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In This Issue

Closing the sale – the definitive answers you won’t like., Jeffrey Gitomer
Self-Test Quiz
Five Proven Ways to Improve Your Post-Decision Debriefs, Richard Shroder, Guest
Public Seminars, Next: Reno, NV
The Dinner Table, Dan Jourdan
Deal of the Week


Jeffrey Gitomer Sale Signs

Closing the sale – the definitive answers you won’t like.

Jeffrey Gitomer

You may know that line from the infamous sales movie Glengarry Glen Ross where Alex Baldwin plays himself. It’s a throwback sales training line from the 1960’s that manifested itself all the way to the ’80s. The problem with that line is that some people are still using it.

Time Contraints Never Stop Good Salespeople

Whenever I do a seminar, everyone wants to know the fastest way to close the sale, the easiest way to close the sale, and the best way to close the sale.

Reality: There is no fast way, there is no easy way, and there is no best way.

However, there is a better way than thinking of it as closing the sale. And once you understand what that way is, it will change your approach to the sale, for the better, forever…

It’s not the “close,” it’s the open.

From the moment you engage the prospective customer, they’re beginning to make a judgment. First they judge you, then they judge what they’re buying, and finally they judge what company they’re buying it from. As I’ve said for years, the first sale that’s made is the salesperson (that would be you).

The secret of selling is four words: perceived value and perceived difference. Two of the four words are the same: perceived.

If your prospective customer perceives no difference between you and the competition, and perceives no value (better stated, a greater value) in what you’re offering, then all that’s left is price – and you will most likely lose the sale. Or if you win the sale, it will be at the expense of your profit.

There are two intangibles that, when combined, create a better chance, a better percentage, of you completing the sale. They are “comfort” and “fit.” How comfortable were you with the prospective customer? How comfortable was the prospective customer with you? And was there a perceived fit? Did what you were selling fit with what the customer needed or wanted to buy?

So I’m going back to my original statement: It’s not the close, it’s the open.

Let me give you a pop quiz that will determine whether or not you were even ready to open.

How is your attitude? How strong is your belief system? Do you have a GREAT attitude? Do you have an impenetrable belief in your company, your products or services, and yourself? Do you also believe that the customer is better off having purchased from you?

How well have you researched both the company and the person that you’re meeting with? Preparation for the sale is broken down into three parts: personal preparation, sales preparation, and preparation in terms of the prospect – with this critical caveat: preparation in terms of prospect.

Do you know what their reasons for buying are? Do you know what their motive(s) for buying might be? If you know their reasons and their motives, by definition, you will also know their urgency. Note well: Your reasons for selling pale in comparison to their reasons for buying.

When you first spoke on the phone with the prospect, was it a friendly encounter? Were you familiar with them? Were they familiar with you? Did you develop any rapport prior to arriving? Do you have anything in common?

Prior to your face-to-face appointment or your telephone appointment to complete the sale, and in addition to your preparation, you must have a goal for the customer to like you, believe you, have confidence in you, and trust you. If those goals are not achieved within the framework of the sales presentation, then the completion of the sale will never become a reality.

Self-Test: Rather than me teaching you a closing question, here are some tough questions that you must ask yourself before, during, and after every presentation that you make. These questions, if answered positively in the mind of the prospective customer, will preclude you from ever having to “ask a closing question.”

In paraphrasing my opening statement: If it doesn’t start right, it won’t end right.

• How ready were you?
• How friendly were you?
• How engaging were you?
• How different were you?
• How valuable were you?
• How compelling were you?
• How believable were you?
• How credible were you?
• How self-confident were you?
• How relatable were you?
• How trustworthy were you perceived to be?

Closing the sale is not an action. It’s a culmination and a sum total of the elements that make a favorable decision possible... Full Article »

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Good Sales Call to a Great Sales Call Book Cover Richard M. Schroder

Five Proven Ways to Improve Your Post-Decision Debriefs

Richard M. Schroder, Guest Expert

There's nothing quite like the feeling of closing a sale. Whether it's a large sale or a small one, salespeople celebrate first and then try to understand why they won so they can replicate their success. There is much more to be learned from losing, however, yet most salespeople do not know how to gather accurate and meaningful information from prospects to learn from their losses.

Salespeople often ask prospects why they lost a deal, but they typically don't get a straight answer. In fact, according to proprietary sales research data, prospects tell salespeople the complete truth about why they lost less than half the time. In fact, research has shown that salespeople learn the complete and accurate truth about 40% of the time. In other words, in 60% of new business situations, salespeople do not have a complete and accurate understanding of why they lost.

Below are five proven ways to get more candid feedback from prospects post-decision:

1) Give early notification that you will conduct a debrief (regardless of the outcome of the sale). In order to make the prospect comfortable and illicit honest and, more importantly, actionable feedback, you should let the prospect know early in the sales process that regardless of the outcome, you will be conducting a post-decision debrief call at the end of the process.

2) Schedule a separate debrief call. Do not debrief on the same call as when you hear about a loss. When you hear about a loss, prospects have one goal in mind: to get you off the phone as quickly as possible. Instead, schedule a separate debrief call after you have accepted the loss and let the prospect know that you will not try to change their decision.

3) Use a debrief guide. Research has shown that salespeople who use a debrief questionnaire have a 15% higher close rate than those who do not. Sample debrief guides can be downloaded at

4) Take responsibility. Make sure that you really want candid feedback; prospects will be able to tell if you don't. Don't get defensive or angry, don't debate with the prospect and don't try to resell the prospect.

5) Probe for specifics. Ask "How do you mean?" or "Say more." Other great ways of getting candid feedback include asking, "How can I improve on this", "How can I make it better?" or "Can I get your advice?"

To garner even more candid feedback, you may want to consider having someone else conduct debriefs on your behalf. If you are running a sales team, consider hiring an outside third party to conduct Win / Loss interviews on behalf of your entire sales team.

By implementing a process for conducting better debrief calls, you will unlock a vast source of prospect information which will allow for continuous sales improvement.

Buy From a Good Sales Call to a Great Sales Call to obtain more information on how to best conduct Win / Loss Analysis.

Richard M. Schroder is president of Anova Consulting Group, a market research, sales training and consulting firm. He is a sought-after speaker and a recognized thought leader in win / loss analysis and sales training. He is also the author of a book called "From a Good Sales Call to a Great Sales Call" about Win/Loss Analysis, published internationally by McGraw-Hill. He lives in Chestnut Hill, MA. Learn more about the Anova Consulting Group at

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See Jeffrey Live!


This is your last chance in Reno to see Jeffrey's presentation on Yes! Attitude. Sell any product, any service, in any economy! Whether you wish to double your sales or kick your sales team into overdrive, this is the opportunity you've been waiting for!

February 16, 2010

Managers & Sales Leaders

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February 17, 2010

Public Seminar for Everyone

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Reno, NV 2/16 Managers   2/17 Public
Salt Lake City, UT 3/17 Leadership  3/18 Sales
Baltimore, MD 3/24 Leadership  3/25 Sales
San Jose, CA 4/7 Managers  4/8 Public
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Frisco, TX 4/28 Leadership  4/29 Sales
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Milwaukee, WI 6/9 Leadership  6/10 Sales
San Marcos, TX 11/17 Leadership  11/18 Sales
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The Dinner Table

Dan Jourdan, Gitomer Certified Speaker

Did you ever have a teacher tell you that if you copied from your neighbor and cheated during a test, you were really only cheating yourself? My daughter's third grade teacher shared this wisdom the other day in their class, and it sparked a conversation around our dinner table that night.

After we all agreed that the teacher was right to give tests in order to keep the students accountable and on schedule, my daughter asked, "Why don't grown-up's take tests?". This was a real question -- one I was not prepared for.

You, as a salesperson, are in school now too. You are learning every day about new technology and about old human relations. How are you being kept accountable?

Everyone left unchecked will procrastinate or lose some skill. I have a tough time with this too. The last time my wife went out of town and left me alone, I found myself walking around my house all day in my underwear, watching too much TV, and eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery. And I am lactose intolerant! The point is that you need to have someone check up on you -- to test you regularly so that you can be sure you are staying on top of your game.

Your test, however, can not be your sales calls. Your tests should be given in a safe environment of learning.

Here is what to do:

Create a study or accountability group. Find three or four like-minded salespeople and get together once or twice a month for "testing". The goal is to work with each other to keep you all on track for success. Set your own benchmarks and how to accomplish them, and the rest of the group will keep your feet to the fire. No excuses and no failing are allowed. You will find yourself throughout the day trying not to let down your classmates and going on that extra call instead of putting it off.

Celebrate successes with big gifts for yourself and family. Get your whole family involved by telling them your plan and have them check on you.

Join leads groups for the purpose of being responsible to give leads and referrals. This will keep you on the lookout at all times for new business.

As soon as you get done with a sales call, record into your phone or tape recorder what happened on that call. Use these real-life situations for study.

All of these things arguably will have you stepping out of your comfort zone. You will wind up sharing to people about your personal life and asking for their opinions and help. You will get rejected by some, and that's part of the fun of it. Remember -- the pain of rejection ends with your next success, the pain of poverty lasts much longer.

Of course, you can also just keep doing what you are doing now, copying what the average salesperson in your office does , and doing just enough to make quota. But then you would be only cheating yourself.

Dan Jourdan is a Gitomer-Certified Speaker who delivers customized and personalized seminars on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development. To book Dan for your next event, visit or contact the friendly folks at Buy Gitomer via email or by calling 704-333-1112.

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Jeffrey Recommends The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

“The old adage: plan, do, review, has been taken to it's ultimate level by Richard Schroder in From a Good Sales Call to a Great Sales Call by discovering that the customer's motives for buying or not buying after the sale has been made. You will not only adjust your sales presentation you will adjust your results. Buy it today, bank it tomorrow.”

- Jeffrey Gitomer

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Self Test for Success

At what point will prospective customers commit to an order?

Click the Best Answer

A. When you offer the best price, especially at the beginning of the sale.

B. When all of their demands are met.

C. When they trust you, and believe you can provide them with the best product or service.

D. When the price is right, and they will look good to their superiors

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Ask Jeffrey Question


I am employed by a very large firm that owns many cemeteries selling pre-need cemetery arrangements. We had a brief 3 day class with a 'script' for training. My sales manager was supposed to be my support system when I returned from training. His idea of training was just do it the best you can.

I lucked out and made two sales, but nothing since. I have begged him to assist me with fine tuning my presentation, but nothing. I have spoken with his boss, and they have a system in place that makes me go back to him.

I have tried the door to door, but frigid temps have made this a very difficult job. I have developed a mailing list of previous clients, but leads are not protected. So, if I invest my money in postage, letterhead, and time to create a newletter, ANYONE answering the phone can get my lead.

I was told the company is set up for "a close on the first appointment" system. But, I am not having any luck with this. How can I find help with my presentation and also protect the leads generated by my efforts?

- Susan



Susan, tough answer, and you may not like it. Call 100 customers who have already bought and find out WHY they bought, engage them in friendly dialog and try to get referrals. Especially call the two customers you already sold. If your boss continues to be a jackass, you might consider selling something above ground.

Best regards,

- Jeffrey

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Jeffrey's Sales Rant about Online Training


I Spy Something Gitomer
John Coryell, 17 years old

A great 'mom moment' for me was when I shared a bonding time with my son Andy while attending a "Jeffrey Seminar" in Michigan last year. It's fun to see your son follow in your footsteps and also loving a career in SALES with all of its challenges and rewards. I am very proud of Andy as I watch his sales career blossom and sharing in a sales seminar together was a highlight and one that I will remember forever.

- Lorie VanWerden, Fruitful Sales

When you “Spy Something Gitomer,” send a pic to Elizabeth or post it with a message on Jeffrey’s Facebook Fan Page.


Caffeine Buzz

“Trust forms the foundation for everything you do in business, and everything you do in your personal life”

Jeffrey Gitomer
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Napoleon Hill - Yesterday & Today

William Shakespeare once coined the phrase, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players"

You've talked in the past about getting involved in civic groups and community organizations, where we might have a chance to lecture on our business.  

Here's another suggestion...

Acting. My wife and I are actors and have been for years. By getting involved in the local community theater, we've not only been able to make some life long friends, but we've been able to promote our respective businesses (me, salesman and my wife, Day Care owner) through advertising support and playbill bylines, and mingled with community leaders and other business folks involved in the theater.

Vocal skills are strengthened (great for presentations, phone calls and in-store cold calls), memorization of lines (great for memorizing product lines).  You can do it as little or as much as you like and there's a wide variety of plays out there; from dinner theater to musicals; from drama to action and comedy.   We've been involved in the theater here in Little Rock for over a year and our clientele and our enjoyment of life as grown tenfold!

- Chris Boggs

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Napoleon Hill - Yesterday & Today

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– Napoleon Hill

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