Friday, November 8, 2013

When your prospect can't afford it ... what do you do?

By Tom “Big Al” Schreiter

I won't mention the name of the country - but it was poor.

The average monthly income was only $300 a month. So my distributor was complaining:

"It is impossible to build a business here. Nobody can afford the products."

Well, my distributor was just a bit irritated because we had been standing in line at the restaurant for over 45 minutes. He was hungry and cranky.

I replied, "So the people here can't afford our products, eh?

"Look at those young people. The ones without jobs. They are wearing some nice designer clothes. I bet they really got excited about how the designer companies advertised to them and they felt if they wore their designer clothes, people would think they are special.

"Oh look, these unemployed young people have cell phones. They are making expensive cell-phone-to-cell- phone calls to chat with their other poor friends. I bet they have the best cell phone plans to go with their iPhones.

"I wondered how much these people paid for valet parking? You know, gas is so expensive here, I hope they had enough money to tip the valet parking attendant. And you know what else? They are driving nice cars.

"Now, I know these people are unemployed because they are here, they are not at work today. I bet they have plenty of time on their hands. Hopefully they have a big screen television at home to enjoy their cable television channels.

"I think I saw some of these same people buying lottery tickets earlier. Do you also remember seeing some of them in line?

"But what really bothers me is that all of these unemployed people are drinking expensive beers, smoking expensive cigarettes, and sitting at this nice restaurant, while we are standing in line, waiting to get a seat.

"The economy must be really bad here. So many people out of work that the lines at this restaurant are intolerable."

My irritated distributor turned to me and said,

"Just shut up."

But I couldn't.  

I just had to poke a little more.

I said, "Do you know what is really happening?

"The cigarette company, the beer company, the designer clothes company, the restaurant, the car company, the cell phone company, and the cable television company all said better things than we did. They got their money first.

"We have to learn to say better things so that we can compete.

"We can't just show them a catalog or brochure and expect them to buy. Our competition learned to say and do better things. We have to catch up. Standing in line and complaining isn't going to fix our problem."

And that's how the story goes.

In rich countries, in poor countries. The story is the same.

The salesmen that say and do better things get the prospects' money.

So here is a question to ask yourself:

"How good are the things you say to prospects?"

Are the things you say good enough to get you into second place? That only means you got close, but not the sale.

We have to learn to compete with the professional advertisers and marketers of the world. We can't be amateurs and hope for success.

But now for some good news.

We have an unfair advantage.

While our competition can only put up signs and run radio and television commercials, we actually get to have a "live" conversation, one-on-one with our prospect. What a remarkable advantage we have.

So let's take advantage of this unfair advantage. Let's not just hand them a brochure. Let's say exciting, intriguing, mind-stimulating things and become first-place winners for our prospects' spendable money.

Let's study sound bites, word pictures, and other winning ways to interest and excite our prospects for the great things we have to offer.


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