Sales War Stories

Two Button Close
As a salesman one of the best and most effective closing techniques I ever witnessed was in the 80's. A very attractive sales associate named Krystal had a unbelievable closing ratio. I asked what was her secret and she described the "Two Button Close". Krystal always wore very tight blouses, she said that when she as for the order the first time and the client said no, she would unbutton her top button. A few minutes later she would ask for the order again, and if the answer was still no, she would unbutton her second button and make idle chat for a few minutes and 90% of the time the client signed the order. It was very difficult to follow or renew Krystal's clients the next year!
Submitted by Steve Abington, Palo Alto, CA.

They can't shoot You!
For years as a Sales Manager we always told new reps that the client could only say no, the can't shoot you! While selling in the South, I managed a group of about 35 reps. We were working a large area and all of the new reps were sent to my territory. The area had been worked pretty hard so a lot of the businesses had been seen by other reps. I sent a group of the new reps out one morning, and a couple of hours later Bob returns to the office pale as could be. I asked Bob what had happened and he said the tried to shoot me! I said you must be mistaken and he proceeded to tell the story. Bob doing as he was told was going to each business he had a lead for. He walked into the South Bay Pawn Shop and asked for the owner and he announced the company he was working for. A second later a guy comes from behind the counter with shotgun pointed at Bob. He said your the seventh rep from your company to come in here and I don't want that shit and if you don't get your ass out that door now your history! Bob got away but I guess the moral of the story is "They can Shoot You!"

Submitted by Steve Abington, Palo Alto, CA.

Title: I wasn't leaving without that contract !
It was Friday, June 30th and the last day of the quarter and the last day of our fiscal year. I was 100% of my quota but needed to close my last deal to qualify for the President's Club trip to Hawaii and be 125% of quota. It was Thursday and I was told by my customer contact that the proposal I had made on my last deal was approved and that all I had to do was pick up the contract from the CFO the next day. I smiled and said, "Great, why don't we have lunch and I'll pick up the contract." The next day I met with my contact and was told that the contract had not been signed yet. No matter I thought, we'll go to lunch and I'll come back and pick up the contract. We had a great lunch and when when we returned from lunch, I asked about the contract, I was told it still hadn't been signed. It was now 1:30pm. I asked to wait for the contract outside the CFO's office just to make sure the CFO knew I was waiting for the contract. I waited and waited and waited. It is now 5:00pm and the CFO has still not signed the contract. I was not furious and demanded to see the CFO. Finally, the CFO calls me into his office. He says hi and says that he has not signed the contract and may not sign the contract until Monday. In my mind I know that Monday is too late. I need this deal today. In fact, I need to have this into the system by 6:00 pm before they close the books for the year. The CFO look me in the eye and says, " this is a good proposal, but I need something more if you want me to sign this today." He knows I am angry by the look on my face.

"Okay, what's it going to take to close this today" I said. The CFO thinks for a minute and says, "How about another 10% discount?". I stood up and pointed my finger at him and said, " If I give you a 10% discount will you sign this contract right now?" "Yes" said the CFO now getting a little concerned I was going to reach over and punch him.

I reached over his desk, dialed by boss's phone number. My boss Dave answered and said "where the hell are you? Everyone else is here in the office and everyone is wondering where you are." "I'm here closing this final deal. The customer wants another 10% discount and I'm calling to tell you that I'm giving it to him so he'll sign the contract. I'll be there in 20 minutes." All my boss could do was respond with "okay". I slammed the phone down and said to the CFO, "okay, you got your 10% now sign that thing!" The CFO quickly signed the contract and said, " Listen this is just business. Nothing personal. Don't you think my customers are all doing the same thing to my sales reps today, the last day of the quarter?" I picked up my contract and said, " Yeah, right, thanks for your business."

I raced back to my office which was only 10 minutes away. I ran up the stairs and there in the conference room the entire sales organization was standing around drinking champagne. They had already started to celebrate the end of the quarter and the end of the year. It seemed like everyone stopped talking when they saw me come into the room. I walked over to my manager, handed him my contract and said, "Here you go, that is the toughest close I've ever had. That CFO had me waiting for 6 hours. I wasn't leaving that office until I got that contract signed. He held me up for another 10% discount. Anyway he got what he wanted and I got what I wanted. Now pass me a glass because I'm going to Hawaii !" I swore to myself that no one was ever going to hold me up like that again.

Submitted by TS, Santa Ana, CA.

Sometimes its better to be fearless!
Our company we decided to take on a new line of engineering plotters in order to extend our product line. We hired a new sales rep who was young, but very aggressive and looking for an opportunity. This gal was fearless and that was either because she was that confident in herself or totally unaware of what she was getting herself into.

We decided to do implement both a cold calling and a postcard mailing to our prospecting strategy. We got a list of all the potential prospects in our area for this product from our manufacturer. Neither of us knew much about the engineering plotter business, but we figured we knew enough to identify a good prospect and then call in some technical assistance if we needed it. We put the postcards together ourselves using some postcard software. We mailed the postcards out and Sandy continued making cold calls while we waited for the response to our post card mailing. We were told by our manufacturer to be patient and that it takes 60 to 90 days to close each deal due to the price of the equipment and the customer application. The manufacturer told us that they would be available to help us for the first 90 days to assist with any sales calls.

Within the first week, we started to get calls in response to our postcard mailing. Sandy, went out on these calls to introduce herself and find out if the prospect was really interested in the product. Within the first three weeks, Sandy had not only identified a good prospect, but the customer told her he wanted to buy the most expensive engineering plotter model we offered! I said to myself, " this guy is just shopping around and probably just likes meeting with good looking female sales reps". Sandy,however, was sure that this prospect was serious because he explained that his business was growing and he wanted to have the best product available so he could offer the best service. We put together the pricing proposal and Sandy scheduled a meeting with the client. Sandy came back a few hours later with a puzzled look on her face. "Well, how'd it go? What did he say?", I said excitedly. Sandy looked up and said, " I think we have a problem?" " What do you mean we have a problem," I sighed. "Well, he signed the order and now we have to figure out how to place the order and get this thing installed! Do we know how to do that?" said Sandy. Needless to say, everyone was shocked. This young rep with little sales experience and even less experience selling engineering plotters, sold a top of the line plotter product. The manufacturer's rep was shocked but delighted at the order. We had just helped the manufacturer's rep make his quota for the quarter! By not being afraid of just going out there and making calls, Sandy proved the old saying, " the harder I work, the luckier I get".

SM, Anaheim, CA.

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