That One Thing

“That One Thing”
So often, in sales, we are faced with an owner or strong manager who has to have that ONE THING from your product or service.  I believe it is “Murphy’s Law” that says that no matter what your product or service will do, it will never do that “ONE THING”. 

Regardless of how silly or off the wall the request is – If you do not resolve this issue, with the owner or the manager, then your proposal will not be seen by anyone else in the company.

You can mark through that prospect and tell your boss that:
·      They did not have the money
·      You had consulted your Feng Shui Crystal Globe and the desk is definitely on the wrong side of the office
·      Or any of the other reasons that we come up with when we lose a customer.

My friend Bob Heinzinger recommends using the 3 part Why Question, as the best offense when working with a very strange product or a service request.  Often that product or service is not now, nor ever will be in your product mix!  So you need to put the quietus on the request.

We give a 14% discount on this set of products on Tuesdays
1.    Why do you do you give that discount on Tuesdays?
a.    An old customer had to have discount on these products
2.    Why do you do that process the way that you do on Tuesday?
a.    The customer only orders on Tuesdays 
3.    Why has it spread to all customers the rest of the week?
a.    You know I really am not sure why we expanded that program…

My questions are based on wholesale distribution.  Each of the Sales Professionals needs to think of “That One Thing Request” that you get from a prospect and include your own list of Why questions. It will make you better prepared, when it happens.

 The point:  Use as many WHY QUESTIONS as necessary to resolve or clarify the issue.

For one customer I was able to take care of that “One Thing” that the old man wanted.  Then when we started the installation, that one thing was not important anywhere else in the installation.  That “Thing” might have come in at 750 out of a 1000 things that they company really needed.  It is very important to cover that “Thing” for the Owner, but do not bet the house on just getting that One Thing done. You have to survey the rest of the company to ensure that your proposal will “Cook (All of) the Rice” when your product or service is installed.   

~ Mel Carney