Story 2 - USING A KID TO CLOSE Kevin's Magic Trick - The Vanishing Prospects


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Sales Autopsy
by Dan Seidman



I'd been struggling to sell as much as my colleagues and someone in the office suggested that I attend the Million Dollar Round Table Conference.

There I would absorb techniques from the best insurance salespeople of all time. These men and women had been through the fire and knew every nuance of dealing with prospects. They knew every objection and could - with creativity and wit - disarm trouble as it ticked away. They would show me the path to selling success.

So I scrounged up $1,000 (I couldn't afford) to pay for a flight, hotel and conference that I couldn't afford to miss.

The speakers were brilliant and often quite funny. And I heard some great ideas that appeared to work magically with poor prospects. I just had to adapt them immediately, to improve my performance. You can imagine how powerful it would be to apply responses to tough objections - objections that had completely baffled me as the new guy on the job.

One of these was so outrageous, it just had to work.

An old-timer in the business said that when he was pitching at someone's home and they just stone-walled him on buying insurance, the rep would walk over to the baby, lift it out of its seat and hold it in front of the couple.

"If you don't buy insurance," he began, shaking his head sadly, "you're not refusing me. You're refusing him, and his future."

Wow! That was bold, but bold is just what I needed to try - after being jerked around badly by prospects for six months.

So first time I'm presenting a young couple with their kid in his chair, I get a no or a stall or something that meant no sale.

I pause dramatically, raise my hand and stride over to the child.

Up I scoop him into my arms, place his little cheek next to mine and fire off my line. "You might think you don't need insurance. But I want to tell you that you are not refusing me, but refusing him, and his future."

The husband turned purple with rage.

"How dare you!" screams the wife. And the little guy starts wailing.

She snatches him from me and dad barks, "Get out of our house."

And then I do something really dumb. Baby screaming, wife sobbing, husband angry, I try to recover a lost sale that is truly and absolutely gone. I stutter an apology and begin to explain that this is so important, and begin to defend my company or product or me... I just don't remember exactly what I said, because all I do remember is the man reaching atop the refrigerator and suddenly there's a handgun in his hand.

I left fairly fast and though it was a warm summer's evening, I didn't stop shaking for about an hour.

Now I sell by using my personality, rather than someone else's. My responses are laid back and calm, rather than dramatic and attacking. 

POSTMORTEM: Kevin realized, and I trust you now do as well, that great sales pros don't have to change personalities to sell well. You can be yourself, responding to objections as you would in conversation with friends and family. Go to conferences, learn more, but adapt new knowledge to yourself, rather than mimicking others.



Want a UNIQUE & USEFUL Sales Conference? It is time to kick their sales tails with some hilarious selling blunders. Dan also gives away some very unusual goodies at all his programs, best-selling book Sales Autopsy; video game Revenge of the Reps, and The Sales Comic Book (there is nothing like it on this planet, possibly any planet!).

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