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Vendor Program Selling Dynamics

October 18, 2011, 10:00 AM
Topic: Sales

The most appealing treadmill to me in the gym was located in the second row of aerobic equipment. I liked it because it’s the only treadmill positioned so that you can view three TV’s at the same time. On one particular day, all the televisions had the closed caption feature on. In addition, they had sports scores or stock quotes scrolling across the bottom (and sometimes tops) of the screen, and they flashed their own bullet points, names and titles. There was a minimum of three different things to read on each TV. 

So, as I’m running, I’m attempting to comprehend nine different pieces of information from three TV’s, all while listening to my iPod™ and monitoring my heart rate on the treadmill. Occasionally I would glance from TV to TV to try to find the most interesting thing to read or watch. Finally I just ignored all the TV’s and got lost in my own thoughts. There was so much information coming at me that I couldn’t assimilate any of it.

The experience reminded me of a prospect phone call where the leasing sales representative goes on and on describing his company’s turnaround time, fast payment policy, fabulous approval rate, and every other program they can think of. The representative is so excited to get a decision maker on the phone that he just unloads. Another way of looking at it is that the representative shows up and throws up everything he knows! There is so much information coming at the prospect that he gets lost in his own thoughts. The prospect is thinking “God, this guy is talking a lot, how can I get off the phone and get back to work?”

A more effective approach is to practice information under load. When prospecting, you want to quickly get to high-quality questions. Not questions like “How much leasing do you do?” Hopefully you have already qualified the prospect and have this information. If you start out with a qualifying question to the decision maker you seem selfish. Example of high quality questions include:

  • What is most important to you in a leasing/finance company?
  • What is the biggest challenge your business is facing this year?

Effective Selling Requires Listening

Then really listen to the answers. Listen like you’ve never listened before. Look at the letters that make up the word listen and rearrange them so they spell out silent. Listen/silent they are the same in content only arranged to appear different from each other. When you listen, be silent. Listen without thinking about what you are going to jump in with next. When you’re silent, you’ll hear at a new level of listening.

Figure out what’s important to that person then introduce one program that matches his needs. Examples of programs that would apply in a vendor program opportunity:

  • Trade Show Support
  • Private-Label Documents
  • On-line Tools

It could even be the basics like lower interest rates or better approval rates. If you identify what’s important, you can focus on that instead of including it in the 50 things you blow past him.

Follow Up

Upon calling to follow-up, remember to touch on his hot buttons, then ask questions and give just one different program, for example:

  • 90-day deferred programs
  • Industry-specific programs
  • Faxable documents

Every call should have something of value for the prospect. How many times have you heard a sales representative call and say “You have any applications for me?” It’s not about you! Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes, look at things from their perspective and intrigue them one piece of information at a time.

As for my gym experience, I’ll now run on any treadmill regardless of how many TV’s I can see.  However, I won’t give up my iPod™. Some things are indispensable.

Linda Kester
President | The Institute for Personal Development
Linda Kester is nationally recognized as an outstanding sales trainer and professional speaker. She possesses over twenty years of experience in equipment leasing sales and marketing management. In 1996 she founded the Institute for Personal Development to help equipment leasing sales representatives increase sales volume. Linda’s unique skills have had a tremendous positive impact on sales for all types of companies – from startup firms to corporate giants. Linda's services provide great value to equipment leasing companies because she possesses the unique experience of having worked with two small leasing companies, that during her tenure, experienced phenomenal growth. Both companies have since become major funding sources and publicly traded companies. Linda can be reached at
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