How To Sell: Differentiate Yourself From What’s Been Tried Before
Here’s a technique that has been used effectively by one of our contributors, super-salesman and philanthropist Hervey Ross. Try it whenever someone objects, “We’ve tried that before, and it did not work.”
One of the best ways to deal with this objection is to indicate that your idea will work because it is different from what has been tried before and did not work.
Here’s how Ross used the tactic.
“Some years ago, after a presentation of my product to the founder of a major Florida corporation with over 100,000 employees, I was told that my employee-benefit plan looked good, but a similar plan had been tried before and had not been successful.
“With great enthusiasm, I clapped my hands together and said, “That’s because I didn’t do it!”
“I could tell from the look in his eye and the smile on his face that he was seeing himself as a younger man with the same enthusiasm.
“He said, ‘That could be.’
I looked at him and said, “Could we start this program next week?”
“‘C’mon’ he said. Let’s go down to the controller and have him set it up.”
Analysis. In this account of the actual use of a magic phrase, Ross said it with enthusiasm, even clapping his hands. And, most important, the magic phrase was coupled with a request for action.
And, Ross did not just ask for the business, he requested an immediate response: “Could we start this program next week?”
No wonder he was successful.