Unbound Growth Blog

The sales difference between can't and won't.

Posted by Carole Mahoney

 7/2/12, 6:20 PM

Does your sales process pass this litmus test?

Earlier today I had a sales call with Rick Roberge. My husband walked in during the middle of the conversation and knew enough to not interrupt when he heard Rick's voice. So he sat in my office and listened in to the end of the conversation while he waited share his news about the new neighbors. Here is the summary of where he picked it up:

Prospect: "I know what I'm capable of and what my strengths are. Just this past weekend, I fixed my own car rather than take it to the mechanic. if I can do it myself, why shouldn't I save the money?"

Rick: "Interesting. How much do you charge per hour to your clients?"

Prospect: "Around $95 an hour."

Rick: "So would a mechanic be able to do it better and faster than you? if you charge $95 an hour, a mechanic charges the same, but it takes you longer and who knows if there is something critical you miss?"

Prospect: "Well, if I were to work while I was waiting for him sure, but I wouldn't be able to work while I'm waiting, and I did it in my free time..."

Yada, Yada, Yada...

Prospect: "I have a bunch of books that tell me the same things you are saying you can do for me, I think I just need some package that I can plug in and work. I know what I can and can't do."

At which point Rick found what he was looking for, the no, the reason why it couldn't work out and the sales train stopped stopped faster than a political candidate shaking hands at a fundraiser. We hung up the phone almost as fast.

At which point hubby said to me, "Does that happen a lot?" What? "That you send these poor guys to Rick to see if they can get over themselves and actually be helped?" Yes dear, yes it does happen a lot.

Even though it didn't work out, I said I would send a link to the prospect for the recording of the latest webinar. True to my word, I did. His reply:, "Thanks.... thanks for introducing me...it was worth a shot. Be be honest, if you can't sell someone that's out looking for services, im not sure he could teach me to sell. "

Hubby says I have an issue with getting the last word in, and he's right. But he also says that Rick could sell ice to Eskimos if he wanted to. Hubby is a smart guy. There is a difference between can't and won't.

My reply to Joe Prospect; "Since we are being honest, I wouldn't want to sell someone who isn't coachable. If everything Rick said is in a book that you read somewhere, then why haven't you done it yet?"

There is a difference between can't sell someone and won't sell someone. A blind man doesn't need to be sold eye glasses, no matter how much he might want them.

Do you have sales happy ears?

Do you look for the no in your sales process? Or is every yes a perfect customer for you? Do you suffer from happy ears? Are you looking for the next customer, or the right customer that brings you more customers like them?

Do you have real goals that you are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them? Are you coachable and willing to learn and grow? Can you be challenged and step out of the comfort zone, or are you smarter than everyone else?

Are you real enough to be up for the Rick litmus test?

Topics: sales, sales assessment test, entrepreneur, sales coaching

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"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward." ~Vernon Law 
This blog is a home for the business growth lessons that we and our associates and clients have learned from the front lines.

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