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Sales Related Articles for Your Reading Enjoyment
by Hal Slater

Improving Lead Quality
What is Lead Quality?
Obviously, a quality lead is one who has his/her checkbook out and is ready to buy, right? That would be a nice measure if we could afford to wait for our buyers to get to that point. If we do, we are “sitting ducks” for any, slightly more aggressive, competitor who will step in front of us and get the sale. This is because people...

Handling Call Avoidance
The Questioner asks:
I've changed jobs and now I am recruiting for the stock brokerage industry. The problem is that I hate to cold call. I must do this temporarily, any ideas on how to make the calling more bearable?

Leads: Quantity or Quality?
A Source of Conflict
A continuous source of friction between salespeople and their managers is the question of... What constitutes a qualified lead? After monitoring and tracking contacts over a twenty year period, in a specialized market, I noticed that, as a general rule, I sold to...

No More Pack and Drop!
What is a ‘Pack’ and ‘Drop’?
We all need a reason to buy... TODAY. Whether we are buying or selling, we need a reason that will stimulate action. When we are buying, we like the reasons to be our own, but when we are selling, we like to be able to control the timing, so we must provide the reason. Your buyers feel

The Five Paths to Increased Earnings
The List is Limited
In light of the recent economic news regarding accounting scandals, a review of some real world business principles is timely. There are only five ways to increase a business’ financial performance. They are as follows (with their sales effect in parenthesis):

Sales Tool Kit
There is a great new product for home improvement contractors available that you should look at and tell about or forward this message to anyone who is a designer/builder. It will make a real and positive difference in their sales for the coming year and they will thank you forever, and maybe even come work on your house FOR FREE! ..cause they'll love you so much.

The Best Presentation: Canned or Planned? (PDF)
Read about sales 'scripts', 'pitch-books', 'packs' and 'drops'. If we are going to use them with our more sophisticated and skeptical buyers, we must learn how to execute these strategies with precision, understanding and integrity. A must read.

Why the "Ben Franklin Close" Doesn't Work
Have you ever really tried the classic "Ben Franklin Close"? I have. I have even included it in my books as a possible close to try, though I see it more as a tool for "smoking out an objection" than for demonstrating value. Even so, I am reluctant to try it because it seems "hokey" and rarely works. I recently came across this story that may explain why.

The Question is... When Does the Ben Franklin Close Work?
I have to admit I was more than a little surprised at the response to what I thought was a "cute little story". I inadvertently implied that I opposed the concept of the Ben Franklin Close and in challenging such a revered institution, I unleashed a torrent of response. Not all bad, we are now talking. Let's keep it up. Here is what the readers had to say about Ben's Close.

Handling Trade-in Allowances
Dear Readers:
I recently engaged in an email discussion with one of my book readers who sells automobiles on the East Coast. Although I sold cars over 25 years ago here on the West Coast, his questions had a remarkably familiar ring to them. I thought those of you who must deal with trade-ins might find this discussion thread interesting. It is an important element to Showroom Selling.

Sticker Shock vs. Sticker Trauma
In the late 1970s, a U.S. Senator responded to the combined effects of newly instituted auto safety and emission regulations with steep inflation by coining the term "Sticker Shock" to describe a shopper's response to an unexpectedly high price. Most high-ticket-to-consumer industries are quite familiar with this phenomenon.

Doing an "autopsy on the other guy's deal."
Do not assume that your buyers can tell the difference!
In a coaching session today, I was reminded that buyers are generally much less aware of the different features and options between various offers than we salespeople think they are; and, most especially, the effect those differences have on the price.
Sometimes you have to do an "autopsy" of your competitor's offer to show why your price is higher. It is actually an honor if your buyer is willing to disclose your competitor's offer so that you may demonstrate how you are adding value.
The situation is fraught with danger, however, so you should know your buyer well before you undertake your "autopsy of the other guy's deal." Here are some of the things you must consider, before you undertake this somewhat messy surgery.

More Articles

A List of Additional Publications

  • Hot Foot Therapy; Us Magazine, page 14, May 7, 1984
  • The Gentle Art of First Call Closing; Sales, Advertising and Marketing Magazine, August 1990
  • Outside Selling Can Be Highly Profitable When Proper Closing Techniques Are Used; Aftermarket Today, page 18, May 1991
  • Sales Trainees: The Jung and the Restless; Training Magazine, page 17, July 1991
  • Develop Your Extra Sales Perception; Sales and Marketing Strategies and News, page 45, September 1991
  • Four Steps to Closing the Sale; Sales Insight magazine, page 13, April 1992
  • Perfect the Art of First Call Closing; Sales and Marketing Strategies and News, page 47, July 1992
  • Sell to the Emotions; Sales and Marketing Strategies and News, page 51, June 1994
  • High Ticket vs Low Ticket Selling; RV Executive Today, page 17, January 1997
  • Aiming for First Call Closing; Pool and Spa News, page 203, November 20, 1996
  • Take the High Road; Pool and Spa News, page 44, July 22, 1998
  • Landing the Big Fish; Pool and Spa News, page 36, August 19, 1998
  • How I Beat the Low Bidders; Pool and Spa News, page 114, October 7, 1998
  • High Ticket Retail; AQUA magazine, page 18, March 1999
  • Reading Your Customers; AQUA magazine, page 18, April 1999
  • First Call Closing; AQUA magazine page 18, May 1999
  • Enough is Enough; AQUA magazine, page 18, June 1999
  • Strengthen Your Selling Techniques; Boat and Motor Dealer News, page 35, June 1999
  • Looking for a Speaking Career? The Toastmaster, page 6, June 1999
  • Why Training is Your Best Investment; RV Executive Today, page 18, July 1999
  • Building Rapport; AQUA magazine, page 16, July 1999
  • Yacht Sales: Think Like a Buyer; Boat and Motor Dealer News, page 46, August 1999
  • Rocky Terrain, AQUA, June 2000