In Sales, the Goal is to Get to “Yes” - or Get to “No” - ASAP Both are Worthy Destinations, if for Different Reasons. The Only Enemy . . . is Apathy.
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Sales is a process that requires a “system” to be optimally successful.  There are 
numerous sales systems available – no need to elaborate here.  If an MLS is not 
being provided with a system by their up line, I recommend they scout a sales 
system that reflects their personal and professional presentation style.  As of this 
writing, Google had 23,400,000 matches for the phrase “sales system,” and nearly 
3X that many for “selling system.” Something on the first or second page will likely 
fit your needs.

As every salesperson acknowledges, a sales system begins with a numbers game – 
the basics of targeting X dollars and X closes by making X presentations as a result 
of X appointments, which requires X phone calls, from X number of leads.  If your 
up line is doing its job, it should be providing you with sufficient leads to allow you 
to reach your target.

Of course, not all suspects are prospects.  And not all prospects can become good 
customers.  Sometimes there’s just not a good fit in terms of your solutions and 
their situation.  That’s where proper qualification comes in.  This first step of your 
sales process is determining whether or not you, as salesperson, want to do 
business with this particular company or individual.  It’s different than traditional 
product sales in that you are interviewing a prospect to qualify them for your 
product or service.  And when you use that approach, a good system leads to a 
logical conclusion of whether what the MLS has is a good fit for what this 
prospect needs.

A good sales process always contains well-defined benchmarks–it may be 5 or 7 
or 9-steps, but each step requires a pause and a quick synopsis of where everyone 
is in the discussion and whether we are in agreement to advance to the next step.

Each benchmark produces, in essence, a “yes, we are in agreement”, or “no, 
we are not.”  Where there’s a “no,” the merchant already has everything you’re 
discussing, his equipment is current, his service is excellent, and/or his rate is 
competitive.  The idea is to uncover pain and problems, and not everyone is so 
beleaguered at any given moment.

How often you end up with a prospect who is frustratingly delighted with everything 
depends on how, and by whom, the appointment was made.  If the MLS makes his 
own appointments, greater emphasis on pre-qualification is clearly in order.

An effective MLS is as much detective as salesperson, tasked with uncovering pains, 
including those the prospect does not even realize he suffers from. “I didn’t know 
this equipment could do checks,
or I didn’t realize that auto settle at night could be 
included, or that this equipment would authorize or guarantee checks”
are common 
responses to probative questions.  This is pain through education and it’s a potential 
gold mine for a creative MLS.

So, follow the process, get those yeses, and make the sales.  But never forget to   
embrace “no,” because it uncovers hidden agendas, and, more importantly, true pain.  
It is a word to be loved.  And it’s a calibrator.  Both yes and no provide valuable  
intelligence about your prospect, and are qualifiers. The key is to be a good interviewer, 
one who asks the questions that lead to a logical conclusions through the person’s 
own answers.   If this is beginning to sound a little Dale Carnegie-ish,  I believe there 
is much to be learned from those classes.

Carnegie’s Speaking class is of particular value because tonal qualities and body 
language are explored.  People absorb new information differently, some visually, 
others by hearing or reading – or a combination.  Knowing who’s doing what by 
tuning-in to the nuances of the prospect’s responses will help you speak the 
customer’s language, in more ways than one.

A widely distributed cartoon (also a paperback, I discovered recently) purports that, 
the sale begins when the customer says “NO!” I agree, though with qualification.  
There are fine lines between “no, I do not agree with that, “no, you have not made 
your point”, and “no, and I need to end this conversation.”  Understanding the 
difference is critical, but three “no’s of any variety means you are out.

At the third” no,” understand that it’s over.  The fat lady is singing.  Ask for a referral, 
and do the wrap.  That is the conventional wisdom, and it is valid.

The leading sales systems in-place today have been honed for decades, and in some 
cases, centuries. And for you to succeed, it’s imperative that the process be followed 
to the letter. Don’t embellish or attempt to improve it.  This may seem too “canned” 
for your taste, and the idea of answering objection #47 with response B-95 may seem 
a little obsessive.  But there are only so many objections and obstacles, and a limited 
cadre of potential responses.  The best use of this highly evolved material is for you 
to read it and rehearse it until it becomes you.

Better still, rehearse in front of mirror, or videotape yourself. You will be amazed at 
how your natural facial expressions reflect upon the person you’re talking with.  
Develop the craft of an actor who is polished, and engaged with his audience.  
To do otherwise is to mimic a bad dinnertime telemarketer.

Once you have established a rhythm for the presentation, its verbiage may become 
old-sounding and repetitive to your ears. Remember, though,  it is always new to 
your prospect.  And satisfying their needs is what’s important.

If you follow the steps, hear some no's and overcome them, they often morph into 
yeses, and, in the logical process, result in a sale.  At the very least, you will have 
minimized the amount of time wasted by acting on signals. Ignoring negative signals 
means you just move the barrier higher – the second “no” is often more emphatic 
than its predecessor.

In this field, yes makes you money, and no saves you money.  The only way to lose 
is if your prospect is apathetic – a very unlikely outcome, indeed if you use a good 
sales system.

Biff Matthews is President of Thirteen Inc, the parent company of 
CardWare International.  He is one of 12 founding members of the ETA, 
serving on its board, advisory board and committees.  (740) 522-2150