Newsroom HomeBlogsStoriesSoundtrack ProjectNewsroom ArchivesChamber Home Page

Be A Seller, Not a Beggar

Picture this. You deliver a great sales pitch. Your prospect gives you strong buying signals. As the meeting ends, your prospect says that they are likely to move forward and will call in a couple days to finalize things. Swoosh! Nothing but net!

You leave on top of the world. Days pass – no call. A week later, you’re calling your prospect, with no response. Weeks of phone tag and rescheduled meetings leave you feeling frustrated.
If you’ve ever sold, I’m sure you’ve felt this pain. So, what happened?

Here, we’ll explore a critical closing skill – advancing the sale by maintaining control of the next step.

Advancing the sale simply means getting commitment on a next step before completing each interaction.

If you’re wrapping up a prospect meeting that isn’t resulting in a closed sale, have your prospect pull out his calendar to schedule your next meeting date, then agree upon what you will accomplish in that meeting.

If your prospect doesn’t have his calendar, offer to walk with him back to his office to grab it, or to stop by his assistant’s desk to book it. At a very minimum, agree on when to call the next day to set the appointment.

If you leave with only a vague agreement to meet again, you have not advanced the sale.
The second part of this essential sales skill is keeping the ball in your court. The less time there is between your prospect’s post-pitch enthusiasm and making the buying decision, the more likely you are to close.

Let’s say you’re selling accounting services. You’ve just pitched the CFO and learned the CEO is the real decision-maker. The impressed CFO wraps up by saying he’ll discuss it with the CEO and get back with you.

You’ve lost control. The ball is not in your court.

The last thing you want is someone else making your pitch for you – as they can’t deliver it as strongly or overcome objections like you can.

Instead, stay in the driver’s seat.

Once the CFO agreed that he was interested in moving forward, you should have offered to set up a meeting with him and the CEO to deliver your pitch. You might have said, “Since we both have our calendars handy, why don’t we call the CEO’s assistant to set up that meeting? I’m free the 18th or 20th. Which day works best for you?”

This savvy assumptive closing technique takes the focus off the big question, which is “Shall we call your CEO?” and instead turns the focus to “Which day works for you?”

So the bottom line is to advance the sale with every interaction and maintain control of that next step. Lose control and you’ll become a beggar instead of a seller – in the passive position of having to call to beg for that next meeting.

-- Lori Turner-Wilson, RedRover 
Posted: 6/10/2013 8:01:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: account, beggar, blog, chamber, client, close, deal, memphis, pitch, prospect, redrover, sales, sell, seller, selling

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment Subscribe

Is four > than one? (true/false)

Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit

Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.