Why do so many sales people rely on brochures, websites and proposals as crutches?  They don’t know any better, or they do and simply WIMP OUT.  

Scenario:  While prospecting, salesperson Wally Whiner hears: “I’d be interested in seeing what you’ve got…how about sending me to your web site so I can learn more about your product?”  Thinking he has an interested prospect, Wally responds, “No problem…after I send you the link, can I call you to follow-up, to answer any questions you might have?”  Prospect: “Sure, call me next week and we’ll talk.”

Analysis:  Wally thinks he’s done his job.  Wrong.  He has nothing.  No appointment.  No commitment.  And, sadly, Wally’s engaging in unproductive activity.

Next week, Wally discovers his “interested” prospect is hiding behind e-mail and voice mail.  What’s wrong?  Wally found no compelling reason to get invited in, and he wimped out…allowing the prospect to control the sales process.

As a result, Wally chased someone who was NOT a prospect at all. Why?  He doesn’t have a selling system which is stronger than the prospect’s buying system.

Here are three keys to stop the chase:  1.  Ask the right questions to get the prospect to admit they have compelling reasons to see you.  2.  Book the appointment.  3.  Set the right expectations.


“Mr. Prospect, right now I don’t know whether or not I can help you.  In order to find out, may I ask you some challenging questions about your business, and then you can decide if you want to take the next step.  Is that okay?

Good.  Before I start, may I tell you the only two kinds of business owners I work with?

Thank you.  A.  Owners who have a dream for their business, but for some reason, it isn’t happening as fast as they wanted.  Maybe sales are below expectations, or the competition is eroding market share, or profit margins are too low.  Maybe their salespeople complain there aren’t enough leads coming in, or that the leads aren’t any good.


B.  Successful leaders and visionaries who are never satisfied.  They are doing well, but want more and want it faster, plus are open to outside ideas from experts like me to gain a competitive edge.

Which category could you relate to?  

Why did you pick that one?

Tell me more.

How committed are you to make changes in your marketing plans to achieve your goals?

Why such a low commitment? Or Why are you so committed?  

Is this important enough to invite me in to talk about how we might be able to help you achieve your vision?

Then get out your calendar.  When do you want me to come?

I’ll be there.  Before I hang up, can we discuss expectations for our meeting?

Allow me to I tell you how I work, and you can tell me if you’re comfortable.  Ours is a two step process.  This phone call is step 1.  Step 2 is our meeting.  I’d like to begin our meeting by asking you enough questions to understand your business.  Then I’d like you assemble the right people in the room to ask me enough questions so that at the end of the meeting, you can be comfortable enough making a Yes or No decision.  ‘No’ means you decided you don’t need or want what I have, or you cannot find the budget, or just cannot decide right now.  I’m okay with a No.  I’m also okay with a ‘Yes’.  ‘Yes’ means you want our help, you’re comfortable us and investing enough money to solve the challenges you were nice enough to share.

Are you comfortable with that?  

Sales is not about telling, showing, convincing and enthusiastic dog and pony shows.  Sales IS about quickly qualifying prospects with incisive questions, then getting strong commitments up front.  Presentations (if needed) come at the end.

How to Stop Making Proposals and Start Making Sales