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January 15, 2004  

Sales & Sales Management Newsletter
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This issue deals with "buyers empathy" and
other forms of TIO (Think It Over).

by Ted Gulas

Situation: The great news, Billy Bob was involved with a large amount of sales calls, seeing lots of future clients, and making numerous presentations and proposals. The bad news, his clients seemed to be taking a long time to make buying decisions. Mary Sue, who was the sales manager, explained "that the future clients were being less than truthful with him," and "that he should expect only 5 to 10% of the proposals to turn into business." Billy Bob did not believe that assessment. It made sense to him that these prospects would value the complexity of the proposed solution.

Problem: Billy Bob's non-supportive buy cycle was showing. Billy Bob's own method of buying involved going to several vendors, collecting massive amounts of information, and spending a great deal of time evaluating which options and vendors to choose. In fact, Billy Bob could certainly understand why his buyers needed so much time to consider their options. After all, they were just like him. Billy Bob's "buyers empathy" resulted in stalls, put-offs, excuses, sob stories, and other forms of TIO (Think It Over).

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Solution: Mary Sue suggested that Billy Bob begin to work on his mind set by reprogramming how he bought large items. To expedite Billy Bob's change in attitude, Mary Sue began to wipe out Billy Bob's prospects from the pipeline based on when and if the next advancement was qualified. Once Billy Bob saw the number of disqualified opportunities, he realized the importance of practicing his how, why, and when questions. Asking for timely decisions and commitments made more sense and helped set the ground rules for a clear next step. To reinforce the surface change, Mary Sue prescribed 30 days of listening to Sales Mind Audio CD, the section which reinforces positive buy cycle. Before long, Billy Bob could go out to a fancy restaurant with his wife and order anything off the menu without looking at the prices. The result a 30% increase in sales.

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