bot trainer

Training Document for Chat Bot

Context 1: EVALUATION Brainwriting

In addition to brainstorming, there’s another great technique when it comes to generating ideas, known as Brainwriting. Brainwriting involves people coming into a room and collectively evaluating ideas as a group. This technique is especially useful when working with introverted individuals who may not readily share their ideas in a group setting.

Context 2: EVALUATION Brainwriting

Brainwriting is a technique used for generating ideas where individuals evaluate and build upon each other’s ideas as a group. It is particularly effective in settings with introverted participants who may not feel comfortable sharing ideas verbally.

Context 3: EVALUATION Brainwriting

Brainwriting is a technique that involves evaluating and expanding on ideas as a group, providing an alternative to traditional brainstorming. It is especially beneficial when working with introverted individuals who may prefer written communication over verbal discussions.

Context 4: EVALUATION Brainwriting

Brainwriting is a collaborative technique for idea generation where individuals collectively evaluate and build upon ideas in a group setting. This method is particularly useful for engaging introverted participants who may feel more comfortable expressing themselves in writing.

Context 5: EVALUATION Brainwriting

Brainwriting is a technique that allows individuals to evaluate and develop ideas together as a group, providing a structured approach to idea generation. This method is beneficial for introverted individuals who may prefer written communication over verbal discussions.

Context 6: Exchanging Brains


Context 7: Exchanging Brains


Context 8: PREPARATION Capturing Ideas

During the preparation phase, it is essential to absorb new information and conduct research effectively. Choosing reliable systems like Evernote for capturing and organizing information can enhance productivity and streamline the research process.

Context 9: Model Yourself with NLP

Modeling self using NLP involves techniques like anchoring to tap into and control emotional states. This skill is powerful in influencing others and improving interpersonal relationships.


BANKVAULT offers comprehensive B.A.N.K. virtual training resources focused on the B.A.N.K. Methodology, emotional intelligence, relationship improvement, and sales training best practices. The platform utilizes interactive tools, expert video instruction, mentorship, and gamified exercises for an engaging learning experience.


BANKVAULT provides access to a wide range of B.A.N.K. virtual training resources, covering topics such as the B.A.N.K. Methodology, emotional intelligence, relationship enhancement, and sales training best practices. The platform offers interactive tools, expert guidance, and gamified case studies to facilitate effective learning.


BANKVAULT serves as a comprehensive platform for B.A.N.K. virtual training resources, offering insights into the B.A.N.K. Methodology, emotional intelligence, relationship building, and sales training strategies. The training includes interactive tools, expert video instruction, mentorship, and gamified exercises for an engaging learning experience.

Context 13: Preparation Stage Exercises

Effective preparation involves choosing reliable systems like Evernote for capturing and organizing information. Having tools like a whiteboard can aid in absorbing and organizing ideas during the preparation stage.

Context 14: Preparation Stage Exercises

Utilizing tools such as Evernote and whiteboards can enhance the preparation stage by aiding in the capture and organization of information. Having a system that you trust for storing ideas is crucial for effective preparation.

Context 15: Brainwriting Technique

Brainwriting is a simple yet effective technique for generating a large number of ideas in a short period. It involves evaluating and exploring ideas collectively as a group, making it a valuable method for brainstorming sessions.

Context 16: Brainwriting Technique

Brainwriting is a technique that facilitates idea generation by evaluating and exploring concepts as a group. This method can help generate numerous ideas efficiently during brainstorming sessions.

Context 17: Brainwriting Technique

Brainwriting is a valuable technique for generating ideas by collectively exploring and evaluating concepts as a group. This method can be highly effective in quickly generating a wide range of ideas during brainstorming sessions.

Context 18: Brainwriting Technique

Brainwriting is a simple yet powerful method for generating ideas by evaluating and exploring concepts as a group. This technique can help in generating a large number of ideas efficiently during brainstorming sessions.

Context 19: Brainwriting Technique

Brainwriting is an effective technique for generating ideas by collectively exploring and evaluating concepts as a group. This method can lead to the generation of a diverse range of ideas in a short amount of time during brainstorming sessions.

Context 20: Capturing Ideas

Having a reliable system like Evernote for capturing and storing information is crucial for effective preparation. Tools that sync across devices, like Evernote, provide convenience and accessibility for organizing research and ideas.

Context 21: Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Model

The Appreciative Inquiry (AI) model focuses on organizational change by bringing out the best in individuals and their organizations. It emphasizes strengths, successes, and possibilities through the 4-D process: Discover, Dream, Design, and Delivery.

Context 22: Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Model

The Appreciative Inquiry (AI) model is centered on organizational change that highlights strengths, successes, and possibilities. Through the 4-D process of Discover, Dream, Design, and Delivery, AI aims to bring out the best in individuals and organizations.

Context 23: Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Model

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a model of organizational change that emphasizes strengths, successes, and possibilities. By following the 4-D process of Discover, Dream, Design, and Delivery, AI aims to bring out the best in individuals and organizations.

Context 24: Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Model

The Appreciative Inquiry (AI) model is focused on organizational change that leverages strengths, successes, and possibilities. Through the 4-D process of Discover, Dream, Design, and Delivery, AI aims to facilitate positive transformations within individuals and organizations.


Table of Contents


  •  Start Up Plan (pg.1)

Creating a Successful Selling System


@revenue Selling Process and Action Steps


A successful selling experience, according to @revenue, is achieved when one of the following outcomes is attained:

  1. The presentation is made and the order is received.
  2. The presentation is made and the prospect decides not to buy the product or service, allowing us to move on. A “no” is the second best outcome of an appointment.
  3. The prospect is disqualified as a potential user of the product or service at present, but commits to a future need. Both the salesperson and the prospect agree on the steps that will be taken between now and then.
  4. The prospect is disqualified as a potential user of the product or service early in the selling process, minimizing time investment.

The key lies in how we arrive at these outcomes. It’s about the path we take to reach a “yes,” a “no,” or a definite action for the future. It’s not simply a reaction to an event; rather, it’s an intentional and well-defined course of action that must be pursued. Together, let’s make every selling experience a resounding success!


How is success measured in a sales system?

  1. A well-defined system, with clear steps for both the salesperson and the prospect, paves the way for a favorable outcome. It’s all about completing the order or ending the effort with success!
  2. Count on consistent and predictable results throughout the sales process. No surprises, just reliable outcomes.
  3. Let’s be efficient! Time, effort, and finances should be wisely invested in the right prospects. No drain, all gain!
  4. It’s all about making sense for both the salesperson and the prospect. This one-on-one connection ensures a win-win situation.

Success is within reach when these factors align


What does the current sales system look like? 

  1. What are the specific steps that should be taken?  Are there any?
  2. Does this system anticipate the prospect’s likely responses and reactions?
  3. Does this approach enable the salesperson and the prospect to quickly and efficiently determine if it is a good fit?
  4. Do both agree on what will happen during each step?
  5. Does this system have specific criteria to separate prospects from suspects before scheduling appointments?
  6. Does this system have specific criteria to identify the prospect’s needs quickly and uncover the elements involved in the prospect’s decision to buy?
  7. If the steps are followed in the system, are the results measurable and favorably predictable? Can the results be duplicated from one selling situation to another?
  8. Does the system allow the salesperson to maintain control?
  9. Does the system allow the salesperson to review and see clearly what went wrong or right and why?


Time for reflection


Using these critical questions, inspect the system and see how the current system rates on a scale of 1-10 for each question, with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent.


What is the benefit of having a clearly defined sales process that is effective and efficient?


How to Track Your Sales Skills Progress


Tracking your progress in sales is super important, so you can see how much better you’re getting at closing deals. Here’s a quick overview of the different stages of sales mastery:

  1. Beginner: At this stage, you’re still learning the ropes and trying to figure out how to overcome the challenges of the sales process. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal to feel a little lost at first. Just keep practicing and you’ll get the hang of it.
  2. Progressor: As you start applying your skills, you might feel unsure about the process and struggle with the details. That’s okay! Everyone goes through this phase. Just keep at it and you’ll eventually get better.
  3. Performer: At this stage, you’re starting to see some real results from your efforts. Your performance is still a bit rough around the edges, but you’re definitely on the right track. Keep up the good work!
  4. Master: At this level, you’re a sales rockstar! You know exactly what you’re doing and you’re closing deals like a boss. You’re confident, you’re smooth, and you’re always one step ahead of the competition. Keep up the amazing work!

Remember, sales mastery takes time and practice. Just keep pushing forward and you’ll eventually reach your goals. You’ve got this!


What is the Prospect’s “ Strategy” for Dealing with Salespeople?


Strategy #1: Encourage salespeople to make dynamic presentations and generate compelling proposals, leveraging them as valuable sources of information.

Strategy #2: Challenge salespeople to go the extra mile to secure the sale, building trust and commitment without making any compromises.

Strategy #3: Leverage the information willingly provided by the salesperson as a powerful bargaining tool with other suppliers, unlocking better prices or additional benefits.


Let’s maximize your sales potential with these effective strategies! 💪💼


The Prospect’s Greatest Fears:

  1. Loss of control over the process.
  2. Purchasing a product or service that falls short of their expectations.
  3. Overpaying for the solution they need.
  4. Unpleasant surprises!


Addressing these concerns is pivotal for establishing trust and guaranteeing utmost satisfaction. Together, we can triumph over these challenges!


What are the clearly defined steps in the @revenue selling process?

Envision the selling experience as a logical and progressive journey. Each step must be followed by the salesperson and the prospect in sequence. This way, both parties are aware of their progress. There will be no surprises or misunderstandings about the next course of action. The key lies in not skipping this step!


The Marketing Step: This comprehensive strategy drives market growth, paving the way for success. Here are key questions to consider:

  • Which market segments should we enter, abandon, or remain in to maximize our potential?
  • How do we leverage our unique selling points (USPs) to stand out from competitors?
  • Is our company positioned optimally and ready to seize market opportunities?
  • What emerging opportunities can we capitalize on?
  • What potential threats should we be vigilant about?


The Prospecting step: This is the key process to confidently identify and qualify prospects for the product or service.

Actions to take:

– Determine the optimal mix of prospecting channels that yield maximum effectiveness for the proposed business and target markets.

– Create a robust prospecting plan that is both measurable and manageable, ensuring a continuous flow of the desired number of leads.

– Implement strategies for success, confidently driving your business forward.


The Relationship Step:

Establishing an optimal business environment is crucial.

Key concepts to understand:

  • Prospects not only prefer but also trust doing business with people they like.
  • The salesperson plays a pivotal role in nurturing the relationship throughout the selling process.
  • The sales process revolves around the prospect, not the presentation


The Agenda Step: The inclusion of the “control” element ensures a predictable process, facilitating smoother business interactions.

Key concepts to understand:

  • The “Method of Conduct” clearly defines expectations for both parties, establishing a solid foundation for doing business.
  • By outlining an agenda for each step, both parties are encouraged to fully commit and honor the process. This fosters positive outcomes and productive collaborations.


The Discovery Step: This step helps to discover why prospects buy. 

Key concepts to understand:

  • The salesperson must uncover the prospect’s reasons for buying the product or service.
  • The prospect’s reasons to buy are more important than the salesperson’s reasons to sell.
  •  The salesperson must determine the impact the purchase will have on the prospect.


The Commitment Step: This step determines if the prospect is committed to the purchase.

Questions to answer:

  • Is the purchase a top priority for the prospect?
  • Is the prospect willing to do whatever is necessary to complete the sale [Could, Would, or Must fix]
  • Has the prospect made a commitment to work with the salesperson? Do you want to work with me to fix this?


The Decision-Making Step: This is where it is determined how the buying decision is made.

Questions to answer:

  • Is the salesperson dealing with the individual who has the final buying authority?
  • Who can influence the decision?
  • Who has the veto power?
  • What criteria will be used to make the decision?
  • How long will it take to make the final decision?


The Financial Planning Step: This is where it should be determined if the prospect can commit the resources necessary to complete the sale.

Questions to answer:

  •  Is the prospect willing to commit the resources necessary to complete the sale?
  • Are the resources available now? If not now, when?


The Presentation Step: This step helps to bring closure to the process.

Concepts to grasp:

  • Only qualified prospects are entitled to a presentation.
  • The purpose of the presentation – to make a buying decision – is clearly understood by the prospect.
  • The presentation focuses specifically on the prospect’s reasons for buying.


The Ambush Step: This step heads off buyer’s remorse.

Questions to answer:

  •  What would cause the prospect to have second thoughts about the purchase?
  • What events could potentially invalidate the sales?
  • How will the prospect react if one of these events occurs?


The Implementation Step: This step creates a smooth transition from sale to delivery.

Questions to answer:

  • What happens after the “deal is sealed”?
  • What are the initial responsibilities of the client and the salesperson?
  • What are the subsequent responsibilities of the client and the salesperson?


The Customer Retention Step: This is where an ongoing relationship is maintained.

Question to answer:

  • Is there a plan in place to build customer loyalty?
  • Is the new customer viewed as a current “transaction” or as a long-term asset?
  • Is there a plan to provide service beyond the prospect’s expectations?


Time for Self-Critique

In a brief outline compare your selling process with this process. Does your system allow you to control or let the prospect take control?


Time to think

Now take some time to list how the @revenue steps will help you in your current sales efforts.


How will creating and actually defining steps for both you and your clients keep you from wasting time, effort, finance, and spirit?


Lessons Learned

What lessons have you learned?


What @revenue steps are you going to take to change?


Why? And when will you start?


The Fast Track – Elevating the Process Quickly


To get the desired results, the following list has been compiled. It is called an “ Elevation Process” to get you quickly and efficiently into the system. 


Concentrate on these specific tasks and understand these steps as quickly as possible. The sooner this is done, the faster the results will be!


The components consist of the following:

  • Creating The Marketing Plan
  • Creating the Prospecting Plan
  • Developing a self-elevation Financial Picture
  • The Compelling Reason Conversation
  • Setting the Agenda Step
  • The Specification Step
  • The Decision-Making Step
  • The Financial Planning Step
  • Creating a Daily Manager
  • Interview Cheat Sheet
  • Interview Debriefing Form


Specific examples of support material to accomplish these tasks are included. Review these with the coach so they may be fine-tuned.


Creating a Prospecting Plan


List Target Markets


What are the compelling reasons for using the service/ product?


What are the prospect’s Greatest concerns with the service/ product offering?


What are the underlying reasons for choosing the alternative to the competition?


What are the compelling reasons or questions that have been devised to have them search for an alternative?


What are the consequences of those questions for the prospect?


What are the prospecting sources that can be used to penetrate the market?









What are the costs associated with the same?









What are the frequencies of the above activities and how are they monitored in the success journal?









What PASSIVE prospecting methods will also be utilized?









Define the time to be dedicated to the prospecting sources as a percentage of the total effort, and then the exact numbers of leads to be created from the same.









The Prospecting Wheel


Complete the wheel with the different prospecting activities and sources that have been determined.


Self Evaluation- Financial Picture


My Financial Picture Date Name


Monthly Expenses Amount Monthly Desired Expenses       Amount

Auto Payment/ Gas/ etc

Child Care


Mortgage/ Rent


Loan Payments/Credit Cards

Health Care




Total Monthly Expenses Increased Requirement


Business Activity Plan Amount Monthly Result Requirement


Monthly Financial Goal

Monthly base/ Salary/ Draw

Amount of Commissions Needed  

Commision Earned Avg per Sale   

Number of Sales Needed per Month

Avg% of Closes per 1st Interviews

Appointments Needed per Month


Activity Requirement Goal Actual

Phone Calls- Dials


Personal Observation

Networking Leads

Luncheon Leads

Client Referrals

Strategic Partner Leads

Seminars/ Trade SHows


Total Leads


Total Leads


1st Appointments

2nd- Closing Appts

Actual Closings Needed

Total $ Amount Closings

Income Generated



Compelling Reasons Approach:

  • “Name, this is  ________ of ________, do you have a moment to talk?”
  • “Have you ever heard of us? That’s not unusual.”
  • “Name, can I tell you why I called, and then you can tell me whether or not we should continue?”
  • “Thank you, Name, I typically work with (this is where you will describe what you do and how you do it as a partner with your clientele).”
  • “Name, I don’t suppose that you are concerned with (this is the first of three compelling reasons why your prospects are challenged or frustrated)”


  • “They have found that:_______________.”



  • “They were having problems with:_________________.”
  • “I don’t suppose that any of these may be concerns of yours, or are they?”
  • If they answer “yes” to any of the above, then ask the following:

“How long have you had this problem? Have you tried to fix this? What happens if you dont fix it? How much is this costing you? What is the impact on your bottom line? What is the personal impact on you?”


If they don’t respond to the compelling reasons, then ask…………………


  • “What would you say is your number one challenge or   regarding your current _______________?”
  • Follow with:   “Name, I don’t know whether or not what I have done for other ______ and their ___________ Issues would be of interest to you, but would you be willing to set aside an hour sometime in the next couple of weeks to just TALK and see if what we have done for others would be a fit for you?”
  • “Thank you! When is good for you?” Then set the Agenda Step!


Setting the Agenda for the Meeting:

“Name, in order to be most efficient with our time, if it is OK with you, I would like to set an agenda for our meeting. Is that OK with you?”

  1. “ I have our meeting on ________ At your office____ at date and time for about an hour.”
  2. “During our meeting, I would like your permission to ask some hard questions regarding the frustrations and major challenges you face, which will allow me to see if what we do will make sense for you? Is that Ok? I appreciate that.”
  3. “Naturally I would also expect that you would have some questions for me and I WANT YOU TO FEEL YOU CAN ASK ME ANYTHING.”
  4. “Does that make sense? Good.”
  5. “ Lastly, at the end of our meeting, or at any time during it, if you feel that what we offer doesn’t make sense, would you be in telling me No at that time? Good, thank you….. On the other hand if what you hear does make sense could you then tell me that you are interested and then we will go forward with whatever steps we mutually agree upon?  Good…. Look, Name, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, it has happened to me, but in my experience, when someone tells me that they want to THINK IT OVER, they usually are not interested. They are only telling me they want to THINK IT OVER so they won’t hurt my feelings. Then would it be ok if we agree that at the end of our meeting if it’s a NO then that’s OK and no hard feelings? If you are interested, we’ll go forward, but I WANT TO THINK IT OVER really is a NO unless we have a clear and concise understanding of what will happen next. Good, Thank you.”
  6. “Name, do you see any reason that you will need to change our appointment? I ask this because like you, I run a pretty tight schedule, and sometimes I get a phone call the day before, or even a couple of hours before a scheduled meeting stating the time needs to be changed. That’s not going to happen with us, is it Name? Because if you need to reschedule let’s do that now. Are you sure? OK, great I will see you ______ on ________.”
  7. “Do you have my phone number in case there is a real emergency?”


Success Journal

Your exercise is to create a success journal using Gsheets/Excel The ideas that you should include are as follows: Your daily activities that flow into a close. Your daily goals for your Spirit should be included. Your goals for your behavior in relation to building your business should be included. Work with your coach to create a success journal that you own and are willing to follow to achieve your goals.


Success Journal

Client Review Sheet

Agenda: Prior to the meeting

How much time?

Anything changed?

Compelling Problem:

  1. 2. 3.


How long

is Fixed?

What Happened?


How much does it cost?

Past $

Future $

Total $    PxF=T


Impact at all?




Give up? C S M? Help?



How do you move forward when making impacting decisions like this?

Who else is involved?

What time frame?

What happens when the final decision is agreed upon? Steps or one person?

Is that what you feel should happen here?


1 to 10 result:


Why that high? Or From my experience, a score in that range means there is really nothing I can say or do that will make a difference is that the case here? What will you need to see, hear or experience to get you to a 10?


Finance: How much are you willing and able to invest to overcome this problem?


Bracket area

  Where will it come from? When can this happen? Terms? Is it Fair?


Interview Debriefing Sheet









Creating a Relationship with Prospects

  1. Did you mirror the prospect in body language, tone, pace, and communication style?
  2. At any time, did you perceive that the prospect may be uncomfortable and if so, did you stop to address it?
  3. Did you hold yourself accountable for the prospect’s “Ok ness?”
  4. Did you check if you were hearing the prospect correctly by paraphrasing their comments and concerns and then asking them if this was correct?
  5. Did you determine the prospect’s NLP programming and respond in kind so that communication was on his desired level?
  6. Overall were both of you comfortable with one another and did a 70-30% split maintained in the conversation?
  7. Was the entire interview about them and not you? 


Making Agendas with Prospects

  1. Did you review an outcome for each of the 7 elements of the agenda?
  • Time, Date. Place How long
  • Permission to ask questions
  • Purpose
  • Prospect’s Expectations
  • Salesperson’s Expectations
  • Outcome
  • Undisturbed
  1. Were there any necessary revisions?


  1. If the prospect didn’t adhere to the agenda, did you back up and question why? If you agree with the changes, did you try to reschedule and ask if it was over?


  1. Did you resolve the situation in a way that represented their best interest as well as yours?


Compelling Reasons to do Business

  1. Did you ask questions or tell stories that require the prospect to describe their reasons for meeting you?
  2. Were you able to discover the details and reasons for their problem?
  3. Did you uncover through questioning the impact of the problem on the business and on themselves?
  4. DId you qualify the cost of the problem?
  5. Did you describe how you strategically partner with a company?
  6. Did you uncover the compelling reason why they need your help?
  7. Did you summarize and review the problem and verify that this was their concern?
  8. Did you ask the prospect for any additional information?
  9. Did you find out if it was a MUST FIX issue and get their agreement?
  10. Did you ask if they wanted YOUR help?
  11. Did you give the prospect time to respond with their issues and try not to overpower them with features and benefits? Did you ask questions when questioned?


Understanding the Prospect’s Decision-Making Process


  1. Did you review the problems and what has taken place up to this point?
  2. Find out what is involved. (Who? Where? When? How? And Why?….. They make their decisions in this manner)
  3. Ask for agreement on what will happen after your presentation.
  4. Ask how each person would influence the final decision.
  5. Ask how much time would be allotted for the presentation.
  6. Ask, on a scale of 1-10, at what point the client is at, and how they can move to a 10.


Uncovering the Prospect’s Financial Plan

  1. Did you review the problem and decision process and ask if anything may have changed?
  2. Did you use bracketing, third-party stories, or similar situations to get them to a budget figure?
  3. Did you respond to stalls or distrust with stories or ask if there may have been a bad experience previously regarding budget issues?
  4. Did you determine if they were willing and able to invest now?
  5. Did you equate the price of your service to their quantified problems cost?
  6. Did you provide an option for dividing the sale if needed?
  7. Were the options clearly defined and agreed to by all?
  8. Did you explain how payment would be expected as well as when and how it should be received?
  9. Did you ask if this is a fair price?
  10. Determine if the client is happy with your work if they would give you unlimited introductions while you all are Strategic Partners?


Closing the sale


  1. Review the agenda, compelling reasons, decision process, and budget prior to making the presentation.
  2. Did you prioritize the issues and get an agreement on each resolution the service provides? Is there a 100% agreement for each decision-maker?
  3.  Did you present a solution to the most important problem first? Were they comfortable with each?
  4. If not, did you resolve all issues before moving on to the next issue?
  5. Did you ask the prospect where they are on a scale of 1- 10 after presenting the solution to the prospect’s 3 major compelling reasons? Did you get all decision makers to a 10?
  6. Did you close the sale? Did you ask, what do you want me to do next?
  7. Did you confirm the sale by asking, “Are you 100% sure?”
  8. Did you raise any compromises that may have been made and make sure the client was OK with the resolution?
  9. DId you establish an agenda about what should happen next?
  10. Did you address the possibility of an ambush and ask what they would do? Were they sure? 100%? 


Developing a Winning Attitude


The successful person realizes that their spirit and attitude control their perception of the world. By learning to harness their reactions to external events, they are able to gain complete control over their environment. This control allows them to produce the outcome they desire.


Developing a winning attitude is essential to achieving success. There are three major components of a winning attitude: a positive self-image, mental toughness, and a positive belief system.


Developing Mental Toughness


Mental toughness is having the ability to do what has to be done, regardless of the situation or how one person personally feels about it. To be truly successful, one has to be willing to pay the price.   People do not have fewer problems than people. Life can be a consistent stream of problems. It is not what happens that separates success from failure. It is how circumstances are perceived and what is done in reaction to the circumstance that makes the difference.


One of the major reasons things are not done is fear. Irrational fears developed that prevent the things that are required to achieve success from being done. In order to develop mental toughness, it is necessary to confront and overcome these fears.


Fear is basically a survival mechanism instilled in us by nature. It has a physical component, which is called the “fight or flight” reflex. This reflex occurs when adrenaline is produced and released into the bloodstream, which causes the arteries to contract in order to control blood loss, making the heart rate go up. The body has prepared itself for physical activity and has protected itself from an event that could cause serious injury.


Fear also has a psychological dimension. One is naturally afraid of things that they do not comprehend. When things are perceived as dangerous or as having the ability to harm, then circumstances can cause fear.


The problem is that because human beings possess the ability to imagine, situations can be created in the mind that will cause the body to react as if the danger were real. These irrational fears can trigger the same physical and psychological effects that a real survival threat would trigger. This causes the sweating or nervousness that one experiences before public speaking as well as the heart-pounding that happens prior to picking up the telephone to make a cold call. When viewed rationally, these are not survival situations, but the body reacts as though they were.


The key is learning how to control these physical reactions and channeling this energy into positive behaviors. When these fears are confronted, they can be overcome. By doing the things that are feared, the rational mind is empowered to learn that in reality there was nothing to fear in the first place. That mind also begins to see that other irrational fears are nothing but “ghosts” and confidence in the ability to overcome fear increases dramatically.


Time for Reflection


Have you ever had an irrational fear that you finally confronted, only to find yourself wondering afterward, “What was I so afraid of” 


List the selling behaviors that trigger your fear reflex such as: cold calling, presenting to a group, meeting strangers, etc.


Make a commitment and plan to confront these fears.


Maintain a Positive Self-Image

It is extremely important for one to feel good about themselves and see themselves as a winner. The reason for this is that one will only be able to perform in a manner that is consistent with their self-image. How can one become successful if they believe that they are a failure? How can they achieve superior results if they see themselves as average?


The problem is that it is easy to confuse the roles that are played in everyday life with the unique identity and spirit that one truly is. Our society teaches people to equate success in various roles with self-worth. The net result is that many people define themselves by the results that are achieved while performing in various situations. This causes a lowering of self-esteem when things don’t go as planned or when the results achieved are less than those that were intended. 


One’s worth does not depend on their role performance. Human beings are unique creatures. In the entire universe, there is no other entity that is equal. As such, intrinsic value is unlimited. One must recognize this and never allow external events to influence how one perceives their value as a human being.


Dr. Benjamin Bloom of the University of Chicago studied 100 extraordinarily successful young athletes, musicians, and students. He was surprised to find that most of the young prodigies didn’t begin by showing great flashes of brilliance. Instead, the belief that they could be special came before any overt self-image and a belief in their own abilities before their talents could be developed.


The Nature of beliefs


Beliefs are prearranged, organized filters of certain world perceptions. Handled effectively, beliefs can be the most powerful force for creating success in one’s life. On the other hand, beliefs that limit actions and thoughts can be as devastating as resourceful beliefs can be empowering. Beliefs can give one the strength to do things they thought they couldn’t. They provide one with the power to take action and create the world in which they want to live. In fact, there is no more powerful directing force in human behavior than belief.


The birth of excellence begins with one’s awareness that their beliefs are a choice. Beliefs can be chosen that can limit, or that can give support. The trick is to choose the beliefs that are conducive to success as well as the results that are wanted while discarding the beliefs that might hold back or keep from success.


Where do beliefs come from? The environment is the most potent generator of belief. Therefore, it is crucial to create a positive environment. Be surrounded by positive people, thoughts, and experiences. Reject negative thoughts. Be removed from the company of negative people. View every experience, whether successful or not, as a  positive learning experience. One must control their environment, or their environment will control them.


There are other experiences and ways of learning that can also be incubators of belief. There are certain events in everyone’s life that cannot be forgotten. These instances can have such an impact on us that they are instilled into the brain forever. These are the kinds of experiences that form the beliefs that can change our lives.


 A third way to foster a belief is through knowledge. Knowledge is one of the best ways to break the shackles of a limiting environment. No matter how grim the world is, if one can read about the accomplishments of others, he can create the beliefs that will allow him to succeed.


A fourth way that a belief is created is through past results. The surest way to create a belief that something can be done is to do it. Basic training in the US Army maximizes the use of this concept. “Recruits” are constantly placed in situations that force them to overcome their doubts and fears, which result in increased confidence and a positive self-image. They become “soldiers”.


The fifth way to establish a belief is through creating in the mind the experiences that are desired for the future as if it were here and now. Imagination sets human beings apart from all other living creatures. It is a powerful force that can be helpful to create things that don’t exist, to experience them as if they were real, and to have them embedded in our memories as if they had actually occurred.


All of these things are ways to mobilize belief. Unfortunately, most beliefs are formed haphazardly. Things are soaked up -good and bad- from the world around us. But the key idea of this section is that beliefs can be controlled. One can consciously direct their life. Change can happen.


Time for Reflection

What is your self-image? Do you see yourself as a “10”? Do you allow the results of your daily activities to affect how you view your self-worth? Do you have some beliefs that are interfering with your ability to achieve your goals and dreams? Where have they come from? Are you willing to discard them and choose beliefs that will empower you to achieve your goals?


Developing a Positive Belief System

There are seven beliefs that make up the cornerstone of a positive belief system. They include the following:


Everything happens for a reason, and this reason serves us.

When one door closes, another door opens. All successful people have the uncanny ability to focus on what is possible in a situation. What positive results could come from it? No matter how much negative feedback is received from one’s environment, these people still think in terms of possibilities. They believe that every adversity contains the seed of an equivalent, or perhaps even greater, benefit.


There is no such thing as failure. There are only results

Most people in this culture are programmed to fear failure. Successful people don’t see failure; They see that actions have produced results. These results just happen to be the results they were not seeking. This can be a learning experience in which something else can be tried. New actions can be taken and new results will be produced.


Whatever happens, take responsibility.

Great achievers operate from the belief that they create their world. They tend to believe that no matter what happens, whether it’s good or bad, they created it. The phrase that will be heard time and again is, “I am responsible. I’ll take care of it.”


It’s not necessary to understand everything to be able to use everything.

Many successful people don’t believe that one has to know everything about something in order to use it. They can know how to use what’s essential without feeling the need to get bogged down in every detail. Little “mastery” is necessary as long as there is a working knowledge about a lot of things.


People are your greatest resource.

Those who produce outstanding results almost universally have a tremendous sense of respect and appreciation for people. There is a sense of team, a sense of common purpose, and a sense of unity.


Work is play

People who have achieved massive success universally love what they do. One of the keys to success is making a successful marriage between what you do for a living and what you love.


There’s no abiding success without commitment.

If there’s a single belief that seems almost inseparable from success, it’s that there is no great success without great commitment. Consider the most successful people in any field. They’re not necessarily the best, the brightest, the fastest or the strongest, but they’re the most committed. Successful people are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. That is what separates them from the pack.


Time for Reflection

How many of the core “positive beliefs of success” do you hold? Are you willing to change your belief system in order to incorporate them? What will you do to improve and develop your positive belief system

The Marketing Step -Networking 


Understanding and Analyzing the Key Elements of a Market in order to Produce an Effective Marketing Plan


In marketing, the key task of a company is to discover what various target markets want and need, and then deliver the desired products and services to those markets more effectively and efficiently than the competition. The marketing plan is the blueprint for the company’s future growth and success.


Marketing System Action Steps


The Marketing System focuses on a series of steps in building a marketing plan to ensure the following: 

The company’s strengths and weaknesses are honestly and thoroughly assessed.

The key elements and drivers of the market have been efficiently analyzed.

The most promising business opportunities have been isolated.

An effective course of action to take advantage of those opportunities has been developed.


What Is Your Current Marketing Plan?

Ten Most Common Mistakes

  1. Equating marketing with selling
  2. Emphasizing customer acquisition rather than customer care
  3. Focusing only on making a profit on each transaction rather than trying to maximize profit by managing customer lifetime value
  4. Pricing is based on marking up costs and not target/value pricing
  5. Placing the emphasis on selling the product rather than trying to understand the customer’s needs
  6. Developing each piece of collateral separately, rather than integrating all sales tools around a common position and message
  7. Being product/ technology-centered, not market/customer-centered
  8. Not knowing which product lines/ market segments are most profitable
  9. Reacting to changes in the market, not taking the initiative in a high-potential market
  10. Mistaking financial projections for a marketing plan


The Four Steps


Following the “Four Steps” will take you systematically through the market-planning process. You will identify market opportunities and develop a plan to penetrate, capture, and maintain desired positions in these markets.


Step 1- Situation analysis


Understanding the total business environment in which the firm competes is basic to market planning.  The environment determines not only what a firm must do to thrive and grow, but also what is possible for the firm to do. The internal and external environments are analyzed using the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) methodology.


Internal Environment:

Factor Strength Weakness

  1. Profitability                                                                                                      
  2. Sales and Marketing
  3. Quality
  4. Customer Service
  5. Productivity
  6. Financial Resources
  7. Financial Management
  8. Operations
  9. Production & Distribution
  10. Personnel
  11. Training
  12. Reputation


External Environment:

Factor Opportunity Threat

  1. Customer Base
  2. Prospects
  3. Competition
  4. Technology
  5. Political Climate
  6. Government
  7. Legal
  8. Economy




The most important strengths that we possess and the best opportunities that we face are the following:







The most dangerous weaknesses that we have and threats that we face are the following:







Step 2- Market Analysis


Understanding the key drivers of the market, including the competitive landscape, market segments, market dynamics, and emerging market requirements, is essential to formulating strategies to successfully penetrate markets and to defend the company’s market position. Three elements need to be analyzed. They include customer competition and market segmentation.



B to B marketers must understand how customers operate and make money.  This is the foundation for designing a product and service package that will offer the customer economic value ( value proposition). There are four main areas that should be examined. They include the following:

  1. Operations– Each group of customers has, at the heart of its business, a unique set of functions to perform.
  2. Costs – How does the customer incur costs to perform these functions?
  3. Product – What does the customer produce, and how is it used?
  4. Customers – What markets does the customer service?




Competitive analysis determines who present and potential competitors are, which market segments these competitors are serving, how well each competitor meets the requirements of that segment, the position of the competitor in the segment, the market share, and whether or not there is growth in the segment, what plans there are for the segment and likely reactions to competitive attacks. There are five main areas that should be examined. They include the following:


  1. Competitive Structure– What is the number and market share of the competitors supplying each market segment?
  2. Market Success Factors – What factors have allowed this achievement in these market positions?
  3. Market entry Factors – What impediments exist to new competitors entering the market segment?
  4. Competitive Products– strengths and weaknesses
  5. Competitive Firm’s – strengths and weaknesses




B to B market segmentation must be based on common economic, application or usage considerations. Markets naturally break into segments along the following five dimensions:

  1. Industry ( SIC’s) Verticals
  2. End-Use Application
  3. Common Buying Factors
  4. Geography
  5. Account Size


Step 3- Marketing Opportunities


A marketing opportunity is an area of buyer need, interest or an area in which a value proposition exists. This generally means that there is a high probability that the company can perform profitably by satisfying the need. Recognizing these opportunities allows a company to capitalize on them by leveraging its strengths in order to dominate the most profitable market segments. There are three approaches to creating or recognizing market opportunities. They include the following:


Responsive Method- finding an existing need that is undeserved

Anticipated Method – recognizing an emerging or latent need 

Need- Shaping Method – introducing a product or service that nobody asked for often could not conceive of.


Step 4 – Developing an Action Plan


The final step is to develop an action plan that targets the key marketing opportunities, leverages the company’s strengths, positions the company and its products in relation to the competition, and provides the customer with a persuasive value proposition. There are three main elements that must be part of any successful marketing plan. They include the following:


  1. Differentiators – These are company or product strengths that can be leveraged against competitor weaknesses and can be used to separate the company and its products from the competition.
  2. Positioning – A message or market theme must be developed based on differentiators in order to establish the market perceptions of the company and its products in the market segment.
  3. Marketing Mix – The four P’s ( Product, Price, Promotion, and Place) are determined based on the market segment being targeted. The plan must define the product and its characteristics, the price ( including discounts, terms, etc) the methods of promotion, and the methods of distribution to the customer ( direct, OEM’s agents, etc).


Guerrilla Marketing

Small companies do not have the budget or the time to build top-down, strategy-driven marketing plans. These companies need to generate results quickly based on the market realities that face them.

The technique known as “guerrilla” Marketing has the sole purpose of finding a company’s “sweet spot” – i.e. – that subset of customers and prospects that are most likely to do business with the company. Once this subset is identified, the company devises tactics designed to exploit its uniqueness in this subset. These successful tactics are then expanded and turned into a strategy.


Steps to Generate a Guerrilla Marketing Strategy


  1. Interview the most successful (best) customers. Determine the underlying reasons that make these customers so successful with your product or service.
  2. Review your competitive victories. Determine the underlying key reasons why you were chosen over the competition. Determine which tactics you used to secure the sale.
  3. Look for commonalities in the underlying reasons and tactics that were uncovered in steps 1 and 2.
  4. Develop tactics to exploit these commonalities.
  5. Validate that these tactics are working.
  6. Turn the tactics into a strategy.


Lessons Learned

What concepts or techniques have you learned that will improve your marketing activities?


What are your key markets and opportunities?


What are their characteristics?


How will you approach each of them?


When will you complete your marketing plan?


When will you begin to implement your plan?


Are you committed to monitoring your marketing activities?


Goal Setting- Preframe-for-end goal


Goal Setting is Key to Success


Written goals are the key to achieving what is wanted in life.  However, if the goals are just a whim with no relationship to one’s values they will have little effect on one’s behavior.


One of the techniques that have been used is reading the goals daily, or thinking about them daily. The challenge is to do this for 90 days and journal about the experience. It will be one of the most life-changing and power-generating experiences.  Some people do not understand how the mind works in goal setting. This chapter is what has been learned in over 40 years of working with this subject.


The next statement might be worth the entire course, so write it down in your journal. The brain never stops working, so put goals into the mind every day. Ask the mind to come up with a plan. There is tremendous power in one believing that this works. This is why prayer is so powerful. When a person has a strong belief system, this approach works since everything is based on belief. 


The act of writing goals that are important to a person has an effect that the majority of people in sales and business owners have never experienced. Earl Nightingale stated that the strangest secret is, “ You become what you think about most of the time”. A word of caution…. This is a double-edged sword, so be careful what thoughts are being pondered.


Goals will be achieved if one does not quit. Our clients are told, “results guaranteed!” However, the client alone is 100% responsible for achieving their goals. Take charge of their life. The losers in life blame someone else or something else. The winners take full responsibility for their lives and for achieving all their goals. 


Someone said to always keep the end in mind. It has helped me to stay focused on what is really important and to make better decisions when difficult problems appear. And they will appear.


Another simple concept that has helped in goal setting and planning is learning when to actually take action on a goal. The rule is if the best case is desirable, and we can live with the worst case, do the action step.


How to Set Goals


List the top seven values and rank them from one to seven. ( Example: family, faith, wealth, independence, recognition, education, where you live, known as a leader, image, friends, safety control, self-education, accomplishment, service to others, etc) 


Rank ___ _______________________

Rank ___ _______________________

Rank ___ _______________________

Rank ___ _______________________

Rank ___ _______________________

Rank ___ _______________________

Rank ___ _______________________


I do not know where the SMART concept was first learned, but it has been used for years in goal-setting material. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.


Too many people break some part of this concept when setting goals. Keep this concept in mind as goals are written. Keep the importance of values in mind. Values will help drive goals. Do not let goals conflict with values. Values can change over a lifetime, of course, therefore goals may also change.


An old man once said to me that family, in the end, is so much more important than anything else. If business goals are balanced with family goals, it will make one much happier and wealthier than he might imagine at first.  He definitely will be happier. Write down your goals for five years in several areas of your life.



One-year goal:


Five- year goal:



One-year goal:


Five-year goal:



One-year goal:


Five-year goal:


Financial Investment:

One-year goals:


Five-year goals:


Health Goals:

One-year goal:


Five-year goal:



One-year goal:


Five-year goal:


Share your Goals:

You have to share your goals with three people. Your partner, if you have one, your coach, and a trusted friend. This will be a very difficult exercise for some of you to complete. Please do not stop until you finish. Force yourself to write your goals down and say them out loud. If someone you share your goals with is negative, then you know never to share your goals with that person again. Negative influences tend to hold you back and should be eliminated or minimized. Many times, your friends and family, albeit with good intentions, can ambush you. Most people do not realize what a negative thought can do if it is believed.


How goals work


Here is a story that demonstrates the power of pictures and how they achieve goals. The story starts many years ago with a small boy riding his bike in one of the country club communities in a small town. He told himself that someday he would own a home just like the ones in that community. When he was older, he sat in a small library in Roanoke, Virginia. Looking out the window, he saw a home that was a picture of the kind of home he wanted. The thought from his childhood remained. He had told others that someday he would have a home just like those in his childhood community. Today he lives in that kind of home.


Another story, which is not very happy, shows the other side of this concept. When he was a small boy, he remembered a lady showing him a large piece of brown paper that contained the drawings of her dream home. She later achieved that home, but it was at the expense of her marriage of over thirty years. She later regretted her mistake. We bring up this sad story to prove the fact that you better be careful what you think about.


Patience is key, and balance in life is very important in setting goals. So the lesson is to write down goals, read them daily, create mental and physical pictures, and always do this with balance in all levels of life. If things get out of balance, review values and rewrite future goals in light of those values.


Re-evaluating Goals

Another important aspect of goal setting is the changing of those goals over time once more data is collected. Once goals are set, and reading and picturing has begun it is time to develop the action plans. This will provide a road map with details and a time schedule. As part of the planning, a SWOT ( Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis must be done.


Perform the following exercise. Conduct a SWOT analysis for each of the seven areas of the goals that were set.





























Financial Investment:



























Business Gross Profit Goals:









After this exercise is completed, write down what has been learned and/or what will be done with this new insight. It could be to make strengths even stronger or to ask for help on the weaknesses. Be Specific.


Putting the Plan into Action


Someone once said that behavior is everything, but it all starts with attitude. That is why the exercise of goal setting and pictures is so powerful. It drives the attitude. These exercises have provided the attitude power and the beliefs to sustain it. Now it is time to go into action based on these plans, or the roadmap.


Write down some details on each goal, even if it is only a single word. It all starts with a word. “The word was spoken and became flesh” is a very appropriate quote. This same power can be realized through speaking words. Make certain that they are good and balanced words. This cannot be over-emphasized. Behavior ( your actions) is the point arrived at after the plan is completed. If there is no action after the plan, there will be no success.


One more exercise needs to be done with the plan. Write a concrete, detailed plan. A weakness or threat might have to be dealt with as part of the plan. The current information should be used, and as much as possible should be written now. Each day, as goals and plans are re-read, it will be surprising how many ideas from others  will be heard, and more details will be added each week or month. Many people think that every detail must be laid out in order to start. This is why many people never start anything.


On the other hand, some people never do the exercises in this chapter out of inertia or laziness. Their lives have no direction and become what is called a random walk. Unless there are clearly defined goals backed up with a specific action plan, it will be virtually impossible for a person to achieve his dreams. What we are asking to be done, what must be done, is action steps must be added to the goals in the above exercise.


The final step is a kind of tracking and measurement system. One person along the journey has taught me that all that needs to be done is to acquire a blank notebook and to start tracking every day in relation to the goals and the plan. This works without a doubt. List the goals and the plan in the front of a notebook for easy access to read and visualize. Everyday track and measure against those and plans. A three-ring binder is an excellent method since it can be easily added to. Also, the front section can be easily updated.


One thing that has been learned from clients is that many have goals, but these goals are not tracked and measured as a percentage in relation to the monthly goal and the amount of time left in the month. For example, if 200 dials per month are needed and only 50 dials have been done on the 15th of the month, what corrective action should be taken? Fifty out of two hundred is only twenty-five percent. Write the solution. 


Tracking Progress


Action is the key to an evaluation and analysis process. Life is full of risk and change. Risk can be limited by following the methodology in this chapter; however, risks must be taken if worthwhile goals are to be achieved. If the methodology given this module is followed, a winning attitude will be acquired the following simple exercise to track sales. If more data is desired, track it. This is all that is really needed. 


Sample:       @revenue Tracking System


Goal Actual %

Leads ________ ___________ ___________

Dials _________ ___________ ___________

Contacts ________ ___________ ___________

1st Appt ________ ___________ ___________

Closing Appt _________ ___________ ___________

Closes ___________ ___________ ___________

Booked $ ___________ __________ ___________

Cashed $ Rec. ___________ ___________ ___________

Commision $ ___________ ___________ ___________


Start from the bottom up. If there is no commission $ skip it and start with the amount of $ needed to receive each month.


It is necessary to stop here and coach on the importance of this exercise. Again, this might be the one thing that has been the hold up in the achievement of goals. Earl Nightingale said “ Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.” 


Here are some of the lessons our clients have learned concerning goals.


  1. DO the journal don’t just talk about it.
  2. A dial is just picking up the phone. The phone is not heavy.
  3. A contact is talking with someone who you want to make a first appointment with, not an assistant or gatekeeper.
  4. It is necessary to track the time between the 1st appointment and the closing appointment for industry.
  5. Seek to shorten that time, and this system will help to do just that if it is followed. Think of this system as generating every goal that is wanted for yourself and your family.
  6. You do not need to track appointments between the 1st and closing appointment.
  7. Booked business is key to tracking growth.
  8. Some people need two tracking plans. One for new business and one for an existing business.
  9. The details for existing business are not that important, just count the cash.
  10. Do a good implementation plan and agenda in every order. Many of my horror stories have come from big clients or orders combined with poor implementation planning. Also, the top decision-maker must be involved.
  11. Not much of a system is needed for an order. The skill to speed through the process for existing business repeat sales will be learned. However, beware of the pitfalls of speed. It can kill.


A Final Word Goals

A sanity check is needed as one goes through this module. Best-case and worst-case assessments are needed with this concept. A good example is when buying or selling a business, the cash from the business must meet the goals of the owner and the buyer– so it should be known early on what these goals are in detail. Too many times the business intermediary does not do a simple sanity check. Save a lot of time and make more money by getting to a “NO” quickly. A quick no is a good thing.


Goals are central to the entire selling process. If one is not familiar with goal setting on a personal level, one will overlook this very helpful concept in selling. Some people are “visual”, so it is recommended that pictures of goals are created. The United Way campaign has used a thermometer for years. There is a reason that this works. Why not create one for monthly, or better yet, yearly goals? Watch as the year goes by, and the mercury climbs. Put the $ of gross profit or sales on the left and the months on the right. It is good to measure gross profit since the mind will make the proper adjustments to increase profit. Keep in mind it is not the money that is important; it is what can be done with the money. So do something good with the money in line with the seven ( priority) areas of life.


Time for Reflection

Exercise 1: List at least 5 concepts that can help build goals and an action plan. In other words, what five concepts have been learned in this module that is now going to be acted on?











Exercise 2: Think of your current situation and outline 5 steps that can be taken using the above example in building your goals and action plan. Translate the theory into the application for you and your family. What are you going to actually do as a result of this module?












Would you want your coach to keep you accountable? Yes______  No_____


Name__________________________________________   Date______________


Where is help needed? So many salespeople and owners fail to ask for help. Are you one of them? So much money can be made if the coach is only asked for help.


Prospecting Step

Developing a prospecting plan that will generate, on a continuous basis, a sufficient number of leads that will enable meeting and exceeding sales goals.


The plan will include a mix of prospecting channels that are appropriate for a particular market. It will be designed to be easily monitored and can be adjusted and calibrated based on real-life sales experiences.


Why does the @revenue marketing system focus on developing a prospecting plan?


Prospecting is the lifeblood of sales. Without a steady flow of leads, consistent performance and revenue growth are virtually impossible. In order to prospect effectively, the salesperson must actively engage in lead-generation activities. It is the professional salesperson’s responsibility to find a sufficient number of leads to adequately fill the pipeline, convert the leads to prospects, move the prospects through the sales cycle and close business.


Common Prospecting Mistakes


  1. Relying on passive prospecting channels
  2. Being too dependent on a single prospecting channel
  3. Not devoting time to actively prospect on a continuous basis
  4. Not having a definitive prospecting plan
  5. Not tracking prospecting sources’ effectiveness and adjusting accordingly


Active versus Passive Prospecting


Active Prospecting involves overt actions by the salesperson to self-generate leads. 


Passive Prospecting involves the salesperson waiting to receive leads from an external source ( usually the marketing department).


Some examples of passive prospecting sources are advertising, PR and news stories, telemarketers, marketing department-sponsored promotions, trade shows, seminars, etc.


Some examples of active prospecting sources are cold calls, direct email/mail campaigns with follow-up phone calls, networking, generating referrals, obtaining  introductions, and creating an alliance and partnering relationships.


If you rely on Passive Prospecting Sources, you have given up control of your income to a third party!


During good economic times (the nineties) many salespeople got into the bad habit of relying on marketing to generate all the leads. Quotas could not be met because, in effect, salespeople didn’t really have to sell. The salesperson became an order taker. In a tight economy, this approach is doomed to fail.


Top achievers know that it is necessary to continuously prospect, regardless of  economic or market conditions. They rely on themselves and make things happen, rather than waiting for something to be handed to them.


Develop the Prospecting Plan

List target Markets:








What are the prospecting sources that will be used to penetrate markets?








Active Prospecting Sources


Cold Calls/LinkedIn




Introductions (actively farmed)


Networking/Groups and Events


Alliances/ Partners- must be actively worked


Direct mail programs – in order to be an active source, a follow-up contact – attempt must be made


Seminars/ Speaking Engagements – in order to be an active source, a follow up contact attempt must be made


Passive sources: advertising, mailers, telemarketing, trade shows, PR marketing promotions, commercials, etc


Calculating the Number of Leads Required


Element Calculation
Monthly Revenue Target Annual Target/ 12
Monthly Closed Sales Required Monthly Revenue Target/Average Sale Price
Monthly Closing appts Required Monthly Closed Sales Reqd/ Closing Ratio
Monthly First appts Required Conversion Ratio: First Appts to Closing Appts
Monthly Contacts Required Monthly FIrst appts required/ Contact Conversion Ratio
Monthly Dials Required Contacts Required/ Dials Ratio
Monthly Leads Required Monthly Contact Required/ Lead Conversion Ratio




Lead- reasonable expectation or confirmation of interest


Contact- direct conversation to determine interest


Dial- dial or direct attempt at starting a conversation


Closing Ratio- one close per number of closing appointments


Lead Conversion Ratio- one contact per number of leads


Contact conversion Ratio-  one first appointment per number of contacts


Contacts to Dials Ratio- one contact per number of dials


Developing a Prospect Plan


Revenue Goal:    ______________________


Closes: ______________________


Closing Appts: ______________________


First Appts: ______________________


Contacts: ______________________


Dials: ______________________


Leads: _______________________


Cold Calls:





Direct Mail:



Monthly activities can now be broken down into weekly and daily targets. Time can be scheduled for each of the prospecting activities, and actual behavior performance can be tracked against results. Adjustments can be made, as necessary, to calibrate the activity ratios to actual experience. 


Techniques for Effective Prospecting 


Lead/ Prospect Rating System

Hot: current customers and current sales cycles

Warm: introductions and respondents

Cool: networking contacts and referrals

Cold: no previous contacts

Dead: 3 strikes with no interest

Future:  a valid business reason to contact at a future date


One Minute Infomercial 


The One Minute Infomercial is used as an introductory opening statement whenever making first contact with the prospect. 


It consists of four parts: 


The introduction, the statement of business issues, the statement of differentiators, and the determination of interest level. 


During the introduction, provide the name, title, company, and a brief overview of the business. 


This is followed by a statement about business issues that are typically encountered by customers that have been effectively dealt with. 


The statement of differentiators describes how issues have been resolved and how this company is different from the competition. 


The final art is a question designed to determine the level of interest on the part of the prospect.


Time for Practice

Exercise 1 : List each of the four parts of the One Minute Infomercial. Write down potential business issues and differentiators, any points that you would want to cover, and potential questions to determine interest.


Exercise 2: Each student will develop a Minute Infomercial and present it to the group. The group will provide reactions and suggestions to improve it.


Direct Mail

 A direct mail piece is a letter sent to a prospect in order to solicit the desired action or as a prelude to a follow-up cold call. The letter should be no more than one page in length and should be sent on plain stationery. Do not use company letterhead or stationery. The letter should follow the following guidelines.


Personalize: Correct spelling of the name, correct title, formal opening. Never use labels.


Signature: Use your name and title. The more important the title sounds, the better.

The letter should be in black ink. Sign with a blue felt tip pen.


PS: Start with the prospect’s first name. Follow with a call to action or an open- ended question designed to engage the reader.


Body: The opening statement should be a business issue statement in all capitals. The first paragraph should discuss “conventional wisdom” and why the problem persists. The next paragraph should discuss how your company has dealt with this issue and why you differ from the competition. The last paragraph should be used to engage the reader in thinking about their own situation and how these solutions might apply. Key statements should be underlined. Italics can also be used for effect and emphasis on a major point.


Referrals and Introductions


Referral: This is when the name of a prospect has been given to you with permission to use the name of the person giving the referral.


Introduction: In this instance, the referring party sets up a meeting at which he personally introduces you to the prospect and acts as an advocate during the meeting.


Call following -up a referral: Open with the introduction from your one minute infomercial followed with “ Do you recognize my name?” 


If no: “ That’s not unusual, “followed by your one-minute infomercial business issues and differentiators statements. Then ask, “ Do you know ( Name of referring party)? Why would they ask me to call you?”


If yes: “ Where have you heard about us?” Then , ask questions about what they know, why the referring party would think they would be interested, etc. 




On the telephone: Use the one- minute infomercial. Tell the name of the person that gave the referral, and ask if they have a few minutes to talk.  If no, ask when it would be more convenient to call. If yes, say that this is a networking tool and follow with the one-minute infomercial, business issues, and differentiators statements. Then, ask if there are other people that should be recommended to receive a call.


In person: Ask what business they’re in. Ask them what their business does, what they are looking for and what the big picture is. Give them your infomercial and determine if it makes sense to schedule a one on one. SCHEDULE IT RIGHT THEN AND THERE


Strategies to Get by Gatekeepers


  1. Do not sound like a salesperson.
  2. Do the unexpected
  3. When hit with the standard gatekeeper questions
    1. Give an answer with an urgent pretense
    2. Reverse the question
    3. Overload with information


No pressure Cold Call

The no pressure cold call is designed to not trigger the prospect’s defenses and to “appear” to give them control, thereby reducing any pressure they might feel.


Opening: Give an introduction and ask if there is time to talk. If no, ask when it would be more convenient.


Permission: Ask them if you can explain the reason for calling so that they can decide whether or not to continue the call.


One-Minute Infomercial

Close: If they respond, have them elaborate and ask if it would make sense to get together to discuss it in more detail. Set the appointment.


Post-close: Confirm that they will keep the appointment, and then set the agenda for the meeting.


Pre-emptive Cold Call


The pre-emptive cold call is used when one is constantly receiving the same objections from prospects. This strategy consists of neutralizing the objections by bringing them up before the prospect can.

This call follows the same steps as the no- pressure call, except that instead of the one- minute infomercial, insert the objections and ask them which one concerns them.


Dealing with VoiceMail

Never leave a message unless it is a referral or contact has already been made. Only leave a message after three attempts have been made to contact. Before leaving a message, follow the “immediate assistance” path if available and treat whomever answers as a gatekeeper. If you do leave a message, leave the one-minutes infomercial. If there is no response after a week, leave the following message: 


First name, this is your name, it’s important that we talk. Call me at  phone number.”


Remove the prospect from your active prospecting list.


Lessons Learned

What concepts/ techniques have been learned that will improve prospecting activities?

When will you complete your prospecting plan?

When will you begin to implement your plan?

Are you committed to monitoring your prospecting activities?

Do you want your coach to hold you accountable?


Tracking your progress


Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. The @revenue System uses tracking and planning tools to help one learn from the past and assure future success.


@revenue salespeople have determined the activities that are critical to achieving goals. These are tracked daily, re-evaluated monthly, and studied over time to learn how to become even more successful in the future


If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!


Successful Tracking Requires

  1. Maintaining a daily success journal
  2. Understanding the importance of each component in the journal
  3. Understanding how to learn from the journal
  4. Using a client review sheet during a call
  5. Using a de-briefing form after a call


Success journal


Your exercise is to create a success journal using Microsoft Excel. The ideas that you should include are as follows: Your daily activities that flow into a close. Your daily goals for your Spirit should be included. Your goals for your behavior in relation to building your business should be included. Work with your coach to create a success journal that you own and are willing to follow to achieve your goals.


Your Success Journal

If a journal has never been kept before, it will be easier to create more reasons for not doing a journal than for doing a journal in the beginning. Count on the fact during the first three months of keeping the journal, it will not mean as much as it will the following three months. Like many things in life, the benefits of the behavior follow the activity. So as a well-known company says, “Just do it”.


After a short period, the journal will become not only second nature but one of the more powerful support tools. Once mastered, the journal will help to

  • Be in charge of the mental attitude (inner, spirit)
  • Improve performance by not working harder, but smarter
  • Head off future failures by seeing the warning signs early on in the month
  • Recognize the activities that are helpful, and the ones that are not
  • Make and exceed higher goals by using the knowledge from past success and failures (i.e. increasing best activities to increase output)


Each area of the journal has a specific purpose.


Area A is where the inner spirit is monitored.


Area B is where behaviors important to growth and improvement are tracked.


Area C is where specific time activity is tracked and time is managed.


Area D  is where the types and number of activities that occur are tracked and the financial results of those activities in relation to goals.


Let’s look at each area in more detail.


Area A- Tracking the inner spirit


It’s rough out there! More no’s than yes’s will take a toll. Strength can be gained by reminding oneself that they are “unbreakable” or “tough” and that the inner spirit is protected. @revenue salespeople have separated out what they do from who they are. How inner spirit goals are worded is up to the individual, but the important thing is to believe them. It helps keep the inner spirit a 10 in a world where the customer may want you to be a 1. Belief will drive behavior. Bank on it.


As wonderful as computers are, a word of caution is necessary. If the journal is kept on a computer, it is imperative to re-type inner spirit goals and rating levels every day. This action reinforces thoughts more than just reading them. 


Time for Reflection


Have each person in the group write out four phrases they feel protects their inner spirit.


Share the lists and discuss.


Daily activity by time

Example: 7:00 am- 9 am – Read and prepare for success

10:00 am – Calls  (follow ups – cold calls, etc)

10:00 am- 12 pm calls or training

12:00 pm- 1 pm  Lunch

1:00 pm-2 pm calls/ emails/ appts/ follow ups

2:00 pm -4 pm learn and practice


 Area B – Tracking specific behaviors important to growth


An @revenue salesperson is always seeking perfection and knows there is always something to improve. That is why we list the behavior goals upon which we are focusing. At the end of the day, rate from 1- 10 the performance relative to those goals, as well as the performance as a whole for the day. In the example above, if the dials were made, but there was a failure to make good agendas on all the calls, the rating may have been a 10 on the dials but a 6 on the agendas. Yet, for the day, the rating is an 8 because of other behaviors noted in area D.


Again, it is better to enter these behavior goals manually each day to reinforce mental tapes.


Time for Reflection


Have each person in the group write out four behavior goals they would like to work on.


Share the lists and discuss.


Area C- Tracking specific times activities occur


Ask a fisherman if it matters when he goes fishing. Ask a farmer if it matters when the crops are planted. Yes, timing is important to them and Salespeople. When something is completed, what are the results? The activity area of the success journal allows one to list when he is making dials, when he is traveling and other activities. After a while, one will find the best times to make dials to catch his prospects and the best times to make appointments, etc.  This way, in the future, it can be predicted the times when key activities produce the greatest results. 


Time for Reflection


List the best time of day for you to do the following activities:

Dials to find new prospects


Make appointments with prospects


Attend networking functions


Do marketing and paperwork activities


Discuss with the group and tell why


Area D- Tracking specific activities and results


It can be recalled from the prospecting module that when there is a prospecting plan if it is followed it will lead to the set goals.  Here is where it is necessary to track how well the prospecting plan is being followed.


The overall ranking given in Area B will be influenced by the activity accomplished each day. Also, as the month passes, it can be judged if one is on track to meet his activity goals. While the types of activities may vary, it is a good rule of thumb to keep the percentage of activities completed equal to the percentage of days gone in the month. Pacing is important. If 50% of the month is gone, 50 % of the dials for the month should be completed. It is better to discover that one is not keeping pace early so adjustments can be made a little at a time. This keeps from cramming too many activities into too small of a time frame.


People are in sales for a variety of reasons. One reason common to all salespeople is to make money. By focusing on financial goals daily, it will become clearer how what is being done or not being done is impacting the financial goals. 


Time for Reflection


What are the benefits of keeping a daily journal?


Who is going to keep you from doing a journal?


What should we do about it?


Lessons  Learned

Understanding the Success Journal:


Rule number one: The Journal is not a whipping post,  it is a stroking post. This must be the attitude for the journal to work.


Rule number two: The journal is only as good as the information imputed into it, so be honest.


Rule number three: As progress in ability is made, as well as market penetration, etc. The goals should change. 


Rule number four: At the end of each month, write a brief review of the month.


Rule number five: Review journals from years past, not just months, to observe progress.


How to Review the Journal



  • Were the activities done that were set to do? If so, good job. If not, what prevented them from being done, and what can be done about it?
  • What tested the inner spirit goals? Hold up or give up? What needs to be done if “give up?” 
  • What activities were done and when? Were the activities done at the times that produced the best results? If not why, and can be done about it? If yes, good job.
  • Were the special “task goals” accomplished? Do they need to be expanded, or changed, or just need more work?
  • Were the financial goals impacted? If so, what activities helped? If not, are other activities leading to impacting the financial goals?


  • Are percentages of activities equal to the percentage of time remaining in the month? If yes, good job. If not, what can be done about it?
  • Are the financial goals in step with the time remaining in the month? If not, what can bring things in line? Is the problem a lack of activity issue or a performance issue? What can be done about it?
  • What specific activities produced results, and do any activities need to be re-evaluated?
  • Did the inner spirit need help this week or is it a firm 10?
  • What does next week look like, and what can be added to make it more productive?


  • Were all activities met or exceeded? If so, what were the results? If not, why, and what has been done to ensure the goals are reached in the future? What is the impact if the goals are not achieved?
  • Were the financial goals met or exceeded? If so, what activities contributed the most and the  least? What changes need to be made?
  •  Did the month go as it should have? Why or why not?
  • What does next month look like, and what specifically needs to be done to make it a success?
  • Write a review of the month. Include the expectation, the results, why things happened as they did, and anything specific about this month that might be profitable in a year. This will help in the future as old journals are reviewed.


Quarterly and/ or annually

  • What activities ( partially networking) need to be increased, decreased, or eliminated?
  • Are there past trends to be aware of?
  • Compare skills, activities, and attitude now to before?
  • What is the goal, and are these activities still the right ones for the prospecting plan?


Time for Practice

List the activity steps and financial goals in Area D.


List other prospecting activities (networking, quality introductions, strategic partners, etc.)


Determine the goals for each activity.


As a group, create a list of ways to review the journal on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis in the class.


Time for Reflection

In the short term, what will the journal do for you?


In the long term, what will it do for you?


How would you like the journal to be reviewed by your coach?


What should the agenda sound like before the review?


Lessons Learned 


The Client Review Sheet


To stay on track, TV actors use video monitors to show them their lines, a football quarterback has someone signaling in the plays, and a salesperson uses a client review sheet.


Whether it is a one-call or multiple-call close industry, keeping track of the information learned during each step of the sales process is as crucial to success as following the selling system. No call is the same. Some clients follow the steps as they studied them others … let’s just say they tend to have their own pattern. A salesperson is flexible to any sudden change in the process and while the client may seem off track, he is not. The client review sheet allows salespeople to focus on the client, yet stay on track with the success steps to obtaining a no or a yes from the interview.


It must be re-enforced that the client review sheet (commonly called a cheat sheet) to be successful must have the steps to the selling process listed, must be specific to the industry, and must be in a form that if the client were to see it, it would not be a concern for you or the client. A review sheet must have:


  • Agenda Area
    • What was the agenda set before the appointment? Remember that agendas change from meeting to meeting; However, there should be one for every meeting.
  • Compelling Problem and Commitment Areas
    • Areas for more than one general problem to be broken down to its specific components of what how long quantified amount and impact, etc.
    • Reminder areas for key phrases and common commitment points for your industry.
  • Decision Makers, Financial steps, and the 1 to 10 test
    • Specific questions needed for the industry
    • Quality introductions in the financial step
    • What specifically needs to be done to go from a 1 to a 10
    • What is the future agenda?
    • If the result is a no, why?


Client Review Sheet


Agenda: Prior to Meeting

How much time?               Anything changed?


Compelling Problem:

  1.      2. 3.



How long?


What happened?


How much costing?

Past $, Future $ Total $    P+F=T

Given Up?

Impact business

Impact personal




C S M? Help? Commitment means…….


Decision Maker:

How do you move forward when making decisions like this?

Who Else?

What time frame?

What happens when the final decision is agreed upon? Steps or one person?

Is that what you feel should happen here?

Why do you all make decisions like this?



How much are you willing and able to invest to overcome this problem?

Bracket area

Where will it come from?

When can this happen?

Terms? Quality introductions, time, and belief

Is it Fair?


1 to 10 result:

Why the High? From my experience, a score in that range means there is really nothing I can say or do that will make a difference. Is that the case here?

What will you need to see, hear, or experience to get you at a 10?

Items needed:


Future Agenda

What is to happen next?

If over, why?


Time for practice


What changes need to be made to turn this sheet into yours?


What are some of the other ideas in the class that you can incorporate?


Time for Reflection


What are the benefits of using a client review sheet?


What are the negatives?


Lessons Learned


Using a De-Briefing Form


When are the results? The problem is, if it is not understood what has been done, it’s hard to answer this question.  Use the de-briefing like sports teams use a game film. They know if they immediately track what was and was not done on a call, they will be more conscious of what to do on the next call. 


Like the client review form, the debriefing needs to be customized to an industry and skill level in the selling system. In the beginning, a basic form  ( like the one in this module) should be used that covers the main areas of each step in the process. As skill levels grow, the salesperson and their coach may wish to customize the form to help work on specific areas or skills in the system.


Traditionally, salespeople do not like paperwork, and at first glance of the debriefing form, they roll their eyes and groan. The fact is that those who take the 4 minutes ( or less) to fill out a debriefing form immediately after a call find:

  • More can be remembered about the call, so more accurate information helps to improve more quickly.
  • Confidence is gained for the next call because they know what they’re doing right ( positive strokes)
  • It is easier to identify with the coach what areas of the system they are not comfortable using.
  • Things still went well even though they were not perfect.
  • Mess-ups were made, but there is a chance to improve because they have been identified.
  • Salespeople who use a de-briefing form find they “own” the system quicker than those who do not. This means they spend more time going to the bank!


Experience has shown that the consistent debriefing of sales calls using a debriefing form is the single most salient factor in salespeople attaining “@revenue Salesperson “ status. Not only do they learn the system more quickly, but the system also becomes ingrained in their behaviors to the degree that it becomes second nature for them.  They suddenly find that they are reacting instinctively and don’t have to think about what should be done next. They are able to focus entirely on what the prospect is saying and doing. The top performers in every field of endeavor habitually review performance. The debriefing form is a tool to ensure this is consistently done.


The form on the next page is a template to use as a starting point. Be careful not to eliminate items arbitrarily. Use the form as is, and then work with the coach to finalize a usable form.


Interview Debriefing Sheet





Creating the Relationship with Prospects

  1. Did you mirror image the prospect in body language, tone, pace and communication style?
  2. At any time, did you perceive that the prospect may be uncomfortable and if so, did you stop to address it?
  3. DId you hold yourself accountable for the prospect’s “Ok”-ness?
  4. Did you check the communication by paraphrasing the prospect’s comments and or concerns, and then ask if this was correct?
  5. Did you determine the prospect’s NLP programming and respond in kind so that communication was on their desired level?
  6. Overall, were both of you comfortable with one another and did you maintain a 70-30% split in conversation?
  7. Was the entire interview about them not you?


Making Agendas with Prospects

  1. Did you review an outcome for each of the key elements of the agenda?
    • How long was set aside for meeting? 
      • Time_____________ Place_______________
    • Purpose of the meeting_________________________
    • Prospect’s Expectations__________________________
    • Salesperson’s Expectations_______________________
    • Outcome_____________________________________________
  2. Did you make any necessary revisions?
  3. If the agenda wasn’t adhered to, did you backup, question why? If you didn’t agree with the changes, did you try to reschedule or ask if it was over?
  4. Was the situation resolved in a way that represented the prospect’s best interest as well as yours?


Finding out why you should be doing business (Compelling Reasons) 

  1. Did you ask questions or tell stories that required the prospect to describe their reasons for meeting with you?
  2. Were you able to discover the details and reasons for the problem?
  3. Did you quantify the cost of the problem? 
  4. Did you multiply the quantified cost of the problem by the amount of time it has been occurring ( and could continue to occur if not fixed)? $___________.
  5. Uncover the compelling reasons why the prospect needs your help?
  6. Did you uncover through questioning the impact of the problem on the business and on the prospect?
  7. The personal impact affecting them was____________________________
  8. Did you summarize and review the problem and verify that this is a concern?
  9. Did you ask the prospect for any additional information?
  10. Did you give the prospect time to respond to the issues and try not to overpower them with features and benefits? Did you ask questions, when questioned? Did you find out what they asked certain questions?


Determining the Prospect’s Commitment Level

  1. Did you find out if this is a MUST FIX issue and make an agreement?
  2. Did you ask if they wanted your help?
  3. What was the commitment action that needs to be taken?
  4. Did you ask if time and resources would be spent on this project to fix the  $__________________ challenge.


Understanding the Prospect’s Decision-Making Process

  1. Did you review the problems and what had taken place up to this point? 
  2. Did you find out what is involved — who, where, when, how, and why decisions are made in this manner?
  3. Did you ask for an agreement on what would happen after the presentation?
  4. Did you ask how each person would influence the final decision and if everyone would be present?
  5. Did you ask how much time would be allotted for the presentation?


Uncovering the prospect’s Financial Plan

  1. Did you review the problem and decision process and ask if anything may have changed?
  2. Did you use bracketing, third-party stories or similar situations to get a budget figure?
  3. Did you respond to stalls and distrust with stories or ask if there may have been a bad experience previously regarding budget issues?
  4. Did you determine if they were willing and able to invest now?
  5. Did you equate the price of service to the quantified problems cost? (ROI)
  6. Did you provide an option for dividing the sale if needed?
  7. Were the options clearly defined and agreed upon by all?
  8. Was it explained how and when the payment would be expected?
  9. Did you review what else would be involved in addition to money, time, resources, and quality introductions?
  10. Did you ask if this was a fair price?
  11. Did you ask on a scale of 1-10 where they are, and how to achieve a 10?
  12. Did you determine each step it would take to get to a ten?


Close the sale

  1. Did you review the agenda, compelling reasons, decision process, and budget prior to making the presentation?
  2. Did you prioritize the issues and get an agreement on each resolution the service provides? Is there a 100% for each decision-maker on each issue?
  3. Was the solution presented to the most important problem first? Was the prospect comfortable with each solution?
  4. If not, did you resolve any issues prior to moving on to the next?
  5. Did you ask the prospect where he is on a scale of 1 to 10 after presenting a solution to the prospect’s 3 major compelling reasons? Did you get all decision-makers to a 10?
  6. Did you close the sale? Did you ask what should be done next?
  7. Did you confirm the sale and ask, “ Are you sure you are 100%?” 
  8. Did you raise any comprises that may have been made and make sure the client is ok with the resolution?
  9.  Did you establish an agenda about what should happen next?
  10.  Did you address the possibility of an ambush, and ask what would be done or said? Are you sure? 100%?


Time for Reflection

Do you believe the debriefing form will improve your performance? If yes, how? If no, why?


What are the benefits and negatives of using a de-briefing form? Which one carries the most impact?


Will you use a de-briefing form? If, no why?


Lessons Learned


Relationship Step


Creating a Successful Relationship Plan is Key to Your Success


Harry Beckwith stated in his book “The Invisible Touch” the fourth key of modern marketing is “relationship”. This book is being provided as part of the training program.


Building a Successful Relationship


In his book he states the importance of the following facts:

  1. The fact that “ business is about people” 
  2. The fact that “ to make and keep a sale, make and keep a powerful connection with people”
  3. The fact that one must “make your clients feel important” 
  4. The fact that “the client who feels important feels loyal”
  5. The fact that one must ”refuse bad business- and get rid of it fast” 


Time for Practice

Take 15 minutes and discuss these facts in relation to your experience in building relationships, good or bad.


Beckwith goes on to give eight keys to lasting relationships.

  1. Natural Affinity

“ Choose the clients who are most like you.”


“Clients generated from yellow pages or from just advertising are the least loyal. 

“Usually, they come to you because of price and leave on price.”


“To gain loyal clients, find loyal people.”


“Seek clients you would want as a friend.”


“Accept that no one is everyone and find the best fits.”


“Tell me something I really care about. Tell me about me.”


“Go Slowly, relationships take time.”


  1. Trust
  2. Speed
  3. Apparent Expertise
  4. Sacrifice
  5. Completeness
  6. Magic Words
  7. Passion


Time for Practice


Take 15 minutes and discuss what you discovered concerning these eight keys and how they relate to selling and building a great relationship.


This idea of understanding and finding a good fit customer is critical in relationship planning.


One rule many fail to follow is: that in an organization, you must have a relationship with all of the key people in the organization.


If you do not have a good relationship with the customer, then the work cannot last for a long period.


We must take full responsibility for all.


Lessons Learned


Understanding Behavior Styles


In a book entitled “The Universal Language,” a complete discussion of four behavior styles is presented. This book is being provided as part of this training.


  1. ( D ) Dominance – Challenge: How you respond to problems and challenges.
  2. ( I ) Influence – Contacts: How you influence others from your point of view.
  3. ( S ) Steadiness – Consistency: How you respond to the pace of the environment.
  4. ( C ) Compliance – Constraint: How you respond to rules and procedures set by others.


Importance of Understanding DiSC


“All people exhibit all four behavioral factors in varying degrees of intensity” – W. M. Marston


Gaining Favor with people is one of the benefits of learning the DiSC language.


How people relate to others can be “stacked” in their favor when they better understand the other person in relation to the DiSC model.


“By knowing a person’s behavioral style you can immediately adapt to their style and gain their endorsement.”


Time for Practice

Take 15 minutes and discuss your DiSC report and how you should relate in a sales relationship to each type of person. Be sure to reread your DiSC report for class since you will need to tell your group the areas that you need to improve. Look at pages 7, 8, and 17 of the DiSC report.


Selling to the Different Behavioral Styles

High D


High D’s are “quick decision makers and like new and unique products.”  They want results. Therefore it is important to sell results instead of benefits and features to a high D. The high D will need a forum for talking out the issues.


High I

High I’s “make quick decisions, like showy products, and usually are impulse buyers”. Fun and experience are critical to high I.


High S


High S’s are slow decision-makers. High S people usually buy traditional products. These people are very hard to sell to since the high S is non-emotional. You will have to weigh the time investment that will be required to sell a high S with the potential return when deciding whether or not to engage them in a sales cycle. For small-margin products, it is probably not worth the time and effort. However, large gross margin products are a different situation. You will have to decide. The high S prefers to hear the presentation in a friendly warm discussion.


High C


High C’s buy very slowly and usually only proven products. This behavior style requires a lot of the salesperson’s attention. If your product or service is not proven, a high C buyer will not buy it. They prefer to see the proof when you are making your case. It is very hard to sell to this person unless your product or company is a recognized market leader.


They are extremely risk averse. Therefore, new products are very difficult for these people to buy. During a presentation to a high C buyer, you must be able to prove that your product or service is tested, proven, and safe.


Behavioral Techniques


Your tone of voice is another important aspect of your relationship plan. A soft caring tone is the most successful in dealing with all kinds of people. More will be said about the Transactional Analysis section.


One of the important skills that you will be taught is how to ask questions. Take notes and ask permission to take notes. This will show that you want to listen and that you respect the person who is talking. It will also help you to listen more. A good rule of thumb is 80% listening when you are building your early relationship and qualifying the person and 20% talking.

Watching a person’s body language is critical in determining if they are responding to your approach. Look at your eyes and hands. Be aware that the body language is sometimes masked. For example, sometimes people will not cross their arms and look away even in times when they are not interested in your or service. You still need to watch their body language.  It will tell you a lot about what the person’s eyes are saying.. After all, “ the eyes are the window to the soul” We will discuss this subject more fully in the NLP module.  Mirror the person’s body language, but do not make it obvious… don’t mimic. Always ask questions to verify your understanding of what the person is saying with their tone and body language.


If someone goes negative because of your behavior, you must take steps to correct the problem or is it over.


Another way to let someone know that you understand their situation, and help build a great relationship is to restate or paraphrase what they said and ask for confirmation that you heard correctly. Doing so signals the other party that you are listening.


One of the hardest parts of the relationship step is to take responsibility for their dissatisfaction. We will talk more about how to manage this in the Customer Retention Step.


Time for Practice

List the concepts that can help you build your relationship plan.


Think of a current prospect and outline the steps that out can take in building your relationship with this person or company. Translate the theory into application for a very important prospect or client.


List three concepts that you have learned and / or what are you going to do over the next 30 days to improve your relationships with your customers and prospects.


Lessons Learned

Behavioral Styles (DiSC)

Understanding Behavior Styles is Key to your Success


The Universal Language, DISC, Teaches three things:

  • Knowing behavioral style
  • Recognizing the behavioral style of others
  • Adapting and blending personal style for greater, more effective communication and relationships.


This module is an overview of the subjects covered in the book that was received with this course, and much of this module is quoted from the book. One needs to understand the information in the book, more about one’s self, and how to apply this valuable knowledge. Once DiSC has been mastered, there will be a significant increase in personal and business skills.


“He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is wise” – Lao Tse


What  DiSC is


DiSC is the universal language of observable human behavior (behavior and emotions). Research has proven that people universally have similar characteristics in terms of “how they act”. By learning these characteristics it is possible to increase communication with and understanding of others.


What DiSC is NOT


DiSC is NOT a measurement of a person’s intelligence.


DiSC is NOT an indicator of a person’s values


DiSC is NOT a measurement of skills and experience


DiSC is NOT a measurement of education and training


But DiSC has an inescapable bearing on all of the above


The Benefits of Understanding DiSC


In sales the ability to understand a prospect is directly proportional to success. As one deals with a prospect, customer, or client the more they can relate their behavior to their behavioral style, the greater their likelihood of understanding them will be and they will understand them.


People with similar styles tend to exhibit (naturally, not acting) specific types of behavior common to that style. The DiSC model analyzes behavioral style – a person’s manner of doing things.


By understanding prospects, customers, and clients- as well as their manner of doing things- an unbreakable relationship can be established with them.


DiSC Behavioral Factors


D= Dominance – Challenge

How a person responds to problems and challenges

I= Influence – Contacts

How a person influences others to their point of view

S = Steadiness – Consistency

How a person responds to the pace of the environment

C= Compliance – Constraints

How a person responds to rules and procedures set by others


DiSC is a Neutral Language


“Right” and “Wrong”  are based on values and beliefs; they have to do with DiSC. DiSC only describes the differences in how people approach problems, other people, their pace, and their procedures.


Winners come from all four behavioral styles. People exhibit all four behavioral styles in varying degrees of intensity. The Behavioral style a person prefers is usually the style similar to their own.


“People buy from people they like and trust. People like people who are like them.”


Four Benefits of Learning the DiSC Language


  1. Gaining Commitment and Cooperation.

By “getting into the customer’s world” and “blending” with their behavioral style, they will immediately be able to adapt to another’s style.


  1. Building Effective Teams

Having an awareness of behavioral differences has an immediate impact on the effectiveness of communication, conflict resolution, and motivation of the team.


  1. Resolving and Preventing Conflict

By meeting a person’s behavioral needs, one will be able to diffuse many problems before they even happen.


  1. Gaining Endorsement (Credibility and Influence)

Every interaction one has with a person either increases or decreases their endorsement. By knowing a person’s behavioral style, one can immediately adapt to that person’s style and gain endorsement.


Six Elements that Impact Endorsement

Human performance is directly proportional to endorsement. Performance and the way others respond to performance are intimately tied to endorsement.


  1. Position

Position (as a salesperson, a business owner, a company president, etc) gives a certain amount of endorsement. An endorsement can then be increased ( or decreased) based on how one acts and what one believes. To increase position and improve people skills – learn DiSC.


  1. Appearance

The way one dresses, stationery, briefcase, eye contact, handshake, walk in short, anything a person sees can positively (or negatively) affect endorsement. The more professional one’s appearance is the greater the endorsement will be.


  1. Beliefs

Consistency in behavior can increase (or decrease) endorsement. If others know that someone does what they say they will do (a “straight shooter”), their level of endorsement will increase due to their reliability and trustworthiness.


  1. Competence ( Technical, Systems, and People Relations)

Expertise in a field impacts endorsement. Others look for people who have expertise. By engaging in ongoing study and expansion of technical ability, product knowledge and people skills, one will increase their endorsement.


  1. Oral Presentation Skills

A person who is unable to stand up and effectively present their ideas will have trouble gaining endorsement. Oral presentation skills can be learned.


  1. Feedback (Two-way Communication)

The ability to give effective feedback (one on one) greatly impacts one’s endorsement. Interpersonal communication is critical to maintaining endorsement.


Of these six elements , position is the one that can be EARNED- the other five can be LEARNED. The DiSC language can assist in the areas of values, people relations and oral presentation skills. DiSC is also very powerful in one-on-one communication. Understanding the DiSC language will cause communication to be more on target.


Five Steps in your Journey to Greater Endorsement


  1. Know Yourself

Awareness of behavioral tendencies will provide the foundation for improved communication. By knowing tendencies, the knowledge to modify behavior is gained.


  1. Control Yourself

Once behavioral tendencies are known, behavior can begin to be consciously controlled.


  1. Know Others

By knowing one’s self first, it is easier to learn and recognize behavioral differences in others – and begin to apply the DiSC Language.


  1. Appeal to Other’s Basic Needs

When the needs of others are known, their needs can be appealed to. By knowing their basic needs, one can intentionally do something that will appeal to those needs.


  1. Provide a Climate for Motivation

When the fifth and final step in the journey to greater endorsement is arrived at, one understands that fear motivation and incentive motivation lack the effectiveness of casual motivation. Causal motivation is the highest form of motivation, and it occurs when an environment is created in which people WANT to work and be the best they can be. 


“People do things for their reasons, not yours.” 


Time For Practice

Write the initials of four people you know and have identified for each of the behavioral styles Then note how you should adapt your behavioral style to gain endorsement from each.


Lesson Learned


Agenda Step


Salespeople understand that when prospects feel as though they are in control of the sales situation, then the prospects are more likely to purchase the product (as opposed to ‘being sold’ a product). Establishing a strong agenda for each and every interaction with a prospect addresses both of these issues. A strong agenda, agreed to by both parties in advance, gives the prospect a sense of control.  Knowing what is going to happen next helps them feel safe, and that helps the salesperson head -off last-minute surprises in negotiation. The prospect doesn’t feel pressured to do anything they haven’t agreed to in advance. Like making a decision to continue the process or even buying. 


Another benefit to establishing an agenda is that it positions the salesperson and prospect as equal participants in the selling process. As an equal, the salesperson may now deal directly and more effectively with the prospect’s behaviors that don’t serve the interest of both parties. For example, prospects often avoid making commitments… whether it’s a commitment to take some specific action or make a buying decision, etc. Sometimes, it’s because only information is wanted, and once that is acquired, there is little need for the salesperson. Other times, commitment is withheld in order that it might be used later as a bargaining chip for a better price or some other concession. Asking the prospect to agree to an agenda will forestall this behavior, or it will at least bring it to the forefront more quickly so the salesperson can deal with it.


For these reasons and others that will be examined later, it is necessary to understand why a salesperson makes strong agendas a primary step in the discovery process, as well as throughout interactions with all prospects and clients.


Mastering the Agenda Step Requires the Following:

  1. Understanding the different types of agendas
  2. Understanding the elements in each agenda
  3. Understanding which agenda to use and when to use it
  4. Mastering the language of the agendas
  5. Knowing what to do when the prospect resists agreeing to an agenda
  6. Knowing what to do when the prospect tries to change an agenda they had previously agreed to.


Types of Agendas

Each type of agenda used in this selling system is defined by its intended purpose.


Qualifying Agendas – This type of agenda is used at the beginning of the selling process to establish the “method of conduct”, that both the prospect and the salesperson agree to follow throughout the discovery steps and beyond. Both the salesperson and the prospect are on solid ground, with equal footing. The agenda becomes the control element to keep the interaction focused on the appropriate topic and actions. Suppose the prospect attempts to move the conversation into uncharted territory. In that case, the salesperson can steer it back on course by reviewing the agenda — “As I recall, we agreed to…”  or “ Are you okay if we continue in this direction?”


Bridging Agendas – This is a mini-agenda that allows the salesperson and the prospect to move from step to step in the selling process. These agendas allow the salesperson and the prospect to keep track. Additionally, they can flush out any “hidden” agendas the prospect may be keeping in reserve.


Future Agendas – Sometimes, between the discovery appointment and when the sale is “closed”, some salespeople begin to breathe a sigh of relief and think the sale is in the bag. That’s when things can begin to come apart. The Future Agenda establishes a clear understanding of what is going to happen next in the selling process. Whether the next activity involves the final presentation, signing the agreement, or just a phone call, the Future Agenda spells out exactly what will happen next… no confusion about future actions…. No surprises about expectations.. No eleventh-hour changes. 


Business Agendas – Once the prospect becomes a client or customer, a new set of ground rules that define the working relationship needs to be agreed upon. Both the salesperson and the new customer can be more comfortable when each party understands what it takes to keep the relationship working smoothly, as well as what each must do if and when things don’t go so smoothly.


Qualifying Agendas


Obtaining a buying decision from a prospect or a commitment to a definite future action is a process, not a reaction to an event; there is a clearly defined course @revenue salespeople follow. A strong qualifying agenda sets the appropriate tone for the entire sales process.


Example of a Qualifying Agenda used after a discovery phone call. 

Bill, I don’t know if what we have done for our client would work for you, I really don’t. Let’s suppose for a moment it could. Is what we’re talking about important enough that you would be willing to set aside some time, say about an hour in the next couple of weeks, just to talk and see what kind of fit there could be?


  1. Thank you! Can you get out your calendar and we’ll see what time works? ( after deciding the particulars, continue with…) I’m scheduling our meeting for May 18th from 9:00 to 10:00 at your office, which is at 300 S. Main, right?
  2. Bill, would you mind if we set a small agenda for our meeting?
  3. I really think that the only purpose of our meeting is to discover if there’s a fit between our two companies, and therefore a reason for us to do business together. Is that how you see it?
  4. During our meeting, I would like your permission to ask some hard questions regarding the frustrations and challenges you face, allowing us to see if my company makes sense for you. Is that OK? I appreciate that.
  5. Naturally, I would also expect that you would have some questions for me, AND I WANT YOU TO FEEL YOU CAN ASK ME ANYTHING. Are you okay with that? Good.
  6. Lastly, at the end of our meeting, or at any time during it, if either one of us feels that it doesn’t look like we can help each other, can we agree we can tell each other NO? Good, thank you…..
  7. On the other hand, if what we hear does make sense, could you then tell me that you are interested, and then we’ll go forward with whatever steps we mutually agree upon? Good….


Look Bill, I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, it has happened to me, but in my experience, when someone tells me that they want to THINK IT OVER, they usually are not interested, and they are only telling me that because they are nice people and don’t want to hurt my feelings. So would it be OK if we agree that at the end of our meeting if it’s a NO then that’s OK and we’ll still be friends, if you are interested we’ll go forward, but I WANT TO THINK IT OVER really is a NO unless we have a clear and concise understanding of what will happen next? Good, thank you.


I know you are a busy person… so we don’t run the meeting over our allotted time; could we have this meeting undisturbed?


  1. And would there be anyone else that you would normally confer with in making a decision like this that should be at this meeting? Good, I’ll see you then.
  2. Bill, by the way, is there any reason that you can see that would prevent you from keeping our meeting? Are you sure? Ok, fine.
  3. I look forward to meeting you at 9:00 on May 18th.


The Elements


  1. Asking permission to set the agenda.
    1. Asking allows the prospect to maintain the feeling of control. Let’s face it; courtesy is a novelty these days, so use it. Be positively different, not just different.
  2. Set the purpose of the meeting.
    1. Establishing the specific purpose for getting together eliminates any confusion and prevents unfulfilled expectations.
  3. Establish what the prospect can expect from you at the meeting.
  4. Establish what you are expecting from the prospect at the meeting.
  5. Establish the intended outcome of the meeting and how BOTH parties will contribute to determining it.
  6. Determine which key players should be at the meeting. You may feel you have the decision maker, but do you have them all?
  7. Check for an ambush
    1. The only thing worse than buyer’s remorse is appointment remorse, better to find out now than when you arrive. Give them your number if there is a possibility something legitimate could come up.
  8. Review the final date and time.


Bridge Agenda


The Qualifying Agenda establishes the “ Method of Conduct” Parameters for the sales process. Bridge Agendas make sure they stay in place. Bridging Agendas are crucial to keeping you and your prospect on track as you move through the sale steps. They ensure that you and the prospect move together and stay focused on compelling reasons to do business.


A Bridge Agenda is used during the determination steps of a sales call.

  1. Bill, Let me make sure I have this right. You are committed to eliminating the delays and errors occurring in your shipping facility. Over the last year, it’s cost the business over $150,000 in lost revenues, and almost your best customer. As the owner, not only are you losing the profit from the lost revenues, but it’s also starting to affect the other employee’s attitudes, which is increasing pressure on you at work and at home. This is a must-fix situation, and you’re comfortable working with me once you believe our system will get your shipping back on track.
  2. Do I have that right? Have I left anything out?
  3. Now that we agree on what has to be fixed, may I ask you a question?
  4. When you make decisions like this, who else besides yourself must be involved?


The Steps

  1. Summarize the compelling issues you have previously discussed from each of the discovery steps.
  2. Verify that you both agree on the importance of each compelling issue discussed so far.
    1. Moving to the next step must only happen when both the salesperson and the prospect agree.
  3. Use transitional phrases or questions that allow the prospect to re-focus.
  4. Move on to the next step.
    1. This can be done in a number of ways. Such as, asking an open-ended question highlighting the new subject, asking up front if you can talk about the new subject, or asking for help covering the new subject.


Time for Practice


Sit back to back and role-play the bridge agenda above, like in the previous one. As before, discuss how it felt to be the prospect and what impression the tone, pace, and rhythm had to do with your reaction. 


Time for Reflection


What will the Bridge Agendas sound like as you and the prospect move through each step in the selling process? What are some of the possible outcomes of not using a Bridge Agenda?

Work in a group to create five statements or questions from step four. Now practice using those bridges with your product or service.


Lessons Learned


Future Agendas


In a perfect world, all sales are closed on the first call. The client is ready to sign the agreement, has the checkbook ready, and you have the product with you to deliver.


Most salespeople find they don’t work in that world. Often an additional call is needed. There may be a need to continue the discovery process. A presentation needs to be prepared and delivered. There may be paperwork to fill out before the sale can be completed. In other words, the process is not over.


Future Agendas make sure the salesperson and prospect stay in step during those subsequent meetings. Future Agendas eliminate any “mystery” about what is going to happen next. They create a “ clearly defined future” for both parties.


A Future Agenda is used between the Presentation Step and the Closing Step of a sales call.


  1. “… It’s agreed; I’ll come back this Friday at 2:30 pm “
  2. “Let me make sure I see everything clearly…”
  3. “Friday we’ll finalize the details and start working together.”
  4. “I’ll bring the equipment and the software with me so that I can set everything up for you. Then Monday at 9:30, we’ll start training the shipping department. I’ll also bring the maintenance agreement with the changes we agreed upon for your final approval.”
  5. “Once you approve the paperwork and I receive your check for $14,500 payable to ABC computers, we’ll remove the old equipment, start your training, and be finished by 6 pm. Is that what you see happening? Is there anything else?”
  6. “Now that I think about it, you’ve said Fridays can be very hectic around here. Can you think of any reason, we shouldn’t meet and finalize things this Friday?”


The Steps


  1. The meeting particulars– date, time, place, etc
  2. Ask permission to set the agenda.
  3. Set the purpose of the meeting.
  4. Establish what the prospect can expect from the salesperson.
  5. Establish what will be expected from the prospect. 
  6. Expose any ambush possibilities that might occur.


Time for practice


Based on your products and services, role how you would set up your  Future Agenda:

  • After you and the prospect have agreed to a presentation
  • Your prospect wants to talk to your references
  • The client is ready to buy and now it’s time to finalize the order
  • The client wants to talk with other companies before you give a presentation


What other times do you see Future Agendas being used?


Time for Reflection


 What could a Future Agenda uncover?


What are the benefits of using a Future Agenda?


Lessons Learned


Agenda Language


It is not a stretch to say, “ if you want to make something strong, use the right materials.” Agendas are no different. If weak words or phrases are used, the agendas will be weak. Using positive words and phrases produces strong, effective agendas. Make sure specific language is used that leaves nothing “ open to interpretation.”


Weak Strong
“Jim, Perhaps we can meet sometime next week to see if you want to move forward?” “Jim, let’s meet at your office at 10:00 Wednesday. We’ll talk and decide what we need to do next.”
“You mentioned your CEO was around. Maybe she can stop in?” “You mentioned your CEO was around, what do we need to do to get her in this meeting?”
“I think we should get together and talk, and maybe you’ll see we have something to offer.” “Let’s get together and talk. Then you can determine whether we can and should do business together.”
“Maybe if you had some time we could set up a meeting…” “Do you have your calendar with you?”


Time for Practice


As a group, list as many weak words and phrases as you can come up with, then turn them into strong words and phrases.


Time for Reflection


What weak words do you use?


Why do you use them?


What will you replace them with?


What will you do to change? Should you?


Lessons Learned


When the Agenda is Challenged


There are only three possible outcomes of the Agenda Step

  1. The prospect agrees and complies with the agenda.
  2. The prospect refuses to agree to make an agenda.
  3. The prospect agrees to an agenda but later does not honor its terms.


The goal of a strong agenda is to save time. Time spent with a prospect that isn’t committed to moving the process forward is wasted time.


Remember, prospects are used to playing by their own rules. They are used to getting your information without having to make commitments. 


Prospects also have fears. They’re afraid you are going to sell them something they don’t want and/ or charge them too much for something they do want. So, it’s not unusual for them to resist, or try to change a set agenda.


An Example of a Client Rejecting a Bridge Agenda


Salesperson: “ Now that we agree on what has to be fixed, can I ask you a question? When you make decisions like this, who else do you talk with to be sure you’re making the right decision?”


Prospect: “ I’m sorry, I have a meeting coming up that they just let me know about this morning, so we’re going to have to hurry. How would you suggest we reduce the time between when an order comes in and it’s being ready to ship out?”


Salesperson: “Bill, I don’t know yet. You are way ahead of me. You’ve shared with me on the phone, and today, how serious this problem is. Do you think we should continue this conversation later?”


Prospect: “No, if I knew how you’d tackle things I’d feel better about working with you. So, tell me, can you fix this?”


Salesperson: “ We’ve fixed situations like this with many clients in the same situation as you. But, unlike an off-the-shelf product, our software and systems are customized to each client, so it takes time to really understand each department’s specific needs and concerns. I’m sorry I didn’t know you wanted an off-the-shelf product and I apologize for taking up your time. I’m not sure, but have you tried Computers-R-Us?”


Prospect: “No way an off-the-shelf product will work for us… Okay maybe I can get ready after we’re done. I did say we could take an hour.”


The Steps


  1. Become not-okay. Acting confused or uncomfortable changes the personal dynamics of the  interaction. By not giving in and not pushing back, the prospect is the one off-balance.
  2. Put on your armor. What did you talk about that was serious enough to begin the sales process, and what did you both agree to in the last agenda?
  3. Offer to move forward, or to end the process now. While there are many techniques available, remember, if the process is not about the client, they’ll take you up on the offer to leave and buy from someone else.
  4. There is life after a No, but that is covered in the Ambush Step


Time for Practice


As a group, discuss how and where in the sales process you can expect prospects to resist or change an agenda.


What should you do?


What does it sound like?


Role-play some of the answers the group came up with.


Time for Reflection


What have you done in the past during these situations?


What will you do now?


What will you do to change? Can you?


Lessons Learned


The Art of Questioning


Understanding How to Ask Questions is Key to Success


The ability to ask questions is the foundation for success in each of the @revenue Selling System steps. Telling a prospect the features and benefits of the service or product places a salesperson the same footing as all other salespeople. One must learn to ask questions that cause the prospect to realize themselves that their service or product will meet the client’s specifications.


Why the Questioning Step Makes A Salesperson Different


Using the correct questioning technique allows a salesperson to overcome objections and stalls. In the traditional sales system, the salesperson focuses their attention on the features and benefits of their service or product. They try to show their knowledge of their service or product.


The ability to uncover the prospect’s true specifications is more important than any feature or benefit of a service or product may provide.


By reserving the presentation until the prospect’s true specifications, commitment, decision- making process, and financial information have been fully uncovered, one will be better able to tailor their presentation to the client’s precise needs.


Asking questions and uncovering the prospect’s true specifications establishes a salesperson as an expert. It also allows one to engage in transactional analysis principles while applying for the implementation plan.


How Much Talk is Too Much?        (80-20 rule)


In sales, the amount you talk is inversely proportional to success. As a prospect is being dealt with, talk a maximum of one-third of the time. Remember that less is more. Allow prospects, customers, and clients to talk.


One of the greatest human needs is the desire to be understood. By allowing your prospects, customers and clients to talk while being actively listened to, an unbreakable relationship can be established with them.


If You Don’t Know – ASK!!


This apparently simple and obvious rule is too often forgotten. For example, review all the issues raised by the questions presented in the specification/ Discovery Step. An @revenue salesperson will have the ability to ask questions and uncover true answers to each of the questions.


If You Don’t Know — Never Guess!!


Those who have not yet achieved @revenue Salesperson status may make the mistake of creating a question from a prospect’s statement.


For example, during an interview a prospect may say, “We won’t need you  (service/product) until next month.”

The inexperienced salesperson may respond, “ No problem. We can provide it to you at any time.” 

Unfortunately, what the prospect meant was that a prerequisite event was to occur prior to the end of the current month.

The inexperienced salesperson is now in the position of trying to explain why they gave an answer to a question the prospect never asked.


The Key to Effective Questioning


The key to effective questioning is to ask  presumptive, open-ended questions.



“ ______ (prospect’s name) when you last reviewed your need for _________ ( your service/goods), what did you find?”



This question is presumptive because it presumes the prospect has done a review of their needs. Few, if any, prospects will have done a review. The question will draw their attention to a need they have that they have not addressed – a review.


 This question is open- because it asks, “What did you find?” To help ask open-ended questions, always remember any question beginning with “who, what, when, where, how or why” is an open-ended question. This questioning approach avoids “yes” and “no”  answers and gets the prospect to open up and give more information.


Using Presumptive Open-ended Questions to Overcome Objections

This questioning technique can be particularly effective at overcoming objections when combined with the Menu Approach. In the Menu Approach, one gives their prospect a list of answers that THEY HAVE CHOSEN which the prospect can select. And, of course, the items listed on the menu are items to address. For example:


Prospect: “ We are perfectly happy with our present _____ company (your competitor).”


You say: “ I appreciate your sharing that with me. When you say you are perfectly happy with your present _______ company, are you telling me  your _____ needs are being fully satisfied on-time and on budget, or your _____ company regularly does an analysis of your _____ needs?”


This example lists two menu items for this prospect’s stall/objection- three could be listed. In a Menu Approach Always list at least two, but not more than three menu items.


Other Benefits of Presumptive Open-Ended Questions


There are other benefits to this technique.

  • It avoids the appearance of a detective doing an interrogation.
  • It allows the prospect to vocalize their issues – to speak out loud.
  • It avoids the possibility that the competition is denigrated – something that should never be done.
  • It helps maintain control of the interview process
  • It puts the prospect in the spotlight – showing their importance and the concern for their issues.



Tone of voice is critical in any questioning approach. Unless one uses a soft tone of voice ( see Transactional Analysis – Nurturing Parent) they risk putting the prospect (or customer/client) on the defensive. When asking questions of a sensitive nature, the Menu Approach can be particularly effective. This is presenting the prospect with the answers – they merely need to choose an answer.


Other Examples


This questioning technique can be used to clarify a customer/client’s statements. It can  also be used to address other stalls or roadblocks a prospect may raise to contact them.


Customer:  “We would like to have you do a presentation to our shareholders.”

 You: “Thank you. When you ask me to do a presentation to your shareholders, what will you be asking your shareholders to decide?”





You: “Thank you . When you ask me to do a  presentation to your shareholders, what will you be asking me to present to your shareholders? Will it be the details of our discussion, the suggestions of your board, or the financial impact of our agreement to do business?”




Prospect: “We may consider your company at some point in the future.” 


You: “ Thank you. When you say you may consider my company at some point in the future, does that mean in the next month, the next six months, or the next year?”




You:” Thank you When you say you may consider my company at some point in the future, when do you mean we should continue our discussion?”




Prospect: “We looked at a company like yours last year, but we found a local company that’s cheaper.”


You: “I appreciate your sharing that with me. When you say you found a cheaper company, does that mean you reduced your needs, they reduced what they provided you, or you were overpaying before?”




You: “I appreciate your sharing that with me. When you say you found a cheaper company, where did you or the local company cut costs?”




Another Critical Because my coach says I have to


Use of Questioning Techniques- OK. Not OK


People are born with only two fears: loud noises and falling. The primary learned fear is fear of rejection. Because all people are sensitive to this learned fear, fear can be used ( and a prospect’s empathy) to the advantage.


If or when a prospect “ rejects” you, show the prospect that rejection is felt. The prospect will, in most cases, try to come to the rescue. This is an application of the OK/ Not OK theory.


To apply this theory effectively, one must be ready at all times to become NOT OK. When the salesperson is “Not OK”, the prospect will try to do whatever it takes to make things “OK”. Here is where questioning techniques can be applied most effectively.


Using OK/Not OK Questioning Techniques


Prospects will have one of three attitudes- negative, neutral, or positive. Regardless of the prospect’s attitude, to have the prospect come to the rescue, the salesperson must be more “Not OK” than the prospect.




When dealing with a negative prospect, remember the discussion above, and ask presumptive open-ended questions showing that things are Not OK.



Prospect: ”I wish you hadn’t even called me.”

You: “I’m sorry. Does this mean you won’t even talk to me for one       minute? Is that what you mean?”

Prospect: “We already have a supplier.”

You: ”I’m sorry. When you say you have a supplier, do you mean there will never be any reason for us to talk?” 



When dealing with a neutral prospect, treat the prospect like they are a negative prospect. But be sensitive to the prospect’s position discontinue the Not OK position when needed. 



Prospect: “ I don’t know that we have anything to talk about right now.”

You: “I appreciate that. I’m probably wasting your time. But if we could pretend for a minute that we have something to talk about right now, what would that be?” 



When dealing with a positive prospect, exercise extreme caution. The inexperienced salesperson will usually jump to the conclusion that the sale is closed –  when it may be in jeopardy. Once again, remember the discussion above, and ask presumptive open-ended questions showing that you are Not OK- at least not completely.



Prospect: ”I’m glad you called. I’ve heard all about you, and we have a lot to talk about right now.” 

You: “I appreciate that. When you say we have something to talk about right now, what does that mean?”


You: “ I’m glad you have already heard about me. What should we talk about first?”


Time for Self- Critique


List examples of the stalls or roadblocks you encounter in daily activities. Then, write the questions that can be used in response. For each question write the answer both ways – presumptive open-ended and with the menu approach.


Now, list examples of the OK/Not Ok statements you encounter in daily activities. Then, write the questions you can use in response – and for each question write the answer both ways – presumptive open-ended and with the menu approach. 


Lessons Learned


Why you should trust your intuition?

Researchers have found that intuition often knows the right answer long before your conscious mind does.

The second reason to trust your inner voice, as suggested by Kelly Turner, is that “trusting your intuition leads to better outcomes than trusting your logical, thinking brain”.

Look into your past

Have you had moments when you wish you could rewind time and do things over? You had a feeling that things would turn out this way but didn’t act on it. Now, you regret it.

Pay attention to these missed opportunities. Keep track of all the times you didn’t listen to your intuition and should have. This is one way you can get in touch with those signals you may have missed before but won’t miss again.

Ask yourself questions

Ask yourself questions and then listen to the first thing that pops into your mind. This isn’t easy because doubtful thoughts will flood your mind.

Begin with a question or situation where the outcome doesn’t matter either way. For example, the next time you are out for a meal, glance at the menu then pick the first thing that catches your eye. Ignore the barrage of thoughts that will flood your mind. You could be pleasantly surprised.

Then slowly move on to more complex questions and situations. For example, ask something like, “Should I do …?” Pause and wait for that flash of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Then act on it!

Not acting is the same as ignoring your intuition.

Find out how your intuition communicates to you

Not everyone has a gut feeling. Each person experiences their intuition differently. Many people talk about a gut feeling while others might experience a strong inner knowing, a mental picture, repetitive thoughts or ideas, and even dreams.

Start paying attention to how your intuition communicates with you. The more often that you acknowledge this communication the stronger it will become.

Identify what is a truth and a lie inside your body

Quiet yourself and tell yourself a lie. Something that is so obviously a lie that if you ask yourself over and over again until you can identify what 

Quiet your mind and relax your body

When you have to make a major decision, it is very easy to get caught up in worry and fear-based thoughts. As your mind races from one thought to another, it can drown out the voice within ~ your intuition.

By taking time every day to quiet your mind and relax your body you will be opening a space for your intuition to speak to you. You can do this by setting aside some quiet time or meditating.

Keep an intuition journal

Write down any guidance you have received and when your intuition is correct. You might also consider keeping track of any sensations associated with your intuition. By looking back in your journal you will learn more about how to recognize your intuition and also to trust it. This is a great way to build confidence.

Create intuitive games

Strengthen your intuitive abilities and your imagination by creating and playing guessing games. While watching a sporting event, guess who will win. When your phone rings, guess who is calling. Guess the color of the shirt your boss will be wearing. Have fun with your intuition. The more you use it the stronger it will become.

Your intuition is a powerful asset!

It just might be the life changer you are looking for. Go ahead give it a try and see what happens.

Keep an intuition journal

Write down any guidance you have received and when your intuition is correct. You might also consider keeping track of any sensations associated with your intuition. By looking back in your journal you will learn more about how to recognize your intuition and also to trust it. This is a great way to build confidence.


The Specification/ Discovery Step 

Why People Buy


People buy for their own reasons. No matter how well a product or service fits a prospect’s needs, the reason to purchase is theirs. In order for one to have a successful sales process, they need to uncover those reasons! If there aren’t any compelling emotional reasons for someone to use a product or service, it’s over!


So how can one discover the prospect’s true specifications that are more important than any feature or benefit? A salesperson must discover what compelling reason there is for the client’s business and on the client themselves!


Think of the role of being a detective, through careful questioning try to uncover the following: 

  • The apparent problem
  • The underlying causes of the problem
  • What has been done to resolve the problem
  • If the cost of the problem is sufficient to be addressed
  • What the impact of the problem is on the business or individual
  • If there is any personal impact or compelling reason for the problem to be resolved
  • If the problem is in the “ Must Fix” category
  • If the client is committed to changing the situation
  • The client wants your help


What Happens if the Problem is not Compelling?

  • We tend to try to convince the prospect and tell them why our service or product is the best for them.
  • We stress features and benefits as if they are the answer when many times, we don’t even know the problem. So we guess.
  • We look, feel, and sound like every other salesperson.
  • We may end up doing a lot of “ Free Consulting” to prove our worth.
  • More often than not we join the ranks of “Vendor” and then price becomes a huge part of the decision, if not entirely.


The @revenue reasons for exploring the Compelling Reasons and Impact to do Business.

  • By finding the real reasons to do business, one is actually qualifying the prospect to see if it is desirable to invest time, money, and energy.
  • It can be found out sooner, rather than later, in the sales process if there is a good fit. Not all prospects should be clients.
  • Pricing, or cost, is eliminated as the primary reason to do business.
  • A partnership mentality is created with the prospect.
  • It can be jointly determined why, how, and if there are any next steps, and this can develop relationships versus vendor transaction activity.


What are the Steps in Uncovering the Compelling Reasons for Doing Business?

  • Step 1- The Apparent Reason Step – In this step, prospects share openly and easily the topical reason for why they want to do business.
  • Step 2- The Underlying Causes Step – This step gives the details and Business reasons for why and how the problem needs attention.
  •  Step 3- The Compelling Reason Step – This step clarifies the effects the problem has on the business and identifies the impact to the individual. 
  • Step 4 – The Review and Commitment – In this step, what has been gathered is re-stated, Steps 1 through 3 are summarized, and then the commitment of the prospect to eliminate the problem is gauged.


Comparing your current system to the @revenue Specification step process. Are the following ever true?

  • Knowing at all times why prospects have purchased
  • Finding out after the investment of resources, that a prospect should have been disqualified long ago
  • Providing free consulting services in the hope that the prospect will buy with no prior commitment from them
  • Being treated as a vendor versus a partner
  • Lowering price and margins to gain a market share?


Step 1 – The Apparent Reason


The reasons for why they need help are easily shared by the prospect and are topically obvious.


They may be seeking better quality, pricing, or enhanced deliverable.


Prospects for a particular product or service tend to have the same concerns and problems. And they tend to address these issues on an intellectual and factual level.


The stated problem often isn’t the real problem but just an indication or symptom of deeper issues.


The Real Reasons for Doing Business are Never What your Prospect Says!


How do we get there?



“ Why would you want to talk to someone, like myself, that does what I do, and why now?”


“Can you describe the details of the issues and maybe provide some examples?”


“What have you done so far to resolve this, how has it worked?”


“What were you hoping these past actions would do for you?”


Example of Exploring the Apparent Reason:


You: “When we first spoke, you said you had some issues regarding the efficiency of your warehousing operation and more specifically your inventory control, is that correct?”


Prospect:  “Yes, it seems that we really can’t keep precise stock inventory to satisfy our clients.” 


You: “ I can appreciate that, but could you tell me why you wanted to talk to me, regarding what we do, and why now?”


Prospect: “You said that one of the main reasons your clients work with you is in regard to creating in-house efficiencies.”


You: “ That’s true. Could you give me some details regarding this problem and some specific examples?”


Prospect: “ We are continually having difficulty in reconciling the physical inventory- count with our accounting department. Customer orders are either delayed or in some cases, unable to be completed at all.”


You: “ I see. What have you done in the past to fix this problem, and were the results what you wanted?


Step 2- The Underlying Causes


Why they are interested in your product or service


Why they are interested in change


What results are they trying to achieve


That current solutions aren’t working


Uncovering the Underlying Causes:


When the @revenue process is begun, it must first start with the actual details of the problem that is shared. Asking specific questions regarding the problem, allows the prospect, as well as the salesperson, to uncover why it really is a problem and why it must be fixed.


Asking how long the problem has been a challenge and what has been done to fix it to date, allows the salesperson and the prospect to jointly determine frustrations, and if the costs are sufficient to commit to change.


Determining if there is a truly compelling impact on the business and on them personally is based upon how large the economic impact is. It is also based upon if they are responsible for its effects.

Finding out what the impact is on the client and business in the future ( if the problem isn’t corrected) will allow the salesperson to gauge how they would feel about the consequences, and if they would be OK with the status quo.


Creating a Menu Approach to Uncover the Underlying Causes:


  • Enables the prospect to identify with similar problem situations.
  • Indicates to the prospect that this road has been traveled before and knowledge regarding the situation is possessed.
  • Allows the prospect to more accurately describe their issue and its importance to him.
  • Allows the salesperson to more accurately and quickly understand the challenge.


Establishing the Menu


By creating a list of options from which the prospect may choose, it is easier for the prospect to determine what their key underlying reasons are for doing business. The issues are the client’s not the salespersons.


What Does the Menu Consist Of?


An effective menu consists of the top three issues of concern, or category, that prospects typically face; there may be multiple menus.



“ Typically, Mr. Prospect, when my clients have said that they were experiencing difficulty in inventory control  and warehouse management, we have found that it was either:


A – they found that their methods of control were difficult for the warehouse staff to comply with and implement,




B- the actual software interface was difficult, at best, which led to confusion and incorrect input of data,




C- once the data was entered into the system, there wasn’t a real- time accounting of the articles, and still required another person to re-key the data.


Are any of these issues similar to what you are experiencing?”


Time for Practice


Using the Menu Approach, create your own Menu for the three most popular products or services you provide for your customers. 


They are: 







Now create your three menus of Underlying Reasons.
















Step 3 – The Compelling Reason


The most significant reason people actually commit to making a decision is based in emotion, not fact, features, or benefits. And, the greatest emotional reason for people to purchase is that there is personal impact, usually negative, by not doing so.


A Compelling Reason to purchase, directly impact the business, the client, the client’s family, either financially or emotionally.


A good detective needs to personally uncover, through questioning, what the prospect stands to lose or not accomplish if they do not partner and use the services or products.



  • Understand that this is not a comfortable experience for the prospect. Particularly when questions are asked about what impact the problem has on them personally
  • Remember, no impact, no compelling reason… no sale!
  • Tone and body language must be extremely nurturing.
  • If the relationship process is weak, they will view this as the cause of their uneasiness, not the problem, and it will be over.
  • Don’t  provide help or an easy way out as questions are asked about the impact of the problem. Let them struggle. 
  • Constantly use their answers to formulate the next question
  • It must be all about them!


What does it sound like? Review and Question

You: “ I think I understand the situation, Jim, and I understand this problem is costing the business money and has been for a lot years, is that right? So the cost of this is really money times years?” ( Quantification of the problem).


Prospect: “ Yes that certainly sounds right.”


You: “ And that although you have tried to fix this, the solutions offered just haven’t done what was needed to be done? But you haven’t given up.” 

Prospect:” That’s correct.”


You: “ What will happen if we don’t work on this problem and fix it?”


Prospect: “Then, we will continue to have this problem and it will continue to affect our business.”


You: “ I see, Jim, does this whole situation affect you? Does it impact you directly? If so, may I ask how?”


Prospect: “ It affects my opportunity with the company and financially.”


You: “ Oh… How do you feel about this? What if it doesn’t change?”


Prospect: “ We definitely need to fix this.”


Time for Practice


List the questions to ask in order to qualify the prospect and determine if there is a compelling reason for us to work with them?











Why do we ask each question?


Lessons Learned


Commitment Step


  1. Define Commitment?
    1. Commitment is to pledge oneself to a position on some issue: To trust. – What part does Commitment play for us, and for our prospect in relation to the @revenue selling process?
      1. Prospect must declare that there’s a problem – A MUST FIX and done NOW.
      2. The problem is both business and personal
      3. The cost of the problem must affect them personally and their business
      4. They are resolved to fix it
      5. They want help resolving it
      6. They will dedicate time, finances and personal involvement to achieve desired results
  2. What happens if the prospect is not committed to solving the problem?
    1. Final decisions to implement changes will be put off
    2. Other projects or concerns will take precedent
    3. Financial investment to solve the problem will not be made
    4. You will waste your time, resources, and emotional energies
    5. You will live in hope, instead of having a clearly defined description of what your future relationship with the prospect will be
  3. How do you discover and obtain commitments from our prospects? – WE ASK FOR IT!!!
    1. Review all of the particulars of the previous discovery step, especially C.R’s
    2. Review the impact on business and then personally. Get their validation. Review the quantified cost of the problem. (Past$ + Future$ = Total$) 
    3. Ask “ Is this a Could, a Should or a Must Fix problem? (what if they say it’s not a must?) – what was missed? 
      1. Is this important to them?
      2. STOP! Restart process
      3. Say ”I’m confused, I thought you had said that…” Soft, nurturing tones.
      4. Get them to “NO” but leave the door open for future opportunities.  
  1. If Must fix then- “ Do you want my help in taking care of this problem?”
  2. Must be yes before moving forward. If no, start over. If yes, then “are you sure?” “ 100% sure?” – “ I believe I can help you.” “However, I would like to ask you a few more questions, is that okay?”
  3. Do the 1 to 10…
  4. “ I like you Bob, I think we can really work together.”


Work your partner to a 10.


The Decision Step


Effectiveness in Understanding a Prospect’s Decision-Making Process


Sales System Action Steps


In Marketing and Sales, it is essential to know the steps a prospect follows in making his decision about whether or not to go forward with a transaction. The earlier these are determined- the parties involved and the steps necessary for a prospect to reach a decision – the sooner it can be determined that the prospect is qualified. 


When Master status is achieved, one will not hesitate to ask questions that allow him to know a prospect’s decision-making steps.


Why does the @revenue Sales System focus on this Step?


The Sales System focuses on a series of steps in every decision-making process to ensure that:


  1. Time is used wisely by dealing only with those persons who have input into the prospect’s decision-making process.
  2. It is determined at the earliest possible time whether a prospect is qualified to become a customer or client.
  3. All the necessary steps are discovered to appropriately present the product or service in order to obtain a buying decision. This goal is achieved by asking questions to uncover the prospect’s decision-making process.


Elements of the Prospect’s Decision-Making Process


Element 1

Element 1 pertains to the identity, role, and interests of each person involved in the prospect’s decision-making process. Is the person being met with the true decision-maker? Questions to ask include the following:


Who else will be involved in making a decision about going forward?


Who has buying authority?


Who has relevant input?


Who has veto power?


Who may be affected by the decision to buy?


Element 2

Element 2 pertains to the steps the prospect follows in the decision-making process. Questions to ask include the following:


What kind of a process is gone through when making this type of decision?


What will the client need to see, hear, or experience?


What can be done to move the decision-making process forward?


Element 3

Element 3 pertains to the time frame of the prospect’s decision-making process and the urgency of the process, Questions to ask include the following:


When will this be decided?


When does the decision need to be made?


If a decision can’t be made right away, can an agreement be made that the client will make a decision within an acceptable clear and present future? When will this be? (establish a date and time)


Element 4


Element 4 pertains to the level within the prospect’s company or organization at which the prospect makes decisions. Note that this element may not apply to every prospect. Questions to ask include the following:


Is your authority in the decision-making process local, regional, or national?


Where will the decision be made?


Element 5

Element 5 pertains to why the prospect’s decision-making process works the way it does. Questions to ask include the following:


Why are decisions made this way?


Why is it set up this way?


Element 6

Element 6 pertains to how the prospect makes decisions. Questions to ask include the following:


How do these people interact to come up with a final decision?


How do they do it?


How long does it take?


Benefits of Using this Step


Asking questions to identify all the Elements a prospect uses in his decision-making process serves manifold purposes. Some of these include the following:


  1. An established series of steps are followed in the marketing and selling process.
  2. The prospect is guided in following an established series of steps in the marketing and selling process.
  3. The relationship with the prospect is enhanced, and this strengthens the relationship with the new customer or client.


Time for Practice


Sit back to back and role-play the agenda above, and switch roles after each role-play. After each person has done it twice, discuss how it felt to be the prospect and what impression the tone, pace, and rhythm had to do with your reaction.


Time for Reflection


What are the benefits of setting a Qualifying Agenda?


What are the negatives?


What fears do you have about asking a prospect to agree to an agenda?


Where do your fears come from?


How can we eliminate these fears?


What fear may your prospect have about committing to an agenda?


Where do their fears come from?


How can we eliminate these fears?


Lessons Learned


The Financial Step


Dealing with financial issues is often one of the most difficult steps for both the prospect and salesperson. The Sales System provides a consistent and systematic approach to overcome this problem.


Salespeople often have attitudes and feelings about money that can hinder the ability to close the sale. Likewise, prospects also have attitudes and feelings that can make the discussion of financial issues uncomfortable. Yet, it is critical for both parties to clearly understand all of the financial commitments that will be required in order to successfully conclude the sales cycle.


During the Financial Step, they will determine the following:


The cost of the problems uncovered in the Specification Step

The investment the prospect is prepared to make

The process that the prospect must go through to allocate and dispense funds from the budget


Dealing with Money Attitudes and Feeling about Money

Most attitudes toward money have been shaped very early in life. These messages often interfere with the ability to logically discuss money issues with a prospect and typically make both parties uncomfortable during the discussion.


In the worst-case scenario, the salesperson is so uncomfortable that they avoid talking about money until the end of the sales cycle. This approach leads to many unpleasant surprises after a great deal of time and effort has been expended. In many cases, when the inevitable discussion of money occurs, the salesperson will nervously state his price. If there is any resistance from the sales prospect, he will immediately begin to offer a discount and hope that the issue will be quickly resolved and go away.


Another problem is that most salespeople have a “choke point.” This is a dollar figure at which discomfort discussing money matters inhabits the ability to deal with the money issues at hand. For example, there are salespeople who can close $10,000 sales effortlessly; however, when the price is raised to $100,000 these same salespeople have an extremely difficult time closing the sale. Once these conceptual barriers have been identified, they can be dealt with and overcome.




List the “messages” that have shaped your attitude toward money.

At what price point do you become uncomfortable?


The Sales System provides you with a series of steps and techniques that will keep the focus on gathering the information required while minimizing the emotional reactions of the salesperson and the prospect.


It should be noted that for the most part, the focus is on financial investment. However, there are products and services that also require the prospect to invest time and other resources. These must be clearly defined and discussed early in the sales cycle in order to avoid unpleasant surprises at the eleventh hour, or even worse, during the implementation step.


Determining the costs associated with the Problems

Once the problems have been uncovered in the Specification Step, it is crucial to translate the significance of the problem into a monetary figure. This is necessary in order to crystallize the problem in the prospect’s mind and to attach value to the solution. This will also indicate how serious the problem is to the prospect, and can help in determining if the product or service is “in the ballpark.” An assessment can be made of the degree of difficulty that will be experienced in moving the sale forward. This process will also serve, in most cases, to intensify the feelings the prospect has regarding the problem.



List a series of questions that could be used to determine the cost of problems.


Determining the size of the Budget


There are several approaches that can be utilized including the following:


The ROI 

 the prospect has placed a dollar amount (x) to the cost associated with the problem you should ask, “What kind of an investment do you typically make to resolve this kind of problem?”


The Direct Approach

You ask: “ Have you established a budget to address this problem?”


If yes: “Approximately how much did you allocate to this budget?”


If no: “Where will the funds come from to resolve it?”


The Third-Party Approach

This is typically used when the prospect doesn’t have a budget and you are trying to determine the value they place on a solution to the problem. You tell about two different customers- one that took a bare-bones approach and one that took a comprehensive approach. You give dollar brackets for each approach and then ask the prospect, “Which approach would you take?”


The Past Experience Approach


If the prospect has purchased similar products and services in the past, you can ask what they have previously spent.


It should be noted that these approaches ( or elements of them ) can be used in a combination based on the situation at hand.


Time to Practice


Role-play in order to determine the size of the budget. Try different approaches.


Determining the Money Process


It is not enough to know the size of the prospect’s budget. The salesperson must also find out the internal process that the prospect must go through in order to allocate and dispense the funds. This should include everyone that must sign off, the prospect’s internal paperwork involved, the salesperson paperwork, and the clearly defined tasks that must be completed before the financial transaction can be completed. In many cases, legal documents, terms, and conditions are involved. If so, the process of moving through the necessary steps should begin at this point. What should be avoided is having the prospect poised to move forward, only to have the process grind to a halt waiting for the legal department to review the documents. Ideally, this process will proceed, or at least be in parallel to the selling process.


Sample Questions


What kind of process do you normally go to allocate $x for a project?


Who else will be involved in this process other than yourself?


What information will be required?


What kind of time frame has been involved in the past when there was an approval of an allocation of similar size?


What paperwork will be required?


Would it make sense to have the legal department review the agreements while we work on resolving the business issues?


The answers to these questions will also serve as a reality check. Parameters such as the size of the investment, the size of the prospect’s revenues, the cost of the problem, the level in the organization, etc all combine to give the salesperson a solid perspective on the probability of approval and the time frame that will be involved. 


Determine the Funds Currently Available


A budget is an estimate of planned expenditures based on assumptions and projections that were made prior to the fiscal period covered by the budget.

Because something is in the budget doesn’t necessarily mean that the funds are readily available. Reality may have turned out quite differently than the assumptions and projections upon which the budget is based. 


Sample Questions


Have sufficient funds been allocated for this transaction in the current budget? If not, are there discretionary funds available? Can a supplementary, or amended, budget be submitted and approved?


What is the prospect’s current cash flow situation? Are sufficient funds readily available?


Determine the Amount the Prospect is Prepared to Invest


Even after determining the required funds are indeed available, the salesperson realizes that there is one more task to complete. Is the prospect prepared to spend the money? At this point, you must tap into the prospect’s emotions by “putting them into it” For example:

“ Assuming we decide to go ahead, Mr Pac (First name preferable), can you see yourself writing a check/authorizing payment for x$?”


Time to Practice


Exercise 1: Start with the budget amount that has been discussed. Role-play the situation of determining the money process and the ability and willingness to spend the money/invest the time.


Exercise 2: Start with the list of problems that were determined in the Specification Step. Role-play the entire Financial Step.


Financial Step Fall Back Position

In some cases, the prospect will not commit to the entire amount needed for the solution. When this happens, a good fallback position is to offer a trial, pilot, study, or starter kit at a small percentage of the investment needed for the total solution. The prospect MUST invest some money, time, or resources in order to make this strategy work. If they proceed with the entire solution, the free trial cost can be applied to the investment needed for the total solution implementation. The objective of this strategy is to get the prospect comfortable with the solution so that they will proceed with the larger investment while shutting out the competition during the trial.   {see pg.10 Common Sense Selling}


Financial Step- Quality Introductions


The Salesperson always includes a number of quality introductions from the prospect as part of the overall “price” of the solution they will be providing. As described in the Prospecting Step, the prospecting channel that provides the best prospects and that has the highest closing percentage is the quality introductions channel. By completing this task as part of the Financial Step, expectations are set that the salesperson can deliver a quality solution, has confidence that the proposed solution will be successful, is seeking to create a long-term strategic partnership with the prospect, and has a keen interest in the prospect’s success in implementing the solution. completion of this task will ensure that the salesperson has a growing network of quality prospects.


A Final Note to Consider 

When selling in a corporate environment, always remember that the money being discussed is not the prospect’s personal money; it belongs to the corporation. However, the problems that have been uncovered belong to the prospect. They own the problems, but they don’t own the money. The Salesperson focuses on resolving the problems, knowing that if they do, the money will not be an issue. Also, it is very important that the decision-maker step be clearly defined and discussed before the Financial Step is finished.


Time to Practice


Exercise 1: Role-play setting up a fallback position.


Exercise 2: Role-play introducing quality introductions.


Presentation Step


Creating a Successful Presentation Plan Key to Success


Finally, the time has come for you to present. It is worth noting that when you have completed all the steps up to the presentation step, an excellent procedure is to use the 1-10 scale.


At the end of the financial step ask the following question: “On a Scale of one to ten, where 1 means you really have no interest in going any further and 10 means you are ready to sign the contract or agreement and get started on the first phase of implementation, where are you?”


If you did a good job building in the relationship step, the specification step, the commitment step, the decision step, and the financial step; a percentage of people will say they are a 10. You need to immediately ask the prospect, “What would you like the next step to be?”


You will be surprised how many prospects will say, “Let’s get started.” Of course, the implementation plan must be laid out after the contract is signed. The smaller the cost for the product or service, the greater the chance that the close will be experienced immediately. It is extremely satisfying to know that each step of the selling system has been successfully completed. 


What if the prospect is not a 10? The next step would be to ask, “ What do you need to see, hear, or experience to get to a 10?” If the prospect is at a loss for a number, say, “ I understand that it might be difficult to put a number on where you are, but I need to prepare for the presentation properly and focus on your needs.”


What if the prospect is a 6? Ask, “ What do you need to see, hear, or experience to move up to a higher number?” The prospect must move; if they don’t, find out why. Let’s say the prospect is an 8, continue the process until they become a 10. This will map out everything the prospect wants to see, hear, and experience at the presentation. Only present what the prospect says they need and nothing more.


The job is to get a prospect to 10. They will tell you the shortest distance to a close. And, it will be the most efficient and effective way to present.  Why? Because the prospect will tell you what the presentation should look like. 


So many sales professionals work entirely too hard. Do you? Do you feel nervous before and after a presentation? Is it because you’re not sure if what you presented is exactly what the prospect needs to see, hear or experience in order to make a buying decision?


One important point to mention is the fact that one must let the prospect map out the presentation as they are guided to 10. If they will not give a clear map, find out what was missed in the earlier steps. Namely Specification, Commitment, decision, or financial.


When would you want to know that your prospect is not really a prospect, now or later? Too many sales professionals rush through this step and move ahead without taking the prospect to 10.


Be persistent in this step and go no further until the prospect is really a prospect. Know specifically what is needed in order to secure a buying decision. If prospects are nurtured, they will tell you what it will take for them to make a decision.


This next point is critical. It could be the one thing that is crippling from higher levels of sales. That is the ROI. It needs to be a very good ratio. If it is not, use multiple years if the cost is mainly one-time or if the ongoing cost is small.


 Many inexperienced sales people do not ask the prospect if the environment is reasonable and the ROI is large enough to go ahead with the project. This question must be asked. If the ROI is not large enough, then go back to the financial step and add more value. Ask the prospect what the ROI would have to be for everyone on the team to say “yes”. 


In Summary, the 1 to 10 scale is a way to catch whatever was missed or left out by the client and allows the salesperson to find out early if a presentation can lead to a “yes”. The pressure of a presentation should be very small if the presentation step is properly executed. 


When one is ready to present, it is very important to go back over the specification step, the commitment step, the decision step, and the financial step. Determine if anything has changed. If it has, deal with it at this point. It might be that one must prepare again for the presentation if something has changed and it can’t be dealt with immediately. It is also important to go over the agenda for the meeting and check to see that a decision can be made at the close of the meeting.


It is now time to present and the prospect will give you a clear “yes” or “no” and not a put-off. Be sensitive at this point. No pressure should be put on the prospect. It is better to be very soft and nurturing at this point.


If all lights are green…. Go for it. Be certain that all things are very calm at this point. Ask the prospect to list the things they want to see, hear, or experience. Help the prospect by reviewing what was previously revealed. Let the prospect prioritize the list of elements to be presented.


This will make the prospect feel in control. Once the solution has been presented to the first element, ask if the prospect is happy with what you have presented. If the answer is “yes,” ask, “One-hundred percent happy?” If the response is another “yes”, write satisfied next to the item on the proposal or the list.


Example: Say, “Are you satisfied, 100%?” Wait for the response. It is important to listen and observe the body language for any negative signs. In a group, go one by one with each person. Start with the person who is most likely to say yes. Then come back and ask, “ Are you sure you are satisfied with what we are presenting?” Wait for the response. If it is positive, write the word “satisfied” by the first issue.


Then, ask what else they would like to see, hear or experience. Once they have chosen the second one, go through the same process as above. It has been found that in almost every industry if the top three issues are chosen, 80% of why a person will buy has been covered. 


It is at this time that 1 to 10 scale will be used. Ask where the client is on that scale. It is important that this concept has been used earlier in the sales process so they will not be shocked by the concept. This time if they are nurtured, they will be ready to give a number without much prompting. If there are problems at this point, it might be an indication that some part of a step has been overlooked. It must be dealt with, or the sale will not close. Believe this. STOP the presentation and deal with it or it is over! 


Ask the client what they need to see, hear or experience to get to a 10. It will be surprising that when every step has been fully covered, the more likely they will be to say that they are a 10 and ready to go. Then ask, “ What would you want me to do next?” 


Some prospects will say, “Let’s get started on the project” or may ask, “Do you have a contract?”  Others will say, “ Well, you tell me.” In that case, simply ask, “ Would you like to sign an agreement and begin to develop the implementation plan?” Make the prospect ask for the order. This is fun,  and it is a plan that reduces the pressure of the close. The prospect will feel like they have made the decision and not like they were forced into the sale.


To become a real closer, follow this concept. Too many people work so hard, but never close the sale and earn a commission, because they have not completed a thorough presentation. The old saying, “Develop your plan and work the plan” is so true. Only the strong will work the plan. The weak may plan, but the weak never work the plan consistently. 


The salesperson is 100% responsible for closing the sale. Too many salespeople push prospects into a presentation without building a complete presentation plan. If the prospect will not give the details of the plan, STOP and find out why. When presentations are made to prospects with whom a thorough presentation plan has been prepared, the close ratio should be in the 80% to 90% range. If it is desirable that the percentage of closed sales to presentation be increased, weed out the unqualified prospects early in the selling cycle. 


A good exercise is to list at least 5 concepts that can help build a presentation plan.







Exercise 2: Think of a current prospect and outline five steps that should be taken using the above example in building a presentation plan with this person or company. Translate the theory into application for a very important prospect or client.







Lesson Learned


List three concepts that you have learned, and what are you going to do over the next 30 days:





Where do you need help in the presentation step? So many sales people and owners fail to ask for help. Are you one of them? Your coach is here to help you achieve your goals. Would you want your coach to keep you accountable?


Yes_____  No______


Signature_________________________________   Date________


The Ambush Step

am ’bush ’er n.

Synonyms: ambush, ambuscade, bushwhack, waylay 

These verbs mean “to attack suddenly and without warning from a concealed place.”


It has taken a long time, but the prospect has finally said “yes”, and signed the order. The only thing left is for the salesperson to hand in the paperwork and then decide what to do with the commission from the sale. Meanwhile, safe and well out of range of the soon to be dismayed salesperson, the new client calls the office and ambushes the sale. 


An ambush, in the business sense of the term, occurs when the prospect or client changes his mind about moving forward with the deal or continuing through the steps of the selling process; they instead stop the process or cancel the sale once they are out of contact range of the salesperson. An ambush is  “buyer’s remorse” in action.


An ambush occurs because the salesperson didn’t help the prospect prepare for the emotional challenges they may face prior to taking ownership of the product or service.


@revenue Salespersons understand that they are responsible for preventing ambushes and do it by mastering the techniques that head off “buyer’s remorse.”


“Prospects wonder if they should. Buyers wonder if they should have. Customers tell others they’re happy they did.”


Preventing an Ambush Requires

  • Understanding why ambushes occur
  • Understanding what causes ambushes in industry
  • Understanding how to prepare your client and ward off the ambush


Ambushes: Buyer’s Remorse In Action

Leon Festinger ( 1957), a former Stanford University social psychologist, created the theory of cognitive dissonance, which examines the stress caused by discord between behavior and belief. Festinger’s definition of cognitive dissonance is “the distressing mental state caused by inconsistency between a person’s two beliefs or a belief and an action; an adverse motivation to change a belief.” Simply put, it is the stress that people feel when they find themselves doing things that don’t fit with what they know. It is also manifested in having opinions that are contrary to the norm. In sales, that stress can occur when a buyer either begins questioning a recent decision or is forced to defend a purchase to others. 


Three “R” factors that affect dissonance:

  • Resistance — People have a fundamental need to avoid dissonance and to establish consistency.
    • Do I really want to go through all this?
    • If we change this, then what else will we have to change?
    • What kind of resistance will the employees have to this? 
  • Reaction — The tension of dissonance motivates the person to change either the behavior or the belief.
    • My old supplier said they would drop the price, I wonder if I should have listened?
    • Frank I know these are different, but they are supposed to last longer.
    • If I had known you had a bad experience before, then I would have said no.
    • Sally, I respect your opinion. Do you really think I made a mistake?
  • Relativity — The more important the issue and the greater the discrepancy, then the higher the magnitude of dissonance.
    • I can’t afford to do this; however, if I don’t go through with it, I could lose half of my customers.
    • Sales are really off, and I need to advertise, but will this really work better than last time?
    • The only way we can grow is by moving, but it is a 10-year lease.


Changing jobs, moving, or buying an automobile typically are times when one feels cognitive dissonance in his personal life. National and state 72- hour cancellation- laws have been passed that recognizes the need for the consumer to deal seriously with these emotions. @revenue Salespersons know what dissonances commonly occur in their industries and take the necessary steps to stop the ambush before it occurs.


Time for Practice


List the types of ambushes that occur in your industry.


Rank the sources of dissonance in order of occurrences using 

  1. a the most common, then 
  2. Etc


Determine which “R” factor is involved in each ambush.


Time for Reflection 


Have you ever ambushed someone?

How did you feel before the ambush happened?

How did you feel after the ambush?

Have you ever been ambushed?

How did you feel when it happened?

What did you do to prevent it? What will you do now to prevent it from happening?


Lessons Learned


Ambushes: Reducing the Risks


Everyone reacts to the stress of dissonance in their way, as well as in differing degrees. Therefore, it is important that one understands a few ways to reduce dissonance. Some could include the following:


  • Selective exposure prevents dissonance.
    • Find others who support your way of thinking.
    • Avoid those who do not hold your opinion.
  • The greater the importance, irrevocability, and time between ownership the greater the need for assurance.
    • People will seek advice or support in accordance with the seriousness of the issue.
  • Minimal Justification for action induces a shift in attitude.
    • Minor issues reduce dissonance while major issues increase dissonance. 


Selective exposure


One uses selective exposure in their personal life by seeking out relationships with people who hold similar ideals and beliefs. The same is done in business. One does business with whom they like and trust. Therefore, it is no surprise that one does their best to avoid others who make them feel uncomfortable, which explains why a prospect hides after they have made a “no decision” or has “ambushed” a sale. They don’t want to talk about it because they feel uncomfortable.


The Back Belt salesperson makes this apparent negative work to their advantage. Rather than fearing a visit from the new client’s previous suppliers, prepare the client for the meeting. Coach the client in how they should deal with the challenge ahead of time. The @revenue Salesperson has reached the potential for an ambush.


Here are two examples:


“Bill, while you were approving the paperwork, a thought occurred to me. I feel there’s something we haven’t really considered. Do you mind if I bring it up?”


  • “You’ve been doing business with ABC Company for a while. You and your staff are probably very comfortable with its system and with its salesperson. Will you still feel that you’ve made the right decision if the sales representative wants to know what they have done to lose the business? What if they offer to fix it? Perhaps they will even offer a lower price or some other concession? What will you say then?”
  • “Change is not always easy for people. What happens if some of your staff like the old system better? What will you say to them?”


The @revenue Salesperson should now coach the new client through the scenario most likely to occur based on their responses.


Minimal justification for action induces a shift in attitude.


Little things mean a lot. Leon Festinger’s 1954 study found that it is not even major issues that make our dissonance decrease; however, it can be minor changes. One be stuck negotiating the purchase of a $250,000 house and the decision is made based on an agreement to leave the refrigerator. The same justification can be made in a decision to buy a $35,000 car because the salesperson agreed to throw in a new CD system for free. It’s the same in business. The little things that are done can help reduce the urge of the client to ambush the sale. Buying is based on satisfying an emotional urge. In order to reduce ambush possibilities, be sure that the client’s emotional urge is satisfied with their “reward” for buying, by making the reward something that they feel is worthwhile.


Time for practice

What are some “little things” you have received that lowered your dissonance during a previous purchasing experience?


What can be offered to a client who is feeling uncomfortable to help lower their dissonance?


Role- play the scenario in which this “ minimal justification”  is the new client.


Time for Reflection

Why do the “little things”  matter so much? 


Do the “little things” have to be physical things, or can they be something else?


How does one find out what is important to their prospect?


How does one know if they need to offer a “little thing?”


How important is timing in offering a  “little thing?”


Lessons Learned


Implementation Step


Effectiveness in Implementing a Plan with a New Customer or Client


@revenue Salesperson Sales System Action Steps


Once all the steps to move a prospect up to the level of a customer have been completed, the next logical and progressive step is to establish a plan to implement the course that is to be followed. By determining a mutually agreed upon plan of implementation, the customer and the salesperson both understand what is expected – avoiding unplanned surprises.


Overview of the Implementation Step:

  • What happens after the contract is signed?
  • What are the mutual responsibilities of the customer, or client, and the salesperson?
  • When, where, how, and why will each step of implementation occur?
  • What happens after that?


Why does the @revenue Salesperson Sales system focus on these steps?


The @revenue   Sales System focuses on a series of steps in every implementation plan to ensure that:


  1. What has been committed to a customer has been done.
  2. The customer is doing what they agreed to do.
  3. The salesperson and the customer are proceeding in an orderly and efficient manner in order to achieve mutually beneficial goals. These goals have been achieved when each step of the implementation plan has been satisfied.


The Implementation Plan Steps


Step 1- What Happens After the Contract is Signed?


After the contract is signed, the salesperson and the customer must know when, where, how, and why each step will occur. This is the step where the contract is implemented – to know what the  “deliverables” will be. The salesperson and the customer, or client need to continue to have an agenda.


Step 2- What is the Salesperson’s Responsibility?

  • When will each element of your contract with your customer or client be satisfied? Are there clearly – established times and dates for performance? 
  • Where will performance be rendered under the contract – at the salesperson’s place of business, the client’s place of business, or a third-party location? Is there a firm understanding of what the customer or client expects?
  • How will goods or services be provided to your customer, or client? Is there a system in place for the delivery of goods or services? How will performance be tracked to ensure that it is timely?
  • Has it been determined why goods will be provided to the customer or client at the times and dates selected, at the place selected, and in the manner selected? Are these choices based on sound reasons, or are things simply being done as they have always been done? Is the customer aware of each of these elements of responsibility?


Step 3 – What is the Customer or Client’s Responsibility?

  • When will the customer or client satisfy each element of their contract? Are there clearly established times and dates for his performance?
  • Where will the customer or client perform under the contract? Is there a firm understanding of what is expected? 
  • How will the customer or client provide feedback?
  • Does the customer or client understand why they must provide their performance on the times and dates selected, at the place selected, and in the manner selected? Is the customer or client aware of each element of their responsibility?


Step 4- What Happens After All Steps are Completed?

  • What is the salesperson’s understanding of what will happen after all steps of the contact are completed?
  • What is the Understanding of the customer or client regarding what will happen after all steps of the contract are completed?
  • How will it be confirmed that all steps of the contract have been completed?
  • How will the customer or client know that all the steps of the contract have been completed?
  • What is the mutual understanding regarding the next steps, if any, after the contract is completed?


Step 5- What Happens if Problems Arise?

  • What is the salesperson’s understanding of what will happen if there is a breach of the contract?
  • What is the understanding of what will happen if the customer or client is unable to complete the contract?
  • What is your customer or client’s understanding of what will happen if the salesperson is unable to complete the contract?
  • What happens if the customer or client has a problem with the salesperson? Who does the customer or client go to?
  • What procedures will be followed in order to report and resolve problems? Who will be responsible for coordinating the resources required to resolve the problem?


Time for Self-Critique


In the space below, analyze whether the questions are being asked  ( and answered) that are necessary to ensure that the customer or client – and the salesperson – each know that each step of the implementation plan is being satisfied.

  1. Is what has been committed to the customer or client being done? If not, explain why.
  2. Is the customer or client doing what they agreed to do? If not, explain why.
  3. Are the salesperson and customer or client proceeding in an orderly and efficient manner in order to achieve mutually beneficial goals – to win-win? If not, explain why not.
  4. Is each step of the implementation plan being satisfied? If not, explain why not.
  5. Is it clear when, where, how, and why each step of implementation will occur? Explain each step.
  6. Does the customer or client know the expectations of the salesperson for the client as to when, where, how, and why each step of implementation will occur? Explain each step.


Transactional Analysis


  1.  Transactional Analysis  

Q: What is transactional analysis?  Who developed it? 

  1.  Each ego state is an entire system of thought, feeling, and behavior governing our interactions with one another.
  2.  Can be traced back to Dr. Edward Berne in 1949
  3.  Why study this?  To have the ability to recognize the ego state of your prospects, you will improve the quality and effectiveness of your transactions.

Q: What are the 3 different ego states?


  1. Understanding the Ego States
    1. The Parent Ego State – There are 2 components (developed in the first 5 yrs.)
  1. Critical Parent – Decides right and wrong- very judgmental
  2. Nurturing Parent – comforting, loving, and supportive
  1. Adult Ego State – Developed through independence.  The Adult acts as a buffer between the parent and child ego states
  2. Child Ego State – There are 3 components (developed in the first 5 yrs.)
  3. 1.  Natural Child – playful, impulsive, and fun-loving
  1. Rebellious Child – Angry, intimidating, and selfish
  2. Adapted Child – seeks approval and acceptance


Q:  How does this help us work with them?


  1. How it works – 3 rules

Rule #1 Pn ————Ca Discovery/Commitment


Rule #2 A ————-A

          A————-Cn Presentation (tie in CR’s)

          A ————-Ca


Rule #3 Keep them “Okay” through the process


  1. How this ties together – Tips on dealing with prospects
    1. Encourage their child by asking questions
    2. Don’t go critical parent or child with a prospect
    3.  Use words like “understand and help”  
    4. *Stay in the Nurturing parent or Adult role with your prospect
      • Pushy salespeople try to close a sale with the prospect in the child state.
    5. In the beginning, match up your nurturing parent to their adaptive child.             (must keep them Okay)
    6. Rescue “not okay” prospects.  Let them know other people have felt the same way (explain Okay – Not Okay to class)
  1. Biggest problems –
  1.  #1 is Adult to Adult.  B/C then it’s all intellectual
  2.  #2 is ME being an adaptive child – Why?  B/C then you want everyone to like you and will do anything to make him or her happy.  It will stop you from asking the tough questions.


  1. Final thoughts – Try to stay Nurturing parent in business.  Never go child!


The Nurturing Tone

Understanding the Nurturing Tone is the key to Success

The principles of Transactional Analysis can be traced to a series of articles written by Dr. Eric Berne starting in 1949. During 1956, Dr. Berne wrote Intuition V: The Ego Image and Ego States in Psychotherapy in which he explained the concept of ego states and developed the structure used today (Parent, Adult, and Child). Dr. Berne passed away during 1970.

Dr. Berne recognized that each ego state is an entire system of thought. feeling, and behavior that governs one’s interactions with other people. Every interaction with another person is a transaction. By learning to recognize the ego state of the person being interacted with, the quality and effectiveness of transactions can be improved.

The Nurturing Parent Tone

People develop the Parent tone during the first five years of life. This state is the result of the influence of the father, mother, or other authority figures in childhood. It has two components: the Critical Parent and the Nurturing Parent.

The Critical Parent component appears when a person is being judgmental, prejudicial, or makes definitive statements of right/wrong or acceptability.

The Nurturing Parent component appears when a person is warm, comforting, supportive, or loving.

What do we mean by the Nurturing Tone: it is a state of mind and sound of the voice which denotes to the person hearing you that you are caring and helpful. This is so important since we will be helping this person if they buy from us and if they don’t want our help, it is over. So many salespeople and owners can not find a nurturing voice or tone. Sometimes the voice is so deep that it does not come across as caring or helpful. Even if you are not heard as a caring and helpful person, act the part, so the other party believes that you are caring.

The Adult Tone

The Adult tone is developed as independence is developed. Refinement and adjustment of this state continues throughout life. It is really the art of asking questions in a logical but kind and caring way which is a combination of the nurturing tone and the adult tone.

The Adult acts as a buffer or filter between the Parent and the Child by intellectually analyzing the messages received from the Parent and the Child.


The Child Tone

The Child tone is developed during the first five years of life. This state represents the internal effects of external experiences. It has three components: the Natural Child, the Rebellious Child, and the Adapted Child.

  • The Natural Child is playful, impulsive, and fun-loving.
  • The Rebellious Child is angry, intimidating, and selfish.
  • The Adapted Child seeks approval and acceptance.

The general position that we take is that the voice for the child is never heard in a sales call or when working on a problem with an employee.

Therefore, the only tone heard by a professional salesperson is the Nurturing Parent tone and the Adult tone which manifest itself in questions and in the nurturing tone or voice.

Why is the Nurturing Voice or Tone Key to Your Success?

As discussed in the Relationship Step, business is about people. And a good relationship with the customer or client is required for long-term success.

Every person possesses all three (Parent, Adult and Child) and will behave in these states to varying degrees at various times. Tones or your voice can vary from moment to moment. As a salesperson, sales manager, or businessperson, there is the need to develop the ability to recognize the voice or tone of the person being dealt with.


The Customer Retention Step


Developing a plan to build customer loyalty, increase add-on business, and retain a current customer base are critical to growing a business.


The costs associated with acquiring a new customer are very high, especially in highly competitive markets. In mature markets where companies can only increase market share by replacing existing customers with competitors, the pressure for replacement will be fierce.


In order to grow a business, one must protect their customer base from these attacks while continuing to add new customers. Otherwise, one will be losing ground at worst, or they will be treading water at best.


In addition, loyal customers represent the biggest potential for increased profits through add-ons and continuing sales. Most of the costs associated with obtaining new business will not be incurred, and a pre-established relationship will dramatically shorten the sales cycle.


Price pressures will decrease and support for your new business efforts via customer references and referrals will be obtained.


“The @revenue Salesperson realizes that an active and sustained effort to build customer loyalty is a continuous part of the sales process.”


The Customer Loyalty Myth


Most sales people believe that all one has to do in order to have a loyal customer is deliver the products or services in a timely and professional manner, thereby satisfying the customer. This process may go on for a long period of time. Then, one day, they discover that they have been replaced by a competitor. They are shocked, angry, and feel betrayed. They are astonished that the customer could do this to them after all that they have done for them. How could this customer be so unappreciative and callous?


What they don’t understand is that from the customer’s perspective, a shipment was delivered, a payment was made, and a transaction was completed. It is just like any other simple business transaction that is made in minutes by a customer each month. Therefore, when a competitor arrives and offers the same service, quality, etc. at a lower price, the customer makes a wise business decision and goes with the competitor. As Michael Corleone said “ It’s not personal, it’s business.”


What’s missing on the part of the customer is emotion. Loyalty is an emotion. Loyalty is directed at people, not organizations. The prospect must be made to “feel” that efforts are unique to them and that their best interests are in mind. They have to be shown that a representative or company is personally committed to their success. It is your job to personally gain the customer’s loyalty. It is a mistake to assume that the customer will discover this themselves by simply observing your efforts.


If the product or service requires engaging an implementation team with the customer, it is imperative that the person they have been dealing with remains personally involved. It is the salesperson’s responsibility to see that a customer- retention plan is implemented. The members of this team should also be aware of the customer- retention plan and the steps involved in it. Under no circumstances should an account be “turned over” to service personnel, clerical staff, other representatives, etc.


Time for Reflection 


Have you ever fallen victim to the Customer Loyalty Myth?


What can you do to avoid this in the future?


Are there current situations that need to be addressed?


@revenue Salespersons skills, strategies, and techniques for Retaining Customer


Problem Handling


Problems occur. It’s a fact of life. The customer has problems with their own customers. Therefore, it is not a complete shock to them when something doesn’t go exactly as it is supposed to. The more technical the product, the more the customer expects problems to occur.


Customers do not get upset when a problem occurs. Customers get upset when a problem occurs and the vendor doesn’t respond in a timely manner. Therefore, when a customer encounters a problem, it is imperative that quick action is taken in order to resolve it. 


Most salespeople hate dealing with customer problems. A vendor is content to let customer support or customer service handle all problems. They forfeit control and become dependent on someone else to maintain a satisfied customer.


The @revenue Salesperson recognizes that a problem is an opportunity to build customer loyalty by demonstrating how they will personally “come through when the chips are down.”


It is imperative to act as the point person in getting the problem solved. Make sure the customer is contacted and told that personal responsibility is being taken to get the situation rectified. Keep the customer informed, in detail, the steps that are being taken in order to resolve the problem. Keep them informed of the progress. When the problem is finally resolved, let them know immediately.


NOTE: Under no circumstances should the blame be assigned to anyone. These things happen. This is not a value system event.


Time for Reflection


How are customer problems handled? Are they viewed as an opportunity or as an opportunity or as an annoyance? What will be done differently in the future?


Why would a salesperson assign blame to someone else in the organization? What are the long-term consequences of doing so?




It is very important that the key people dealing with the customer are aware of the effort that has been put into this account. In order to ensure this, a visit should be made every time a service is provided on-site. Give the customer a high-level briefing on what is being done and how it will be beneficial to them. If this is not done, the extensive service that has been provided will go unrecognized and therefore unappreciated.


Multiple Touch Points


Many salespeople fail to cultivate multiple allies within the customer’s organization. Instead, they continuously call on and interact with their inside champion. This strategy works as long as that person remains in place. But your position can become vulnerable if your ally is suddenly removed from the picture and a new person takes their place. The effects of such an occurrence can be mitigated and your position protected if you have developed a network of allies throughout the customer’s organization.


Become a Trusted Partner


You should be continuously looking for ways to help the customer improve their operations, profits, etc., even if these improvements do not involve your company. Become a source of relevant information. Provide alternatives and solutions for various business issues facing the customer. The position that you want to achieve is that the customer calls your first whenever they encounter a business issue that needs to be addressed.


Help Them Recognize Their Success


Make sure that they recognize the results they have achieved as a result of choosing your company. Provide them with status reports containing facts, figures, and evidence of the business issues that have been resolved. It is a mistake to assume that they will automatically attribute any of their success to your efforts.


Time for Reflection


Think of your best customer. Are you comfortable that you can depend on their loyalty? If not, how can you apply these concepts to improve the situation?


Get Credit for Your “Extra” Efforts


In a typical scenario, a customer calls and needs special consideration. The salesperson responds, “No problem, we’ll take care of it.” The customer hears, “ No problem,” and is not aware of all the extra effort that will be required in order to respond to their request. Therefore, they never recognize that you have done anything special for them.


In order to ensure that the customer appreciates your “extra” efforts, when they ask for special considerations, instead of immediately responding, struggle. Tell them the problems you’ll face complying with their request, then ask them how important this is. Tell them you’ll have to check on some things, rearrange schedules, contact other people, etc., and then ask if they’ll be reachable for the next thirty minutes so that you can get back to them. After 15 to 20 minutes, call them back and tell them that because they are such a valued customer, you were able to comply with their request. Then give them the details and thank them for the opportunity to serve them.


Role Play


Practice getting credit for complying with a special request.


Fending off the Competition


Three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and competitors trying to dislodge you from your best customers. The @revenue Salesperson is proactive in preparing its customers to deal with their competition.


Start out by telling the customer that the competition will be calling on them and asking them what they will do when that happens. Tell them all of the things your competitors will say about you and then ask them how they will respond to their claims and charges. Then help them compose responses and rehearse with them. Finally, get a commitment from them to call you whenever a competitor calls on them so that you can review with them what they said and refute any claims they made.


Role Play


Practice preparing a customer for a competitor.


Lessons Learned


Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)


Understanding NLP allows one to learn more about him or herself and those around them. NLP allows the master to achieve what is wanted and deserved.


Sue Knight advanced the theory of NLP in her book NLP at Work (2002 Nicholas Brealey Publishing), This module will be an overview of Knight’s Book. As a master, the professional needs to learn about NLP, and how to apply this valuable knowledge.


NLP is understood when:

One has learned to identify different types of thinking patterns and signals.

One understands how NLP can be used to improve communication.

One can successfully mirror their client’s NLP patterns.

One can lead others by using NLP.


Learning the basics of NLP:


Neuro– By understanding the conscious and unconscious patterns in thinking, one can learn to influence the results obtained in life and work. Success is a responsibility, so the more one knows about them and others the more likely the ability to communicate effectively will increase; and communication is a key element in successful selling.


Linguistic– Our language (not only our words) reflects our lives. What is said is what one believes, and that language has a direct result upon our potential. Learning to master this language means that the future can be controlled ( as opposed to being controlled by others).


Programming– Our lives are based upon programs learned over time. Understanding these programs allows a choice in which programs should be kept and which must be altered. By deciding which programs to use, one is making conscious choices that allow the master to enhance their future and personal growth.




There are patterns of thinking that we can adapt in order to tap into our mind’s potential. By changing our thinking patterns, we can change our experiences of situations and people, influence the reactions from others, create the future we desire, and build the relationships that we really want. The following are some different patterns of thinking:


Towards/Away from

When you think of some of your personal goals, what comes to mind? Do you think of what it would feel like to achieve those goals, or those things that keep you from achieving your goals? Knight says, “Your ability to think about what you really want is known as towards thinking Your ability to think about what you do not want is away from thinking” (p.41). If you are always thinking of what you do not want, that is precisely what you will get. Those people who are able to practice “towards thinking” about what they want, as opposed to what they do not want, are more likely to achieve their goals.


Big Chunk/ Small Chunk


When setting a specific goal for yourself, you can chunk up to bigger goals, or  chunk down to milestones within  that goal. For instance, in a difficult negotiation, one can apply a small chunk thinking in order to reach a result that is equally agreeable to both parties.


Internal/ External


Do you feel most satisfied and successful when you personally feel that you have done a good job, or do you feel most satisfied when others compliment your success?  Externally referenced people gain fulfillment from external evidence, while Internally referenced people use their own feelings, images, or voices as evidence of fulfillment. Externally referenced people are those who are independent in nature, and this is a character trait possessed by most senior managers. It is all right and even necessary to be concerned with what happens outside of yourself, but you can not rely on these circumstances to determine how you feel.


Convincer Pattern


Everyone has a certain filter through which they receive  information, and you must communicate within this filter in order to influence others. People can receive information by hearing what is being said; trying to prove if what is being said is actually true in practice, having the plan written in detail, or seeing a picture of what is being said. Even within these broader categories, there are differences in the ways that people receive information. “ If your job involves you having to convince others to achieve the result you want, you need to know the pattern in which they operate. You can then match this pattern in the way you present your information” (p.47)  NLP helps us recognize the filters through which your customers or employees receive information. You  will learn more about these filters as we continue this chapter on NLP.


Thinking with your body


Body language can be defined as everything in our behavior that we use to communicate outside of our words. There are three different ways that we use our bodies to think; visual, auditory, or with feelings. There are clues from our body language that can be used to determine how we are thinking. For example, someone thinking visually will speak quickly, and with a high voice or use hand gestures high in the air, as if they are trying to describe something they are seeing. Someone thinking in an auditory way will sometimes gesture lower than someone thinking visually, or speak in an almost rhythmic way, sometimes with their head tilted to one side. Someone speaking in a feeling way will usually speak slowly, breathe deeply, and sometimes look down and to their right. These are just examples of clues that body language gives us, and since every person is unique, the key with NLP is to take the clues that we know and find what is true for each person we communicate with.


Body language is extremely important for both recognition and understanding. Researchers have determined that more than 90% of our ability to influence others lies outside of our words. 


“Through our body language, we show our skills, our values, our beliefs, what kind of person we are, our cultural preferences, and even our purpose in life. By a handshake, you are revealing everything that anyone can ever know about you if they have the sensitivity to be attuned to this. And we show what we are feeling at any particular moment. If we are expecting disagreement in a meeting we are about to attend, we will show that in our body language” (pg.69) Learning encompasses so much more than just our minds; we need to learn to think with our bodies. Learning to read other people’s body language will give us an advantage in understanding and in turn influence others.


By learning to be attentive to body language we can:

-Know when to end a conversation.

– Tell to what extent the person to whom we are speaking has understood what we are saying

-Determine the level of agreement we have achieved.

-Recognize the degree to which we have touched the core motivation of the person to whom we are talking.

-Establish how we represent time and the impact of that on the way we use our time.

-Tell when we have created a connection and the beginnings of a relationship.

-Determine when we have established a deep level of rapport.

_Recognize what kind of emphasis in a presentation will work best in getting our message across.

-Tell if we have read and respected the culture of the person with whom we are dealing


Using the NLP process of modeling we can:

  • Find out how someone structures their thinking to achieve what they do.
  • Elicit the unconscious ways of thinking that make the difference in the results we achieve.
  • Do an inner benchmarking of excellence rather than relying only on external behavior.
  • Deduce the values and beliefs behind someone’s behavior
  • Recognize other people’s different emotional states.



One Example of reading body language is how our eyes give us significant clues to the way that we are thinking. For example:


Eyes up and left (your left)- Visual Remembered

When we are conjuring up images remembered in our minds, we look to the left and up.


Eyes up and right (your right)- Visual Constructed

When we are constructing images we have not seen before, we look up and to the right.


Eyes straight ahead defocused – Visual

When we look straight ahead with a defocused gazed, this can be either constructed or remembered visually. We can determine which one by where the weight is distributed. If the weight is to the left, it is remembered, if to the right, it is constructed.


Eyes to the side and left (your left)- Auditory Remembered

When we are remembering signs that we have heard before, we look to the side and to the left.


Eyes to the side and right (your right) – Auditory Constructed

When we are creating a sound we have never heard before, we look to the side and to the right.


Eyes down and left (your left)- Auditory digital, inner dialog

When we are having a conversation with ourselves, or asking ourselves a question, we tend to look down and to the left.


Eyes down and right (your right) – External feelings and emotions

When we experience feelings, we look down and to the right.




As aforementioned, there is much more to communication than just our words, and there are three main ways that we think: in a linguistic way, an auditory way, or a feeling way. The first one of these that we will look at is Linguistic. 


“The quality of language is one of the significant factors that make the difference between outstanding leaders and influencers and those who would aspire to achieve their listeners in the same way. The richer our language, the richer our internal experience and the richer the experience of those with whom we engage.” (pg.81)


Enriched language is sensory-specific. When you communicate in a way that appeals to the senses of the listener, they are able to identify with what you are saying, and are therefore more easily influenced.


Precision Questions

In her book, NLP at Work, Knight says that linguist Noam Chomsky distinguishes two levels of language:

“Surface Structure- everything we say, either to ourselves or to other people”

“Deep Structure- the underlying meaning of what is being said containing information neither expressed nor known consciously”.


“A number of things can happen between the deep structure and the surface structure of the language. The intention of the communication may be lost or changed in the process of converting one to the other. The more aligned we are between what we say and what we truly mean, the more coherent our message and the more likely we are to fulfill the role of leader, no matter  what the context” (pg.92)


Influential people are those who take ownership for themselves. Our language gives all kinds of clues about whether we take this ownership of ourselves and our language. We will look at some of the habits we have that hinder our saying what we really mean, and in turn hinder this kind of ownership.


Lazy Language


There are several areas in our communication where we have former poor habits. These poor habits can create challenges which will hinder our ownership of the language.



  • Do you speak of a “they”? This use of “they” shows how we generally put the source of problems and any chance of change on someone else. We transfer responsibility to others.


When subjects are generalized or omitted, in the right setting, this kind of language can be challenged by asking, “who”, or “which people”. These deletions give specific information which also reconnect the speaker with the true source of irritation.


-Comparisons – Adjectives that are used to evaluate something against some kind of measurement are called comparisons. The confusion with a comparison comes when the “measurement stick” is left out of the sentence.


This confusion can be challenged by questioning, “Compared with what?” or “ Better than what?” etc.


  • Abstractions- A nominalization is a verb that has been used as a noun and thus taking the action out of the word. One test for this is to put the word “ongoing” before the word. For example, “ongoing relationships,” or “ ongoing discussion.” 


Challenge these abstractions by asking specifics, “who did what and how?” 




When you take a certain experience and make it true outside of its context, you generalize and so distort your experience.


-Universal Statements- everyone, always, no one, all, these are all examples of universal statements.


The way to challenge a universal statement is to question the detail of the statement and reconnect the speaker with their meaning.


  • Stoppers and limiters- “ I can’t.” The people who think they can’t, most often won’t.’


Challenge this kind of language by asking, “ What is stopping you?” or “ What would happen if you did?” This can be a powerful influencer because it forces the speaker to find an answer.


  • Drivers- Drivers are words like Must, Should, Ought to and they are generally accompanied by a feeling of tension or dislike. These words lose their power because they suggest that the power belongs to someone else. Using words ,”I want to,” or “I can” generates very different feelings and different results.



A speaker may distort their experience.


-Blamers- A statement like, “ You frustrate me” gives responsibility for feeling to someone else. This statement may be true, but it has given power to the speaker’s circumstances and environment. 


By questioning how the speaker arrived at their feelings, it will force the speaker to take ownership of said feelings


  • Presumptions- Sometimes a speaker will presume to know what others are thinking or feeling.


To combat presumptions, ask the speaker about the specific actions that have caused them to presume what they do about others. This action will also force ownership of feelings.


-Interpretation- Because of cultural or personal background, we can take a certain action or phrase to mean something that it may not. For example, “ I could tell by the look on their face that they were irritated with me.” 


-Challenge this interpretation by asking the speaker a question like, “Why does the look on their face mean that they were irritated with you?”


Managing your Internal and External Dialog


Internal Dialog


Language includes what we hear, not only from others, but also what we say and ask ourselves. Our unconscious is always working to answer those questions that we ask ourselves. It is important that we ask ourselves questions that don’t leave us depressed, but with an action plan on how we can improve.


External Dialog


Just as we influence ourselves with our inner dialog, we influence others with our external dialog. Questions stay with us better than statements because they challenge us; they stay with us until we find the answer. People do business with us based on the state in which we incite them. Many people do business with people they like or those who inspire and influence them.


Metaphor: The Key to the Unconscious Mind


“Metaphors are powerful and memorable. Many of the best speakers and leaders use metaphor as a way of communicating what they want to say. A skilled storyteller is a skilled communicator (pg.132)”


Metaphor engages our subconscious minds, which are always working. Metaphors are so influential in communicating. 




A metamessage is defined as something which has been communicated but not specifically stated. There are several scenarios that give examples of what can happen in communication: 


  1. We think we are communicating our desired intention, but in actuality, the other person’s perception is different from that which we want to communicate.
  2. Our perception of what we are communicating is the same as the person we are communicating with , but that communication is not our intended message.
  3. Our perception of what we are communicating is the same as the other person, and the understood communication is our intention.


The last scenario is of course ideal, and is considered a “healthy” metamessage. The purpose of increasing our awareness of metamessage is to achieve the desired communication. In order to get the “right” idea across, we must be aware of the different parts of the message that we are sending:


  1. Environment – the environment around us is part of the metamessage we send.
  2. How we dress- What we wear communicates what is important to us .
  3. The way we behave toward others.
  4. The way we demonstrate skills.
  5. The way we meet our own or others needs.
  6. Our beliefs – we generally respond to people according to what we think they believe about us.


“A metamessage is the sum total of many factors… All of these elements and more add up to an overall message that is “read” by the unconscious and sometimes the conscious minds of our listeners. By understanding how the elements of our metamessage fit together and how they are filtered by the people with whom we are dealing, we can begin to establish the influence we are having in everything we do.” (pg. 149)





“The process of coding talent is known as modeling. When you step into someone else’s shoes and reproduce what they do and the results they achieve, you are modeling. Modeling involves reproducing the same sequence of modeling talent in business is to produce excellence” (pg.152)


Modeling is a state of constantly questioning how people do what they do. It is watching, listening, and learning from others and ourselves. Modeling is a lifestyle of constantly learning and growing. “If we do what we always do, we get what we always got” (pg 167) Modeling opens up opportunities for tapping into unrecognized potential.


You can model almost anything as people are skilled in so many different areas. Modeling can help you develop a conscious awareness of the modeling process, and in that awareness you can choose to continue the same behavior or to do something else. “Merely the process of studying what we are doing and how we are doing it lifts us to a level of detachment in which we can choose what we do and , more importantly, what we continue to do in the future.” ( pg 157)


You can even model yourself. You may have a certain ability in some area of your life, and you can model that in another area of your life by discovering the process that you use to achieve excellence in that one area. Modeling excellence in ourselves and in others involves not only our behavior but our beliefs and thinking patterns.


Strategies for Successful Living


We follow patterns in every area of our lives that we carry with us. In NLP, we call these patterns, strategies. A strategy is defined as  “a sequence of thoughts and behaviors based on a set of beliefs and a sense of self” (pg 174). We all have strategies that work for and against us. Once we recognize the patterns we follow when our lives are going well, and not going well, we have choices to consider.


“It is our patterns in thinking and behaving that create our response to our circumstances, not  the circumstances themselves. It is only by becoming aware of these patterns or habits that we can begin to choose the life we want.” (pg 173)


This knowledge of your strategies is so important because when we know our strategies, we can use them, change them, develop them, and even implement them in other areas of our lives.


Model Yourself with NLP

There are several areas where we will look into modeling self using NLP.


Anchoring- Anchoring is tapping into what is going on inside of you, knowing your emotional state, and then being able to choose your emotional state. Choosing your emotional state is one the most powerful skills we have in influencing others.


Align yourself- We cannot control external events, but we can control our response to them. “Before we can ever think of how we might influence others, we need first to think of how we want to influence ourselves. And it is not just our beliefs and values, but our sense of identity and purpose in life that provides us with the examples that unconsciously influences others to want to be part of what we represent or not” (p.186)


Beliefs of excellence- Our beliefs can override what we know. If we believe we can do something, then we generally can.


Well-formed outcomes- Imagining your goals as you want them to be achieved will often increase your consistency in achieving those goals. It is a way to harness the unconscious mind to achieve those goals.




Leading yourself begins with the ability to manage your emotional state. Anchoring is a way to link to the emotional states that are crucial to success. Anchoring is a tool that can be used to choose the emotional state we desire when we experience it. The anchoring process is something we experience whether we know it or not. Learning how to manage the anchoring process is a way to use it to our advantage.


“The process of anchoring involves linking a specific sight, sound, or touch with an experience that is present, i.e. a situation into which you are associated. The linking process subsequently enables you to use the anchor to re-access that same experience when it can benefit you in another context”. (p.193)


Aligning Yourself


“Just as a company can work more effectively if each of the teams within it cooperates and works toward the same goal, so an individual can function more effectively if each of the “parts” is cooperating with the others. This kind of aligned state can be achieved by dealing with change at a number of levels” (p. 210)


There are six different levels to align when we apply this model to ourselves:


Purpose (level of spirituality) – Refers to the larger system of which we are a part, and explores what value we bring to those parts. These larger systems can be our family or marriage, our faith, or our company. This is the highest level of influence and can make us aware of how we are always adding value to whatever larger system we are involved with at the moment. It is at this level that people most often make a decision whether or not they want to do business with you. 


Identity/ Mission– Defines our sense of self and statements about how we see ourselves as a person.


Beliefs and Values – Beliefs are emotionally held ideas about ourselves or others, which are not necessarily based on fact. Our beliefs then function as values through which we make decisions in life.


Capabilities – These are resources you have in the form of skills  or qualities. When we are aligned within, we can release the best of our capabilities.


Behavior – What we do and say shows our purpose, identity, beliefs, values and capabilities. “ You can think of behavior as the tip of the iceberg, the bit of you that is above the surface, whereas purpose, identity, capabilities, beliefs, and values are internal thoughts and feelings” (p 218)


Environment – This refers to everything outside of ourselves, our physical surroundings as well as the economy, our friends and family, etc. It is the context in which we demonstrate all the other elements.


These six levels fall in order:



Beliefs and Values





Of course, there is a natural hierarchy of change. You can make a change on the higher levels by changing something on the lower level. For Example, if one of your employees tells you they are not able to do something (behavior), you simply tell them how you would do it, No learning or change has necessarily taken place, but if you show them how to do it (capability) or challenge their belief about what they are able to do (beliefs) then you are affecting their behavior. Most of us have heard the phrase “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for life” (p. 222).


Reactive Vs. Proactive


Reactive people tend to focus on the lower levels, they react to what is happening in their environment rather than creating their environment. Proactive behavior focuses on the higher levels like spirituality, mission, beliefs and values. We should attempt to create a balance between reactive and proactive behavior. 


Write Your Own Lifescript

 Our beliefs shape our behavior,and influence our actions on a daily basis. We can create our own empowering beliefs. Since beliefs are opinions and principles that we hold within ourselves, then they are under our influence and can be changed. We can rewrite history in the sense that we don’t have to live in the same patterns of the past. Beliefs can be formed when we accept opinions from influential people in our lives and hold them to be true, when in fact they are merely someone else’s opinion. Rather than hold someone’s belief, we can create our own. Beliefs can even be something like a self-fulfilled prophecy. When we believe something to be true, we will act in accordance with that belief, thereby proving it to ourselves.


“There is no failure, only Feedback” (p. 245). This belief is extremely powerful because when we believe this thought, then we can learn from all of our experiences.


“Behind every behavior is a positive intention” (p. 246). The key to this belief is that it doesn’t have to be true. The benefits of this come from believing that this is true. Believing this thought, can give you the power to choose your response.


“There is a solution to every problem” ( p. 249). This belief opens the door for creativity, new possibilities and ultimately, success.


These are examples of beliefs that can make a huge difference in our daily actions and the way we respond to both people and problems. We can make a difference by applying these beliefs to our business culture. Applying this belief system to areas such as customer support or negotiation will affect your business much more than simply giving instruction to your employees at a higher level.


“Winning is not about facts and figures- it is about belief. If we believe we can’t, we won’t. If we believe we can, we just might”  (p. 259).


Achieve What You Really Want: Well-Formed Outcomes


Outcome Thinking


We need to ask ourselves what we really want, not what others want for us or what we think we should want, but what we really want. Outcome thinking has to do with what you really want, as opposed to what you don’t want (problem thinking) Goals expressed in outcome thinking are more consistently achieved because you are imagining what you want as if you already had it. The motivation in this kind of thinking is towards thinking, toward the goals you really want. To switch from problem thinking to outcome thinking, ask yourself what you want instead of what you don’t want.


“When you tell yourself not to worry or not to make a mistake, you are actually programming yourself to do just that. However, if you program yourself to think about being calm or getting things right, you are dramatically increasing the chances that this is how you will be” (p. 269)


Some goals are outside of your control, and therefore do not lend themselves to being achieved by outcome thinking. Becoming the kind of person we want to be is the only area where we can set outcomes and hope to achieve them. We have to ask ourselves how we can be different despite our external circumstances. Make sure that your attention in outcomes is on yourself and not on others. 


Imagine what it will be like when you achieve what you really want. Imagine what it will look or feel or smell like. “Your unconscious mind does not differentiate between what is imagined and what is real. vividly you imagine yourself achieving what you want, the more your unconscious mind believes it already has it and will program you to act ads if you do” (p. 274).


Put your goal in context. If your goal involves someone else, then make sure that you can let go of having that someone or something change. Also, ensure that your goal is a win/win situation, so that it benefits not only yourself, but the other people involved. These are the outcomes which are sustainable.


What will it take for you to achieve what you really want? Is achieving the outcome you desire worth what it will take for you to get there?


Find out what your present state does for you. Believe it or not, the state you are presently in does satisfy some sort of need in you or else you wouldnt maintain it. Consider the needs that your state satisfies and determine how you will challenge them when you change your state.


Understand your higher purpose. Know what the higher purpose of reaching your goal is. What value will you bring to the “bigger system” by achieving the goal you want?


Make sure that your outcomes fit with who you are and who you want to become. And then take action! Plan out your outcome with the proper action steps, and plan your  next steps as specifically as possible (it even helps to put a date for when you will achieve each one).


Outcome thinking works the same way with corporations as it does with individuals.


Developing a Climate of Trust

“Relationships and influence are the only way to build the networks you need to succeed” (p. 288). Good rapport is needed in order for a conversation to hold value.


Rapport goes well beyond body language and interacting with people face to face, as it can even involve appealing to communication styles or expectations. 


Rapport is not  chatting about the weather, but it is about connecting with other people, which encourages future communication.


People who have a deep level of rapport adopt the same style of posture, gestures, voice tone and language content. They will also hold similar beliefs, values and purpose.


Building Rapport:

-Connect with everyone in a way that shows respect for their differences from you.

-Be aware of ways to which they are similar, in the following area:








To find out someone’s values, all you have to do is watch and listen. What excites them? What changes their state to one of interest? What do they pay attention to?


Resolving Conflict

Oftentimes, inner conflict is what will grab our attention and energy. It is important to find some kind of solution to this inner stress for a number of reasons. When we experience this kind of stress, we tend to operate at less than our optimum potential, and the stress saps us of our strength. Whereas, when we are at peace with ourselves, we can be operating at our full potential and have maximum influence on others.


There are steps that can be followed in order to resolve this inner conflict:

  1. Identify the parts of you that are in conflict
  2. Acknowledge and recognize these parts in turn.
  3. Detach yourself from the emotions of these parts and see how they can cooperate with each other.
  4. Decide which part to deal with first and then consider that part.
  5. Each part works on your behalf; know what outcome you are achieving in this part.
  6. The repeat steps 4 and 5 with the other part
  7. Ask yourself what these two parts can bring to the other.
  8. Now Imagine them working together.


Resolving conflict in this way helps us to continuously learn and grow in positive ways in the areas that could be negative. With this kind of thinking, we can manage our thinking regardless of our external circumstances. 


Giving and Receiving Feedback


The ability to receive feedback will put you way ahead of most people, and this ability must come before the ability to give feedback. The ability to give and receive feedback is essential to modeling. In order to receive feedback correctly, we need to be able to receive and give it non judgmentally.


Our beliefs have an effect on our ability to give and receive feedback. One belief that is fundamental to this is, “ there is no failure, only feedback,” or “there is only learning.” Other beliefs are “everyone’s perception is their truth,” and what we recognize in others is true about ourselves.” 


“Feedback isn’t absolute truth but it is truth for the person who is delivering it” – Gene Early (p.342)


The same principles that apply in receiving feedback also ring true for giving feedback. When giving feedback, make sure that you have rapport with that person, and ask yourself how the feedback might be true about yourself. Imagine how you and the other person can improve as a result of the feedback, and frame the feedback appropriately so that it will be received in the desired manner. “ Be an example at all times of the response you want from others” (p. 345)


These tools for anchoring, modeling, giving and receiving feedback are crucial to your success in communicating and influencing others. Knowing yourself is one of the first steps in learning how to influence others.




For the @revenue salesperson, the objective of a negotiation is to achieve their sales goals by reaching an agreement, while maximizing the sale of their products and services and still maintaining a positive relationship with their customer.

Negotiation is only a means to an end; that end is the closing of the sale. Negotiation only occurs as a function in the selling process, and it is only administered when it will increase the potential and probability of the sale. The @revenue salesperson is able to do the following:


-Identify and understanding negotiating challenges and opportunities as they occur throughout the selling process. 


-Succeed in those negotiations which can produce favorable outcomes for themselves and their organization.


-Avoid entering into negotiations which can not produce favorable outcomes


The @revenue salesperson is pragmatic. They realize that the concept of “win-win negotiation” has not yet reached every prospect and customer. They realize that it will be up to them to move the prospect from a competitive environment to a collaborative environment.


The Nature of Negotiation

Because people are negotiating , demand/concession behavior represents all of the dynamics associated with risk and reward, perceptions and assumptions, and personal or professional (corporate) needs. Demand/Concession behavior is based on emotion and feeling more than logic and reason. The customer must always feel that the concessions they have made are in their long- term interest to the degree that the concessions the salesperson has made are in their best interest.


Traditional patterns of demand and concession are fundamentally adversarial and have a high risk for conflict and confrontation. The challenge is to allow the customer to feel that their interests are being served and their needs being met, while at the same time, protecting your own interests  and meeting your own needs.


The Three Levels of Negotiation


The Competitive Level


Reality is that many prospects are instinctively drawn to the competitive level. There is a natural tendency to compete and seek resolution based upon the outcome of competition.


The competitive level of negotiation is characterized by a drive on the part of the buyer, the seller, or both to “win” in the negotiation without corresponding drive to ensure that the other party to the negotiation also “wins”.


There are three types of competitive negotiators. One type is not only concerned with winning, but also with causing the other party to lose (and to know that they lost). Another type is motivated to win in the sense that they must get what they need, but is not concerned with preventing the other party from also getting what they need. The third type approaches negotiation with the philosophy that, “I must get what I need; if you get what you need too, that is a plus.”


The keys to dealing with prospects who display a need to compete are the following: 


Stay Centered – focus on your mission, find an area of agreement for every area of disagreement, Identify a reason for working together for every reason not to, and avoid becoming involved in the give and take dynamics of a contest. 


Move up – continually strive to elevate the level of negotiation; create channels of opportunity which allow the prospect to compete with the challenges of reaching an acceptable resolution rather than competing with you, yourproduct, or your price; by keeping centered and moving up, you increase the probability of producing a mutually acceptable outcome.


The Cooperative Level


The cooperative level of negotiation is characterized by a drive on the part of both the buyer and seller to achieve equity (fairness) within the negotiation. Prospects can be guided to the cooperative level when they sense that goals can be better achieved through a “win-win” approach based upon the perception of compatible needs and characterized by mutual trust and a concern for equity.


In varying degrees, the cooperative level is identified with a reduction of buyer/ seller tactics (and the elimination of ploys), moderate initial demands, reasonably open communication, few “firm” positions on issues, increased interest in a long-term focus, and concern for the feelings of those involved in the negotiations.


Considerations at the Cooperative level are:


  • Cooperation is frequently entered into without a formal or even stated agreement to cooperate – can also be exited in the same manner.
  • Cooperation requires trust, and if trust is violated (or is perceived to be violated) it is difficult, if not impossible, to restore. 
  • A competitor who is thought to be cooperating is much more dangerous than a competitor who is known as not cooperating.
  • Because the natural instincts for competing are more than those for cooperating, it is easy to slip back into a competitive pattern.
  • The cornerstone characteristic is equality, or the desire for equity
  • Because both buyer and seller have reduced the normal negotiating defenses, each is more vulnerable to any violation of the implied agreement to cooperate.


The key when dealing with prospects who display a desire to cooperate in order to achieve equity is to keep centered– avoid slipping into competitive patterns, and to move up – find ways to increase the total return for both parties.


The Collaborative Level


The collaborative level is based upon the perception of integrated needs, which are characterized by joint decision-making and creative problem-solving. Both the buyer and the seller strive to achieve the maximum return (for both) from the negotiation. At this level, the interests, needs and solutions of the buyer and the seller are integrated.


The foundation for negotiations at the collaborative level is always established either through prior successful negotiations at the cooperative level or through successful cooperative efforts during the sales process. At the collaborative level, trust, based on experience, is explicit. You cannot get from competition to collaboration without developing trust through cooperation.


It should be noted that trust and cooperation are natural by-products of the @revenue Selling System


 The keys to remember when dealing with prospects who display a desire to collaborate are creative problem-solving and joint decision-making. These together overcome the obstacles which limit the mutual solution and help achieve the maximum return for the salesperson and the prospect.


The @revenue  System and Negotiations 


The @reveue Selling System is collaborative in nature and is designed to position the salesperson as a trusted advisor, working with the prospect to formulate the best possible solution for both parties. When the system is flawlessly executed, it would never be necessary to negotiate (in a perfect world). However, in the real world, the system is rarely flawlessly executed. Even if it is, organizational bureaucracy, policies and procedures are such that once the sponsoring executive has given you the “go ahead”, it will be necessary to “work out the details” with someone from the purchasing or legal departments. There is a direct relationship between the size of the organization and the likelihood that you will have to negotiate terms and conditions.


In this situation, it is imperative that you:


Maintain communication with the executive sponsor throughout the negotiating process apprising them of your progress, requesting their guidance as needed, and enlisting their intervention if necessary.


Remember that the needs of the 2024 executive sponsor DO NOT transfer to the negotiator(s) , who will have their own needs that must be satisfied.

Understand that these negotiations ALWAYS start at the competitive level.


It is the responsibility of the salesperson to uncover the needs of the negotiator, and to move the negotiations up from the competitive level to the cooperative or collaborative level. The needs of all the parties must be aligned to the negotiation, the demand/concession behavior must be adapted from a  competitive/confrontational perspective to a more cooperative perspective. 


In order to successfully conclude a negotiation, it is not necessary to attain the collaborative level; however, in order to achieve a “win-win” outcome, it is necessary to attain at least a cooperative level during the negotiation process.


Time for Reflection


Think about the last several negotiations in which you participated. Did any of them achieve the cooperative or collaborative level?


Is there a discernible difference in the long-term relationship with the customer(s) where the outcomes were the result of cooperative level negotiations compared to Competitive level negotiations?


Describe the general atmosphere and working relationships for the two groups. What are the major differences? 


Repeat this process for any customers where the outcomes were the result of collaborative level negotiations. In retrospect, what could you have done differently during these negotiations to move them up to the next level? What are the benefits of doing so?


Negotiating Techniques


These techniques are designed to assist you in the following:

  1. Making a demand in a way that increases the probability of the demand being met without the prospect resenting the demand or the one who made it.
  2. Making a concession in a way that ensures the concession will be valued by the prospect and that by making the concession, the probability of the sale has been increased.
  3. Making a concession in a way that does not invite more demands for more concessions.
  4. Excluding from the negotiation those areas which are non- negotiable in a way that the prospect will accept their “non-negotiable” status.


Early Exclusion

Identify (in advance when possible) any areas that are non-negotiable for you.


Big Picture

Whenever possible, listen and probe in order to develop a broad, overall understanding of the customer’s interests and concerns before beginning to tackle each specific issue.


Defer Issue

When you are not prepared to discuss an issue, have reached an impasse or deadlock on an issue, or feel like you’re losing ground and need to re-think an issue, ask to defer it.


Acknowledge Demand

Indicate to the prospect that their demand is heard and understood (without indicating agreement). This communicates your interest in meeting the prospect’s needs, even when you may not be able to meet their demand.


Test Demand

Recognize that buyer tactics are an integral part of demand and concession, probe to test for the firmness of each demand and for the possible consequences of not meeting the demand.


Rationale For Non-Concession

Provide a rationale which justifies your not meeting a prospect demand. This enables the prospect to justify themselves (and to others in their organization) why they were not able to gain the concession.


Rationale for Concession

Provide a rationale for any concession made, or consider making, and always place a value on the concession; concessions which appear arbitrary or illogical create mistrust and undermine your credibility.


Grudging Concession

Make any concession slowly and grudgingly – communicate the difficulty involved in meeting the demand; easily won concessions are not fully appreciated and always invite more demands.


Counter- Demand

Make a reciprocal demand for any concession; this will ensure equity (the foundation for the cooperative level of negotiation) and will reduce the number of additional prospect demands.


Rational for Counter-Demand

Provide a rationale for making a counter- demand which communicates to the prospect that you need the concession you are demanding from them, in order to make the concession they have demanded of you.


Conditional Concession

Make any concession contingent upon the condition that an agreement on all remaining issues is reached and a total, mutually acceptable resolution is achieved.


Rationale for Demand

Provide a rationale for any demand made of the prospect. The stronger the rationale, the more likely the prospect will be to make the concession.


Confirm Concession

Ensure that there is a mutual understanding of the concession that has been made, and that there is agreement on any conditions relating to that concession.


Support Concession

Reinforce the prospect’s perception that the concession they have made is in their best interest and is consistent with meeting their needs.


Time for Practice

Break into groups of three– salesperson, prospect and observer.. The salesperson has submitted a proposal that includes product, services, and training. The pricing is aggressive and the salesperson does not have a great deal of leeway if their company is to make an acceptable profit on the project. The total cost of the project exceeds the budget that the prospect’s management committee has authorized, and it is unlikely that they can obtain an increase in the budget. Negotiating a final agreement using the negotiating techniques discussed.


How to win friends and influence people by dale carnigie

Chapter 1: The Power of a Smile
In this chapter, the author emphasizes the importance of a smile in making a good first impression and building rapport with others. He explains how a smile can make people feel valued and appreciated, leading to better relationships and interactions.

Chapter 2: The Big Secret of Dealing with People
The author reveals the key secret to dealing effectively with people: showing genuine interest in them. By listening attentively, asking questions, and showing empathy, one can create strong connections and win others over.

Chapter 3: “He Who Can Do This Has the Whole World with Him”
This chapter delves into the power of appreciation and praise in influencing people. The author explains how recognizing and acknowledging others’ strengths and achievements can motivate them to excel and foster positive relationships.

Chapter 4: You Can’t Win an Argument
The author discusses the futility of arguing and trying to prove oneself right. Instead, he advocates for understanding others’ perspectives, finding common ground, and approaching disagreements with tact and diplomacy to maintain harmony.

Chapter 5: A Sure Way of Making Enemies—and How to Avoid It
This chapter explores the pitfalls of criticism and how it can breed resentment and conflict. The author suggests offering constructive feedback, focusing on solutions rather than faults, and practicing empathy to prevent alienating others.

Chapter 6: If You Must Find Fault, This Is the Way to Begin
The author provides guidance on delivering criticism effectively by starting with praise, addressing the issue gently, and offering constructive suggestions for improvement. This approach helps maintain relationships while addressing areas for growth.