This week, Jon and Scott continue to look at common mistakes made by salespeople.
If you are making these, are you learning from them?
Read the full transcript
Scott Fishman: I’m Scott Fishman
Jon Dwoskin: I’m Jon Dwoskin.
Scott Fishman: And this is The Seven Minute Sales Minute.
Jon Dwoskin: Welcome everybody.
Scott Fishman: Jon, how you doing today?
Jon Dwoskin: Good, Fish, how are you?
Scott Fishman: I’m doing great, man. I’m super excited for this week’s podcast.
Jon Dwoskin: I know, me too.
Scott Fishman: The feedback from last week when we did the seven mistakes salespeople make-
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah.
Scott Fishman: Was amazing. Just the tweets that I got, the emails. It was amazing. I’m excited to go into this one. So excited, folks, that we’re going to do another seven for you today.
Jon Dwoskin: I think it’s great. I mean, I agree. It was great to get such positive feedback, and it was a fun episode to do, and we can give people seven more common mistakes and some solutions to grow their game, grow their sales, grow their pipeline, and make more money. So, where should we start?
Scott Fishman: Well, first, I also want to say we’re giving you a lot of mistakes that people make and we read between the lines. If you don’t make these mistakes, you will find success. Or, if you do the opposite.
Jon Dwoskin: Well said. Well said. All right, so where should we start today?
Scott Fishman: Well, first one for this week is presenting too many options. A wise man once said, “If you confuse ’em, you lose ’em.”
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah, yeah. So how many options should somebody give a person?
Scott Fishman: I’m a fan of A or B because it provides you the opportunity to do a forced choice close at some point, and it doesn’t muddy the waters. I think if you come to the table, sometimes even with plan A, present it. Plan B in your front right pocket, Plan C in your front left pocket, D and E in your back pockets, I think you can’t lose. But if you just present one or two up front, if they say yes to those, why present the other options?
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah, I think, sometimes, and it depends on the industry, I love A or B. Sometimes I like A, B, or C, because I think sometimes people move to the middle option, so I think it depends on what you’re selling. Sometimes, if you’re doing an online program, or if you’re doing certain things, but if you confuse ’em, you do lose ’em. And I think sometimes As or Bs with maybe some a là carte are also good for people.
Scott Fishman: Yeah. We love the “a là carte”.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah, because they want to see and understand a breakdown of certain elements of the offers and the options and things of that nature, so-
Scott Fishman: Absolutely.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah, so go ahead.
Scott Fishman: No, I was just going to say with a là carte items, the cheesy potatoes are one of my favorites. They’re my go-to.
Jon Dwoskin: Right. But I do agree that if you give them too many, it confuses them and they don’t know what to do. Ultimately, they then don’t know what to buy and how it’s going to fit everything that they do. So, be specific, and tell them what it is, and tell them what the investment is, and what they get in it so they understand all the benefits.
Scott Fishman: Yeah, you mentioned giving few options also. I’m sorry to interrupt, but it’s-
Jon Dwoskin: No, no.
Scott Fishman: It’s a book that I think you and I both kind of skimmed called Predictably Irrational.
Jon Dwoskin: I think I read that book.
Scott Fishman: It’s by a gentleman called Dan Ariely, and he talks about presenting multiple options: how you do an A, a B, and a C that is just way the eff out there. Kind of like you could do, “The digital subscription to the Wall Street Journal is $29.99, you can get the print subscription for $100, or you can get both for …” I’m going to really Tommy boy this up if I go any further, but it was like present that one, maybe the lifetime subscription for $1,000 that really pushed them, right? “No, I’ll just do the one year. No biggy.”
Jon Dwoskin: Right. But I do think that sometimes those options are good. I remember, and I’ve talked about this on a podcast before, listening to a tape set from this photographer I knew. And one of the things he used to do is he kept on creating additional options. So he would create all these different packages, and he would keep on making them bigger and bigger and grander and grander, and if people started buying them, he would keep on making them even more grand. So I think it depends on your industry.
But if you do, going back to what you said, you confuse ’em, you lose ’em.
Scott Fishman: Yes. Too many options that puts them in analysis paralysis, and then you start doing that follow-up game that is no fun because it’s going to take them forever to make a decision, and in the end it’s all your fault.
Jon Dwoskin: It’s all your fault. Well said. Take ownership and responsibility.
All right, next! Mistaking busyness with business. That is a big one.
Scott Fishman: That’s right because we talked a little bit about it on the last podcast as well with having those maybes where we follow up with them, that comfort level of keeping that pipeline full of just check-ins. And a lot times we do mistake busyness for business, and at the end of the day, we’re in sales. The bottom line is the bottom line. We don’t care about how many calls we make. If I get my clients, my quota for the month by making five calls, I’m just really good, or my clients just really need me. I don’t need to just say, “Oh, I made 100 calls today,” just to say I made 100 calls.
Jon Dwoskin: Absolutely. And I think, going back to sticking to your core business, on just another level of that, is sticking to your core business and not doing all the minutiae and getting stuck in the admin work. We talked about this in the last episode. Having those buffer days to do the busy work and sticking to core business during business hours. So you are really focusing on your business. You’re seeing clients, you’re meeting clients, you’re talking to clients, you’re emailing clients. Whatever you’re doing, you are doing core business, and it is growing your pipeline, and you’re focusing on your key activities and priorities that you’ve got to do to move your business forward, not just play catch-up work.
Scott Fishman: Right. Nowadays, speed of the lead, as they say, is the thing that matters the most. We really need to be the first one in front of a client, and get out there, and get that business. We have to make sure that we are doing that when the time comes, not just working on admin stuff and then saying, “Oops, I should’ve called you a half hour ago. I apologize.”
Jon Dwoskin: Right, right. Well said. All right, what’s next?
Scott Fishman: Don’t just give a quote to give a quote. I think a lot of times our prospects will give us that false positive of themselves by saying, “Hey, Jon, you know what? Great. Can you send me the numbers? Send them up by mail or send me an email so I can go over them, and I’ll talk to the decision makers, and I’ll get back to you.” And we take that as false positive of their interest.
Jon Dwoskin: Right. Well, and not only that, but even if you do give the quote, are you giving it to the right person, the decision maker? I mean, who are you giving the quote to? Because if you give it somebody that’s going to not get you anywhere, then you’re hurting yourself because then, and we talked about last time, the person, when it falls on their plate, they’re just looking at you as a number/nobody, and your price, and they cannot connect the value.
Scott Fishman: Right. And you are providing that value, so if you’re just giving them the numbers, and you are not there to go over it with them, “Here’s why this costs this much, here’s why this is priced in this manner, here’s what you’re getting for this, and here’s all the benefits,” they’re just seeing the numbers. They’re not actually seeing anything if they’re going over it on their own.
Jon Dwoskin: Right. And I know we talked about this last time, but giving quotes too easily, never give … If your people are asking you about the price, you have got to divert them, just walk them down the path of asking them questions in value. And once you start doing that and they start recognizing that you’re asking them questions to uncover what’s really going on, then they’re not asking about the quotes. They’re answering your questions because they know that you can really help them.
Scott Fishman: Right.
Jon Dwoskin: If they don’t think you can help them, then they’re just kind of, “Just tell me what your price is.” That, to me, is just another way of saying they don’t see the value in you.
Scott Fishman: Right. I used to break the ice a lot when’d they say, “Can you just send me your numbers by mail?” I’d say I’ll do you a favor. I’m just going to throw it my trash can for you.
Jon Dwoskin: That’s a good one.
Scott Fishman: I mean, if you’re going to weed them out, if they have any interest, they might get a chuckle. You might get to keep them on the line. And if it was going to happen, it’s going to happen anyway. Gosh, I don’t have to put together your proposal now because I know that you were just going to throw it away.
Jon Dwoskin: Right, right. And again, and I know we talked about this last time, I know I keep on saying, “We talked about this last time,” but yeah, I’d be happy to give you a quote once I ask you a couple more questions, once I understand exactly what you need, once I have time to put together a proposal, and we can set up a time to go over that, whether it’s in person, on the phone, over Skype. And where you can then control the proposal and go over it online if you’re not face to face. Or I’ll come see you, and we’ll go over it, and I’ll tell you what I can do for you, and then we’ll go over the price.
Scott Fishman: Yeah.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah.
Scott Fishman: I love it.
Jon Dwoskin: Okay, good, good. What’s next?
Scott Fishman: Next up we have don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah, that’s a tough one for sales. Don’t spend commission.
Scott Fishman: Yes. Well, at the same time I think there’s something to be said about, there’s two different mindsets here. I’ve got all this business that’s coming in, and it should close this quarter, it should close this week, whenever it’s going to close, it should actually, the contract should be done at this point, so we count on that, and then we don’t prospect as much.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah. Yeah, I mean it is, that is a dangerous, dangerous slippery slope for any salesperson on so many different levels for so many different things. I remember right before the market crashed, I worked with some sales guys who were counting their chickens to pay their taxes because their pipelines were so flush, they just forgot to pay their taxes for a couple months last year, and then the market crashed, their pipeline crashed, and all the money that they were hoping for went away.
Scott Fishman: Right.
Jon Dwoskin: That was something that was, they were counting their chickens before they were hatched, so don’t be an idiot. Don’t be an idiot with that. What I mean is, you have your pipeline. There’s nothing worse for a salesperson than a weak pipeline because in that scenario, if deals die, and you should have a flush pipeline. You can always tell a salesperson with a weak pipeline because they’re always stressed out when a deal dies. A salesperson with a solid pipeline is, I’m not saying they’re not upset and they’re pissed and they’re this and the other, but they’re not stressed out at where their next meal’s coming from because they know they have been compounding and consistent in growing their pipeline. So they lose a deal? Okay. There’s two behind it to fill the pipeline. So don’t ever rely on just a deal.
Scott Fishman: Yeah, and it’s amazing because, like I said, there’s two different mindsets. There’s the one that’s aiming for their quota. “Yeah, I’m going to hit 100% of quota.” And then something falls out, and now you’re at 90% or 99%. You didn’t make it. There’s the other guy that says, “You know what, I’m on track to hit 100%, but I better be careful. I better get some just in case business in there.” And then they end up at 110.
Jon Dwoskin: Right.
Scott Fishman: Because they’re not stressed, so they’re able to bring more and more business in as the month ends or as the quarter ends or the year ends. They’re able to bring more and more, so they’re actually hitting the ground running for the next quarter.
Jon Dwoskin: Right. Never.
Scott Fishman: Go ahead.
Jon Dwoskin: Sorry, go ahead.
Scott Fishman: No, you go ahead.
Jon Dwoskin: I was just going to say, “Never stop doing business development,” is the lesson. I mean, it doesn’t matter how busy you are, if you go back to mistaking busyness for business. We are business people. We are salespeople. We are growing businesses. And whether we grow businesses, it is our responsibility to generate new business, so do new business every day, and don’t fool yourself and think that you don’t have to.
Scott Fishman: Right.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah.
Scott Fishman: So what’s next, Jon?
Jon Dwoskin: Next. Prejudging prospects. What does that mean to you?
Scott Fishman: Well, I think I can give a perfect example of prejudging prospects. There’s a guy that I know, and I actually talk about this in one of my books, and he sells high-end sports cars. And he always says the guy that comes in with the suit with the awesome watch, the brand new Panerai, the Ferragamo shoes – that’s the guy who doesn’t buy. That’s the guy who’s coming in for a test drive. The guy who shows up in the three-stripe Adidas sweatpants and flip-flops and a T-shirt, that’s the guy who’s going to buy. Because the guy who’s all dressed up got dressed up to go the freaking dealership. The guy in the sweatpants, he’s all baller! He doesn’t have to get dressed up. He just shows up in what he has, and he’s the one that ends up buying. So don’t prejudge. Don’t actually look at somebody by the way they dress or the way they act. Figure them out. Figure out, qualify your prospects.
Jon Dwoskin: Joanna and I were taking the kids to the Royal Oak farmers’ market for a long time when they were younger, and we would go there on Saturday mornings. And there was this guy who was a farmer, and he sold dried blueberries and cherries and chocolate-covered cherries. He was a farmer, he wore overalls, he was the coolest. His name was Mario. Loved Mario. And we would go every week, and he would give the kids chocolate-covered cherries, and we all were like, “Oh, let’s go see Mario! Da, da, da.” So, didn’t think twice, had a great relationship with him, and Mario, Mario, blah, blah, blah.
So, it was during my real estate days, and I’m at my office, and all of a sudden I see Mario walking around my office. I used to sell investment real estate. And so, I go up to him. I say, “Mario, what are you, what are you?” He’s like, “Oh, hi, Jon, how you doing?” I say, “Mario, what are you doing here?” He’s like, “Oh.”
And he owned so much real estate. He was a client of one of the guys in the office. He had this most amazing background story, and not that I ever judged him at the farmers’ market, but I would have never thought, I would have never thought … He still was dressed exactly the same, exactly how you were talking about, wearing jeans and a T-shirt. And you would think, you wouldn’t think he had a penny, and he was obscenely successful in so many ways and so wise, so you’re spot on in your story.
Scott Fishman: He just didn’t give a shit.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah, yeah.
Scott Fishman: He didn’t have to impress anybody.
Jon Dwoskin: No, and nor did he want to, and that’s why everybody loved him. All right, good, what’s next?
Scott Fishman: Don’t get caught not providing guidance, insight, or value for your prospects.
Jon Dwoskin: That’s a really good one. Maybe say that again.
Scott Fishman: Don’t get caught not providing guidance, insight, or value.
Jon Dwoskin: Right. So what’s the mistake that people do?
Scott Fishman: Well, people, they assume, when we had talked about, oh, I’m going to say it. We talked about it on the last episode. But we talked about not connecting with our prospect and making things all about price, but at the end of the day, I actually read a stat, and this is a real stat and not just me making up a stat this time, but 85% of sales interactions will not be needed in the next decade because it’s all going to be handled by the computers because we have the internet. So our clients and our prospects, they’re educated beyond belief before they come to us. So it used to be we had to educate them. We had to teach them. We had to start at point A. Now, we’re meeting the prospect literally at M or N at this point because they know the prices even before they come to us, generally, or what it should be. They know all about the products. They know the questions to ask, all that stuff, but what they need is guidance about our product and how it can help them and what value it provides.
Jon Dwoskin: I think that’s so important. And like you said, because they can get some information, be upfront with them, ask them the questions, give them the guidance. Give them so much free stuff and so much free advice and get them thinking. That’s what they want from you. That’s what they need. So if you’re holding anything back to try to not give them this until they buy from you, or not give them this until this, give it all upfront.
I can just speak about myself for 30 seconds. I give a ton of free information on my website, and people will say, “Why do you give so much free information? You give too much free information.” And I don’t even think I give enough because you want to give people, you want to tell people what to do, and if they want to know how to do it, that’s your client base. But, here, give them everything because they can find it from the internet or somebody else.
Scott Fishman: Right.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah.
Scott Fishman: We used to talk about that. You listened to the Anthony Robbins tapes years ago in college, right?
Jon Dwoskin: Oh yeah, for sure, yeah.
Scott Fishman: If you would watch one of those infomercials that was an hour long about Anthony Robbins, he gave away a ton of shit-
Jon Dwoskin: Every day, yeah.
Scott Fishman: It was all there. He gave a 10,000 foot view of what was there, but it was all there, and if you were smart, you could probably glean a lot of what was going to be on the tapes just from that.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah.
Scott Fishman: But, he, I mean, that guy’s wealthy beyond belief.
Jon Dwoskin: He’s the greatest. You know it’s funny you mention that because I just found my Personal Power tape sets that I did when I was 20. I did them again when I was 25, I did them again when I was 30. I just found them. I don’t even have a cassette player anymore.
Scott Fishman: I was just going to predict that you just ordered one on Amazon. I was going to say, “Did you order a cassette player on Amazon?”
Jon Dwoskin: I should! And now I actually have the new Anthony Robbins ones, which are good, but those were the classic ones. I should order a cassette player on Amazon because those were the originals, and they were the best.
Scott Fishman: Funny story. One of our friends, actually their kid found a cassette tape. It was Adam, and he showed one of his kids, I think, an Eazy-E cassette tape, and he’s like, “Do you know what this is?” Or maybe an N.W.A. because it was right at the time of that the movie came out. And they were like, “Where do you plug in the headphones?” They didn’t know what it was.
Jon Dwoskin: Right. That is classic. I love it. I love it. All right, so what is our final common mistake that salespeople make today?
Scott Fishman: Making contact or having a meeting that doesn’t have a desired purpose or outcome. Just give your client an agenda before you talk to them.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah. That’s important. And even if you don’t give them the agenda, have an agenda.
Scott Fishman: Right.
Jon Dwoskin: Right.
Scott Fishman: Because if you call someone and you say, “Hey, Jon, I’m just calling to check in,” or “I’m just calling for no reason,” you’re not providing any value on that call or that meeting or even an email. If you’re not providing any value, you are just a nuisance.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah. Right. And I think that what’s also important is not only do you need to have an agenda, but if you don’t, be careful because sometimes, and I’ve run into this. Sometimes I’ll have an agenda, but I don’t give out the agenda, and people will say, “Shouldn’t you have an agenda?” Well, I have an agenda, but I don’t necessarily hand it out because the agenda sometimes morphs into a different order or things of that nature. But what I’ve learned is it’s always good to kind of give some type of guidance of an agenda, so people know what’s going on.
Scott Fishman: Right.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah, yeah. And making contact without purpose or desired outcome, I think that’s really key. Make sure that everybody’s on the same page, and if there’s something that’s lost in communication, that makes it tough at the end. So clarify and crystallize that upfront what you’re doing and what you can do for them.
Scott Fishman: Right. There’s a meter, there’s an interest level that we can gauge with our prospects, and if we’re calling them for absolutely no reason, that meter lowers. We lose more and more of their interest, so eventually if we’re calling or meeting with them and they’re getting nothing of value from that call or that meeting, they’re going to be less and less interested, and then pretty soon they’re out the door. They don’t even pick up anymore.
Jon Dwoskin: Yeah, yeah. And then just, lastly, one thought I’ll have is in order to have purpose, have a desired outcome, have an agenda, you need to prepare, and you need to take time to plan, and you need to just take that executive time and that quiet time to get ready for every call and every meeting, even if it’s 30 seconds to a minute. Take the time and invest in yourself so you can shine in front of the client or prospect.
Scott Fishman: Shine on!
Jon Dwoskin: Shine on! All right. I think that’s seven.
Scott Fishman: That is seven.
Jon Dwoskin: All right, well, everybody, thank you very much for continually listening to Scott and me. Hope these help you grow your business, grow your game, grow your pipeline, grow your income, and make sales more fun.
Scott Fishman: Absolutely. Thank you very much for listening, everybody.
Jon Dwoskin: Have a great one.