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Sales Make it Happen

"Information Under Load"

by Linda P. Kester

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, I'm running, attempting to comprehend nine different pieces of information from three TV's, all while listening to my iPodT and monitoring my heart rate on the treadmill. 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 call where the leasing sales rep goes on and on about their turnaround time, fast payment, fabulous approval rate, and every other program they can think of. The rep is so excited to get a decision maker on the phone that he just unloads. Another way of looking at it, is that the rep shows up and throws up! 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. If you start out with a qualifying question to the decision maker you seem so selfish. Example of high quality questions include:

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

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. Really 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:

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

It could even be the basics like lower rates or more approvals. If you identify what's important you can focus on that instead of including it in the 50 things you blow past him.

Then when you call to follow-up, you touch on his hot buttons, then ask questions and give just one different program, for example:

  • 90-Day Deferred
  • Industry-specific program
  • Faxable docs

Every call should have something of value for the prospect. How many times have you heard a sales rep call and say "You have any apps for me?" It's not about you! Put yourself in their 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 iPodT. Some things are indispensable.

Linda Kester motivates, educates and empowers leasing sales reps to obtain top performance and increase volume. She provides enthusiastic and practical ideas for success. For more tips visit