals, we need to be able to Listen and Observe and know what we are listening and looking for.

Read more about the styles in the book “Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles” and download the Sales Analyzer app from the Google Play Store or Amazon – see links on the right.


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Is there life after CALL RELUCTANCE?

By Michael Tregonning

Years ago I realized that I love making a sale but I hate the process I have to go through to call reluctanceget there. I would look at my sales colleagues picking up the phone with the same relish and excitement that Homer Simpson eats a doughnut.

I had to ask myself the question….”What is wrong with me?”

My Sales Manager kept threatening me, my bank account was shrinking and I started to wonder if I could get my old job back. I would look at the phone, shuffle papers, look out the window and suddenly remember that I needed to go to the toilet….again. This was a crisis and I definitely needed some well-informed advice. I needed to talk to someone who knew what they were doing so I knew there was no point in talking to my sales manager.

I asked the most experienced salesperson in the place for some advice. I explained to him how I felt about the sales, the fact that I liked the sale but hated making cold calls. At that point he stopped me and said something that I would be reminded of throughout my career.

Some people are good at making cold calls because they love to meet people and they love to talk. Don’t be too despondent though Michael because most of them can’t close a sale even if their life depended on it.

The difference here is that you can close sales because you love to win, you love the buzz that comes from getting the deal.

 A Simple But Effective Tool

Then he sat me down at my desk, pulled up a chair and proceeded to change my whole approach to Cold Calls.

He drew twenty little boxes on a piece of paper and said “Michael, forget the idea of making a call to get an appointment. That is no longer your priority. From now on you only have one goal each day. That is, be able to tick these twenty boxes.”20-calls1

If you make a call and the person at the other end is rude and nasty you can say “Thank you Sir, I get to tick another box

This veteran salesperson also made the point that if an opportunity arose during the call that could result in an appointment, I would recognize it and jump on it like a cat on a mouse. The important thing to keep in mind is that you have made the call.

There are several observations I could make to clarify your understanding of whether you are suited to sales and how best to approach the sales process.

What this veteran sales person was saying became clear to me. I am not a natural salesperson. In fact, in the course of my career I have found that it is very rare to meet a natural born salesperson. Most people who succeed are those that find the tools and methodology that works for them.

This piece of paper with twenty little boxes worked for me. It was a way of fooling myself or more specifically changing my perspective about cold calling. I wasn’t making a cold call anymore I was just earning the right to tick one more box.

Of course, if you are after another effective tool that will equip you even more try the Sales Analyzer App – Download it from the Google Play Store or Amazon by clicking the box on the right.

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What are you doing to keep yourself on track?

By Greg Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I find Monday morning the most challenging time of the week. It is in the first few hours of Monday my mind drags up all my fears & doubts, reminds me of things left undone and mouse with hard hatnew deadlines looming.

Garfield, from the comic strip of the same name, identifies Monday with disasters. It seems anything that can go wrong will go wrong on Monday. Garfield’s advice is to stay in bed until Tuesday.

Awhile ago I worked with a professor in the business school at RMIT University. Stas would never meet, however, on Monday mornings or Friday the 13th and refused to get out of bed until the danger time had passed.

I find it easy to come up with excuses when I find myself going off track, and using external influences as the scapegoat is the simplest outlet.

I strive hard to eliminate excuses from my life. In C.S Lewis’s ‘The Screwtape Letters’ the devil writes to Wormwood who is despairing of people who are perfect and says something like ‘…positively encourage people to think they are perfect, for then they become full of pride and boastful. It is then we can claim their soul

I agree. It is the very moment I feel I know it all I fail. Is there a time when this is more likely?

Is there a right time to win or fail?

A lot of science has gone into researching accidents and failures.

Probably the most costly mistake occurred in 1999 when NASA engineers failed to convert imperial measurements to metric.  The error was only discovered years later as the spaceship approached the Martian atmosphere.  This was a serious ‘ouch’ moment with lots of finger pointing and a serious accusation of sloppy work on one particular Monday morning.

The outcome of the inquiry, however, showed there was a systematic series of errors which led up to the final result.

Despite hundreds of scientific  studies, no one has been able to say with any certainty that Monday is dangerous just because it is Monday, or Friday the 13th is dangerous just because it is Friday the 13th.

What has been discovered, however, is three things;

  • Poor decisions are made when people are tired
  • Accidents happen when procedures are not followed
  • When things go wrong people look for excuses

So what can you do to become a consistent performer doing something you love?

Have you set realistic goals and time-frames?

Setting big hairy audacious goals (BHAG) is a fine exercise. This style of goal is great if you are trying to move an audience, win an election or change the public perception of your company. It does not help on Monday morning when you realise your goal is a long way off.

Break down the goal into daily, weekly and monthly targets. The more you can break down the BHAG into a personal daily target the more you can use the goal to keep yourself motivated.

Know your excuses?

I know my weaknesses. One of them is getting myself going in the morning. Even after years of getting up early if I allow myself to sleep in just one day I can quickly fall into old habits.  If I am not earful I can hit the snooze button so often I miss my first appointment.

Prospecting and networking has always been a big challenge for me. I set myself a goal very early in my business and sales career to talk with someone I have never talked to before every day,  even weekends. I do this despite the displeasure of my wife and daughter who find my outburst of conversation with strangers  embarrassing. This outburst of embarrassment, however, has kept my sales pipeline full.

Have you shared your goals?

Sharing your goals with trusted colleagues will give you strong incentives to achieve. If you have a goal you really want to achieve there is nothing better than having a strong advocate on your side. If all the energy to keep going is internal you will eventually run out of fuel.

In my quest to get myself fit this year I shared my goals with my family. As I started to falter towards the end they almost pushed me out the door to finish my running program. In all your big goals having someone to push you on will give you the extra burst of energy to cross the finishing line.

How will you reward yourself?

What are you doing to reward yourself for each minor achievement? It is great you will get a big fat commission check or shareholding in the company, but what is keeping you going every day? I reward myself with short breaks in the park; reading; playing music. Whatever works for you make it a reward for effort.

Today’s question and actions

What are your excuses? Do you have low energy times of the day? or week? Here are a few things you can do;

  • Take notice of your low energy periods. Most errors or mistakes occur in these times. If you need to make a decision when you are run down or tired check in with the people you have shared your goals with.
  • Setup a list of simple things you can do to reward yourself for achieving even small goals
  • Know what your excuses are. Celebrate every win

Have a great week!

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Roadworks of Business and Life

Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I had been making good time traveling to an appointment, however, as I came around a

What are the road works in your life?

What are the road works in your life?

corner I was confronted with road works.  I had planned my trip based on everything going well and road works were definitely not in his plan. Worse still, these were serious road works with workmen holding stop signs and traffic was banking up.

As many of you know I took the challenge earlier this year to run 5km and decided to use the Smartphone app “couch to 5K”. Being a positive person I expected to just follow the program exactly and magically achieve my goal. I was not prepared for the struggle at the 3K mark and seemed to hit the wall.

I find no matter what I do in life, in business or sales, challenges occur. It may be as simple as road works or hitting the wall in a running program. Sometimes it is a prospect saying “no” and sometimes it is something life threatening. It is not the fact a challenge happens which determines success, it is how you deal with the challenge.

The challenges

OK, so the road works meant I was going to be late. I had a choice;

  • I could take a risk and speed. Of course the risk was I could still be late, be pulled over by the police and loose my licence, arrive in a grumpy mood or, worse,  have an accident and not arrive at all.
  • I could also accept the fact I was going to be late.

Of course I took the later. In fact I stopped, knowing I would be even later, and called my prospect explaining the situation. Much to my surprise they were human and understood. In that moment, stopped at the side of the road, I established rapport with my prospect and when I finally arrived closed the opportunity.

I approached the 3K mark and I could feel the chemistry of my body telling me “There is no way to go past this point“. In this situation I had a choice;

  • I could stop, like I had the previous three days, and accept this was my limit or
  • Push that little bit more.

Of course I took the latter. Over the next few days I increased just 100 meters more each time. Yesterday I ran my first full 5K with a bit in reserve.

So your client says “no” – what next?

I have found my prospects are more likely to say no when I have become too sure of myself and I have not taken the time to build rapport. When someone says “no” it is for one of two reasons;

  • They are not convinced the product or service you are offering will deliver the required results, or
  • If they are convinced they need the product or service you offer, they are not convinced you are the right person to buy from.

No” is like road works or hitting the wall when running. It stands in the way of a decision to buy from you.

I like to ask a simple question something like “Sharon, I understand what you are saying. Many others have made the same decision only to buy from me later with outstanding results. What about the proposal needs more clarification so we can discuss this further?” to test the situation. (This is a ‘sharp angle’ close so be sure to make this very specific for your situation)

Of course, if I have tried to shortcut the sale without building rapport, it is usually obvious by their body language and cold words.

Today’s question and actions

Road works and blockages are an everyday part of life. Here are two things you can do to help keep moving a decision forward;

  • People are human so invest time in building rapport each and every time you meet them. It is easy to assume rapport, especially with someone you know well, or your husband or wife. To influence them or make a sale they will only buy or agree with you once in rapport this particular time.
  • Accept there are road works and blockages in everything you do. It is how you deal with these which will determine your ongoing success.

Make every step, even the ones you find difficult, count. When you hit the wall it is a matter of just taking then next step and before you know it the “No” turns into a sale or a positive decision.

Have a great week.

Reprint permission

Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; mailto:greg.ferrett@mondaymotivationalmoment.com

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Are Prospects Really From Another Planet?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Well, it often feels that way when we are out in the field.

I could not raise even a raised eyebrow from Paul, a Telstra business manager. No matter

Are your prospects really Aliens in disguise?

Are your prospects really Aliens in disguise?

what I said or did to try and move the sale forward he would just take it in and give out one of those ‘I’m not giving anything away’ smiles.

Another customer of mine was a bit of a firestorm. It seemed we were talking with raised voices more often then not, even though we managed to continue to do business.

Salespeople I work with tell me it seems that everything they have been trained to do and say just provokes heightened degrees of hostility with many of their prospects.

The initial mood set by a salesperson in an encounter is critical if they want to create an environment that might lead to a sale. This is where salespeople often make strategic mistakes and those mistakes come about because they have not necessarily come to understand the reality that the Prospect may be dealing with.

Let’s begin by looking at what might be going on in the Prospect’s head that may prompt aggressive or irritated behavior in that first encounter.

  • I’m too busy for this
  • I have some serious problems at the moment and this is an irritating distraction.
  • Boy o boy, how many times have I heard that opening line.
  • I know I should be nicer about this but I have found that the only thing that gets rid of pushy salespeople is to be a bit rude.
  • It’s obvious you don’t care about me or my troubles, you just care about making a sale.

We could go on with this list but I think the point is made.

We have, in fact landed on their planet and we are immediately trying to impose our values and agenda on them.

This is just not that smart, we know nothing about their culture, current state of mind or experiences. The sales training manual tells us to start by ask qualifying questions. Well I disagree. We have to be smarter than that and take a far more sophisticated and professional approach.

Our initial role as an ambassador to this new planet is to ask questions that are about their concerns….

  • Their attitude or state of mind at the moment.
  • What their business or interests are and how they are coping in this market

If we are going to establish an embassy in this new planet we must first put the locals at ease, give them reason to believe that we are not a threat. I have always liked the saying ….

It’s not me and your problems verses you. It’s hopefully you and me verses your problems.

It is also a saying I have been quite happy to actually use in a sales presentation. It works well because it encapsulates your intent and it pacifies the Prospect’s negative concerns.

So, my point is that we need to be mindful of the fact that aggressive or irritable behavior is often the only way a Prospect knows how to deal with an approach by a Salesperson.

We need to mindful of this and not intimated into blurting out our product features when we have not established an atmosphere that is in any way conducive to a sale.

Start the first encounter by trying to ask questions pertinent to the person, their business and what you are seeing right in front of you. Once you have established rapport and the prospect begins to display a more relaxed demeanor you might then begin to ask qualifying questions.

If you invest some time into the prospect but you do not establish rapport you need to do one of two things

  1. Try for an appointment that will allow your Prospect to concentrate
  2. Make a polite retreat offering to make contact (touch base) again in three months. (Time lapse depends on what you have decided is your prospecting cycle)

If you just press on with your SALES PITCH you will further alienate the Prospect and they will give you even more reason to falsely believe that…..PROSPECTS ARE FROM ANOTHER PLANET

If you want to communicate more effectively with these Aliens, you will want to consider downloading the Sales Analyzer APP

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How Certain are you Your Prospect Will Buy?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

Qualifying a lead and deciding if an individual or business will make a purchasing decision goes to the heart of a strong business.

Google recently started a program where it reads your email content (and I assume other

Six Serving Men

Six Serving Men

online things about you ad well) and using this information tries to predict what you are interested in and will buy. Using this prediction it then serves up advertising based on a complex mathematical formulae.

Influencing a decision to purchase and closing a deal  is a complex interaction. Trying to predict consumer behaviour and interest based on email, online content viewed and other empirical and measurable data is at best a blunt instrument. It would be nice to think a simple formula could predict all outcomes. I suspect Google has a lot more work to do.

The dreaded question …

I had one of those amazing sales call where everything went well. I arrived back at the office and shared the news of a new opportunity. My sales manager smiled and asked “Is this opportunity qualified?”

Ouch. He had asked the one question sales people hate to hear – and it can come from many  quarters.

My project manager asks “How much time should I invest in supporting the sale?”

My CFO asks “How much money will we need to invest to win the deal and what is the chance we will get a return on investment?”

When I get home I tell my wife about the opportunity and get the same question “Is this a real opportunity?” as she knows how many late nights I will need to work to win the deal and is already planning on how to spend the commission.

Is the opportunity qualified” is probably the most important question you need to ask, yet is also the most difficult to answer.

Why Qualify the Opportunity?

Qualification is all about the close-ability of an opportunity.  You are determining if the person or company you are selling to will make a decision to buy something. Once you determine they are likely to buy something, then you determine if you or your company can deliver the product or service in a way the customer will want to buy.

Qualification, depending on what it is your are selling, will include emotional, practical, financial and logical components and you need to know where you stand in all four areas. The larger and more complex an opportunity the more effort needs to go into understanding each aspect of the opportunity.

Qualification, based on the answers to your questions, will give you an answer to the close-ability of the opportunity. This, in turn, will determine the amount of effort you will put into developing and closing.

A Reason to Call

Before I pick up the telephone to make my first call I like to have established in my mind a potential need. I can usually determine this with a bit of research and using information I glean from people in similar roles.

Recent research has shown most people make a decision who they want to buy from  after the first or second sales call. From then on most ales activity is around helping a client make a decision to buy from you.

The single reason many sales people fail is that they do not invest enough time and effort understanding their client before they pick up the telephone for the first time.

Having a valid reason to call involves giving your prospect  a reason for investing some of their valuable time in a meeting with you. While it may reinforce your reasons for making the call, it emphasizes their priorities and not yours and accomplishes two things;

  • It gives them  information they need in order to understand exactly who you are and why you wish to schedule a meeting
  • It establishes a common foundation so when you meet you will have a point to transition to questioning and understanding their business further

Qualification Questions

Now you have made the appointment and are in front of your prospect Qualification is about understanding how you and your organisation fits the opportunity and how well your client is prepared to accept help.

Rudyard Kipling said “I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I know); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

Using questions starting with these words you can open and keep the conversation going with your client.

What are the challenges you are facing in your business today?”

Why do you think this is?”

When did you first notice it?”

How have you tried to solve the problem so far?”

Where else do you see this problem?”

Who else experiences similar results?”

The last qualification questions are the most important. You need to determine if the person you  are dealing with has the means to make a decision and if not who else do you need to be speaking with.

Using the same words you ask questions like;

Have they shared their concerns about the cost of doing nothing with others in the organisation?”

“How have they done projects like this before?”

What steps will we need to take to more this forward?”

Who else will this project impact?”

How are they likely to pay for it? or will they finance it?”

When will be the ideal time to schedule the project to fit into their schedule? “

Today’s question and actions

Qualification is all about determining the close-ability of an opportunity.

This week, when you meet with clients, or indeed anyone you wish to influence, invest time using the six serving men and listen carefully to the answers. You will be surprised how long a person can talk about themselves and their company.  As long as you focus on them, and keep the questions open,  they will eventually tell you everything you need to know.

Using the answers to some basic questions you need never fear the question “Is it Qualified” as you will have the answer.

Have a great week!


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Does Woody Allen need a Sales Coach?

My Michael Tregonning

Welcome to Monday

There are a lot of hang-ups that hold back business owners and salespeople. The mother of all hang-ups, however, focuses in on the use of Logic and the use of Emotion.

Here is a  video clip where we observe Humphrey Bogart (the sales coach) coaching Woody Allen (our salesperson) as he tries to sell Diane Keaton (the prospect) on a relationship.

Woody’s internal conflict is between the Logic that says she (Diane Keaton) will never see him as a romantic partner and Bogart’s suggested use of the Emotive, if not corny line

I have met a lot of dames but you are really something special.”

This is where we first hear Woody Allen’s classic line “She bought it

People new to business and sales tend to focus on logic. They will talk about product, features and benefits early and not notice their prospect has gone to sleep, or if on the telephone already hung up. While product features and benefits are important it is only the features and benefits your prospect engages with which are relevant, and to find which ones are relevant you need to engage emotionally.

This is especially true with the new generation of business people who have grown-up as digital natives. Selling to young entrepreneurs takes an investment in time to plan a call. According to Harvard Business School most business people have as good an understanding of the likely products and services they need as a salesperson. If you do not engage with them straight away you are forever labelled as a ‘loser’ or worse.

To engage quickly you need to use emotion and start pushing their emotional green buttons straight away. In today’s world the successful business and salesperson consistently use emotion as a standard part of their sales patter.

Ask yourself, what is actually going on when you are in a typical sales interview. What is your first and most essential objective?

I cannot second guess you so let me tell you what I am trying to achieve. Rapport and  mutual affinity. There is absolutely no point in talking about my product or service until I am pretty sure I understand the prospect’s Buying Style and start communicating effectively.

This is why understanding the principals taught in my book “Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles” and the sales app “Sales Analyzer” are so essential to developing the confidence and sales skills to engender that all important rapport and affinity you need to make a sale.

Once I understand the prospect’s Buying Style I can use specific emotive language that will motivate and engage that particular prospect or client.

Let me emphasis my point by giving you one product example and several feature benefits pertinent to each distinct Buying Style. If you establish which of the seven primary Buying Styles you are dealing with you might approach this office equipment sale targeting that specific individual’s emotive button.

  • With one style you might suggest “This is the most recognized and reliable brand machine in the market.”
  • With another you might say “Most prestige companies are paying over $40,000 for this quality machine but if we do business today, I can do better.”
  • With another “Hey, you know you get me with this machine as well.”
  • Another style might respond well to “In the last two years I have not seen one of these machine falter or break down.”
  • Equally, another style might respond to “This machine has an excellent Energy Rating and it will produce quality results, even on recycled paper.”
  • If you have established rapport you might like to say “It’s simple John. You and I both know this is the best machine in the market and you are not one to accept second best.”
  • Finally, another style would respond well to “Tell me what function is essential for you and I will walk you through it right now. Although, I bet you have already worked out how to do it.”

Some of the statements will work as a green button  with certain Buying Styles and act as a red button to others. You need to know how to recognize the difference and also understand that the use of emotive expressions are only advisable when you have developed a level of intimacy that comes from rapport and mutual affinity.

Think about it in a simplistic form. Don’t you immediately feel an affinity with someone when you find out he or she supports the same sporting team? or went to the same school?

Rapport and affinity can be achieved if you can learn how to establish the client or prospect’s Emotional Buying Style.

If Woody Allen can do it with the right coaching…so can you.

Today’s question and actions

Consider one of the customers you have done business for some time and another you may be struggling with and ask these questions;

  • What is the emotional connection I have /  do not have with them?
  • What is one thing which might work well with the struggling relationship to engage with them emotionally?

You will be surprised at the difference in a relationship once you start pushing green emotional buttons. Of course reading more about buying styles and using an app to give you more guidance could also help.

Have a great week!

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Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; mailto:greg.ferrett@mondaymotivationalmoment.com


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Can you know your Client or Prospect’s Green and Red Buttons & Ideal Closing Style before you go into a meeting?

By Gregory Ferrett

Welcome to Monday

I was watching over the shoulder of a ‘World of Warcraft’ player and noticed every time Sales-Analyzer-for-MMM-websitethey went around a corner, entered a room or moved into an new unexplored area they always entered with enthusiasm and guns blazing. Even when they were playing as a team every member did the same thing.

I could not help but reflect on how salespeople often go into a meeting with a prospect in the same way. They have all the samples, brochures and all the latest sales aids ready to blast the prospect off the face of the Earth, with enthusiasm of course. I am sure every one of us has done the same thing sometime in our career.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could go into the meeting with your prospect knowing, in advance, exactly what their green buttons were; what you needed to say to move the sale forward and the ideal way to close them?

And you didn’t have to have muscle ready to enter the Olympics just to carry the load?

Sales Analyzer

My good friend Michael Tregonning, winner of multiple sales awards in his lifetime; Insurance Sales champion and Emotional Intelligence expert, has developed the world’s first  Smartphone app which will allow you to do this.

I have been evaluating Michael’s Sales Analyzer app, developed in conjunction with the University of Ballarat, and it is truly amazing. Simply answer a few questions about your prospect / client and you are presented with a list of the ideal way to work with them, their emotional style and best tactics to close the deal.

Once entered their profile is saved so the next time you visit with them, or talk with them

Sales Analyzer Screen Shot

Sales Analyzer Screen Shot

on the telephone, you are reminded again of the ideal way to handle them. Check up what words to ues on that important email to be sure you are pushing their green button.

Michael and I have worked on emotional intelligence learning programs and tools for sales people since the early 1990’s developing games like ‘The Gatekeepers‘ and the book ‘Selling to the 7 Emotional Buying Styles‘.

The Sales Analyzer brings the understanding of emotional intelligence into the 22nd century. Every sales person now has a simple way of uncovering the emotional style of their prospects without the need to master psychology.

Selling with nothing

With this app a salesperson can quite comfortably go into a meeting with a prospect and take nothing but a notepad.

What!” you say, “How can I sell my product or service when I have nothing to show the prospect?”

The Sales Analyzer gets to the heart of the sale, the emotional drivers behind a decision. While a demonstration might need to be done to confirm a sale the first, and most important part of any successful sale, is all about emotional engagement. According to Michael Tregonning “…It has  absolutely nothing to do with your product. The first part of any successful sale is all about establishing a relationship.”

Michael goes on to say “The more successful you are at establishing this relationship the harder it is for your prospect to say ‘no’ because they are now saying no to you.”

Are you hiding behind your Product or Service?

Step back and look at what product focus and enthusiasm is subconsciously doing. If you lead with your product or service your prospect can easily say no as they have no emotional attachment to it. If you lead with yourself and establish emotional  engagement it is much tougher for your prospect to say ‘no’ as they are now saying no to someone they are emotionally attached to.

So if your prospect/client says “What have you got to show me?” what they are really saying is “Don’t talk to me because I might get to like you. Just show me your product so I have something I can easily say ‘no’ to.”

Today’s question and actions

Download the app today by going to https://play.google.com/store and entering ‘Sales Analyzer’ (with a ‘z’) in the search box. The investment is about the same as a cup of coffee. Alternatively you could go to Michael’s website to learn more.

  • Try the app with your colleagues, family and friends to help you understand how it works and become comfortable with the uncanny accuracy it has uncovering emotional intelligence
  • Before you meet with your next client use the app to develop a few ideas to establish a relationship and tell you more about their emotional intelligence
  • Try some of the suggestions the app provides with your client / pospect

I am sure you will be as amazed as I was. If you are I am sure Michael will appreciate your  evaluation on the Google Play store.

Have a great week!

Reprint permission

Permission is granted to reprint this article with the condition it is republished unedited and in full with full attribution to the author and the authors bio. Please provide a link to the reprint to the following email; mailto:greg.ferrett@mondaymotivationalmoment.com


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