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Are You Staying Out of the Way Between Your Prospect and the Sale?


Are You Staying Out of the Way Between Your Prospect and the Sale?

Last week two salespeople called me with very similar sales situations; one sells information technology services, the other a fundraising solution for Not for Profits (NfPs), yet the sales process and key tactic to making the sale was the same in both cases.

Wait a minute Scott, how could two very different salespeople in two different industries using the same tactic to make a sale, how can that be?  Weren’t the issues more product, service, or price driven?

Let’s describe the scenarios and you decide.

Scenario I:


Mr. Technology received a call from a CIO who had purchased some software, and being a brilliant CIO with a large and equally brilliant staff decided they could install this complex solution by themselves.  Of course, they ran into trouble and needed help.  Mr. T. called a Sales Evolution coach and described the situation:

  • C-level contact called Mr. T., not the other way around
  • Troubled install
  • 100 users
  • “Go Live” date a month or so away
  • T’s company was recommended by the software developer as a good solution for the problem

Scenario II:

Mr. Fund Raiser was asked to present to a large Philadelphia Not for Profit (you’d recognize the same) who’s funding was cut off by the City of Philadelphia.  The loss of funding meant a $1,000,000+ hole in their budget.    Mr. FR called a Sales Evolution coach and described the situation:

  • Board Level Meeting
  • Big budget hole for the NfP and his solution could only fill a small part of the gap
  • He was referred into the situation by a member of the Board

Figured it out yet?  No?  OK, here’s the answer: Both Prospects intended to buy before the rep ever walked into the room.  Why else would they invite them in?

By allowing the Prospect to say what they wanted to do, why it was important, why it had to be fixed NOW, and asking what the Prospect the key question: “Mr. Prospect, am I still selling or have you already decided to use us?” both reps were told they had the deal.  The salespeople had been coached to reach in their briefcases, tear off a sheet of paper, and write the deal right then and there if the answer was affirmative.

The end result was two Proposal Free sales, with deals written on the spot on a piece of scratch paper.


The key to making these 45-minute sales was simple: Staying Out of the Way between the Prospect and the Sale!

Each prospect had a big problem and each prospect wanted to buy.  By allowing the prospect to convince themselves thorough questioning and putting the obvious “in the ways” on the table, there wasn’t a need for Presentation, elaborate quotations, RFP’s, or proposals.  They showed a depth of understanding of the personal issues affecting their buyers, got out of the way, and let the Prospect volunteer to buy.

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