“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears that this is true” – James Branch Cabell

Fear could be the most powerful motivator affecting your buyers.  In order to maintain an image of power and control, buyers may not reveal the underlying anxieties affecting their decisions.  Some of these anxieties are obvious; others are subtle.  You’ll increase your sales once you help your buyers discover their fears, show that you are sensitive to those fears, and lead buyers to the conclusion that your product will replace fear with peace of mind.

  1.         Fear of buyer’s remorse.

Buyers are afraid that even though buying from you today looks like the thing to do, they’ll regret that decision tomorrow, next week, or next month.  This fear increases in direct proportion to the price and the number of choices they must pick from.

2.        Fear that the wrong choice will diminish respect and esteem from others.

Peer pressure does not lose impact once we leave our teens.  We continue to view for the approval and recognition of our peers.  This fear increases if the buyer has strong social needs, serves a domineering boss, works in a team environment, or is employed by a company demanding continuous improvement and excellence.

3.        Fear of losing self-esteem.

We all want to feel good about ourselves.  Making the wrong decision and suffering the consequences of that error can cause self-respect to plummet.

4.        Fear that the wrong decision could ruin a career.

For some buyers the wrong decision might mean a pink slip.  A corporate culture where one mistake is your last mistake creates paralysis by analysis.  Of course, the right decision of significance could bring kudos and eternal gratitude from upper management and even shareholders.

5.        Fear that the wrong decision could mean disaster or the end of the company.

Some decisions carry life-and-death consequences for the person or the company.  A buyer who realizes the company is on the edge of survival may lack the courage to make a decision of major proportions.  A buyer who has to be very careful with limited resources is in the same position.

6.        Fear of the unknown.

Regardless of assurance and guarantees from you, buyers may be more content to stick with a painful status quo than to opt for an uncertain future.  They may not like what they currently have, but they know what they currently have.  The future is too big a question mark to take any risks.  This fear is especially pronounced for buyers whose jobs may not be assured and for those who lack self-confidence.

7.        Fear of relinquishing control to you.

Like all people, buyers want to feel in control and have the upper hand.  They want to call the shots, establish the agenda, and have autonomy.  They are comforted by the power of being able to delay purchase decisions as long as they want.  Once you interfere with that control, you reduce their powers and elevate their fears.  The advice in the following chapters allows buyers to feel in control of the buying process.

Stay Tuned For More!


www.tindall.sandler.com / www.linkedin.com/paultindall

Situation: Candidate interviewed for an executive recruiter position. One characteristic of an effective recruiter is someone who will take control of the process in moving clients and candidates through the process of placing people in new careers. His Assessment review test, it revealed the high yielder score of (44) and the low problem solving score of (20). Yielder Call Reluctance is the #1 type and the most costly. A yielder is relationship oriented; they want to be liked; they usually do not take control of the call because they are not emotionally equipped to handle conflict. A recruiter spends their entire day talking to people about their current reality and their desired result. The majority of the time there is some creative tension going on for the candidate and the client. An effective recruiter is able to gauge the creative tension and create a sense of urgency. The yielder is uncomfortable putting tension on anyone. They usually hear things on the calls that do not jive with a past statement, but they hesitate to address the incongruency for the fear of offending or causing conflict.

The low problem solving score is indicative of a one-call close type of sales person. Problem solving measures the candidate’s ability to tolerate frustration and see through complexities. When the going gets tough, it requires perseverance to navigate through the complexities of a job placement. The inability to see through complexities of getting qualified job orders, finding appropriate candidates and getting them placed will be a major hindrance for a recruiter.

Analysis: Our advice to the hiring manager was to delve deeper into the concerns of yielding behavior and low problem solving with very specific questions that we provided. We will never say “hire” or “do not hire.” We humbly know that there are other components that must be taken into consideration, i.e. cultural fit, past history of success, sales experience, industry specific experience, management style, team members, tonality, and attitude, to name a few.

Conclusion: This candidate was hired into an office that is fast-paced and very training and development oriented. They invested heavily in this individual who had some success. However, they soon found that he was shuffling resumes, talking with unqualified prospects and not able to hang in through the thick and thin of getting ramped up to become a producer. He fired himself seven (7) months later.

“How to Introduce Fee Disclosure to Prospects and Current Clients”

Start the prospect with a CONSULTATION meeting:

1.    Hold the first consultation with the client and charge a fee for doing so.

2.    Provide clients with an all-inclusive quote right from the beginning.

  • Be sure the breakdown is easy to read and understand. Don’t be secretive with fees, advise clients of your costs and be upfront. Be sure to state the value you provide, and confirm that the prospect sees value in working with you.

3.    Warn clients and prospects that cost may increase depending on unforeseen work that may have to be undertaken depending on the portfolio, services needed, and value added billing.

 4.    Open a file, meet with the client or prospect and take their instructions, and charge a fee for doing so, unless they are a prospect.

5.    Immediately and right from the beginning explain how you charge and have your prospect sign your terms and conditions of engagement to become a client.

  • Explain as much as possible to your client or prospect and be transparent about your fees and services.
  • Record minutes of all meetings with clients.
  • Collect all identification documents required right from the outset.

 8.    For all of the above, consider that, you are justified in charging a professional fee.

  • Professionals charge for the time they engage in services on behalf of their clients. For clients, use your sales process to determine whether or not they see value in working with you, a list of products and services they want more of, and which of the accountants they are working with who they are not happy with.

9.    Note furthermore, at this stage no financial advice has in fact been provided.

  • You both have come to an agreement that there is potential value in working together.

 How to sell value and disclose fees within your ADVISING SERVICE:

1. The FA or planner takes on the actual personal financial planning tasks related to this client

  • The FA is instructed to attend to by the client, for example, retirement planning, investment advice, estates and wills, etc.

2.  Each planning area should be dealt with separately, but as part of a whole picture/bottom line, and certainly in constant consultation with the client.

3. Additional fees may be chargeable over and above the amount which originally quoted based their specific client portfolio.

  • Those fees should certainly be charged.
  • Always be upfront, transparent and professional about the costs and fees of your services.

4. The client is provided with a comprehensive piece of financial advice and/or plan according to their specific goals, needs, and requests.

  • The client is advised on their current financial situation and they are given the advice that they need to move build their portfolio.

5. At this point, the FA or planner has provided the financial planning advice that he was contracted to provide to the client, and the relationship has been fulfilled.

    The FA or planner has now completed his initial agreement. Additional services required by the client will in effect form a new relationship between the advisor and the client and a new professional agreement- value added billing.

Stay Tuned For More!


Attend the next Webinar!

www.tindall.sandler.com / www.linkedin.com/paultindall

When it’s an apples to apples comparison between your product or service and your competitor’s, who gets the business?Does the prospect award the sale to the company with the “best” selling process? Do they reward the salesperson who asked the most thought provoking questions, most cleverly handled objections, and methodically progressed through the development process in a recognizable step by step manner?
Of course not.
Prospects don’t really care about your selling process or how astutely you implemented it. They are much more interested in and ultimately influenced, positively or negatively, by the person with whom they are doing business YOU.
Also, customers are most comfortable with and award the most business to salespeople who bring the most to the relationship even when it’s not an apples to apples situation.
So, what differentiates the salespeople who consistently generate positive influence and obtain the most business from those who don’t? What exactly do they bring to the relationship that makes customers comfortable?
  • They are honest and open. They demonstrate a sincere concern for their customers and act fairly and consistently. They don’t make promises they can’t keep. And, when they make commitments, they follow through to the end.
  • They are optimistic. They don’t complain about the state of the economy, their competitors, or their company’s policies. They feel good about themselves and the future. They are confident.They possess and continually demonstrate a“can do” attitude. They see opportunity when others see roadblocks.
  • They are decisive and action oriented. They analyze situations, weigh the facts, and then take action. Procrastination plays no role in their behavior.

If you want to improve the results of your selling efforts, first look to improving yourself before you look to improving your process.

For many salespeople, their market landscape is changing. If you provide a product or service that fits specific, easily defined needs and for which there are many competing suppliers, it is likely that buyers have begun to look at your products and services as “commodities” items to purchase from the supplier who provides the most incentives or makes the most concessions. The “extra value” you and your company may be able to bring to the table will be ignored if it’s even recognized when the customer is intently focused on price or other concessions. On this landscape, it could be argued, salespeople will eventually become unnecessary. Customers will make purchases from catalogs or over the Internet from the suppliers that have the best combination of lowest price, best terms, and fastest delivery.
For salespeople who must first analyze prospective customer situations, challenges, and goals and then develop custom solutions, the situation is quite different. In today’s economic climate, characterized by rapid change and accelerated growth of technology, companies are trying to accomplish more with less…and in shorter periods of time. Those initiatives create more complex problems that require more complex solutions. These solutions often require a greater depth of knowledge about the challenge and potential solutions than the company possesses. In these situations, salespeople who possess that knowledge are invaluable in helping the prospect fully analyze their situation and evaluate potential solutions.
Selling opportunities for products and services that fit the “commodity” profile will not vanish. However, there will be fewer of them, and the rewards from those endeavors will likely be limited. Opportunities in the custom solutions arena, on the other
hand, are growing. Salespeople who are willing to invest the time, energy, and effort to become experts about the challenges faced by the market they serve and potential solutions available will be better able to compete in this arena…and be better compensated.
Cold Calls are Unacceptable?
What makes a cold call cold? While a company may fit the “profile” of companies that can benefit from your product or service, you don’t have specific knowledge of the company’s problems, challenges, or initiatives, and you know little about its key players. Without such information, your call isn’t just cold at the beginning, but it will likely leave your prospect cold at the end.
With so much information literally at your fingertips– a few keystrokes and mouse clicks away — making cold calls is unnecessary and unacceptable. Using the internet, you can access industry association’s sites and download a wealth of  information about issues and challenges faced by companies in that industry. Using advanced search techniques and search operators on sites like Google, you can access association membership lists and industry reports and news articles. You can learn about new companies, industry “up and comers,” and companies going through transitions. Of course, you can gain a wealth of information from your target prospects’ web sites: the products and services they provide, the names of company executives and key personnel, white papers they have published, press releases they have issued, and much more. And, using sites like Zoominfo.com, you can find out more about the company executives you uncovered.
There’s no excuse for not knowing something about the prospects you plan to call. Learn as much as you can about them. It will help you better understand their world, ask relevant questions, be more credible, and warm up those cold calls.
Who is to Blame?
The sales team invested many hours working on the opportunity. All the feedback from the prospective client was positive. The team was confident that the sale would soon be theirs. Then, they received the news: the sale was awarded to another firm.
When the sales manager asked for an explanation, what was the team’s first reaction? Did they systematically reexamine the opportunity and their development efforts to determine where they may have gone off track and what they could have done to prevent the situation?
Their first reaction was to look for someone at whom to point the finger of blame.
  • Someone must have dropped the ball?
  • Someone must have missed a critical piece of information?
  • Someone must have neglected to follow up?
  • Someone…someone…someone.
For many companies, when selling efforts fail, finding someone to blame seems to be an all too frequent reaction. The thinking appears to be that you must first discover who is at fault before you can determine what went wrong. Unfortunately, once a scapegoat is found, the search to understand the “what” often ends. The individual becomes the problem, and the “solution,” in severe cases, is to let him go, or in less severe cases, reprimand him. Neither action is a real solution. Explaining away the failure by pointing the finger of blame has two penalties. First, you never fully understand the situation, which means you can’t learn from the experience. Mistakes undetected are left uncorrected. And, mistakes uncorrected are destined to be repeated. Second, you create an unproductive atmosphere that stifles creativity; people are less likely to express their concerns and more likely to cover up their mistakes.
Assigning blame doesn’t help anyone understand the situation and will most often impede efforts to identify and solve real problems. Look for the “what”, not the “who.” Was a critical piece of information overlooked? Were assumptions made that were unsupported? Were there warning signs that went unheeded? Once you identify what happened, you can identify actions that should have been taken. When you focus on the what, rather than the who, everyone has the opportunity to learn from the experience and make better decision in the future.
– Copyright, Sandler Sales Traning

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Link  —  Posted: July 18, 2013 in accountant, advisor, coaching, commercial, financial, insurance, lawyer, manager, Referrals, sales, Uncategorized


Carl was fiddling with the bass knob on the massive TV to get that just-right level to really have prospects feel the sounds. The day before he had sold two of these because both buyers were absolutely floored with the clarity of the bass and treble.

“Excuse me,” came a woman’s voice from behind him.

Paul turned and found himself staring at a very beautiful lady.

“Yes…” he stammered, momentarily taken aback.

“I can see I startled you,” she responded, looking directly at him.

“I’m sorry. I’m interested in a big TV that has a really sharp picture… not one of those projection ones, their picture is so fuzzy… and I need it to fit into the decor of my house.”

“I think we can find something that will be in perfect harmony with your needs,” responded Carl. For the next 15 minutes, Carl went from model to model.

“I hear what you are saying,” responded Carl.

“Actually, I think you’ve missed the picture completely,” said Isabella.

“I need a TV that fits into the decor of my room without overwhelming everything else.”

“No, I really do appreciate what you are saying. You want something that doesn’t clash with the harmony you’ve established… right?”

“I guess, that sounds kind of what I’m looking for,” she responded with a confused look on her face.

“I hear from the sound of your voice that you are still unsure… I really do hear what you are saying.”

“Maybe you do. Here’s a diagram of my living room, and here’s where I see the TV fitting in. Do you see a better spot?”

Carl looked at the diagram for a moment and realized that placing the additional speakers would be difficult because of the way the room was laid out. “Could you move these two tables and that lamp to somewhere else? They’re right where the additional speakers would go to get the optimal sound reproduction.”

“I suppose,” responded Isabella, who was thinking to herself that she was wasting her time with this salesperson. He’s obviously not seeing what I want to achieve. Best find someone who can focus on my needs.



Carl thought he was connecting with Isabella. He wasn’t.



Everyone has a preferred “channel” of processing information in a buying situation. In general, there are three major methods: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

Just as the prospect has a preferred channel, salespeople also have a preferred channel to dispense information. It is also one of the three.

In the story, Isabella’s preferred channel is primarily visual. She sees the picture, brings into focus the important facts, maintains eye contact the entire time and likes to have the bird’s eye view of how the TV will fit into her living room. She even brought a diagram of the living room to help her “picture” it.

Not once the entire time does Isabella mention anything about how the sound of the TV is important. Her approach to buying the TV is purely visual.

Now consider Carl’s selling. His approach is designed to appeal to someone who hears her world. Does Isabella have any real interest in how the TV sound system could be run through an amplifier? When Carl states that he hears what she is saying, what is her response?



To determine your prospect’s primary processing channel, ask the following question early on, “The last time you purchased (fill-in-the-blank), what were the important issues?”

While what is being said is important, how it is being expressed is even more important. Does the prospect use visual words? “Crystal clear, look, see, focus in, bird’s eye view, pinpoint, witness, observe, big picture, eye-to-eye, and so on.”

If so, you have a “visual buyer” and your task, if you wish to communicate with her, is to also use visual terminology. In effect, you become like your prospect.

By becoming like your prospect, you dramatically increase the chance of the prospect buying from you. After all, most people like to be with those who see the world in the same manner. They are comfortable in this situation.

If both of you see eye-to-eye, then it is easy to picture the future with your product in focus.



Some prospects process their world in visual images and if you want them to buy from you, you had best get into focus and be part of the big picture.


“Tim, that’s a really fine product you have,” responded Joanne.

“Well, I certainly appreciate hearing that,” responded Tim figuring that in the next moment or two, she was going to make up her mind about buying. He continued, “Many others in your profession have felt the same way.”

“Oh,” she said, “then this isn’t new?”

“Not at all. For the past ten months, this policy has really made an impact on how our clients reduce in-house costs.”

“That’s interesting. I wish you had contacted me sooner. I thought this was brand new.”

Ah, thought Tim, I’ve heard this objection during the past three months over and over. I’ll use the same approach that’s worked before.

“My company made the decision to bring this new product to the table as your old policy came up for renewal. No point in upsetting something in place.”

“Tim, don’t take this the wrong way. You weren’t the one who sold me the previous policy, but I find your company’s decision to handle it in this fashion a bit annoying.”

Here comes the “I could have saved money” comment, he thought.

“If I understand what you’ve laid out, my cost for the new program is about 30 percent less than what I currently have.”

“That’s correct, 32 percent to be exact.”

“If I had be informed of this new policy earlier, would there have been any added charge or penalty to switch from my current policy?”

She’s sharp, he thought. I should have kept my mouth shut. Why does this always happen to me?

“There would have been what we call a ‘Policy Change Adjustment Fee.’” “Roughly how much would that have been?”

“I’ll have to get back to you on that. The calculation is a bit complicated.”



Tim should have asked, once he thanked Joan for her compliment, “What would you like to do now?” Instead, he kept dribbling out words that dug him deeper and deeper. Will Joanne want to buy from someone who cost her money by holding back on a way to save? Doubtful.



You don’t win basketball games by fancy dribbling. You win them by putting the ball through the basket. You don’t win baseball games by standing on a field. You win baseball games by swinging at the pitch. If you don’t score, you lose.

Most shots at the basket fail. Most swings at the pitches fail. Babe Ruth struck out more times than he got hits. Yet he is considered one of the greatest. Could it be said he failed more often than he succeeded while at bat? Sure. But he wasn’t considered a failure.

Of course, you’re right; it’s all a matter of knowing what counts. What counts in sales for a salesperson? The number of appointments made? The number of presentations made? The number of sales made? The amount of money a salesperson puts in the bank?

If you think anything else other than the last one is what matters, then you are a dribbler, someone who admires fancy footwork. Now, a sales manager may consider the number of sales to be most important, but you aren’t a sales manager.



The worst that could happen by asking for the order is that the prospect says “No.” If this is a real “no” and there is no chance of doing business, the sooner you hear it, the better, so you
can move on. But before you cross her off your list, give her a chance to change her mind.

“I guess we’ll never do business.” You have relieved the pressure on the prospect. She’s relaxed.

“Could you answer one question for me?” Sure, why not. The pressure is off, and as soon as I answer this question you are gone.

“When we first talked, there must have been something about me or my product that interested you. What was it?”

Now the prospect is mentally reviewing everything from day one. In short, she’s mentally reopening the door to doing business. Almost in every case, she’ll come up with something positive.

“Well, your pricing and coverage are much better than our current agent’s.”

“I’m a little confused. I have better pricing, better coverage… and that means we shouldn’t do business?”

What’s a prospect to do? Give the answer to the questions and kick the door open to doing business.



Money is made by those who ask for it.


Nick figured that Heather was just another one of those prospects that had to run through every objection she could think of before making a decision. For the past 15 minutes, he had been doing nothing else and he was, he admitted to himself, gradually losing his patience.

“So just what is it that you want me to hear?” responded Heather.

“Well, it looks as if the picture I’m trying to paint for you isn’t what you want to see. If it isn’t, how do I clear things up for you?”

“That’s simple, Nick. You tell me that spending this amount of money is an investment, and I have to say that the amount you’ve mentioned is way out of range of what I’ve heard from others who have sat right there in that chair.”

“In light of our reputation for service, can you foresee a time when you’ll need service?”

“I have to say it, Nick… that’s about the sixth time I’ve said something and you just don’t hear the message. I tell you that your product is high-priced compared to what others sell it for, and you start telling me about my people yelling for service. I hear them Nick, but I don’t hear you.”

“I was just trying to make the point that while others can sell you the product, can you see them, in the future when we both know service will be needed, servicing it?”

“Let me hear it from you Nick, if I buy from the competition, will you come and fix it later. Either I pay them for service or I pay you, what’s the difference. Sounds like I save some money up front, and then get you to service it—music to my ears.”

“How do you know that we’ll provide servicing to someone who didn’t buy from us? It would appear to me that if I had to see to client X who bought from me, or client Y who did not, I’d keep client X in view.”

“Tell you what, Nick,” said Heather with a grimace on her face, “I’m going with the competition. Hear me?”



Heather is frustrated with Nick to such an extent that she has made the decision never to buy anything from Nick. From Nick’s point of view, he’s got a prospect who is just coming up with the standard, run-of-the-mill objections and enjoys playing hard-to-get.



What do you think would have happened if Nick had simply said to Heather, “I don’t think you understand me,” and waited for a response?

She most likely would have responded that she didn’t, and further she would have come back and said that Nick didn’t understand her.

At that point Nick could have said, “What do you want to do about this sorry state?”

Either Heather would have ended it and left, thereby saving Nick from wasting his time, or she would have reopened the possibility of a sale happening.

Instead, Nick assumed Heather was just coming up with objections that he needed to overcome in order for him to do his job.

Wasn’t his job to understand Heather and allow her to come to a buying decision? Or was his job to continue to misunderstand her and finally drive her from the store without any chance of her buying from his company?



You can choose to understand what a prospect is saying or ignore the message. What is easier to do than ask, “I kind of get the feeling that you are talking about X and I’m talking about Y. How do you feel about it?”

At best, the prospect will say she understands what you are saying perfectly and keep going. Great, that’s what you want.

However, if you get any other response, that’s your alarm bell to let you know that the two of you are not communicating. Now you need to restart your communication channels so that you both understand where you are both going.

“Don’t know where I lost your message. If it wouldn’t be a problem, could we start back at the beginning again? Go ahead.”

Either the prospect will think you are nuts and leave, though the chance of this happening is minimal, or the prospect will feel that you are one of the only people she has talked to that really wants to understand her needs. This feeling alone will do more to make the sale than anything else you do.



Most of us are absolutely convinced that everything we say is crystal clear and that no one could ever misunderstand a single world—now did you read that as “word” or “world?”


What I really need to do, thought Ray looking out his window, which overlooked the parking lot in which he could see three of his fellow salespeople smoking cigarettes, is more prospecting. Look at them out there, at least 15 minutes down the drain. Not me, I’ve got to get involved with some serious prospecting. No more parking lot trips for me.

“Where’s that article I saw in the business section of the local newspaper?” he muttered to himself, thumbing through at least six separate piles of paper on his desk. “The one about contacting customers and getting referrals.”

A few minutes later, article in hand, he headed to the photocopy machine. Make a copy for my files, take one home, and start cranking out the money.

Two weeks later, Ray had sent out over 500 cards to businesses in the area telling them to stop in a see “What’s happening? This is what’s happening!”

In addition, he was going through the customer lists that had been collecting dust for the past year, finding the unassigned former customers and working on a telephone script.

This is just great, thought Ray. By two months from now, I’ll have tons of fresh blood coming through the door and calling. Maybe I’ll even be able to get the sales manager to get me that upgraded computer system for that sales tracking software I bought with my own money.

Three months later all of Ray’s prospecting projects had fizzled out. Not a single one really produced any results that he could point to. All they did, it seemed, was take a lot of time, and the postage costs were astronomical. Not to mention that his closing rate had gone into the toilet because of all the time his prospecting projects took.

By mid-December, the smokers in the parking lot once again included Ray. He still wanted to get a good prospecting system in place. Maybe the software he bought, once he got the upgraded computer system, would finally produce results.



Everyone knows what prospecting is… correct? Did Ray ever define what was meant by prospecting and then define measurable goals to see if it worked?



You know how to go prospecting, don’t you?

Well, the first thing you do is buy a mule, grow a beard, don’t wash and wander around the desert for a couple of years. Right?

Oh! That’s not what you meant. You mean I should call 10 new people a day and ask them to buy our product.

That’s not it, either? Then you must mean that I create a letter, buy a 500 name mailing list and send the letter. Then wait for the people to start coming in.

Wrong again? Okay, this time I have it. You want me to call up all of our existing customers and offer them 10% off their next purchase if they give me the name of two other companies that might buy what we sell. I’ve got this prospecting thing down, right?

Not exactly? Well, just what do you mean?



When was the last time you heard that someone had to do more prospecting? This morning? Yesterday? Two days ago? When you heard that more prospecting needed to be done, did anyone list exactly what this “more prospecting” consisted of? Probably not. The result of this sloppy use of language is that “more prospecting” could mean anything, and since it could mean anything, everyone was left to figure out for themselves what to do.

Never state that more prospecting needs to be done. What you need to state is exactly what behavior will be done to accomplish more prospecting.

If more prospecting means that “every customer who bought more than X amount in the past six months will be contacted by phone for a referral within the next 14 days,” then say it.

What are you going to specifically do with those referrals? Don’t say you are going to “prospect” or “contact” them. What specifically are you going to do?

“A salesperson will be assigned to each referral, and within 48 hours the referral will be contacted in person by phone. Should an in-person phone call not happen, an overnight Express Mail letter will be sent. The following is the exact text of that letter.”

How you define prospecting is up to you, but make sure you define it in specific behaviors to be followed.



Everyone knows exactly what prospecting means, right? Everyone will have the same answer, right?