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Salespeople have questions; Jeffrey has answers

I get a ton of e-mails asking to solve sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and, most important, your sales thought process right now:

I just started working for a company that has a unique way of doing car service. They supplied me with an iPad to do my presentations with. The problem is many places I go don’t have open Internet that I can tap into, or they have it but won’t let me use it. I asked my boss about providing me with a 3G account for the iPad, but his response was that right now the company cannot afford it. I’m so cash-strapped I cannot afford to personally pay for it. I’ve also asked if the online materials could be made available offline, but that is falling on deaf ears as well. How I can overcome this obstacle? –Gregg

Think about this for a second. Someone is willing to spend $500-plus to buy you an iPad but won’t spend $30 a month to let you use it. It doesn’t make sense to me. There’s gotta be something else in the equation that you’re not talking about. If the boss gives you a tool to make sales and the tool doesn’t work, then the tool is worthless. Schedule another meeting. Make your boss a guarantee that you will make enough sales each week to cover the cost of 3G, or you will pay for it out of your own pocket. That’s an offer that’s fair to everyone.

Last year I joined a multilevel marketing business, and I love the products this company is selling. How does one make it in this business and how best can one motivate people to join under him? My life depends on how I make it in this business. People have a belief that they are enriching the people who they join under. Appreciate all the help. –Mthamzeli

Network marketing, direct selling and MLM have been under a cloud since 1972. There are a lot of skeptics. There are also a lot of millionaires. Direct selling is not for everyone. And you’re going to have to kiss a lot of toads before you can find the prince. That’s part of what MLM or direct selling is all about. If you love the product, and you use the product, and you believe in the product, then you have a chance of winning. All you need are three or four good people to find three or four other good people and you will be on the road to success.

We provide transportation services for meetings and events. Many of my clients choose us and preplan with us via e-mail, etc. Once they are in town for the event, the actual services are happening. Then they leave. How do I get a video testimonial? I would feel awkward asking for it while they are here when the service has just started. –Brian

You have no choice but to feel awkward. Take pictures of people getting out of the car and e-mail it to them. Everyone feels great getting out a limo. Turn your little camera around, put it on video and ask them how they liked the ride. The main person you have to ask is the person who hired you. They may not be the one riding in the car. But if you don’t do it at the event, it won’t happen.

I am an in-branch mortgage loan officer for a bank and get 98 percent of my leads from customers who walk in the branch. People will listen to what I say, seem to establish brief rapport with me, get a quote and then leave the branch saying they want to “shop around” to compare pricing and get back to me. I’ve tried multiple ways to retain these customers and nothing seems to click. I’ve tried getting an e-mail address from them to be able to e-mail an estimate of my closing costs showing just how low our fees are compared to the competition.

I’ve tried selling the benefits of having a “banking relationship” versus just finding some low-cost shop on the Internet that’s selling low rates. If and when they do show the courtesy of finally returning my call or e-mails, they inevitably admit they found a better rate someplace else but thank me for being so helpful and kind. Being at a bank, I am somewhat restricted as to what rate I can offer. The marketing materials I can use are also limiting, not to mention what I can say so as to not overstep the bank’s policies. It is very depressing knowing that out of 50 people who sit with me, I’m only able to convert maybe five of those into loans.

In the brief time I have with these people at the branch, how can I get past the rate issue while at the same time converting more of these warm leads into loans? –Mike

Here are three things you can do right now: (1) Create a chart that lists the rates and services of all other mortgage providers in your city. When someone says they want to shop around, tell them you’ve already done the shopping for them and give them the list. (2) Focus more on bank relationship than rate. Show them how much their rate can change by paying their mortgage every two weeks instead of every month. (3) Get a few video testimonials from people who bought your mortgage in spite of the rate and let them give their reasons for why they did it. Do those three things and your closing rate will double.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling.” President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs sales meetings and conducts Internet training on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com.

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