Salespeople have questions — Jeffrey has answers


Jeffrey, as you often suggest, my company is going to start filming client video testimonials. There will be some clients we would not invite to give a testimonial due to their less-than-stellar reputation in our community. What is the diplomatic response to such clients if they ask, “How come you didn't ask me to do a testimonial?” Leonard

Leonard, dude, invite them. Feed them. Make them feel good. You don't have to use their testimonial, but it doesn’t hurt you to shoot one with them.

C’mon. Use your head. Why would you not invite somebody to your birthday party? Don’t you like birthday presents? Bring them. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, what do you suggest as a follow-up after providing a prospect with quotes or offers? I don’t want to come across as pushy or put them on the defensive. Anna

Anna, why are you giving them a quote anyway? Why aren’t you having a meeting with them? Why aren’t you sitting down with them to address what’s going to happen after they take ownership and make certain that productivity and profitability are maximized by you?

Anybody who gives a quote and is waiting for an answer is a fool because they’re going to lose to somebody with a 10-cent lower price. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, how do I overcome the “price issue” when the retailers’ only concern is to buy a cheaper product so they can enjoy a fatter margin? Walt

Walt, your premise is incorrect. The retailer wants to ring the cash register not just have a fatter margin. If they’re selling crappy products at a high margin, eventually, they’re going to get caught. In today’s world, you can’t do that anymore, and it’s because of one word: Amazon. Anything that anybody sells trying to get a fatter margin than Amazon does, they’re going to get caught in two seconds.

What you want is something the customer can win on value and then go home and tell all their friends, “This is the best stuff I've ever had! You've got to go to Bob’s retail marketplace and buy it.” It’s all about reputation. It’s all about quality. It is not all about price anymore. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, I’m new to the mortgage business after a 10-year career as a professional athlete. Since being hired two months ago, I’ve spent every available minute learning the seemingly endless amount of information that’s required to do this job correctly. I’m expected to do the daily tasks of loan originator for my company, but coming from zero experience, I’m also trying to learn along the way, not to mention learn how to sell at the same time.

You say you must become an expert at what you’re trying to sell to have any hope of future success, but what I’m selling requires loads of previously acquired knowledge and the ability to implement that knowledge in a world where the market is constantly changing. So, would it be in my best interest to put making sales on the back burner? Mary

Mary, no, it would not, especially until you fully educate yourself about mortgage banking. Even if it takes months — no. What you want to do is talk to people. People are not interested in a mortgage; people are interested in the home of their dreams. Make friends with people. Make them your fans.

When you were a professional athlete, you were inspired by your fans. Go get more fans, bring them into your stadium, have them sit in the front row, or on the 50-yard line or on the third baseline right by the dugout and talk to them about what they’re really hoping for with their home. Get them to like you first.

You can do all that stuff in the background. They don’t have to know if you know or you don’t know. You only have to get them a mortgage that will help them move into the home of their dreams.   

Talk to people who already have mortgages. Talk to other people in the company. Get experience from others who already have the experience. Find somebody that likes you and find somebody that takes a liking to you and is willing to help you, but go talk to people. People are your answer. Make them fans.Best regards, Jeffrey

Editor’s note: Jeffrey Gitomer is on sabbatical. This column originally appeared in the Aug. 4, 2014, Business Journal

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 books. His “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling” is available as a book and an online course at For public event dates and information about training and seminars, visit or email

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