Scott Sorrell / CEO, Sales Adrenaline

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Welcome to a critique of one of the stupidest mistakes you'll ever make. (Of course, there are hundreds of those, aren't there?) From time to time I write an article taking a look at how we shoot ourselves in the wallet, and the actual name of today's mistake should be "DECREASING YOUR INCOME by Focusing on Anything Other Than the Prospect's Objectives." Why are you in sales? It's the money . right?

When most of us first get into sales, it's for one reason only: THE MONEY. Money money money!!! Let's face it - sales is the highest paid hard work there is. So it's all about the money. At least that's what we think when we first get into it. Those of us who have learned the secret to building WEALTH in sales, though, have graduated to the next level. What's the next level?

Forget about yourself and your commission; focus on your prospect and his objectives.

What's weird is this: when you stop focusing on the money you'll end up making more money!

Let's take a look at how this works .

Think of the last time you had a salesperson trying hard to sell you something. Could you tell that he was all about the sale and not at all about you? All about the commission? Could you see the shark in his eyes? Of course! Money focus is transparent. When you're the customer, you can read it on the salesperson's face.

Now think about the last time you were being helped by a salesperson who was so gracious, so interested in you, so intent on meeting your needs, so focused on making sure you walked away with just the right product fit. Didn't it feel great? Did you give much "buying resistance"? Probably not. Your guard was down. And you probably ended up making a larger purchase than you originally intended, because you trusted the salesperson and were willing to take his suggestions and recommendations for up-sells and add-ons.

Why? He probably asked a number of insightful questions to find out what your main goals and objectives were, and LISTENED to the answers. (Is the end of that phrase worth repeating? Yes - so read it again.) Then he presented products that met those needs, matching their benefits precisely to what you were looking for.

That's all you have to do: ask questions. Let the prospect tell you his objectives. "But what if he doesn't know what they are?" you might ask. Good question. Sometimes your prospect is unsophisticated and doesn't know what his objectives should or could be. That's when you can use your experience with other customers and suggest needs for him to buy into. For example:

YOU: "I usually find that my mobile DVD system customers have three specific criteria, ranked according to their objectives. Just so I can steer you to the right unit, I'll list them, and why don't you tell me which of these is your top priority, followed by the other two."


YOU: "The three top priorities usually are: long-term system reliability, crisp picture quality, and then price. Of those three, which is your top priority: Reliability, Quality, or Price?"

PROSPECT: [Don't be surprised if the prospect's ranking is in the exact order I've listed. Almost always, Reliability or Quality will be #1.]

YOU: "Good. You know, it's funny . some people come in thinking somebody has a system with the best reliability, the highest picture quality, AND the lowest price, but I have yet to find a company that offers all three. So I'm usually able to help people find a product that is very reliable and has a fantastic picture - all at a reasonable price. And that's probably what you're looking for too, isn't it?" [head nod]

This isn't hard. Use a script like this to help your customer identify common needs and priorities. Write it down and memorize it. Memorize - only then can you improvise. If you have no anchor, your results will suffer. The quality of your questions determines the quality of your results.

The results of focusing on the prospect's needs instead of your commission:

  1. Your prospect will trust you and accept your recommendations, creating a bigger invoice (meaning you make more money)
  2. You won't see customers coming back to return what didn't fit their needs (meaning you keep more money)
  3. You'll build long-term relationships with customers who demand you by name (meaning you make still more money)
  4. Your customers will generate a constant stream of personal referrals (meaning you make even more money, more often)



  1. Determine the prospect's needs.
  2. Sell to the prospect's needs.
  3. Cash a bigger paycheck.

Scott Sorrell is a master sales trainer and success coach. He is known as "Mr. Charge Higher Prices," because he teaches how to boost the bottom line of every transaction and relationship, as he works nationwide with sales teams and corporate executives of everyone from Fortune 500s to start-ups. Scott's seminar series, How to Charge Higher Prices & Get Your Customers to Thank You for It,T is acclaimed by sales professionals in dozens of industries. He is also the creator of the audio program The Power of Persuasion: How to Master the Art of Influence.T Scott can be contacted at 949 650-0006, or by email: ceo@SalesAdrenaline.com.

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"The key to selling? Pinpoint the pain point."
-Scott Sorrell

"Prospects can read your eyes. They can tell the difference between commission focus & customer focus."
-Scott Sorrell
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