Nick had planned on attending his first sales training course but the course had been canceled at the last minute. Just my rotten luck, he thought.
And today, instead of being in the course, he was in the middle of the sales floor. Oh no, he said to himself, here comes that old lady that all of the salespeople have endless stories about. She never buys anything but has a million questions.
“Young man!” she barked, “Yes, you. Whenever I come in here it is impossible to get any help.”
“Well,” said Nick wishing he was anywhere but here, “I doubt I’m going to be able to do anything for you.”
“Really?” she questioned. “How refreshing.”
“How about this,” asked Nick, “You tell me what you want to know, I’ll try to help you, and maybe you can decide.”
She looked at him for moment. “Hmmm, that sounds reasonable.” With that she proceeded to tell poor Nick about the terrible problems she had and how she hoped what he was selling would do something for them.
“I kinda think it will do what you want, do you?” asked Nick.
“You know, it probably will.”
“It costs too much, doesn’t it?” asked Nick who then immediately decided that he had lost his mind asking such a question.
“No, not really.”
“Oh. What do you want me to do now?” asked Nick, feeling he had made every mistake possible.
“Wrap it up. I’ll take it. And do you want to know why I’m buying it from you?”
“You’re the only one here who has ever answered my questions.”
Nick may decide the woman is crazy. He didn’t answer any questions. But what Nick did do, was establish a contract at the beginning without realizing it. And then the prospect made her own presentation. And at the end, she had only one path to take.
She had to buy. Nick kept his end of the contract, she had to keep hers.
How many salespeople get a contract established up-front with a prospect? Very few. There are two reasons why this is so. First, salespeople just don’t establish one hoping that the prospect, by some miracle, will buy. Second, previous attempts at establishing a contract didn’t work.
Unless you establish a contract up-front, the prospect has no reason to buy from you, regardless of your price, your quality or any other reason. And if the prospect does buy anyway, you were just lucky.