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Supremely Successful Selling: Discovering the Magic Ingredient by Jerold Panas

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Chapter 17

Know Your Product, but It's Testimony that Persuades

THE TIME HAS COME. You are prepared. You're making the call. You are facing the buyer.

You're ready to begin. You remember Lewis Carroll's Alice: “I don't see how he can ever finish if he doesn't begin.”

You are psyched. You've set the stage and done a superb job of getting ready. As perfectly correct as the blind embossing on the letterhead of a prestigious Boston law firm.

You begin with a positive attitude. You are with the probable buyer. You probe and ask open-ended questions. And you listen.

The successful salesperson listens. You listen assertively to your buyer's ideas, needs, aspirations, and wishes. These are the forces that motivate a sale. You need to explore.

Now comes one of the most telling and effective parts of your presentation. I want you to give testimony to your own use and feeling about the product.

Obviously, you may not be able to testify to your own beneficial use if you are selling, for instance, the e-Studio 1351 Hewlett-Packard duplicator (the monster cranks out 285 pages a minute). Or, let's say, the Rolls Royce turbine engine for the latest Boeing aircraft. This presents, however, an excellent opportunity to use a reference—one of your satisfied customers.

Here's an example of what you might say:

“I asked Fred Johnson if I might use his name. He heads the Engineering Department at Erie's General Electric plant. He said he wanted me to tell everyone I possibly can that our equipment is ...

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