The Lost Art Of Customer Creation

shake handsIt was a gorgeous spring day, birds singing, cobalt blue skies, gentle breeze, the whole nine yards…

Tom and I were standing in front of his facility in a heavy industrial district in Denver. We’d just returned from the greasy spoon Mexican restaurant around the corner where I’d bought him lunch – and he turned down my offer.

After weeks of tortuous negotiations and research and due diligence and working through multiple scenarios, in the end he said “No.”

So, there I stood with my hand on the car door and as he was about to turn and go back into his office, I said “Tom, let me just ask you one thing… where did I go wrong?”

Well, relieved of any sales pressure, he was happy to share that with me, revealing his true objection to the deal. Which, of course, I was able to demolish, now that I knew what it was. He invited me in to his office and, after a little back and forth and going over details, we signed the deal.

It netted me $38,000 and helped him get rid of a big problem. [True Story]

So, why am I telling you all this?

Nothing happens until a deal is closed, until a sale is made. Not a single government official would have a job were it not for revenues made possible by deals closed and sales made. Roof over head and meals on the table depend on it.

It is THE most essential skill.

And the centerpiece of Lifecycle Marketing – #4 out of seven in case you didn’t notice, right smack in the middle.

There are also (at least) seven principles of selling.

But for now, here are the “Key Three” you need to be aware of, that will make or break your cash flow and profit goals, business growth and financial independence.

1. Know, Like and Trust – It’s a mistake to think people buy based on logic. “Well, my thing-a-ma-zingy costs 10% less, so therefore you should buy it!” No, I don’t think so. People buy from people they know, like and trust. If they don’t feel familiar with you, like who you are, and trust you, no deal. You must earn these continually.

2. Chain of Beliefs – Before we make any decision, a certain set of beliefs must exist. Break any one of them and you break or at least severely weaken the chain. For instance, before you book that week in Cozumel, you need to feel pretty certain that a) you can afford the time off, b) you will like the weather, and c) the food won’t make you sick, and so on. You must be sure to convey all the information your prospect needs in order to make a positive decision.

3. Let Your Marketing “Pre-Sell” For You – There’s a saying that “Talkers are Hawkers.” In other words, the days of the fast talking salesman are fast waning. He’s being replaced with more and more sophisticated target marketing that pre-sells prospects before they come in contact with you or your team personally. Marketing ideally makes selling completely unnecessary. Of course this varies by industry, but in a successful business, by the time personal contact is made, much of the pre-sales work has been done.

The secret to all this is…

You must continually earn the right and the ability to sell your prospects.

Rest on your laurels and sooner or later the competition will be happy to eat your lunch.

So how effective is your business in each of these three areas?

If you come up short, don’t worry – celebrate!

Be like the Zen master who exults any time he finds a flaw in his being since it represents a whole new
opportunity for improvement.

Fix it – because if you believe in what you offer you are under moral obligation to help your customer get it.

s Zig Ziglar would say, “Go out and sell something – America needs the business!”

 (Image courtesy of Ambro at