What are you famous for?

Most improved? Bedside manner? Hardest worker? Smart, but lazy?

Can you believe that someone called me passive aggressive?

If you read the passive aggressive article, you should realize that I've been the way that I am for a long time. I don't believe in 'selling' people. I don't use sales tricks. I don't force people to buy from me. I don't care until they care..... a lot!

Here's what I mean. I've shared several real life conversations on this blog, like Are you listening to yourself? and A Real Sales Conversation. I had this (partial) exchange more recently.

"Is it 3 months or 6 months? The tough one is how we determine "new" business.  Can we cover that on a call?"

I replied, "How would you define new business? If you've added $200K in 3 months, why would we continue?"

"I need to get my head around defining new business. Either way Rick I'm confident it's a good investment."

Here's another (partial exchange) that happened when a prospect called and left a voice mail after I told them that I wouldn't work with them.

I ran out of time yesterday and couldn't reply to your voice mail, but I don't really have anything new to share.
I first knew that I was on your radar in January. You popped in a couple more times before this conversation started in August.
Please understand that I am not judging you, your people or anything that you do. I watch and decide whether I want to be part of what I see or not, not whether it's right or wrong. Just whether I want to be part of it.
You have an $800K business. How you got it doesn't matter. What kind of business it is doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the $700K that you said you want, but don't have. That's the part that I had to decide whether I wanted to be part of.
It's not important to you, but my life changed on September 4th. I love what I do, but when I work with someone, I talk with them almost every day. I seriously doubt that after 1Q15, I'll be very available, let alone be able to talk to anyone almost every day. That's why I have a 9/30 deadline.
I wasn't there when your salesperson was hired. I haven't watch you manage, but it appears that you've been 'crunching numbers' since January. Respectfully, it appears that you're number crunching is figuring out how to pay everybody out of the existing $800K which assumes failure. My $50K comes out of the first $200K of the new $700K. I'm at risk if I don't know what I'm doing, or I can't make your salesperson perform, or if you continue to second guess me.
Re: "second guess"... I've advised you (specific unpaid advice). You're thinking about it. Not acceptable. I could teach, but I can't help your salesperson if he second guesses me or you if you second guess me. He doesn't. You do. He is so committed that he's willing to borrow his means to work with me. You're figuring out how to pay the bills if you fail.
That's why I wrote that you weren't committed. That's why I bowed out. This might be my last chance to work with clients and I'm not going out with a fail.
To which he replied (in part), You are right. I did take your advice as more of a recommendation than as a necessity. I didn’t intend to second guess you. I won’t give you any excuses and leave it at that. You know this stuff; I don’t. I am deeply aware of that fact.
I’m not comfortable. We’re stagnating. I’m afraid of what could happen if a couple of our bigger clients go away and it keeps me up at night. This is not a hobby for me; this business is my life. I have a 15 month old baby that will be starting private school in a couple of years and a daughter who’s already in it. That s%!t is not cheap but it’s important to me and my wife. I am nowhere near meeting my personal goals and this business is the vehicle.
I talked with my salesperson and we've implemented your advice.
We’re ready and we’re all in. Have faith in us and we won’t disappoint you.

I realize that this got long. Sorry, but here are the three takeaways that I'd like you to get.
  1. Did you notice that I didn't talk about the reasons that they should work with me, but helped them realize what they don't get if they don't? (The consequences.)
  2. Did you notice that they come up their own personally compelling reasons to work with me? All I did was ask questions and repeat history.
  3. Who drove the process?

If you're already awesome....

If you have more money than you need....

If you've blown every 2014 goal away already....

If you're always in control of your business....

there's no need for us to talk,

but if you're dissatisfied, want more or don't know, do this before EOD Tuesday.

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Sales Rock Stars,
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