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Apr 13-19, 1998

Watch Out for the "Yes That Kills"

jack carrollby Jack Carroll

You're in sales and you love to hear "yes's." During your first sales training class you were taught to be positive and optimistic and always look for yes's—even when they weren't necessarily there in so many words. Let me tell you about the yes that kills.

You did the initial sales consultation two weeks ago and she remarked how knowledgeable you were about her company's business needs and problems. (Good buying signals.) Four days later you did a group presentation to her executive committee. She told you afterward that she was impressed by your value-added services, competitive price, and guarantees of timely delivery. (More positive feedback.)

And didn't she respond positively when you called two days later and asked her how things were going and if the group had questions about any of the points made in your presentation? Nothing but good vibes and a clear track to them moving forward. Why, she was so positive, warm, and friendly that it wasn't even necessary to ask her for the order. (Why come on aggressively?) You assumed it. Right up to the close.

The deal closed on Friday afternoon. Your number two competitor got the P.O. and spent the weekend celebrating. You didn't even find out until the following Tuesday. It seems they were somehow left with the impression that your products didn't stack up in two key areas. You didn't get a chance to answer their misunderstandings. Because you didn't ask for the business and find out where you stood in the deliberations, or draw out her problems and objections.

And that is the "Yes that kills." The one you didn't ask for and the one that she didn't give.

So next time, don’t assume. Ask.

Have a wonderful week selling. And have some fun along the way.

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