Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Experiences vs. Principles

Posted in Business by elephanthunters on July 14, 2009

I tend to form opinions a lot based on my experiences.  I think we all do this.  When something works  for us we tend to assume that it is valuable and that it should work for others.  When something doesn’t work for us we tend to assume that it doesn’t work for anyone or that it is of little value.

Principles are tested through the process of lot’s of people’s experiences in many settings over a long period of time.  Principles are usually universally true…they don’t change.

Principle says: Exercise is good for everyone.

Experience says: Running is too hard on my knees and riding a bicycle is not practical where I live so swimming is the best form of exercise.  A different experience  may say: I’m allergic to chlorine so I can’t swim, but jumping on a pogo-stick get’s my heart pumping so the best exercise comes from pogo-sticking.  These are fine conclusions individually but problems arise when swimmers and pogo-stickers have to sit on a board together to oversee a community rec center development.  Unless decisions can be made on principle the result will be the induction of a new sport called water-pogo.

Experiences are a unique part of everyone’s story but when the goal is to create unity and inspire team work the focus should be on principles.  Everyone can buy in on principles because they have broad application and are typically true for everyone.  Establish principles first and then let people formulate their experience or opinion in the context of that principle.  This will produce results where each team member involved better understands why the decision was made the way it was, and the more they understand the more they own and support the decision.


Give more than they expect

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on July 7, 2009

If I tell my wife I’ll be home from work at 5:40 and I don’t show up until 5:50…I let her down.  I set her expectations and then disappointed her in my follow through because of where I set them.

If I tell her I’ll be home at 6:15 and I get home a few minutes early then she’s more excited than if I got home at 5:50 given the previous scenario even though the net result is that I came home later.  Why is this?


It’s so easy in sales to pull out all the stops on the front end just to get the deal done.  We actually tend to over promise what we are able to deliver in an effort to impress the prospect enough to buy.  Short term this could work in your favor.  Long term it’s a train wreck.

Get good enough to sell them on 90% of the value.  Once you close the deal unveil the other 10% and they will be a friend for life.  If they weren’t expecting it and you gave it to them – they love you.  If they were expecting it and you didn’t give it to them – they hate you.  It’s that simple.

You will stand out because hardly anyone does this and people are accustomed to getting less than what they paid for…if you give them more they will sing your praises and send you more business.

Always under promise and over deliver.

Always open it up more

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on June 30, 2009

Too many sales people are guilty of asking closed questions. Closed questions are too easy to answer with a one word response and this kills the dialogue every time.  And it’s extremely awkward to get it flowing again.

Don’t ask ‘Have you had a good day so far?’, instead say ‘Tell me about how your day is going’.  Don’t ask ‘Do you enjoy working for your company?’, instead ask ‘What’s something your company does that you’re proud of?’.  Don’t ask ‘Does this product interest you?’ ask ‘What are some of the benefits you’re seeing in this product for your company?’

Open it up.  Get them talking.  Have a conversation.  If you ask closed questions then you have to talk most of the time and that is one of the worst things a sales person can do.

People buy when you don’t care.

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on June 24, 2009

The easiest time to make a sell is immediately after you just made one.  This is when armature sales people blow it!  They close a big deal so they’re excited and they blow off the rest of the day in a spirit of celebration.  They miss the easiest harvesting season they will ever have.

Working hard to close a deal is exhausting and there is a rare opportunity that only occurs after a deal has been closed.  It’s the window of the ‘I don’t care’.

The largest obstacle to overcome as a sales person is coming off as unbelievably natural and relaxed.  If you’re nervous, pushy or uncomfortable in the slightest your prospect will smell it and back off.  Why?  Because these mannerisms signal a response in the buyers mind that you are untrustworthy.

The window of the ‘I don’t care’ is a sweet spot for any sales person.  If you close a big deal you’re no longer worried about hitting a quota or breaking through your draw or covering this months bills with your commission.  You don’t care any more…so call the next prospect and let them know you don’t care.  Let them feel it in your tone.  Let them wonder how you can be so relaxed and less than needy for their business.  You can call 10 prospects in a row and not care if they all cuss you out and hang up on you because you just closed a huge deal.

But this won’t happen.  Those 10 calls will result in the highest closing ratios you’ll ever have because you don’t care.  This translates as relaxed confidence and puts your prospect at ease.

When you close a big deal pour it on a little longer before you go celebrate.  What do you have to loose?

For more about this principle I recommend Herb Cohen’s book Negotiate This by caring but not T-H-A-T much.

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