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Your company specializes in pool cleaning and maintenance services,

 

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Your company specializes in pool cleaning and maintenance services, and you have identified a large health club that has several locations as a prospect and conducted research on the business. You think you have identified some opportunities to help the customer save money. One service option provides biweekly maintenance visits, and the customer pays monthly. Another involves monthly service visits and biannual training sessions at your customer’s business so that their staff can learn to perform routine maintenance tasks on their own.

You are preparing to approach the health club’s manager to set up a sales call. How would you approach the manager? What other type of information would you want to know before you make your approach? What role would each of the six Cs have in your approach?

Exercise Instructions:  You are required to submit a 2-Page (Title Page and Content Page), APA formatted paper with substantial content. Substantial content requires staying on topic and fully addresses the assignment in a clear, concise, and meaningful manner. The deliverable length of your posting responses must be at least 2-pages, (Title Page and Content Page) APA format.

Exercises must be the students original thoughts based on the topics from the “Open Educational Resource” (OER) Course Textbook and/or other referenced sources.  Direct quotes from references must be less than 20 words.  Please review for sentence structure, grammar and punctuation errors.  Plagiarized submissions may result in a “0” for the submission.  

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Welcome to The Power of Selling
You’re about to go on a journey that will take you to places you can’t even imagine. Think about being able
to get what you want in life. While that may sound far-fetched, it’s not. You really can get what you want,
if you learn to use the right skills. That’s what this book is about.
Selling is a skill that everyone uses every day, no matter what they do for a living. Want to be successful?
Learn how to sell. “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get
what they want,” according to famous sales expert, Zig Ziglar. That means listening and connecting with
people, understanding their needs, what they want, what motivates them, and then capturing their
imagination with a reason to buy…from you (Ziglar).
This book is different from other textbooks about selling. While it uses the traditional selling tenets as its
foundation, it adapts the concepts to the rapidly changing world of business in today’s environment,
including the use of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, wikis, and other interactive ways of connecting
with customers. In addition, this book is filled with many unique approaches to traditional topics. For
example, Chapter 10 “The Presentation: The Power of Solving Problems” covers how to create an elevator
pitch for your product as well as for your personal brand; Chapter 13 “Follow-Up: The Power of Providing
Service That Sells” explains Net Promoter Score, a nontraditional method of measuring of customer
satisfaction; and Chapter 15 “Entrepreneurial Selling: The Power of Running Your Own
Business” addresses how selling can help you realize your dream of being an entrepreneur and starting
your own company.
There are four special features that make this book interesting and interactive:
1. Links to videos, Web sites, articles, and podcasts. The focus on real-world experience and
sales professionals is carried throughout the book. Not only will you learn from real examples, but
you’ll also learn from current events.
2. Video ride-alongs. The best way to learn selling is to experience it. And just about every
salesperson starts out in sales by going on ride-alongs with an experienced salesperson or manager to
learn how selling is done firsthand. In order to provide the experience of a ride-along, each chapter
starts with a short video featuring a sales professional who shares personal insights and practical tips
about how he uses the key concepts that are covered in the chapter. These videos, which were made
exclusively for The Power of Selling, highlight sales professionals who are personally interested in

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helping you learn and succeed. In fact, you can contact any of these selling professionals directly using
the contact information at the end of this preface.
3. The Power of Selling LinkedIn group. Selling professionals from across the country are part of a
LinkedIn group created expressly for the students and faculty who use The Power of Selling. Simply
go to LinkedIn and joinThe Power of Selling group to network, connect, join or start discussions, or
ask questions to the group. The people in the group are looking forward to connecting with you. The
sales professionals featured in the video ride-alongs are also members of this group. Feel free to
contact them individually or add them to your network. Visit http://www.linkedin.comand create a
profile (see Chapter 3 “The Power of Building Relationships: Putting Adaptive Selling to Work” for
details), then search “Groups” for “The Power of Selling” and join the group. If you already have a
LinkedIn profile, click on the following link and join The Power of Selling group.
http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2566050&trk=anetsrch_name&goback=%2Egdr_1263094780871
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4. Selling U. The last section of each chapter is called Selling U, which applies the key concepts to selling
yourself as a brand to get the job you want. Selling U teaches you how to think about yourself as a
brand through every step of your career search. These sections throughout the book include details on
key career searching tips such as how to create a cover letter and résumé that sells, how to target
prospective employers, how to craft your personal elevator pitch, how to ace interviews, how to follow
up, how to negotiate and accept the right job offer, and what to do to prepare for your first day of your
new job. Links to videos, Web sites, articles, and other interactive resources make Selling U an
excellent complement to the selling material and the ultimate resource for how to build your personal
brand in this very competitive twenty-first century.
There are four features that are used throughout the book that reinforce key concepts:
1. Power Selling: Lessons in Selling from Successful Brands. These short vignettes highlight
examples of how successful companies implemented one of the concepts covered in the chapter.

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2. Power Player: Lessons in Selling from Successful Salespeople. Real-life advice from sales
professionals about how to be successful in sales is showcased in these short accounts.

3. Power Point: Lessons in Selling from the Customer’s Point of View. Feedback from
customers about sales techniques and what they look for in a salesperson and a brand are brought to
life in these short features.

4. You’ve Got the Power: Tips for Your Job Search. Helpful tips highlighted in the Selling
U section of each chapter are emphasized in these sidebars.

It’s a powerful lineup designed to give you insight and experience into the profession of selling and teach
you how to get what you want in life. Over the course of this semester, you’ll learn how to sell products,
services, concepts, and ideas. More important, you’ll learn how to sell the most important
product…yourself.
Selling is a journey. Your journey starts here.

Meet the Sales Professionals Featured

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Sales professionals (left to right): Lisa Peskin, Paul Blake, Tonya Murphy, Andrew Sykes, Rachel
Gordon, Priya Masih, David Fox.

Lisa Peskin, Sales Trainer at Business Development University
Lisa thought she wanted to be a doctor and declared her major as premed at Pennsylvania State
University. It was only after she completed all the prerequisite courses, except one, that she decided she
didn’t like science. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After she completed her Master
of Business Administration at Temple University, her plan was to pursue a career in marketing and
decided to take a job in sales to learn the business. Once she started selling, she never looked back. Lisa
now has over twenty years of sales and sales training experience in payroll and human resources services,
financial services, and other business-to-business (B2B) industries. She started her selling career in 1989

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at Automated Data Processing (ADP) and rose to become the vice president of sales where she was
responsible for four district managers and forty salespeople. Then she decided to put her successful selling
skills to work as a sales trainer at Bayview Financial and Interbay Funding. Today she is a principal, sales
trainer, and coach at Business Development University, a company that conducts sales training with a
focus in B2B selling.
Connect with Lisa Peskin on LinkedIn or by e-mail:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/lisapeskin
lisapeskin@verizon.net

Paul Blake, Vice President of Sales at Greater Media Philadelphia
Paul was born to sell. He started his career in sales in 1989 when he graduated from Bloomsburg
University of Pennsylvania. He quickly rose to a leadership role as the director of sales at Global
Television Sports, then sales manager at Clear Channel Radio, WJJZ-FM, and WMMR-FM. In 2006, Paul
was promoted to vice president of sales at Greater Media Philadelphia, responsible for the advertising
sales for five radio stations in Philadelphia and managing over forty salespeople.
Connect with Paul Blake on LinkedIn or by e-mail:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/pauljblake
pblake@greatermediaphiladelphia.com

Tonya Murphy, General Sales Manager at WBEN-FM
Tonya thought she wanted to be the next Barbara Walters, but soon learned that the newsroom was not
the place for her. Thanks to internships at two television stations and a sales-savvy mentor, she found that
her that her passion was sales. Tonya graduated from Cabrini College in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in
English/Communications. She has been in sales for seventeen years and has held sales roles in media
including at Greater Media Philadelphia. Last year, Tonya was promoted to general sales manager at
WBEN-FM, one of the radio stations owned by Greater Media Philadelphia.
Connect with Tonya Murphy on LinkedIn or by e-mail:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tonya-murphy/10/812/334
tmurphy@957benfm.com

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http://www.linkedin.com/in/lisapeskin

mailto:lisapeskin@verizon.net

http://www.linkedin.com/in/pauljblake

mailto:pblake@greatermediaphiladelphia.com

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Andrew Sykes, Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist at AstraZeneca
Andrew has always had a focus on selling and the pharmaceutical industry. He graduated from Saint
Joseph’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Marketing in 2005. After graduation
Andrew landed his dream job at AstraZeneca, a major pharmaceutical company, and today he is a
pharmaceutical sales specialist on the cardiovascular account team. Andrew’s customers are doctors who
prescribe the drugs he represents.
Connect with Andrew Sykes on LinkedIn or by e-mail:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/andrew-sykes/7/52b/97
andrew.h.sykes@gmail.com

Rachel Gordon, Account Manager at WMGK-FM
When she graduated from Cornell University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Fashion, Business
Management, and Human Development, Rachel was certain she wanted to pursue a career in fashion
merchandising. But she found she didn’t enjoy it as much as she thought she would. She made a switch to
the media industry with a job as the national director of marketing at Westwood One. It was there that she
discovered her passion for sales. She is currently an account manager at WMGK, the classic rock station in
Philadelphia, and happy that she made the decision to change the direction of her career.
Connect with Rachel Gordon on LinkedIn or by e-mail:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/rachel-gordon/0/992/35b
rgordon@WMGK.com

Priya Masih, Sales Representative at Lupin Pharmaceuticals
Since graduating from Saint Joseph’s University in 2004 with a Master of Science in International
Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Priya has proven herself to be an
outstanding sales achiever at The Hartford Customer Services Group, Creative Channel Services, and
GlaxoSmithKline with recognition such as The Winner’s Circle and the Top Sales Rep Award. She is
currently a sales representative at Lupin Pharmaceuticals.
Connect with Priya Masih on LinkedIn or by e-mail:

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http://www.linkedin.com/pub/andrew-sykes/7/52b/97

mailto:andrew.h.sykes@gmail.com

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/rachel-gordon/0/992/35b

mailto:rgordon@WMGK.com

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http://www.linkedin.com/in/priyamasih
priyasju719@gmail.com

David Fox, Founder and CEO at Brave Spirits
David gave up the corporate life to start Brave Spirits. His background in marketing, new product
development, and sales includes work on major brands from Procter & Gamble, General Mills, and Mars;
spirits brands from Diageo; and wine brands from Brown-Foreman. In 2005 he and his business partner
conceived the concept for Brave Spirits and launched the company in 2007. Brave Spirits distributes
premium vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey and donates $2.00 of every bottle sold to charities that support
the men and women of America’s military, police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS). It is
David’s way of creating a toast to the brave.
Learn more about Brave Spirits or connect with David Fox by e-mail:
http://www.bravespirits.com
dfox@bravespirits.com

References
Zig Ziglar, “Zig Ziglar’s Little PDF of Big Quotes,”
Ziglar.com,http://www.ziglar.com/_cms/assets/Downloads/TheLittle BookofBigQuotes (accessed
January 9, 2010).

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http://www.linkedin.com/in/priyamasih

mailto:priyasju719@gmail.com

http://www.bravespirits.com/

mailto:dfox@bravespirits.com

http://www.ziglar.com/_cms/assets/Downloads/TheLittleBookofBigQuotes

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Chapter 1
The Power to Get What You Want in Life

Welcome to The Power of Selling
Do you want to be successful in sales and in life? You’ll have a chance to meet the pros, the people who
have achieved success in their careers in sales. At the beginning of each chapter you’ll have the
opportunity to go on a video ride-along, a chance to hear from sales professionals and learn firsthand
what it’s like to be in sales. You’ll go on video ride-alongs with some of the best in the business and hear
about their personal selling experiences and tips of the trade.

1.1 Get What You Want Every Day
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Understand the role of selling in everyday life.
What does success look like to you?
For most people, to achieve personal success entails more than just making a lot of money. Many
would claim that to be successful in a career means to have fulfilled an ongoing goal—one that has
been carefully planned according to their interests and passions. Is it your vision to run your own
business? Or would you rather pursue a profession in a service organization? Do you want to excel in
the technology field or, perhaps, work in the arts? Can you see yourself as a senior executive?
Imagine yourself in the role that defines success for you. Undoubtedly, to assume this role requires
more than just an initial desire; those who are most successful take many necessary steps over time
to become sufficiently qualified for the job presented to them. Think about your goal: what it will
take to get there?
With a good plan and the right information, you can achieve whatever you set out to do. It may seem
like a distant dream at the moment, but it can be a reality sooner than you think. Think about
successful people who do what you want to do. What do they all have in common? Of course, they
have all worked hard to get to their current position, and they all have a passion for their job. There
is, additionally, a subtler key ingredient for success that they all share; all successful people

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effectively engage in personal selling, the process of interacting one-on-one with someone to provide
information that will influence a purchase or action. [1]

Congratulations, You’re in Sales!
If you think personal selling is only for salespeople, think again. Everyone in every walk of life uses
personal selling (some more effectively than others!). Selling is what makes people successful. We all have
to sell our ideas, our points of view, and ourselves every day to all sorts of people—and not just those
related to our jobs. For example, when you work on a team project, you have to sell your ideas about how
your team should approach the project (or, sometimes more delicately, you will have to persuade others as
to what you should do about a lazy team member). When you are with your friends, you have to sell your
point of view about which movie you want to see or where you want to go to eat. When you pitch in for a
friend’s gift, you have to sell your ideas about what gift to give. You are selling every day whether you
realize it or not.
Think about the products and services that you buy (and concepts and causes that you believe in) and how
selling plays a role in your purchase decision. If you rented an apartment or bought a car, someone sold
you on the one you chose. If you read a product review for a new computer online then went into the store
to buy it, someone reinforced your decision and sold you the brand and model you bought. If you ran in a
5K race to raise money for a charity, someone sold you on why you should invest your time and your
money in that particular cause. A professor, an advisor, or another student may have even sold you on
taking this course!
“I Sell Stories”
Selling is vital in all aspects of business, just as it is in daily life. Consider Ike Richman, the vice president
of public relations for Comcast-Spectacor, who is responsible for the public relations for all NBA and NHL
games and hundreds of concerts and events held at the company’s Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.
When you ask Ike to describe his job, he replies, “I sell stories.” What he means is that he has to “pitch”—
or advertise—his stories (about the games or concerts) to convince the press to cover the events that he is
promoting. So, even though he is not in the sales department, his job involves selling. Gary Kopervas,
similarly, is the chief creative strategist at Backe Digital Brand Communications. He works in the creative
department in an advertising agency, yet he describes his job as “selling ideas,” not creating ads. Connie

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Pearson-Bernard, the president and founder of Seamless Events, Inc., an event planning company, says
she sells experiences. For many of her clients, she also sells time because she and her team execute all the
required details to create the perfect event. As you notice, all these people are engaged in selling, even
though “sales” may not be included in their respective job descriptions. Clearly, whether you pursue a
career in sales or in another discipline, selling is an important component of every job…and everyday life.

Power Player: Lessons in Selling from Successful Salespeople
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Imagine being a nineteen-year-old college dropout with a child on the way.
That described Tom Hopkins in 1976. He worked in construction to pay the bills. He realized there had to
be a better way to make a living, so he took a job in real estate sales, but had no success. In fact, after his
first six months, he had only sold one house and made an average of just $42 a month to support his
family.
One day, he met someone who suggested that he go to a sales training seminar. Tom was inspired by the
concepts in the seminar and put them to work. Before he was thirty, Tom was a millionaire selling real
estate. Tom is now a legend in the selling arena with his “Training for Champions” and “Sales Boot Camp”
programs. He is a successful author, speaker, columnist, and sales coach at Tom Hopkins International,
which provides sales training for companies such as Best Buy, State Farm Insurance, Aflac, U.S. Army
Recruiters, and more. [2]
The New World of Selling
There are some people who might think of selling as a high-pressure encounter between a salesperson and
a customer. Years ago, that may have been the case in some situations. But in today’s world, successful
selling is not something you do “to” a customer, it is something you do “with” a customer. The customer
has a voice and is involved in most selling situations. In fact, Internet-based tools such as forums, social
networks like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, along with Web sites, live chat, and other interactive
features allow customers to participate in the process no matter what they are buying.

Brand + Selling = Success

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What do Ikea, Red Bull, Mini Cooper, and Apple have in common? All four are strong and highly
identifiable brands. You might wonder what role a brand name plays in selling strategy. Perhaps it is not
always noticeable, but when you buy a Red Bull at the corner store for some extra energy, at that very
moment, a specific, chosen brand has become an extremely powerful selling tool, and it has significantly
influenced your inclination to purchase that particular drink. Selling can only be successful when that
thing that you sell has perceived value applied to it by the consumer—why Red Bull rather than another
caffeine drink? Red Bull must be more effective if a person chooses it rather than the other brand nearby.
A brand is a tool to establish value in the eyes of the customer because it indicates something unique. On
the surface, a brand is identified by a name, logo, or symbol so that it is consistently recognized. [3] But a
brand is more than that.
A great brand has four key characteristics:
1. It is unique. (Ikea furniture has exclusive, on-trend styling at unbelievable prices.)
2. It is consistent. (Red Bull looks and tastes the same no matter where you buy it.)
3. It is relevant. (Mini Cooper looks cool and doesn’t use much gas, and you can design your own
online.)
4. It has an emotional connection with its customers. (An iPod, with hundreds of personalized qualities,
becomes a loved companion.)
A brand is important in selling because it inherently offers something special that the customer values. In
addition, people trust brands because they know what they can expect; brands, over time, establish a
reputation for their specific and consistent product. If this changes, there could be negative
repercussions—for example, what would happen if thousands of Mini Coopers started to break down?
Customers expect a reliable car and would not purchase a Mini if they could not expect performance.
Brand names emerge in all different sects of the consumer market—they can represent products, like
PowerBar, or services, like FedEx. Brands can also be places, like Macy’s, Amazon.com, or even Las Vegas
(everyone knows that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! [4]). Brands can be concepts or causes like
MTV’s Rock the Vote or the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Brands can also be people, like Lady Gaga,
Jay-Z, Martha Stewart, or Barack Obama.
When products, services, concepts, ideas, and people demonstrate the characteristics of a brand, they are
much easier to sell. For example, if you go to McDonald’s for lunch, you know you can always get a Big

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Mac and fries, and you always know it will taste the same whether you go to the McDonald’s near campus
or one closer to your home. Or if you go to Abercrombie & Fitch, you can expect the store to look and feel
the same and carry the same kind of merchandise whether you go to a store in Baltimore, Maryland, or
Seattle, Washington.
The same concept applies to people. Think about your classmates: is there one that is always prepared?
He or she is the one who always does well on the tests, participates in class, is a good team player, and
gets good grades on assignments. This person has created a brand. Everyone knows that they can count
on this person; everyone knows what to expect. Conversely, the same is true for a person who is often
times late and sometimes arrives unprepared. You probably wouldn’t want to work with that person
because you’re not sure if that person will hold up his or her end of the project. Which one would you
choose as a teammate? Which one would you trust to work with on a class project? Which person is your
brand of choice?
The Power of an Emotional Connection
Uniqueness (no other fries taste like McDonald’s), consistency (a Coke tastes like Coke no matter where
you buy it), and relevance (your college bookstore is only relevant on a college campus, not in your local
mall) are clear as characteristics of a brand, but the most important characteristic is also the most
abstract—the emotional connection it creates with its customers. Some brands create such a strong
emotional connection that its customers become brand fans or advocates and actually take on the role of
selling the brand by way of referrals, online reviews, user-generated content, and word-of-mouth
advertising.
Harley-Davidson measures their customer loyalty by the number of customers who have the company’s
logo tattooed on their body. [5] These customers are emotionally connected with the brand, which offers
unique selling opportunities for Harley-Davidson dealerships. Another example of emotional connection
to a brand can be found by examining consumer relationships to sports teams. Fans willingly advertise
their favorite team by wearing T-shirts, hats, and even putting decals and bumper stickers on their cars.
They attend games (some of which require hours of standing in line) or watch them religiously on
television. For popular events, in fact, many times customers are willing to pay more than the face value of
tickets to attend; some will spend hundreds of dollars to see the NCAA Final Four, the World Series, or
the Super Bowl. These consumers are emotionally connected to their teams, and they want to be there to

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support them. A loud, sold-out stadium certainly illustrates why it’s easier to sell brands when customers
are emotionally connected.

Power Selling: Lessons in Selling from Successful Brands
Emotion Sells
Did you ever consider why the salespeople at Starbucks are called baristas instead of employees?
Howard Schultz, the chief executive officer of Starbucks, has built the brand in his vision since the
company began in 1982. He believes strongly that the brand stands for more than beans. During an
interview, he said, “By making a deeper emotional connection with your customers, your brand will stand
out from the hundreds, if not thousands, of vendors, entrepreneurs, and business owners selling similar
services and products.” [6] Schultz is especially passionate about the role salespeople have in creating the
“Starbucks” experience.
The brand recently launched a new marketing campaign called “It’s not just coffee. It’s Starbucks.” Listen
to what baristas have to say about the latest Starbucks marketing campaign. [7]
Starbucks baristas talk about their emotional connection to the brand.
Source: Starbucks Corporation
The concept of emotional connection is not limited to the brand, it is also an especially critical component
in the actual practice of selling. Customers are much more readily persuaded to make a purchase if they
develop an emotional connection with the salesperson. If you go to Best Buy to look at a new home theater
system, a helpful (or unhelpful) salesperson can make all the difference in whether you buy a particular
system from that particular Best Buy or not. If the salesperson asks questions to understand your needs
and develops a good relationship (or emotional connection) with you, it will greatly increase your chances
of purchasing the home theater system from him. Rock star Gene Simmons, front man for the legendary
rock band KISS and wildly successful entrepreneur, summed it up best: “I have to have an emotional
connection to what I am ultimately selling because it is emotion, whether you are selling religion, politics,
even a breath mint.” [8]
Clearly, brands are fundamental building blocks in the selling process. The bottom line is, great brands =
great sales.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S

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• Personal selling is a powerful part of everyday life. The selling process can help you get what you want
both personally and professionally.
• You are always selling your ideas, your point of view, and yourself in virtually every situation, from class
participation to going out with friends.
• In order to understand the selling process, you have to understand brands. A brand can be a product,
service, concept, cause, location, or even a person. A brand consistently offers value to a customer with
something that is unique, consistent, and relevant and creates an emotional connection.
• Brands are important in selling because customers trust brands. The brand doesn’t end with the product,
service, or concept; the salesperson is also a brand.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Identify a situation in which you were the customer in a personal selling situation. Discuss your
impressions of the salesperson and the selling process.
2. Think about this class. In what ways do you sell yourself to the professor during each class?
3. Think about your school as a brand. Discuss what makes it unique, consistent, and relevant and have an
emotional connection with its customers. How would you use these characteristics if you were trying to
sell or convince someone to attend the school?
4. Think about the following brands: Xbox, Victoria’s Secret, and BMW. Discuss how each brand forms an
emotional connection with its customers. Why is it important in selling?
5. [1] Michael Levens, Marketing: Defined, Explained, Applied (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall,
2010), 181.
6. [2] Tom Hopkins International, “Tom Hopkins
Bio,”http://www.tomhopkins.com/tomhopkins_bio.html (accessed June 7, 2009).
7. [4] Michael McCarthy, “Vegas Goes Back to Naughty Roots,” USA Today, April 11,
2005,http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/adtrack/2005-04-11-track-vegas_x.htm(accessed
June 4, 2009).
8. [5] Fred Reichheld, “The Ultimate Question: How to Measure and Build Customer Loyalty in the Support
Center,” presented via Webinar on May 14, 2009.

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9. [6] Carmine Gallo, “How to Sell More Than a Product,” BusinessWeek, May 19,
2009,http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/may2009/sb20090519_058809.htm(accessed
June 7, 2009).
10. [7] Eleftheria Parpis, “Starbucks Claims ‘It’s Not Just Coffee,’” Brandweek, May 1,
2009,http://www.brandweek.com/bw/content_display/news-and-features/retail-
restaurants/e3i88d85d8ede4fd0afae2e6d752751e2a3 (accessed June 7, 2009).
11. [8] “Gene Simmons: Rock ‘n’ Roll Entrepreneur,” BusinessWeek, September 5,
2008,http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/sep2008/sb2008095_987221.htm(accessed June
7, 2009).

1.2 Selling: Heartbeat of the Economy and the Company
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. Discuss the role of selling in the economy.
2. Explain the role of selling in an organization.
Look around. Your computer, your car, your jewelry, your eyeglasses, and your cell phone—many of
the things you own—were probably sold to you by someone. Now, think about things you can’t see,
like your cell phone service, your Internet service, and your car insurance. Chances are, those
services were probably sold to you by someone as well. Now that you think about it, you can see that
selling is involved in life in so many ways. But did you ever think about the impact that selling has on
the economy?
In the United States alone, almost 16 million people were employed in jobs in sales in 2008. This
number includes retail salespeople and cashiers, insurance sales agents, real estate brokers and sales
agents, and manufacturing sales reps just to name a few. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
that number will increase to almost 17 million people employed in sales and sales-related
occupations by 2018, which represents a 6.2 percent increase from 2008. That translates to one in
every ten people in the United States having a job in sales.[1] Other estimates, such as the Selling
Power Magazine’s annual report of America’s Top 500 Sales Forces in 2008, puts the total number of
salespeople at the top 500 companies at over twenty million for the first time. [2]

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But the bigger story is the fact that many companies sell their products and services
globally. Multinational corporations (MNCs), large companies that have operations, including selling,
in several countries, [3] such as Procter & Gamble, Dell, Reebok, and Kraft Foods, employed 32
million workers in 2007.[4] Although not all these employees are engaged in selling, the number helps
provide some sense of relativity as to the proportional impact of international business. Most large
MNCs have offices (including sales offices) in many foreign countries. This provides the company
with the opportunity to become integrated into the culture, customs, and business practices of each
country in which it has operations.
A large number of MNCs generate a significant portion of their sales from countries outside the
United States. If you’ve traveled outside the United States, think about the products you saw.
Companies such as Coca-Cola, eBay, Gillette, KFC, and Starbucks have a significant presence in
foreign countries. Many companies expand selling to international markets for several reasons,
including slow population growth in their domestic country, increased competition, opportunity for
growth and profit, and sometimes, out of sheer necessity due to the fact that globalization is rapidly
changing the economic landscape. [5]
In the past, expansion to foreign markets was limited to those corporations that could make the
investment required to locate offices and operations abroad. The Internet, however, has provided
that same opportunity to small- and medium-sized companies, so that they may sell products and
services internationally. Why would small companies want to do this? With only a one-to-five
proportion of Internet users living in the United States, almost 80 percent of Internet users live in
places abroad; thus, there is a much larger market to be found by way of the Internet. Before you
take your lemonade stand global, however, remember that selling internationally is not as simple as
just setting up a Web site. Language, shipping, currency exchange, and taxes are just some of the
costs and considerations necessary for selling products and services internationally via the Internet.
To help companies overcome these barriers of doing business internationally, organizations such as
e-commerce service provider FiftyOne offer technology solutions that manage these important
components of international selling. [6]
Think about the possibilities. When companies such as Overstock.com want to sell globally,
companies like FiftyOne have a selling opportunity. [7] In other words, selling products and services

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can generate more opportunities for selling other products and services in the future. When
companies (FiftyOne is a perfect example) and salespeople think creatively and see the environment
through the customer’s eyes, they can identify selling opportunities that might not otherwise exist.
This is a basic tenet of selling, both domestically and internationally.

The Internet: Power to the People
The Internet has been a game changer for selling in many ways. Just like the Internet expands the reach of
a company to virtually anywhere in the world, it also provides customers with access to information,
products, and services that they never had before. In some industries, the Internet has virtually
eliminated the need for a salesperson. Travel agents are no longer the exclusive providers of reservations
and travel plans. Music stores are almost extinct. Newspaper want ads have almost vanished. In other
industries, the relationship of the salesperson and customer has changed dramatically. The power has
shifted from the seller to the buyer. Take, for example, the auto industry. It used to be that when you
wanted to buy a car, you went to a car dealership. The salesperson would show you the cars, take you out
on a test drive, and then negotiate the selling price when you were ready to buy, holding the dealer invoice
close to the vest. Today, customers may e-mail a car dealership to set up an appointment to drive a
specific car after they have researched different models of cars including features, benefits, competitive
models, editor and customer reviews, competitive pricing, and dealer invoice pricing. In some cases, the
customer may know more than the salesperson. [8]
Sales organizations are embracing a movement called Sales 2.0. You may have heard of Web 2.0, the
second generation of the Internet, which includes interactivity, community, and on-demand information.
Sales 2.0 is a term that appropriately describes a new way of thinking about the role of the Internet in the
selling process as it encompasses the impact of constantly changing technology and multiple electronic
devices, “mash-ups” of different sources of information, and user-generated content on sites like
Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. According to Tim Sullivan, director of intellectual property
and information for Sales Performance International, these Internet-based changes pose new implications
for sales. Educating customers is no longer the primary function of the salesperson. Customers are
actively involved in engagement, interaction, and collaboration to seek information. Salespeople need to

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understand the power of collaboration both inside their organization and with their customers, so that
they may participate in the online conversation, enabling them to better deliver value. Just as customers
use blogs, wikis, and social networking as tools to learn about a product, companies can use these tools to
learn about customers (and what they want and need). It’s a new mind-set and new technology tools are
constantly changing the landscape—salespeople must be prepared to adjust their reactions
accordingly. [9] The shift of power to the customer is underscored by Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and
CEO of Selling Power, Inc. According to him, “Sales 2.0 gives the customer a 360-degree view of the
company and provides sales organizations with a variety of tools that help manage that two-way
communication process.”[10] Sales 2.0 takes the selling process to the next generation.

Sales Is Not a Department, It’s a State of Mind

Sold.
It’s a deal.
Let’s shake on it.
Sign on the dotted line.
You’ve got the job.
Those are the words that signal success in selling. They seem simple, but according to Gerry Tabio,
bringing a sale [11] to fruition is “not just about celebrating the sale; it’s about celebrating the growth of the
customer.” [12] The most successful companies work to build and sustain relationships with the customer
at every touch point, any way in which the company comes in contact with the customer, and consider
selling the job of everyone in the organization. In other words, although there are specific functional
departments such as sales, marketing, operations, human resources, finance, and others, everyone in the
organization is focused on the customer. This is called a customer-centric organization. [13]
You might wonder why all companies aren’t considered customer-centric. After all, if they were in
business to sell products and services to customers, it would make sense that they would be customer-
centric. However, you have probably encountered companies that aren’t really focused on the customer.
How many times have you heard this message while you were on hold to talk to a salesperson or customer

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service representative, “Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line for the next available
representative”? Being on hold and hearing a recorded message hardly makes you feel as if you are
important to the company.

It’s All about the Customer
Being customer-centric means insisting on accountability. Although everyone is focused on the customer,
every employee is part of a department or function. Each department has goals and accountabilities. In a
true customer-centric organization, the departments work together to satisfy the needs of the customer
and achieve the financial objectives of the company. Most companies have core functions or departments
such as sales, customer service (sometimes it is included as part of the sales department), marketing,
operations, finance, human resources, product development, procurement, and supply chain management
(also called logistics). Departments such as finance and human resources are
called support (or staff) functions since they provide support for those that are on the front lines such as
sales and customer service (these departments are also called line functions as they are part of a
company’s daily operations). [14] In a customer-centric organization, the focus on the customer helps
prevent organizational “silos” (i.e., when departments work independently of each other and focus only on
their individual goals).
The sales department is the heartbeat of every company. According to Selling Power Magazine, the
manufacturing and service companies listed on its “Power Selling 500 Report” generate $6.7 trillion
dollars in sales annually. Each salesperson supports an average of 12.9 other jobs within the
company. [15]This means that the level of sales that is generated by each salesperson actually pays for the
roles in human resources, marketing, operations, and other departments. It makes sense that the
salespeople fund the operations of the company. After all, it is a salesperson with whom you interact when
you buy a Nissan Cube, lip gloss at Sephora, or an interview suit at Macy’s. The people in the sales
department “ring the cash register” (whether the business has a cash register or not). They are responsible
and accountable to deliver sales to generate revenue and profit, which are required to operate and to
invest in the company. In fact, the sales department is considered so important that even in this difficult
economy, companies should continue to fill open sales positions even if they are not hiring in other

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departments, according to Dennis J. Ceru, a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College and the
president of Strategic Management Associates, a consulting firm in Wellesley Hills,
Massachusetts.[16] Without a healthy and strong sales department, companies can wither and die.
Figure 1.4

Each salesperson generates enough revenue and profit to support 12.9 jobs in the average
company.

Power Point: Lessons in Selling from the Customer’s Point of View
Role Reversal
How would you feel if you wanted to buy a new car, but every sales rep you called was in a meeting?
Brad Lathrop, a sales professional, learned the hard way about how a customer feels in this situation.
When he was in the market for a new car, he called several dealerships. Every receptionist told him that
all the salespeople were in meetings. The receptionist at the last dealership he called said the same thing,
but added that if Brad would hold for a minute, she would get a salesperson out of a meeting. It’s no
surprise that was the dealership where Brad eventually bought the car and learned a powerful lesson
about selling.

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Is It Sales, or Is It Marketing?
So you might be wondering, if the sales department interacts with customers, what exactly does the
marketing department do? That’s a great question. Some people use the terms in tandem—sales and
marketing—to refer to sales. Some people use the terms interchangeably and refer to marketing as sales.
It’s no wonder that it confuses so many.
According to the American Marketing Association, “marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and
processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for
customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” [17] In other words, it is the role of the marketing
department to use the four Ps of the marketing mix (product, place, promotion, and price) to determine
the brand message, which is ultimately communicated to customers. [18] Then, the marketing department
uses the elements of the promotional mix of advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct
marketing, interactive marketing, and personal selling to get the word out to customers. [19] Marketers
seek to motivate prospective customers to purchase by driving them to a Web site, store, phone, event, or
another related, desired action. Essentially, marketing builds relationships between customers and the
brand. When you see an online ad for Best Buy, get a text message about the new release of Terminator 2:
Judgment Day on Blu-ray, call the 800 number to check on your Rewards Zone point balance, post a
comment on the Best Buy Facebook page, respond to a tweet from Best Buy on Twitter, see a newspaper
insert or an ad on television, or read about the opening of a new store near year you, these are all
examples of marketing. They are designed to encourage you to engage with the brand and encourage you
to take an action—visit the store, go to the Web site, call the 800 number, or tell your friends about the
brand.
When you go into the store or visit the Web site, it’s the sales department that takes over. A salesperson
will speak with you (either in person in the store, online with live chat, or by phone) to determine what
you need and to help you make the best decision by communicating product information (this printer is
wireless), service information (we can deliver that tomorrow), warranty information (it has a 90-day
manufacturer warranty), and other pertinent facts. The salesperson extends the relationship that was
established with the marketing contacts and makes a personal connection with you. If you have a good
experience, your relationship with Best Buy gets even better, and you are more likely to shop there again
and tell your friends.

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At times, however, sales and marketing don’t play well together. When organizations are not customer-
centric, the departments may appear to have separate or conflicting goals. Marketing may feel that sales
doesn’t follow up on prospective customers, or perhaps sales feels that the marketing efforts are focused
on the wrong customers.
Figure 1.5 Marketing and Sales: How They Work Together

In addition to closing the sale (when the customer purchases the product or service), the salesperson has a
very important role in the marketing process. Because the salesperson (in the store, online, or on the
phone) is a primary touch point and a personal interaction with the customer, the salesperson is the
brand in the eyes of the customer. According to Dr. David A. Shore of Harvard University, “The sales force
is the most visible manifestation of the brand. Salespeople need to say with a singular voice, ‘This is who
we are, and, by extension, this is who we are not.’ The critical element that power brands have is trust, and
a sales force needs to become the trusted advisor to the customer.”[20]
So now you can see that marketing and sales work hand-in-hand: one develops the brand and the other
assumes the image of the brand. Neither works without the other, and the relationship between the
functions must be transparent to the customer. There’s only one brand in the eyes of the customer, not
two departments. When marketing and sales work well together, the customer experience is seamless.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S

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• Sales is a career opportunity for you to consider; one in ten people in the United States has a job in sales
or a sales-related occupation.
• In this global economy, many companies sell products in multiple countries around the world.
Many multinational corporations have sales offices in foreign countries, and large and small companies
sell globally by using the Internet.
• Sales 2.0 is a term that is used to refer to the ever-changing technology, such as social networking, that is
changing the relationship salespeople have with customers. It’s important to understand how technology
can support your communication and collaboration with customers.
• A customer-centric organization has the customer as the focal point. You work as a team with all
functions in the company to provide products and services that meet customers’ needs.
• Sales and marketing are two distinct but closely related functions. Sales converts the customer to a
purchaser with one-on-one interaction. Marketing determines the brand message and uses the elements
of the promotion mix to motivate the customer to take an action. Both work together to build ongoing
relationships with customers.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Visit http://www.sellingpower.com and review the “Selling Power 500.” Discuss the top ten companies
listed in one of the six categories of businesses (office and computer equipment, insurance, consumables,
communications, medical products, or financial services). Did you realize these companies employed so
many salespeople? Have you come in contact with salespeople from any of these companies? To whom
do these salespeople sell?
2. Identify a company that you think is customer-centric and one that is not. Identify at least three touch
points for each company. Based on this, discuss why you think each company is customer-centric or not.
3. Discuss the difference between sales and marketing. Choose one of your favorite retail brands and discuss
one example of sales and one example of marketing.
4. [1] United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment by Major Occupational
Group, 2008 and Projected 2018,” Economic News Release Table 5,
2009,http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.t05.htm (accessed May 6, 2010).
5. [2] “Selling Power 500: America’s 500 Largest Sales Forces,” Selling Power, October 2008, 52.

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6. [4] Bureau of Economic Analysis, International Economic Accounts, “Summary Estimates for Multinational
Companies: Employment, Sales, and Capital Expenditures for 2007,” April 17,
2009, http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/mnc/2009/mnc2007.htm(accessed June 5, 2009).
7. [5] George E. Belch and Michael A. Belch, Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing and
Communications Perspective, 8th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 653–54.
8. [6] FiftyOne, http://www.fiftyone.com/solution (accessed June 5, 2009).
9. [7] Caroline McCarthy, “Overstock.com Will Extend Reach to Canada, Europe,” CNET News
Blog, http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9933344-7.html (accessed June 5, 2009).
10. [8] Robert McGarvey and Babs S. Harrison, “The Human Element: How the Web Brings People Together in
an Integrated Selling System,” Selling Power 20, no.
8,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=5566 (accessed March 16, 2010).
11. [9] Heather Baldwin, “What Does Sales 2.0 Mean for You?” Selling Power Sales Management eNewsletter,
March 3, 2008,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=801 (accessed March 16,
2010).
12. [10] Selling Power, Sales 2.0 Newsletter, September 18,
2008,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=868 (accessed June 21, 2010).
13. [11] BNET Business Dictionary, “Sales,”
BNET,http://dictionary.bnet.com/definition/Sales.html?tag=col1;rbDictionary (accessed June 5, 2009).
14. [12] Gerry Tabio, “How to Create Ideas That Sell,” presentation at Greater Media Philadelphia Sales
Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, May 15, 2009.
15. [13] Barry Welford, “7 Habits of a Truly Customer-Centric Selling Organization,” SMM Internet Marketing
Consultants Newsletter 13, http://www.smmbc.ca/newsletter-13.htm(accessed June 5, 2009).
16. [14] BusinessDictionary.com, “Staff Function,”http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/staff-
function.html (accessed June 8, 2009).
17. [15] “Selling Power 500: America’s 500 Largest Sales Forces,” Selling Power, October 2008, 53.
18. [16] Elaine Pofeldt, “Empty Desk Syndrome: How to Handle a Hiring Freeze,” Inc., May 1,
2008, http://www.inc.com/magazine/20080501/empty-desk-syndrome.html (accessed June 7, 2009).

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http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/mnc/2009/mnc2007.htm

http://www.fiftyone.com/solution

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9933344-7.html

http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=5566

http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=801

http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=868

http://dictionary.bnet.com/definition/Sales.html?tag=col1;rbDictionary

http://www.smmbc.ca/newsletter-13.htm

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/staff-function.html

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/staff-function.html

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19. [17] American Marketing Association, “About AMA,” October
2007,http://www.marketingpower.com/AboutAMA/Pages/DefinitionofMarketing.aspx?sq=definition+of+
marketing (accessed June 6, 2009).
20. [19] George E. Belch and Michael A. Belch, Advertising and Promotion, 8th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill
Irwin, 2008), 10.
21. [20] Gerhard Gschwandtner, “How Power Brands Sell More,” Selling Power 21, no.
3,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=5705 (accessed March 16, 2010).

1.3 Selling U: The Power of Your Personal Brand
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Understand how the selling process can help you get the job you want.
Ultimately, this book is about the power of YOU.
To help you realize that power and get the job you want, this textbook includes a section
called Selling U. It is the final section in every chapter, and it is filled with proven methods,
information, examples, and resources to help you apply the selling concepts you learned in the
chapter so that you may sell yourself to get the job you want.
In the Selling U sections throughout this book you’ll learn skills, such as how to create a cover letter
and résumé that help you stand out, how to communicate with prospective employers, how to go on
successful interviews, how to follow up, and how to negotiate and accept the right job offer. The
complete table of contents is shown here.
Selling U Table of Contents
Chapter 1 “The Power to Get What You Want in Life”: The Power of Your Personal Brand
Chapter 2 “The Power to Choose Your Path: Careers in Sales”: Résumé and Cover Letter Essentials
Chapter 3 “The Power of Building Relationships: Putting Adaptive Selling to Work”: Networking: The
Hidden Job Market
Chapter 4 “Business Ethics: The Power of Doing the Right Thing”: Selling Your Personal Brand Ethically:
Résumés and References
Chapter 5 “The Power of Effective Communication”: The Power of Informational Interviews

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Chapter 6 “Why and How People Buy: The Power of Understanding the Customer”: Developing and
Communicating Your Personal FAB
Chapter 7 “Prospecting and Qualifying: The Power to Identify Your Customers”: How to Use Prospecting
Tools to Identify 25 Target Companies
Chapter 8 “The Preapproach: The Power of Preparation”: Six Power-Packed Tools to Let the Right People
Know about Your Brand
Chapter 9 “The Approach: The Power of Connecting”: What’s Your Elevator Pitch for Your Brand?
Chapter 10 “The Presentation: The Power of Solving Problems”: Selling Yourself in an Interview
Chapter 11 “Handling Objections: The Power of Learning from Opportunities”: How to Overcome
Objections in a Job Interview
Chapter 12 “Closing the Sale: The Power of Negotiating to Win”: Negotiating to Win for Your Job Offer
Chapter 13 “Follow-Up: The Power of Providing Service That Sells”: What Happens after You Accept the
Offer?
Chapter 14 “The Power of Learning the Ropes”: It’s Your Career: Own It
Chapter 15 “Entrepreneurial Selling: The Power of Running Your Own Business”: Inspiration, Resources,
and Assistance for Your Entrepreneurial Journey

Getting Started
Some people know exactly what they want to do in life. Madonna, Venus and Serena Williams, Steve Jobs,
and countless others have been preparing for their chosen careers since they were young. Dylan Lauren,
daughter of designer Ralph Lauren and chief executive of Dylan’s Candy Bar, could see her path even
when she was young. With a father who was a fashion designer and her mother a photographer, she said,
“I always knew I wanted to be a leader and do something creative as a career.” [1] Katy Thorbahn, senior
vice president and general manager at Razorfish, one of the largest interactive marketing and advertising
agencies in the world, always knew she wanted to be in advertising. Her father was in advertising, her
uncle was in advertising, and she had an internship at an advertising agency, so it was no surprise that she
pursued a career in advertising. You probably know some people like this. They know exactly the direction
they want to take and how they want to get there.

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It’s not that way for everyone, however. In fact, most people don’t really know what they want to do for a
career or even what types of jobs are available. Whether you are currently working at a job or you are just
beginning to determine your career direction, it’s never too early or too late to learn about what career
might be a good fit for you. It’s a good idea to use the three steps outlined below to help you begin your
career search. These steps can be most effective if you complete them even before you put together your
résumé (you’ll get the tools to create your résumé and cover letter in Selling U inChapter 2 “The Power to
Choose Your Path: Careers in Sales”).
Step 1: Explore the Possibilities
Whether you know your direction or are trying to figure out what you want to do “when you grow up,”
there are some excellent tools available to you. The best place to start is at your campus career center. (If
your school does not have a career center, visit the library.) The people who work there are trained
professionals with working knowledge of the challenges to overcome, as well as the resources needed to
conduct a career search. People find that visiting the career center in person to meet the staff is a great
way to learn firsthand about what is available. Also, most campus career centers have a Web site that
includes valuable information and job postings.
At this stage in your career search, you might consider taking acareer assessment survey, skills inventory,
and/or aptitude test. If you’re unsure about your direction, these tools can help you discover exactly what
you like (and don’t like) to do and which industries and positions might be best for you. In addition, there
are many resources that provide information about industries, position descriptions, required training
and education, job prospects, and more. These are especially helpful in learning about position
descriptions and job opportunities within a specific industry.
Here are some resources that you may find to be a good place to begin a search. Most of the Web sites
listed provide surveys exercises and information at no charge.
Table 1.1 Resources for Your Job Search
Resource Description
Career One Stop
http://www.careeronestop.org/SKILLS/SkillCenterHome.asp
Information, job profiles, skills assessment,
and more information available at no
charge. The Skill Center is especially helpful.
The site also includes salary and benefits
information as well as other job search

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Resource Description
information.
Job Hunter’s Bible
http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/counseling/index.php
Links to job assessment tests, personality
tests, and more. This is the companion Web
site to the popular best seller What Color Is
Your Parachute?
Queendom, the land of tests
http://www.queendom.com/tests/testscontrol.htm?s=71
Free tests for leadership, aptitudes,
personality traits, and more.
Riley Guide
http://rileyguide.com/assess.html#tools
http://rileyguide.com/careers.html
A robust Web site with free information and
links to help with your career search. The
assessment section and career and
occupational guides are especially helpful.
(Some charges may apply on some linked
sites).
Career-Intelligence.com
http://www.career-
intelligence.com/assessment/career_assessment.asp
Self-administered career assessment tests,
personality tests, and more; charges apply.
Lifeworktransitions.com
http://www.lifeworktransitions.com/exercises/exercs.html
Articles and exercises to help you determine
your strengths, passions, and direction
available at no charge.
United States Department of Labor Career Voyages
http://www.careervoyages.gov/automotive-main.cfm
Free information about industries, jobs, and
more, including in-demand jobs.
United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook
Handbook
http://www.bls.gov/oco
Free detailed information about occupations
by industry, training and education needed,
earnings, expected job prospects, what
workers do on the job, and more.
Step 2: Create Your Personal Mission Statement
You might be thinking that you just want to get a simple job; you don’t need an
elaborate personal mission statement. Although you may not be asked about your personal mission

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http://www.queendom.com/tests/testscontrol.htm?s=71

http://rileyguide.com/assess.html#tools

http://rileyguide.com/careers.html

http://www.career-intelligence.com/assessment/career_assessment.asp

http://www.career-intelligence.com/assessment/career_assessment.asp

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http://www.careervoyages.gov/automotive-main.cfm

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statement during an interview, it is nonetheless important, because it provides you with a concrete sense
of direction and purpose, summarized in relatable words. Great brands have clear, concise mission
statements to help the company chart its path. For example, Google’s mission statement is “To organize
the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” [2] The mission statement for
Starbucks is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a
time.” [3]
It’s worth your time to write a personal mission statement. You might be surprised to discover that people
who have a personal mission statement find it easier to get an enjoyable job. This is precisely because a
personal mission statement helps provide framework for what’s important to you and what you want to do
and accomplish.
A mission statement is a concise statement about what you want to achieve—the more direct, the better. It
should be short (so don’t worry about wordsmithing) and easy to recall (you should always know what
your mission statement is and how to measure your activities against it). A mission statement should be
broad in nature. In other words, it doesn’t specifically state a job you want. Instead, it describes who you
are, what you stand for, what you want to do, and the direction you want to take. [4]

Links
Learn more about how to write your personal mission statement.
Quintessential Careers
http://www.quintcareers.com/mission_statements.html
http://www.quintcareers.com/creating_personal_mission_statements.html
Nightingale Conant
http://www.nightingale.com/tmission_ExampleStatement.aspx
Time Thoughts
http://www.timethoughts.com/goalsetting/mission-statements.htm
Once you write your mission statement, you should put it somewhere where you can see it daily—perhaps
on your computer wallpaper, on your desk, or on the back of your business card. It should remind you
every day of your personal goals. [5]
Step 3: Define Your Personal Brand

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Choosing a career direction and writing a personal mission statement are not things that can be done in
one day. They require research, evaluation, consideration, and a lot of soul searching. The same is true for
defining your personal brand.
You’ve learned about the power of a brand in the selling process and that a brand can be a product,
service, concept, cause, or even a person. Truly, the most important product, brand, or idea you will ever
sell is yourself. [6] You’re not just a person, you’re a brand. When you begin your job search, you will need
to sell yourself to prospective employers. When you sell yourself effectively, you will be able to sell your
ideas, your value, your experience, and your skills to get the job you want.
It’s easy to talk about brands. It’s harder to define one, especially when the brand is you. Many people feel
uncomfortable talking about themselves. Others feel as if they are bragging if they are forced to put
themselves in a positive light. The fact of the matter is, to be successful and stand apart from the
competition, you have to know yourself and carefully craft your brand story. [7]For the purposes of finding
a career, it is important to carefully consider what you believe defines you—what makes you unique,
consistent, and relevant—and how to tell your brand story to create an emotional connection with
prospective employers.
Here’s a strategy to help you think about defining your personal brand. If you were on a job interview and
the interviewer asked you, “Tell me three things about yourself that make you unique and would bring
value to my company,” what would you say? Would you be able to quickly identify three points that define
you and then demonstrate what you mean?
Many students might answer this question by saying, “I’m hardworking, I’m determined, and I’m good
with people.” Although those are good characteristics, they are too generic and don’t really define you as a
brand. The best way to tell your brand story is to use the characteristics of a brand covered earlier in this
chapter—unique, consistent, and relevant and creating an emotional connection with its customers.
If you identify three “brand points” you can tell a much more powerful brand story. Brand points are like
platforms that you can use to demonstrate your skills and experience. Here are some examples of
powerful brand points:
• Leadership skills. This provides a platform to describe your roles in leadership positions at school,
work, professional, or volunteer or community service organizations.

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• Academic achievement. This provides a platform to highlight your scholarships, awards, honors
(e.g., dean’s list), and more. A prospective employer wants to hire the best and the brightest (if
academic achievement isn’t your strong suit, don’t use this as one of your brand points).
• Sales (or other) experience. This provides a platform to underscore your contributions and
accomplishments in your current and past positions. Past achievements are the best predictor of
future success for a prospective employer so you can focus on results that you have delivered.
You can you see how specific brand points can make a big difference in how you might answer the
question above; they help define your brand as being unique (no one else has this combination of
education, skills, and experience), consistent (each one demonstrates that you are constantly striving to
achieve more), and relevant (prospective employers want people who have these characteristics). Finally,
the ability to communicate your brand story in a cover letter, a résumé, and an interview will help you
establish an emotional connection with your prospective employer because he or she will be able to
identify with components of your personality.

You’ve Got the Power: Tips for Your Job Search
You Have More to Offer Than You Think
If you’re putting off thinking about your career because you don’t have any experience and you don’t know
what you want to do, don’t worry. Take a deep breath, and focus on how to define your personal brand.
You have more to offer than you think.
• Have you worked in a restaurant, hotel, retail store, bank, camp, or other customer service
environment? You have multitasking skills, customer service skills, and the ability to work under
pressure and deliver results.
• Have you worked for a landscaping company, technology company, or other service provider? You
have experience interacting with clients to understand their needs. (Also, don’t forget to mention the
fact that you increased the company’s sales if you made any sales).
• Have you worked as a cashier in a bank or in an accounting department? You have had the
responsibility of handling money and accurately accounting for it.
• Have you earned money on your own with a small business such as babysitting or lawn care? You
have entrepreneurial experience. Include how you landed your clients, advertised for new ones, and

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managed your costs and time. Every company wants people who can demonstrate drive and
independence.
Creating your brand points can effectively make the difference between being an ordinary applicant and
being the person who lands the job. Indeed, your brand points are the skeletal framework for the way you
sell yourself to get the job you want. You’ll learn how to use your brand points as the core of your résumé,
cover letter, and interviews in Chapter 2 “The Power to Choose Your Path: Careers in Sales” and Chapter
10 “The Presentation: The Power of Solving Problems”.
For now, just take the time to really think about what are the three brand points that define you. Your
education, skills, and experience will probably be different from the example, but your brand points can
be just as powerful. Use the box below as a starting point to identify your three brand points.

Suggestions for Brand Points
These are thought starters. You should define your brand based on what you have to offer.
• Sales experience (or experience in marketing, retail, finance, etc.)
• Project management experience
• Leadership experience
• Management experience
• Negotiating experience
• Work ethic and commitment (e.g., working while going to school)
• Entrepreneurial experience (e.g., eBay or other small business experience)
• Customer service experience (e.g., working in a restaurant, retail store, bank)
• Academic achievement
• Subject matter expert (e.g., author of a blog)
• International study
• Community service
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Selling U is the final section in each chapter that provides information, resources, and guidance about
how to sell yourself to get the job you want.
• Getting started for your job search includes three steps:

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1. Explore the possibilities. Learn about yourself through career assessment surveys, skills inventory
questionnaires, and personality tests. Investigate industries in which you may want to work by
using the resources provided. Don’t forget to visit your campus career center.
2. Write a personal mission statement. State your purpose briefly and concisely. It will help you plot
your course.
3. Define your personal brand. Identify three brand points that define your personal brand and
become platforms on which to showcase your skills and experience. These three brand points will
be the basis of your résumé, cover letter, and interviews.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Visit at least two of the Web sites listed in Table 1.1 “Resources for Your Job Search” for a career
assessment, skills inventory, or personality test. Complete at least one of the free tests or surveys. Discuss
one thing you learned (or the test confirmed) about yourself.
2. Write your personal mission statement. Discuss what you learned about yourself by creating it.
3. Discuss how the characteristics of a brand can relate to a person (e.g., unique, consistent, and relevant
and has an emotional connection with its customers).
4. [1] Patricia R. Olsen, “Sweets Tester in Chief,” New York Times, June 7, 2009, business section, 9.
5. [2] Google, “Corporate Information, Company
Overview,”http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/ (accessed June 6, 2009).
6. [3] Starbucks, “Our Starbucks Mission,” http://www.starbucks.com/mission/default.asp(accessed June 6,
2009).
7. [4] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 18.
8. [5] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 20.
9. [6] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 1.
10. [7] Peggy Klaus, Brag: How to Toot Your Own Horn without Blowing It (New York: Warner Books, Inc.,
2003), 3.

1.4 Review and Practice
Power Wrap-Up

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Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand the role of selling in everyday life,
in the economy, and in companies.
• You can identify examples of selling in your everyday life.
• You can describe the characteristics of a brand.
• You can compare and contrast the difference between sales and marketing.
• You can understand how to define your personal brand.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E ( A N S W E R S A R E B E L O W )
1. Name three situations in your life in which you use selling.
2. Name the four key characteristics of a brand.
3. Describe what this sentence means: “Each salesperson supports an average of 12.9 other jobs within the
company.”
4. Is sales considered a line or a support function? Why?
5. What is the impact of Sales 2.0 on the selling function?
6. Which of the four characteristics of a brand is most important when you are selling your personal brand?
7. What is a customer-centric organization?
P O W E R ( R O L E ) P L A Y
Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. The following are two roles that are involved in the
same selling situation—one role is the customer, and the other is the salesperson. This will give you the
opportunity to think about this selling situation from the point of view of both the customer and the
salesperson.
Read each role carefully along with the discussion questions. Then, be prepared to play either of the roles
in class using the concepts covered in this chapter. You may be asked to discuss the roles and do a role-
play in groups or individually.
College Admissions: Who Is Selling Whom?
Role: College admissions director
You are the director of admissions at your school. You want to choose only the best candidates for
admission for next year’s class. The focus of the school is to attract and accept students that demonstrate

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diversity, academic achievement, life experience, community service, passion for learning, and potential to
grow.
You personally meet with each one of the final candidates to determine how they will fit into the culture
of the school and help the school meet its objectives. It’s something you enjoy doing because it’s a chance
to put a name with a face and see exactly what makes each student special. You and the other
management at the school consider it to be a customer-centric organization.
You are about to meet with a prospective student. You are under some pressure to increase enrollment
(after all, the admissions department is really like the sales department in a lot of organizations). You are
not sure he’s a perfect fit for the school, but you are one of the school’s customer contact points so you
want to make him feel at ease while you are learning more about him.
• How will you greet this prospective student to make him feel welcome?
• What questions will you ask to learn about his personal brand and determine if he will be a good fit for
the school?
• If he is not exactly the right fit for the school, will you admit him anyway because you want to increase
admissions? Why or why not?
Role: Prospective student
You are a prospective student at your school. Your grades are good (not outstanding), but you have been
involved in the drama club and Spanish club in high school. You don’t know what you want to do in life,
but you know you want to go to college and get a good job. You are nervous about your interview with the
director of admissions because it’s your first interview and you don’t really know what to expect.
• How will you “sell” yourself to the director of admissions?
• How will you make an emotional connection with the director of admissions?
• What are your three brand positioning points, and how will you use them in this situation?
P U T Y O U R P O W E R T O W O R K : S E L L I N G U A C T I V I T I E S
1. Visit your campus career center in person. (If you don’t have a campus career center, visit your library and
meet with a librarian.) Meet with one of the staff members to learn about activities, resources, and
people that are available to help you with your career search. Learn about the campus career Web site
and how to view job postings. Sign up for one of the upcoming workshops on career searching.

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2. Write your personal mission statement. Meet with a professor or advisor to review it and get feedback.
3. Identify your three brand points. Write them down and determine at least two examples of experience
that demonstrates each point. (Hint: This will become the basis for your résumé and cover letter in
the Selling U section in Chapter.)
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E A N S W E R S
1. Getting into the school of your choice, convincing your parents of something, getting the job you want (as
well as other situations you may name).
2. The four characteristics of a brand are the fact that it is unique, consistent, and relevant and has an
emotional connection with its customers.
3. “Each salesperson supports an average of 12.9 other jobs within the company” means that the level of
sales that is generated by each salesperson is enough to fund the salaries and benefits of almost thirteen
people in the organization in departments such as human resources, marketing, operations, finance, and
others. Without the sales, the company would not be able to pay for the other jobs.
4. Sales is considered a line function because salespeople are part of the daily operations of the company.
5. Sales 2.0 is a term that applies to the ever-changing world of technology, communication, and
relationships in selling. The evolution of the Internet has led to a change in the balance of power in the
selling process. Now, customers may have more information than a salesperson due to the research they
are able to do on Web sites, through communities, and user-generated content. (In other words, both
good and bad news travel fast.) Salespeople have to focus on collaboration inside their companies and
with their customers to deliver the best solution to meet their customers’ needs.
6. All of the characteristics are important when you are selling your personal brand. It’s important to define
your brand by developing the three most important brand points that best describe you.
7. The organizational chart in a customer-centric organization has the customer at the center so that all
functions focus on meeting the needs of the customer rather than working in silos.

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Chapter 2
The Power to Choose Your Path: Careers in Sales
2.1 What Does It Take to Be in Sales?
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. Discuss the characteristics required to be successful in a career in sales.
2. Understand what you can expect from a career in sales.
When Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, delivered the commencement address at Stanford University in
2005, he told the story of how he and Steve Wozniak started the now $32 billion company in a

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garage in 1976. Jobs said, “I was lucky—I found out what I wanted to do early in life.” [1] But life at
Apple wasn’t always so perfect. When he was thirty, just one year after the launch of the Macintosh,
he was fired from the company he founded. Although he was publicly humiliated and frustrated and
didn’t know what to do next, he realized that he indeed loved what he did. From there he went on to
start Pixar, the company that created Toy Story, the world’s first full-length computer-animated
feature film.
He left the Stanford graduates with some personal words of wisdom to think about as they prepared
themselves for their careers: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to
be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love
what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart,
you’ll know when you find it.” [2]
To be successful in sales, and in life, you must love what you do. If you aren’t passionate about your
profession, you will never be the best. You will always fall short because the people who love it will
naturally excel. It seems simple enough: do what you love. But what if you love many things or don’t
know if you’ve found your niche? Don’t worry—there are questions you can ask yourself to help you
determine whether a career in sales will excite you and make you want to leap out of bed every
morning.

Are You Born to Sell?
How do you know if sales is your passion, the career of your dreams? The first step is taking this course.
You’ll have an opportunity to learn about sales and actually put your knowledge to work in real-life
situations by role-playing with your classmates. After reading this chapter, you will better understand the
profession of selling and what it has to offer. This chapter includes insights about which personal
characteristics and talents are best suited to sales, which industries you might work in, and how you can
be successful in the profession.
Just like being a teacher requires traits such as a love of learning, an ability to communicate, and the
talent to make concepts come alive for people, selling calls for certain personal characteristics as well.

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Some people think that successful salespeople are those who have the “gift of gab,” but that’s not really
what makes salespeople effective. Although communication and relationship building are valuable skills,
just being able to talk to people is not enough to be successful in sales. Consider the following points that
make a salesperson successful and see if these are a good match to you and your skills.
Character and the Ability to Build Trust
It never goes without saying that character—the combination of your beliefs, tendencies, and actions that
you take—is the single defining trait for a salesperson (or any business person, for that matter). [3] Your
character defines how you will conduct yourself, and it is the yardstick by which customers measure you.
After all, your customers are spending their money based on what you say you will deliver; they have to
trust you. If you ever break the trust for any reason, you will likely lose not only the sale, but you will most
likely lose your reputation, and, ultimately, your livelihood. According to a survey by Forrester Research,
trust and believability are so important in the buying and selling processes that 71 percent of buyers based
their decisions on these traits. [4]
The Ability to Connect
The most successful salespeople know how to engage their customers in a way that helps the customers
identify for themselves the way the product or service offered can deliver value. The Xerox Company, after
conducting a survey to identify the characteristics of their peak-performing salespeople, says it best: “Your
prospect will never buy because you present a pitch. She instead buys from what she convinces herself of.
This means that if you are selling a watch, telling your prospect you will cure his ignorance of time will not
be enough. Your prospect will literally talk to himself to discover that this watch will indeed keep him
from running late. He will not listen to you; he will only listen to himself.” [5]
A good salesperson will use his personal skills to connect with a customer, so that their conversation
prompts and echoes the customer’s own internal thought process. It is ultimately this ability to connect
that allows the salesperson to build relationships and trust.
Listening Skills

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Contrary to popular belief, speaking is not the most important aspect of selling—listening is, because
“salespeople are communicators, not manipulators.” [6]It’s interesting to note that many of the salespeople
who are constantly talking are actually not successful. It is those salespeople who have a genuine interest
in listening who learn precisely what the customers’ needs, priorities, and opportunities are. Listening
skills are the fundamental basis for forming a connection. “Listening builds relationships,” according to
Marjorie Brody, author of Help! Was That a Career-Limiting Move? She suggests a “silent solution” to
many problems in the form of listening. [7] The challenge for many people is that listening with undivided
attention is hard to do. According to Barry J. Elms, CEO of Strategic Negotiations International,
psychologists say that we listen using only 25 percent of our brain. [8] That means that the other 75 percent
is thinking about a response or thinking about something else. Salespeople who take notes, refer to
written material, and are intently aware of their nonverbal cues can be extremely successful because they
see and hear things that people who are talking just can’t absorb. [9] See why Andy Taylor, CEO of
Enterprise Rent-A-Car, thinks great listening skills make a great salesperson.
Link
Andy Taylor, CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, on Listening Skills
http://www.inc.com/ss/what-makes-great-salesperson#1
The Ability to Ask the Right Questions
It was Einstein who said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the
first fifty-five minutes to formulate the right question because as soon as I had identified the right
question, I knew I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” [10] This demonstrates the power of
asking the right questions. Those questions can only be asked when you listen and have the ability to
connect. Paul Blake, whom you met at the beginning of this chapter, believes that asking the right
questions is vital to the success of his sales force. That’s why he leads by example and always asks one key
question when he is interviewing candidates for sales positions: “Do you believe you have the right to
change someone’s opinion?” That single question tells him all he needs to know about the candidate and
how she would perform on his sales team. [11]
The Willingness to Learn

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You might think that just because you are in school, you are learning everything you need to know for
your career. Although you are building a strong foundation, you will continue to learn new things every
day when you are working. Salespeople must not only have product knowledge and understand the buying
and selling process; they must also learn skills that will make them more effective and efficient as
salespeople. For example, in one study on salespeople, executives mentioned that salespeople must be
willing to learn more than what appears to be required. Financial skills, negotiating skills, and even
speed-reading courses were mentioned as additional training needs.[12] It’s important to note that besides
constantly learning new skills, salespeople have to be students of the business. Skills and abilities are
developed and fine-tuned over time, and experience plays a role in the learning process. So it stands to
reason that salespeople are not “made” simply because they have the title. Just as it takes seven years to
become a doctor, three years to become a lawyer, and a thousand hours to become a barber, a great
salesperson develops over time. [13] If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in sales, keep in mind that
like other professions it takes time, training, and experience to be successful.
The Drive to Succeed
You can’t be successful if you don’t set goals. Great salespeople set goals for themselves, achieve them, and
celebrate those achievements. They visualize what they want, then put together a plan to get it. [14] The
drive to succeed is important not only in sales, but also in life. Consider Olympic swimmer Michael
Phelps. He set out to do something that no one else had ever done: win eight Olympic gold medals. It’s
instructive to look at his drive to succeed and what he did to prepare for and achieve his goals. While
Phelps has had some recent public relations (PR) challenges about his behavior out of the pool, it doesn’t
diminish his hard work, drive to succeed, and accomplishments.

Which Generation Is Best at Selling?
There are now three generations in the work force: baby boomers (born 1946–1964); Gen X (1965–1980);
and Gen Y, also known as millennials (born after 1980). According to a recent survey by the consulting
firm Generational DNA, 42 percent of Gen X sales reps exceeded their sales goals while 37 percent of Gen
Y and only 32 percent of baby boomers exceeded their goals. But everything is relative as the survey also

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revealed that boomers are more likely to have more ambitious goals, which is a reflection of their
experience level. [15]
Resilience and a Positive Attitude
It’s important to remember that you will hear “no” more frequently than you hear “Yes, I’ll take it.” That
challenge, however, is offset by the thrill of victory when the sale is made and a relationship with the
customer based on trust is built. You can only succeed when you go the extra mile, by investigating one
more lead, going back for the second sales call even when the first hasn’t been successful, and trial closing
even if you are not sure you can really get the sale.[16] It’s the eternal optimism that pushes you, even when
others might think there is no reason to pursue the sale. If you think you can make it happen, you should
definitely be in sales.
The Willingness to Take Risks
Has anyone ever told you, “You won’t know until you try”? That statement is especially true in sales. You
can set yourself apart by taking smart business risks. Think about how you consider taking risks in
everyday life and how they pay off. For example, let’s say you are from a small town and you chose to go to
a college in a big city because you wanted to experience something new. That was a risk; it took you
outside your comfort zone. But if you hadn’t taken the risk, you would have never known what life in a big
city was like. Great salespeople go beyond the norm to explore and test the waters. For example, making
phone calls to senior executives that you have never met, networking with people you don’t know, or
making a presentation to a room full of customers all involve some level of risk. But getting out of your
comfort zone and taking risks is how great opportunities are found. [17]
Taking risks in life and in selling is best summed up by Lisa McCullough, a high-profile stuntwoman:
“Don’t focus on your fears, focus on what you want.” [18]

The Secret to Success: Failure
“No risk, no reward” is a familiar saying. But best-selling author Jeffrey Gitomer says, “No risk, no
nothing.” He believes the only way to succeed is to take risks and sometimes fail. It’s the failures that can
lead to success.[19] He talks about the importance of taking risks and failing in this video.

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Why Taking Risks Is Important to Success
Find out why salespeople need to take risks.
Source: Buy Gitomer, Inc.

The Ability to Ask for an Order
It may sound intuitive that successful salespeople shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a customer’s order, but
you would be surprised at how often it happens. Most customers want you to ask for their order. “Would
you like fries with your hamburger?” “What can I get you for dessert?” and “Would you like to pay with
credit or debit?” are all examples of salespeople asking for the order.
A large percentage of the time these salespeople are successful and meet their customers’ needs at the
same time. You reduce your chances of being successful if you don’t ask for the order. [20] In other words,
if you don’t ask for the order, someone else will. See why Fred Franzia, founder of Bronco Wine Company
and creator of “Two Buck Chuck” wine, thinks that asking for the order makes a great salesperson.
Link
Fred Franzia, Founder of Bronco Wine Company, on Asking for the Order
http://www.inc.com/ss/what-makes-great-salesperson#5
Independence and Discipline
Most sales positions require independence, self-motivation, and discipline. Although these traits may
seem contradictory, they are actually complementary. Independence is especially important if you are
calling on customers in person. It usually requires travel, either locally by car or by plane, which means
that you have to be able to manage your time without being told what to do. In fact, it means that you set
your schedule and do what you need to do to meet your sales goals. But having this kind of independence
requires discipline. As Michael Janusz, an account manager at ACL Laboratories put it, “I went into sales
because of the dynamic environment, competitive aspect, and income potential. I do think there is a
shortage of good salespeople. I think this is because it takes a unique blend of skills and a disciplined
person. There are many people who can talk well, manage a territory well, or work hard. However, not

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many can put it all together.” [21]Besides having an independent streak, salespeople must be focused and
hardworking in the long term, or they will not enjoy consistent success over time.
Flexibility
Along with the need for independence comes the importance of flexibility. Just as you are able to set your
own schedule, you have to be flexible based on your customers’ needs. Most sales positions are not nine-
to-five jobs. That means you might be working nights or weekends, or you might be traveling out of town
during the week or even long periods of time, especially if you are selling internationally. You have to be
available when your customers want to buy. Before you cringe at the prospect of grueling hours and long
flights, remember that this kind of schedule may also work to your advantage. You may have some
weekdays off, which allow you to enjoy family, sports, or other outings that you might not otherwise have
an opportunity to enjoy.
Passion
If you’re not passionate about what you’re selling, how do you expect your customers to believe in you and
your product? You have to love what you do, believe in it, and feel passionately about it. Passion
encompasses all the traits mentioned above; it’s how they all come together. Passion is the element that
sets you apart from other salespeople and makes your prospects and customers believe in you and your
product or service. See why Selena Cuff, head of Heritage Link Brands, thinks passion is what makes a
great salesperson.
Link
Selena Cuff, Heritage Link Brands on Passion
http://www.inc.com/ss/what-makes-great-salesperson#0
Bringing It All Together
If this seems like a lot of traits, think about the list of traits that might be required to be a doctor, lawyer,
or college professor. Every profession requires a lot of those who pursue it. To make it easier, you may
want to think about how these traits come together. Mahan Khalsa, founder of Franklin Covey Sales

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Performance Group and author of Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play: The Demise of Dysfunctional Selling
and the Advent of Helping Clients Succeed, sums up the traits of a successful salesperson this way: “There
are three traits that define a successful salesperson: business intelligence (IQ or intelligence quotient), the
ability to create rapport and build trust (EQ or emotional intelligence), and a good way to approach and to
follow up sales (XQ or executional intelligence; the ability to execute the sale).” [22]
Want to know what employers look for when hiring a salesperson?

Power Player: Lessons in Selling from Successful Salespeople
It’s All about Their Stuff
Mark Bozzini, CEO of Infinite Spirits, learned a powerful selling lesson early in his career. His job was to
sell more bottles of wine than were sold the previous year, which seemed easy enough. But when he called
on a wine and spirits retailer, the storeowner told him that his products didn’t sell and he would rather
not have them on his shelves. So much for selling more bottles of wine. An average salesperson might
become pushy, or even leave and seek a sale elsewhere. But Bozzini, an intuitive and passionate salesman,
was determined to make the sale. He spent an hour rearranging the store display and asked the
storeowner to give it a chance to see if the product sold better. The new display worked, and the
storeowner became one of Bozzini’s best customers. The moral of the story: always remember that “the
customer doesn’t care about your stuff. They care about their stuff.”[23]

Creating Value Is the Name of the Game
The role of a salesperson can be summed up in one sentence: “Salespeople are value creators.” [24] To
further describe what this means, think about a recent visit to the Apple Store. If you go to the store at
virtually any hour, it is filled with customers. The salespeople are not just those that are pushing a
product, hoping that you buy so that they make their sales quota. They are experts who know everything
about the products in the store whether they be MacBooks, iPods, or iPhones. The salespeople engage you
in dialogue, listen, and learn about what you are looking for. They ask questions like, “What do you do
with the photos you take? Do you like to make videos? Do you want to easily access the Web from your

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phone?” No techno-talk, no slick sales pitches. They just want to know what’s important to you so that
they can let you try the product that not only fits your basic computing needs, but blows you away.
Apple and its sales team know that computers are complicated and can baffle even savvy users. To build
trust and confidence with their customers, they developed the “Genius Bar” so that Apple users know that
they can always to talk to an individual and find help with any problem or question they may have. In fact,
Apple dedicates a section of their Web site to the Genius Bar and invites customers to make an
appointment online to come to a store to talk to one of the “resident Geniuses.” Talk about creating value.
As a result, Apple is able to charge a premium for its product and generate such demand that in some
cases people are lined up to buy their products, as was the case for the launch of the iPhone 3GS in June
2009. [25]

WII-FM
While a job in sales can be demanding, it can also be very rewarding in many ways. Even in these days of
iPods and Pandora, WII-FM (What’s In It For Me) is a radio station that everyone listens to. It’s not a
bad thing to think about what’s in it for you. After all, if you are considering investing your career in the
selling profession, you should know what’s in it for you.
What Will You Be Doing?
The life of a salesperson is never dull. You could be working with a single customer or with multiple
customers. You might work in a corporate office, or you might work from your home. You might talk to
customers via phone, live chat, instant message, and text, or you might meet with them in their office in
your neighborhood, your region, or anywhere around the world. You might be working on research to
identify new customers, preparing a presentation for a new or existing customer, meeting with customers
face-to-face, following up to get contracts signed, or communicating inside your organization to be sure all
goes well to deliver the product or service to the customer on time and on budget. On any given day you
might be working on any number of activities to support an existing customer or to approach, present, or
close a new customer.

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What Can You Achieve?
A job in selling can be a gateway to wherever you want to go. Stanley Marcus, the ninety-three-year-old
chairman emeritus of Neiman Marcus, started as a messenger boy, then as a junior salesperson in his
father’s store before working his way to the top. Michael Dell started by selling computers from his dorm
room. [26] Selling could eventually give you fame and fortune, but more immediately it can also give you
the satisfaction of providing solutions to people, financial opportunity, and even financial independence.
Even in today’s challenging economy, these goals are possible.
Sales drive every company’s growth. When you are in sales, you are responsible for the future of the
company. That’s why many sales positions offer unlimited income potential. Sales is considered a pay-for-
performance profession. [27]That means that you are paid based on your performance, which in this case is
sales. Your income is commensurate with the amount of sales you generate; simply put, you can make as
much money as you want. This is a major difference between sales and most other disciplines. In most
sales positions, you earn a salary and perhaps some other elements of compensation, such as a bonus. In
sales, you can determine your income because it is usually not limited to a specific number; it is based on
the amount you sell. Although this topic is covered in detail in Chapter 14 “The Power of Learning the
Ropes”, it’s worth noting here that you have the power to determine how much you want to earn when you
have a successful career in sales.
If you want to check out base salaries for sales positions in your area or the area in which you would like
to work, go to Salary.com and use the Salary Wizard. You’ll be able to see the average salary, bonuses,
benefits, and more.

Link
Salary Information
This is a resource to research salary and other compensation elements for different positions in areas
across the country.
http://salary.com
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• To be successful in sales and in life, you have to enjoy what you do for a living.

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• A good salesperson does more than sell; he builds a relationship and trust with the customer and offers
solutions.
• A successful salesperson is a good listener. It’s important to listen and understand the challenges that the
customer is facing in order to present solutions that will work.
• Asking the right questions is critical to being successful in sales. It is the right questions that provide an
opportunity for customers to share their challenges. Successful salespeople are always learning new
things from selling techniques to technology in order to bring the best ideas to customers.
• Selling requires independence and discipline. There is no typical day in selling so salespeople have to be
able to manage their own time.
• One of the biggest challenges of being in sales is the number of times you hear “no.” Successful
salespeople are resilient, have a positive attitude, and are willing to take risks.
• Passion is one of the most important characteristics of a successful salesperson. If a salesperson isn’t
passionate about what he sells, it’s unlikely that his customers will be motivated to buy.
• The primary role of a salesperson is to create value for the customer and the company.
• A job in sales can be very rewarding on both a personal and a financial level, and it can lead to just about
any career path you choose.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Think about someone you trust such as a parent, professor, friend, classmate, or colleague. Describe why
you trust him or her. Now, think about that person again. Would she say that she trusts you? How would
she describe why she trusts you?
2. Ask a classmate to describe his background and then describe yours for five minutes each. Write a
summary of his background based on what he or she said and ask your classmate to do the same. How
accurate was each of your summaries? How many details did each include in the summaries? What did
you learn about listening skills?
3. Discuss the sentence, “Salespeople are communicators, not manipulators.” What does it mean? Why is it
important to know the difference in sales?
4. Describe at least three characteristics of a good salesperson. Do you have any or all of these
characteristics? What is appealing to you about a profession in selling? What is not appealing to you
about a profession in selling?

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5. Invite a salesperson to visit your class (in person or via Skype) to discuss his career in sales, what he thinks
is most rewarding, and what he finds most challenging.
6. [1] Steve Jobs, “You’ve Got to Find What You Love,” commencement address at Stanford University, Palo
Alto, CA, June 12, 2005, in Stanford Report, June 14,
2005,http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html (accessed June 16, 2009).
7. [2] Steve Jobs, “You’ve Got to Find What You Love,” commencement address at Stanford University, Palo
Alto, CA, June 12, 2005, in Stanford Report, June 14,
2005,http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html (accessed June 16, 2009).
8. [3] Dave Kahle, “The Four Characteristics of Successful Salespeople,” Industrial Distribution 97, no. 4 (April
2008): 54.
9. [4] Robert W. Bly, “Everyone Loves a Story,” Target Marketing 32, no. 6 (June 2009): 23.
10. [5] Kerry Johnson, “Five Characteristics of Peak Sales Performers,” Event Solution
International, http://www.eventsolution.com/education/businessarticles.html (accessed June 16, 2009).
11. [6] Monroe Porter, “Six Common Characteristics of Successful Salespeople,” Pro 20, no. 6 (May 2008): 33.
12. [7] Pamela J. Holland and Marjorie Brody, Help! Was That a Career-Limiting Move?(Jenkintown, PA:
Career Skills Press, 2005).
13. [8] Steve Atlas, “Listening for Buying Signals: Missing Your Prospects’ Buying Signals,”Selling Power 20, no.
2, http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=5350(accessed March 16, 2010).
14. [9] Steve Atlas, “Listening for Buying Signals: Missing Your Prospects’ Buying Signals,”Selling Power20, no.
2, http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=5350(accessed March 16, 2010).
15. [10] Kim Michael, “The Most Powerful Tool in the Sales Arsenal—Part 1,” American Salesman 54, no. 6
(June 2009): 3.
16. [11] Paul Blake, interview with the author, Greater Media Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, December 11,
2009.
17. [12] John F. Tanner, Jr., Christophe Fournier, Jorge A. Wise, Sandrine Hollet, and Juliet Poujol, “Executives’
Perspectives of the Changing Role of the Sales Profession: View from France, the United States, and
Mexico,” Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing 23, no. 3 (2008): 193.

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http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

http://www.eventsolution.com/education/businessarticles.html

http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=5350

http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=5350

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18. [13] Margaret Norton, “Is the Successful Salesperson Made or Born?”
EzineArticles,http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-the-Successful-Sales-Person-Made-Or-
Born?&id=1020044 (accessed June 16, 2009).
19. [14] Kelley Robertson, “10 Characteristics of Successful Salespeople,” Business Know-
How, http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/successful-salesperson.htm(accessed June 16,
2009).
20. [15] Geoffrey James, “Which Generation Is Best at Selling?” BNET, July 29,
2009,http://blogs.bnet.com/salesmachine/?p=4424&page=2 (accessed July 27, 2009).
21. [16] Dave Kahle, “The Four Characteristics of Successful Salespeople,” Industrial Distribution 97, no. 4
(April 2008): 54.
22. [17] Dave Kahle, “Characteristics of a Successful Professional—A Propensity to Take Risks,” Agency
Sales 36, no. 6 (June 2006): 40.
23. [18] Lisa McCullough, “Lessons from a Stunt Woman,” video, Selling
Power,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/video/?date=3/23/2007 (accessed March 16, 2010).
24. [19] Jeffrey Gitomer, “No Risk No Reward,” video, May 17,
2008,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBHBk-A4a5M (accessed August 28, 2009).
25. [20] Monroe Porter, “Six Common Characteristics of Successful Salespeople,” Pro 20, no. 6 (May 2008):
33.
26. [21] “What Do Salespeople Want?” BizTimes, March 30,
2007,http://www.biztimes.com/news/2007/3/30/what-do-salespeople-want (accessed June 19, 2009).
27. [22] Mike McCue, “Lessons from the Master,” Sales and Marketing Management, March 1, 2008, 22–24.
28. [23] Anna Muoio, “Sales School,” Fast Company, December 18,
2007,http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/19/one.html?page=0%2C2 (accessed June 23, 2009).
29. [24] John F. Tanner, Jr., Christophe Fournier, Jorge A. Wise, Sandrine Hollet, and Juliet Poujol, “Executives’
Perspectives of the Changing Role of the Sales Profession: View from France, the United States, and
Mexico,” Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing 23, no. 3 (2008): 193.
30. [25] Brandon Griggs, “iPhone 3GS Launch Has App Developers Seeing Gold,” CNN.com, June 19,
2009, http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/06/19/iphone.3gs.launch (accessed June 26, 2009).

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http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-the-Successful-Sales-Person-Made-Or-Born?&id=1020044

http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-the-Successful-Sales-Person-Made-Or-Born?&id=1020044

http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/successful-salesperson.htm

http://blogs.bnet.com/salesmachine/?p=4424&page=2

http://www.sellingpower.com/content/video/?date=3/23/2007

http://www.biztimes.com/news/2007/3/30/what-do-salespeople-want

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/19/one.html?page=0%2C2

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/06/19/iphone.3gs.launch

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31. [26] Anna Muoio, “Sales School,” Fast Company, December 18,
2007,http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/19/one.html?page=0%2C3 (accessed June 23, 2009).
32. [27] Michael Levens, Marketing: Defined, Explained, Applied (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice
Hall, 2010), 186.
2.2 Sales Channels and Environments: Where You Can Put
Your Selling Skills to Work
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Understand the different types of selling channels and selling environments.
If you had an accident and broke your leg, you would go to an orthopedic surgeon to have a cast put
on it. However, if you had a skin rash you would go to a dermatologist to get relief and clear up the
rash. Several doctors may have a role in helping you manage your health, so it makes sense that not
all doctors conduct the same procedures. Some perform surgery and others diagnose, monitor, and
recommend tests or further steps. Just as doctors play different roles in the health care field, the
same is true for salespeople in the business arena. Different people perform different functions in the
selling process.

Is It B2B or B2C?
There are two major distribution channels, or organizations or group of organizations involved in the
process of making products and services available to customers in which personal selling is
conducted. [1] Personal selling involves communication between a customer and a salesperson with the
intention of providing information for the customer to make a buying decision. Business-to-business (also
referred to as B2B) is when businesses sell products or services to other businesses for consumption by
the ultimate consumer. For example, Whirlpool sells washers and dryers to Sears and makes them to the
specifications determined by Sears for the Kenmore name before they are sold in Sears and K-Mart stores.
Other examples of B2B selling include parts or ingredients, such as when Intel sells computer chips to

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Toshiba to manufacture laptop computers or when a fabric company sells cotton fabric to Gap to make
their T-shirts.
Many B2B companies, such as Intel, have branded their products so that these products are quickly
identified by consumers even though the products are only sold to businesses. These companies believe so
strongly in the power of branding (which you learned about in Chapter 1 “The Power to Get What You
Want in Life”) that they are willing to invest in building the awareness and perception of their brand name
despite the fact that you can’t go to a Web site or store and buy their product; you can only buy their
product because it is a part of another product.
On the other hand, the transactions in which you as a consumer participate arebusiness-to-
consumer (also called B2C), which means that a company is selling a product or service directly to you as
the ultimate consumer. In the example above, when Sears and K-Mart sell the Kenmore washers and
dryers to consumers, it is B2C personal selling. Other examples of B2C selling include a waiter taking your
order at a restaurant, a salesperson helping you find jeans in your size at American Eagle Outfitters, or a
real estate agent showing you a house.
Some companies engage in both B2B and B2C selling, such as Staples, FedEx, Microsoft, and Geek Squad,
since they serve business customers as well as the ultimate consumer. Many manufacturers such as Dove,
Coke, and Oscar Meyer don’t actually participate in B2C personal selling, but these brands use B2C
marketing to make consumers aware of their brands. Meanwhile, their B2B personal selling organizations
focus on selling these products to retailers such as Safeway, CVS, and Sam’s Club (i.e., their customers),
which in turn, sell their products in B2C channels to consumers like you.
There are some important differences between B2B and B2C selling. B2B selling engages with fewer
customers (which makes sense because there are fewer businesses than there are consumers). At the same
time, however, B2B selling involves much larger purchases. Companies purchase parts, ingredients, or
supplies to service many consumers, while consumers only purchase a product or service for their own
consumption or that of their family and friends. Since B2B purchases are larger in value than consumer
purchases, the selling process is usually longer. This is as a result of the size of the purchase, and in many
companies, there are multiple people involved in the purchasing decision, as you will learn about
in Chapter 6 “Why and How People Buy: The Power of Understanding the Customer”.

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Figure 2.5 Business-to-Business versus Business-to-Consumer Selling Characteristics

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Types of B2B and B2C Selling
When you go to McDonald’s and a salesperson asks you if you want fries with your order, there is not
much involved on the part of the salesperson. In fact, you may not have even considered the person who
took your order to be a salesperson. This is a selling situation that matches the needs of the buyer
efficiently with the operation, but it doesn’t require a personal relationship or detailed product
information to consummate the sale. [2] The product or service is of low dollar value and no additional
contact is required for the sale. This is called transactional selling, and it occurs in B2C situations like this
one, as well as B2B situations. [3]
On the other hand, consultative selling, also called relationship selling, takes place when there is a long-
term or ongoing relationship between the customer and the seller, and the salesperson takes on the task of
truly understanding the customers’ needs and providing solutions to meet those needs. In this type of
selling situation, adaptive selling takes place. This occurs when a salesperson changes selling behavior
during a customer call to improve the exchange or outcome. [4] Consultative selling takes place in both
B2B and B2C environments. For example, if you were working with a financial advisor to develop a
retirement plan, the advisor would be consulting you on the best ways to save and how to best invest your

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money. She would adapt to your needs based on your feedback. If you told her, “I don’t want to be in such
high-risk investments,” this would prompt her to adapt her selling behavior to better match your needs.
In some cases, the selling relationship goes beyond consultative selling and establishes a true method for
mutual benefit; this is called a strategic alliance. In this situation, sellers and buyers work together to
develop opportunities and points of difference that wouldn’t exist without the relationship. [5] This type of
relationship is usually found in B2B environments because a strategic alliance typically involves two
companies that have something to gain by each taking an appropriate risk.
For example, before introducing the iPhone, Apple contracted AT&T to be the exclusive service provider.
Each company had something to contribute to the relationship, and each one had something to gain. In
this case, AT&T pays Apple for each new customer it receives. Apple increases its revenues, and AT&T
gains new customers. Both companies had to invest in research and development to make the relationship
happen. Both companies “had skin in the game,” so both worked hard to ensure success through public
relations, advertising, personal selling, and follow-up customer service. As a result, the relationship has
been extremely successful for both parties, as a strategic alliance should be. [6] It’s important to note that
not all strategic alliances are exclusive deals like the iPhone with AT&T. Although the deal between the
two companies includes exclusivity until 2010, it’s not definite that exclusivity will expand beyond that.[7]

Power Point: Lessons in Selling from the Customer’s Point of View
But Do the Customers Like It?
Satisfied customers are the true measure of success in selling. The University of Michigan publishes the
American Customer Satisfaction Index every quarter, which measures customer satisfaction in a number
of industries. It’s no surprise that in the fast food category, smaller chains led the pack in actual
satisfaction scores with Domino’s as the highest-rated larger chain restaurant in the May 2009 survey.
McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell also got the thumbs-up from customers. [8]
Is It Inside or Outside Sales?
What is the difference between the salesperson with whom you live-chat on BestBuy.com and the person
you talk to in the store? Although both are salespeople for Best Buy, the person with whom you conducted
live chat is considered an inside salesperson; the salesperson you spoke with in the store is considered an

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outside salesperson. Inside salespeople rarely, if ever, meet face-to-face with customers, whereas outside
salespeople communicate with customers in a variety of ways, including in-person meetings. [9]
For many B2B and B2C companies, the outside salespeople are generally the primary drivers of sales and
costs of sales, since the outside salespeople travel to meet in person with customers to learn more about
their needs, build relationships, and provide consultation and solutions. Inside salespeople usually
perform more tactical selling functions such as providing product information (as in the Best Buy example
above), following up on details, and keeping the customer informed of basic information.
Companies have traditionally used inside salespeople because they are part of a strategy that helps keep
selling costs low. Today, many companies are converting outside salespeople to inside salespeople to
further reduce selling costs. Advances in technology are blurring the lines between inside and outside
salespeople by providing platforms for inside salespeople to be more collaborative and consultative with
tools such as video conferences, Webinars, wikis, and more. Traditional thinking is changing, as
evidenced in a recent study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC), a sales consulting
firm, which found that currently 30 percent of revenues are influenced by inside salespeople. [10] As more
companies leverage technology and think differently about customer relationships, the concept of inside
and outside salespeople will evolve around the most mutually efficient and beneficial customer
relationships, rather than the physical location of the salespeople.

What Kind of Job Can I Get in Sales?
You have the power to choose your career. Do you want to travel across the country or around the world to
meet with customers and understand their needs and develop new business opportunities for your
company? Or would you rather be a technical specialist, or a subject matter expert, and talk to customers
about exactly how your product or service works? No matter what you want to do, chances are there’s a
sales role that you will enjoy. Table 2.1 “Types of B2B and B2C Sales Positions” shows a snapshot of
several different types of B2B and B2C sales positions that you might want to pursue and the industries in
which you might find them.
Table 2.1 Types of B2B and B2C Sales Positions

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Title Description Industries
Sales representative,
account executive, account
manager, marketing
representative, sales
consultant, sales associate
• Responsible for a group of
customers with primary
responsibility to develop and
maintain close relationships with
existing customers by
understanding their needs and
providing solutions
• Identifies and develops new
customers
• Meets revenue and profit goals
• B2B: Technology, IT services
manufacturing, hospitality,
pharmaceutical, telecommunications,
media, packaged goods, real estate,
professional services
• B2C: Real estate, high-value retail,
financial services
Territory manager
• Same as above, but customers are
all in the same geographic area, or
territory
• B2B: Technology, manufacturing,
hospitality, pharmaceutical,
telecommunications, media,
packaged goods
• B2C: Not widely used in B2C
Business development
manager
• Responsible for identifying,
prospecting, and developing new
customers
• After the customer signs the
contract (or buys the product or
service), the account manager takes
over the day-to-day contact with
the customer
• Meets revenue, profit, and new
customer acquisition goals
• B2B: Technology, IT services,
manufacturing, hospitality,
pharmaceutical, telecommunications,
media, packaged goods, business
services, professional services,
transportation
• B2C: Not widely used in B2C
Customer relationship • Responsible for the overall • B2B: Technology, IT services,

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Title Description Industries
manager
satisfaction of the customer
• Usually a part of selling
organizations that provide long-
term professional services
manufacturing, hospitality,
pharmaceutical, telecommunications,
media, professional services,
transportation
• B2C: Not widely used in B2C
Product specialist, technical
specialist
• Expert in a specific product or
service area
• Participates in sales calls after the
customer shows an interest to
demonstrate or describe use and
applications of the product or
service
• B2B: Technology, IT services,
manufacturing, hospitality,
pharmaceutical, telecommunications,
media, professional services
• B2C: High-value retail, financial
services
Customer service
representative
• Takes orders, provides product
information, processes orders
internally, and follows up as
necessary with the customer
• May also provide outbound calls to
customers to follow up
• B2B: Technology, IT services,
manufacturing, hospitality,
pharmaceutical, telecommunications,
packaged goods, professional
services, health care
• B2C: Retail (including online
selling), packaged goods
Telesales representative
• Makes outbound or inbound
contact with customers over the
phone
• Activities include identifying
prospective customers, providing
information, completing a sale, and
performing any necessary follow-
• B2B: Technology, IT services,
telecommunications, media,
professional services
• B2C: Retail, insurance, financial
services, publishing, political parties,
causes

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Title Description Industries
up
Just from the summary in Table 2.1 “Types of B2B and B2C Sales Positions”, you can see that there are a
variety of different types of sales positions in many industries. You might find it helpful to think about the
overall roles and functions that each performs. For example, customer service reps and telesales reps are
considered order-takers because they interact with customers to consummate a sale, but their role does
not require planning or consultative selling. On the other hand, positions such as account manager,
territory manager, customer relationship manager, and business development manager are order-
getters because they actually work to develop a relationship and solve customers’ problems on an ongoing
basis. [11] Sometimes, account managers, account executives, territory managers, and other similar roles
perform missionary selling, which means that they call on customers who are not the ultimate purchaser.
For instance, if you were a professor and an account manager from a textbook company called on you and
brought you a copy of a new book on sales management for next semester’s class, that would be
considered missionary selling because the sales rep would be telling you about the textbook, but you are
not the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the sales rep is calling on you so that you adopt the textbook, put
it on your syllabus, and as a result, your students purchase the textbook.

Power Selling: Lessons in Selling from Successful Brands
What’s in a Name?
Nike no longer uses the title “sales rep” for people in their sales force; their titles are now “account
executive” and “account manager.” The change in titles is a reflection of their recent change in selling
strategy. Nike realized that simply bringing new samples to retailers isn’t enough in this competitive
marketplace. They consider planning to be a major part of the selling process, and the sales team plays a
key role in planning in two ways: helping customers, such as retailers, plan their business and providing
feedback and insights back to Nike to help plan the next generation of products. At Nike, your title says it
all. [12]
If you are considering a career in sales, the Selling Power magazine “50 Best Companies to Sell For Now”
is an excellent resource to identify prospective employers.
Link

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Selling Power Magazine
“50 Best Companies to Sell For Now” (subscription required)
http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/index.php
You can also learn more about specific descriptions of sales positions by reviewing some job postings on
Monster.com, Yahoo! HotJobs, or CareerBuilder.com using sales in the keyword search.
Direct Selling
You may have been invited to a “party” at a friend’s or relative’s house to see the new line of Nutrilite
Ocean Essentials vitamins and supplements. You have heard good things about the products from your
friend. You didn’t realize that Nutrilite also made sports drinks and energy bars. You have a great time
trying the products and talking to everyone at the party, so you decide to try the Nutrilite ROC 20
Antioxidant Enhanced Drink Mix, and you order it in three flavors.
You just experienced the direct selling process, “the sale of a consumer product or service away from a
fixed retail location.” [13] Some of the most well-known direct selling companies are Amway, Mary Kay
Cosmetics, Avon, and Pampered Chef. There are over 15 million people in the United States who sell
products or services via direct selling, which is almost four times more than twenty years ago. In 2007, the
industry generated $30.8 billion in sales in the United States. [14]
What makes direct selling so appealing is the fact that you can run your own business using the power of
an established brand name and without the costs of manufacturing or providing the product or service.
More important, you are your own boss. Although direct selling usually requires an initial purchase of
products or services, called starting inventory, many direct sellers have been able to supplement their
incomes and in some cases make it their full-time job, earning more than six figures a year. Given the
opportunities, you probably aren’t surprised to learn that direct selling is growing as a result of the
uncertain job market. Recent grads, retirees, and everyone in between are turning to direct selling as a
way to safeguard them during the recession. It’s attractive because those who sell or distribute the
products (also called independent business owners [IBOs]) make a percentage on the products they sell.

Link
Popular Career

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Learn about the current trends in direct selling.
http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/17/avon-mary-kay-making-comeback/
But direct selling isn’t lucrative for everyone. Not all IBOs maintain their focus and develop their network.
It’s hard work running your own business. It takes time, discipline, effort, focus, and passion. In fact, only
10 percent of IBOs work full-time or at least thirty hours a week. [15]
Many direct selling companies engage in network marketing, also called multilevel marketing (MLM),
which allows IBOs to invite other people to sell the products and earn money based on the sales of those
they recruited. If you think about the concept of social networking on Web sites such as Facebook, it’s easy
to understand MLM. You can expand your network of contacts simply by tapping into the network of your
friends; MLM operates on the same principle. If you sell to your friends and they sell to their friends, your
opportunity to earn money expands significantly with every contact. So if you were an IBO for The Body
Shop and you recruited your friend Jessica to be an IBO, and she recruited her friend Lashanda to be an
IBO, you would not only make commission on your product sales, but also on the product sales of Jessica
and Lashanda. You can see how being a part of an MLM company can offer significant earning
potential. [16]
Unfortunately, there have been some unscrupulous people involved in the MLM business, and some have
created pyramid schemes in which many people have lost money. As a result, most states have laws
against “pyramiding,” a practice that offers incentives simply for recruiting new members of the network
or IBOs. The laws require incentives to be paid only when sales are generated. [17]
You might want to check out the top multilevel marketing companies worldwide at the Web site noted
here.

Link
Top Multilevel Marketing Companies
http://www.mlmrankings.com

Other Selling Environments

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You’ve now seen how B2B, B2C, and direct selling work. Still, there are some other selling environments
that you may also want to explore.
Entrepreneurial Selling
Martha Stewart (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Jeff Bezos
(Amazon) each had a unique idea for a product or service. And while good ideas are key to building a
business, what ultimately made each of these people successful was their ability to sell their idea to their
customers and to their investors.
If you have the passion and vision to start your own business, you will need selling skills no matter what
business you decide to create. Being an entrepreneur can be exhilarating, invigorating, and exciting. But it
can also be challenging, time-consuming, and frustrating. That’s why successful entrepreneurs, like
successful salespeople, plan, do their homework, listen to customers, and make ideas and solutions come
alive. It’s no surprise that the traits of a successful salesperson discussed earlier in this chapter are the
same traits that are required of an entrepreneur. Just like the different types of sales positions covered
previously, there are virtually unlimited types of businesses that can be started by entrepreneurs.
Consider the fact that the Internet levels the playing field because it provides business opportunities to all
businesses regardless of size. Many of these entrepreneurial business opportunities were not available
even a few years ago (and will undoubtedly provide new opportunities that don’t even exist yet). So
whether you are a Power Seller on eBay or a dog-walker in your neighborhood, you have the power to start
the business of your dreams. This course will give you the invaluable skills and the insights necessary to
do so. In fact, Chapter 15 “Entrepreneurial Selling: The Power of Running Your Own Business” is devoted
entirely to entrepreneurial selling.
Domestic versus Global Selling
Does technology eliminate the need for salespeople, or does it create opportunities to connect the dots
between the company and the customer? Are salespeople more important domestically or globally? Is
there a different expectation for global selling? Although these are complex questions that could take an
entire course to address, you might find it helpful to know that the outlook for personal selling both in the

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United States and internationally is very strong. According to a study of executives from the United States,
France, and Mexico, “Personal selling is not going to go away and the future looks bright.” Furthermore,
the study found that with the use of technology, and in many cases because of it, it’s even more important
that salespeople not only know the product and the customer, but also the industry and the environment.
The diversification of product lines and customers’ needs for ancillary products such as service
agreements, maintenance contracts, and multilingual options, make a skilled salesperson even more
important in the transaction. [18]
Companies expand internationally for several reasons, one of which is that business in the United States is
extremely competitive, so companies need more opportunities to increase sales and profits. In some cases,
the only opportunity for growth is to expand internationally. But international selling presents an
additional level of challenges, including cultural, political, legal, demographic, and economic issues.
Nonetheless, countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China, often referred to as the BRIC nations, are
quickly transforming the global economy. China and India account for one-third of the world’s
population, and so they represent a huge opportunity for global companies. [19] It’s likely that a company
for which you sell will be doing business internationally, and if it’s not now, it will be some time soon.
Some global companies include a one- to three-year sales assignment based in a foreign country.
Nonprofit Selling
Nonprofit organizations are those that use their proceeds to reinvest in the cause and are granted “tax-
exempt” status from federal and other taxes. [20]Religious organizations, charitable organizations, trade
unions, and other specifically defined organizations may qualify as nonprofit. [21] In fact, your school may
be a nonprofit organization.
You might be wondering what selling has to do with nonprofit organizations. The fact is that fund-raising
and the development of endowments are actually the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. Your school
may have a director of alumni relations and development. This is the person who secures donations for
the continued development of the school and facilities; for example, if your school needs a new athletic
facility or classroom building, much of the funding would likely come through the alumni office. Just like
for-profit businesses, selling is the engine of nonprofit organizations as well. If you have a passion for a
particular cause, such as the green movement, breast cancer, literacy, or education, among others, and

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want to focus on making a contribution by choosing a career in the nonprofit sector, you can find selling
opportunities at many organizations. Although you may want to volunteer for some organizations before
you make a career choice, there are paying career fund-raising and development positions in the nonprofit
sector. Check out these Web sites to see jobs and job descriptions in the nonprofit sector.

Links
Learn more about nonprofit job opportunities and job descriptions.
Opportunity Knocks
http://www.opportunityknocks.org/
Idealist
http://www.idealist.org/
Nonprofit Job Scoop
http://www.nonprofitjobscoop.org/
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Companies sell to customers in business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) channels. The
type of channel is based on the type of consumer who is buying.
• B2B selling differs from B2C selling because there are relatively few customers, larger purchases, and
longer selling cycle.
• When you are engaged in consultative selling, you build a relationship and tailor solutions according to
your customers’ needs. When you are engaged in transactional selling, you are focused on a single sale or
transaction.
• There are many different types of selling positions that may vary by industry. You may be involved
in outside sales, which includes meeting face-to-face with your customers or you may be involved
in inside sales, which includes contact by phone, e-mail, text, instant messaging (IM), or fax, as well as
sales support activities.
• Other selling environments include direct selling (independent sales agents), entrepreneurial selling (a
business started by an individual), global selling (selling in countries outside the United States), and
nonprofit selling (also called fund-raising or development).
E X E R C I S E S

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1. Identify two companies that sell in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer channels. Discuss
at least two ways in which they sell differently to businesses as opposed to consumers.
2. Identify a company that uses both transactional selling and consultative selling. Discuss the difference in
the types of products that are sold in each example. Discuss the difference in the customer experience in
each example.
3. Discuss the different types of sales positions you learned about in this section. Which type is attractive to
you as a possible career? Why?
4. Discuss the reasons why someone might want to pursue a career in sales. Discuss the reasons someone
might not want to pursue a career in sales.
5. Research companies and identify which offer some of the sales positions described in this chapter.
6. Contact a salesperson at a company in your area. Ask him to describe his role in the company, what type
of customers he sells to, and what it takes to be successful in sales.
7. Visit the Web site of one of the multilevel marketing companies such as Pampered Chef
(http://www.pamperedchef.com), Amway (http://www.amway.com/en), or Silpada Designs
(http://www.silpada.com/public/). Discuss the pros and cons of being an independent business owner
(IBO). Discuss the type of selling used by the IBO; is it transactional or consultative?
8. [1] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin), 10.
9. [2] Gerald L. Manning, Barry L. Reece, and Michael Ahearne, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, 11th
ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall), 10.
10. [3] Charles M. Futrell, Fundamentals of Selling: Customers for Life through Service, 10th ed. (New York:
McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 55.
11. [4] Gerald L. Manning, Barry L. Reece, and Michael Ahearne, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value, 11th
ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall), 12.
12. [5] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin), 36.
13. [6] Leslie Cauley, “AT&T: We’re All About Wireless,” USA Today, July 31,
2008,http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/phones/2008-07-31-att-iphone-stephenson-
apple_N.htm?csp=34 (accessed June 25, 2009).

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http://www.pamperedchef.com/

http://www.amway.com/en

http://www.silpada.com/public/

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/phones/2008-07-31-att-iphone-stephenson-apple_N.htm?csp=34

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14. [7] Justin Sorkin, “AT&T Urging Apple to Extend Its iPhone Exclusive Agreement until 2011,”TopNews.com,
April 15, 2009, http://topnews.us/content/24841-att-urging-apple-extend-its-iphone-exclusive-
agreement-till-2011 (accessed June 25, 2009).
15. [8] American Customer Service Index, “Rise in Consumer Satisfaction Continues—Now Followed by Other
Economic Indicators,” First Quarter
2009,http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article38884ACSI__Customer_Satisfaction_Rises_Again__Now
_Joined_by_Other_Economic_Indicators.html (accessed June 23, 2009).
16. [9] Michael Levens, Marketing: Defined, Explained, Applied (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall,
2010), 184.
17. [10] Heather Baldwin, “What Does Sales 2.0 Mean for You?” Selling Power Sales Management
eNewsletter, March 3,
2008,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=801 (accessed March 16, 2010).
18. [11] Charles M. Futrell, Fundamentals of Selling: Customers for Life through Service, 10th ed. (New York:
McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 11.
19. [12] Anna Muoio, “Sales School,” Fast Company, December 18,
2007,http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/19/one.html?page=0%2C3 (accessed June 23, 2009).
20. [13] Direct Selling Association, “About Direct Selling,”http://www.dsa.org/aboutselling/what (accessed
June 21, 2009).
21. [14] Alina Cho, “Avon, Mary Kay Making Comeback,” CNN American Morning, June 17,
2009, http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/17/avon-mary-kay-making-comeback(accessed June 21,
2009).
22. [15] Charisse Jones, “Want a Recession-proof Job? Think Direct Sales,” USA Today, May 14, 2009, 1B.
23. [16] “Multilevel Marketing,” Inc., http://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/multilevel-marketing.html (accessed
June 21, 2009).
24. [17] Federal Trade Commission, “The Bottom Line about Multilevel Marketing Plans and Pyramid
Schemes,” http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/invest/inv08.shtm(accessed June 21, 2009).
25. [18] John F. Tanner, Jr., Christophe Fournier, Jorge A. Wise, Sandrine Hollet, and Juliet Poujol, “Executives’
Perspectives of the Changing Role of the Sales Profession: Views from France, the United States, and
Mexico,” Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing 23, no. 3 (2008): 193.

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http://topnews.us/content/24841-att-urging-apple-extend-its-iphone-exclusive-agreement-till-2011

http://topnews.us/content/24841-att-urging-apple-extend-its-iphone-exclusive-agreement-till-2011

http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article38884ACSI__Customer_Satisfaction_Rises_Again__Now_Joined_by_Other_Economic_Indicators.html

http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article38884ACSI__Customer_Satisfaction_Rises_Again__Now_Joined_by_Other_Economic_Indicators.html

http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=801

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/19/one.html?page=0%2C3

http://www.dsa.org/aboutselling/what

http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/17/avon-mary-kay-making-comeback

http://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/multilevel-marketing.html

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26. [19] George E. Belch and Michael A. Belch, Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing
Communications Perspective, 8th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 653–57.
27. [20] Carter McNamara, “Starting a Nonprofit Organization,” Free Management
Library,http://managementhelp.org/strt_org/strt_np/strt_np.htm#anchor516676 (accessed June 23,
2009).
28. [21] Internal Revenue Service, “Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-
Profits,”http://www.irs.gov/charities/index.html (accessed June 23, 2009).

2.3 Selling U: Résumé and Cover Letter Essentials
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Learn how to position your education and experience to create a résumé and cover letter to get the job
you want.
Think about how you first learned about the new Palm Pre smartphone or that Gatorade had
changed its name to simply “G.” How did you know that Pre had even more capabilities than the
iPhone or that Gatorade was “moving to the next level”? Chances are it was some kind of advertising
or public relations that made you aware of these products before you even tried them.
Now think about your personal brand. How will employers know about you and what you have to
offer? A résumé and cover letter serve as your “advertising” campaign to prospective employers. Just
like there are lots of ads about products and services, there are an overwhelming number
of résumés and cover letters that employers have to review before inviting someone in for an
interview. How do you make yours stand out? How do you increase your chances of being one of the
people who are interviewed? How do you use your cover letter and your résumé to get the job you
want?
There are a few important steps to follow to create the résumé and cover letter that will make you
different and compelling to a prospective employer. You will use both of these to apply for jobs
online and to send to people with whom you are networking, and you will even send them directly to
companies for whom you would like to work. You only have an instant (think nanosecond) to make a

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lasting impression. If you think you only need a résumé to get a job, you should think again. Your
cover letter can play an even more important role than your résumé. Here are some steps to help you
create a cover letter that gets read and a résumé that gets you the interview. If you already have a
résumé and cover letter, it’s worth reviewing this section because you will learn some important tips
to improve them.

Five Steps for a Résumé That Stands Out
Looking for the right job to start your career is a process that includes preparing your résumé and cover
letter, getting your cover letter and résumé to the right people, going on interviews, and negotiating and
accepting the right offer. You are at the beginning of the process; you’ll learn about the rest of the process
throughout the Selling U sections in this book. This section focuses entirely on creating your résumé and
cover letter. Keep in mind that the only purpose for a résumé and cover letter is to get an interview. So
your résumé and cover letter need to be crafted in a way that tells what your personal brand has to offer,
or your brand story, in a concise and compelling way.
Step 1: Define Your Three Brand Points That Make You Unique and Provide Value to a
Prospective Employer
If this sounds familiar, it should be. This was covered in detail in Chapter 1 “The Power to Get What You
Want in Life”, but it is such an essential concept that it deserves repetition here. If you haven’t identified
your three brand points, you should go back and review the section. Your brand points are actually the
foundation of your résumé and cover letter; it is in their summary that you compose your brand story.
You might think of creating a résumé that is a chronological summary of your background. This is good,
but it is not compelling enough to differentiate yourself amid the sea of résumés. There are two important
things to remember when creating your résumé:
1. Tell your brand story with your brand points.
2. Your brand points should be clear at a glance (literally).

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Let’s say your three brand points are leadership experience, academic excellence, and community service.
Those three brand points make up your brand story, the story that you want to tell about yourself, so your
résumé headings should highlight these areas.
To see what this means, review the two versions of the same résumé for Julianna Lanely in Figure 2.7
“Standard Résumé” and Figure 2.8 “Standard Résumé Incorporating Brand Points”. The first one was
written using a standard résumé approach; the second one was built by incorporating her brand points of
marketing and event planning experience, academic excellence, and creative mind-set. Can you see the
difference? Which résumé do you think is more compelling? Before you create (or refine) your résumé,
identify your three brand points.
Figure 2.7 Standard Résumé

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Figure 2.8 Standard Résumé Incorporating Brand Points

Step 2: Choose Your Résumé Format and Font
Now that you have the foundation of your résumé message (or your three brand points), it’s time to
choose a résumé format. Executives in all industries encourage students and young professionals (those
who have been working for five years or less) not to exceed one page for your résumé. In some cases, it

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may be difficult to keep all of your experience and accomplishments to one page, so choose those that best
tell your brand story. As one executive said, “It better be worth my while to turn to page two.” [1]
There are several appropriate résumé templates available at your campus career center or in Microsoft
Word. The downside to some templates is that they are difficult to adjust or adapt. The most important
thing to consider when you are choosing your résumé format is to be sure it is easy for the reader to skim.
Some formats with horizontal lines separating the categories, or those with dates that precede company
and position information, are harder to skim because the reader has to work too hard to see the brand
story. See the comments in Figure 2.7 “Standard Résumé” to recognize some things to avoid in your
résumé.
It’s easy to create a résumé that looks like Julianna Lanely’s revised résumé shown in Figure 2.8
“Standard Résumé Incorporating Brand Points”.
Once you choose the format you want to use, you should choose a font that you will use for your résumé
and cover letter. The font should be easy to read like Arial or Times New Roman (Arial is a bit more
contemporary; Times New Roman is more traditional). It’s best to use twelve-point type (or eleven-point
at the smallest) for ease of readability. If you need a little more space on your résumé, consider adjusting
the margins slightly, keeping at least 0.7 for each margin. You don’t want your résumé to feel crowded or
that it is an effort to read.
Step 3: Choose Your Headings and Put the Most Important Ones First
Now that you’ve done your groundwork, it’s time to actually create your résumé. Think about your brand
points and then determine the headings you want to use. Use headings that help you tell your brand story
at a glance. Don’t focus yet on what you will write in each heading; that will be covered in Step 4.
There are some headings that are standard to include such as “Objective,” “Education,” and “Experience,”
but other headings should be used to support your brand story. For example, instead of having a heading
for “Work Experience,” be more specific and use “Sales Experience” to highlight that if it is one of your
brand points.
One of the most critical things to remember is to put the most important things first. Start with a heading
for “Objective,” then “Education.” As you gain more experience in your career, your education will move
to the bottom. But at this point, it is a key selling point for your brand.

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Now, it’s time to put your brand points to work by choosing headings that tell your story. For example, if
academic excellence is one of your brand points, you might consider adding a heading after “Education”
called “Scholarships and Awards” or “Honors” to highlight honors and awards that demonstrate your
academic excellence. This is the ideal place for things like dean’s list, National Honor Society, or any other
awards, honors, or scholarships that you have received.
It’s a good idea for your next heading to reflect one of your brand points such as “Leadership Skills” or
“Sales Experience” (or any other specific type of experience). If leadership skills are one of your brand
points, it’s better to not make the reader go all the way to the bottom of the page to read about your
leadership skills under a generic heading called “Activities.” If it’s important to your brand story, bring
your skills into focus in the first part of your résumé with a strong heading like “Leadership Skills.” This
section could include athletic, school or professional organization, or any other type of leadership
position. If you don’t have leadership skills, don’t worry—you still have a lot to offer. Follow your brand
points to tell your story.
Next, include your work experience. This is where you can really make your brand story come alive. Don’t
be restricted to a traditional chronological order of your jobs. If you have had an internship in marketing,
sales, or other area that supports your brand points, make a separate heading for it, such as “Marketing
Experience” or “Sales Experience.” If you have had other jobs, you can simply add another heading after it
called “Work Experience” below it. Or if your work experience has a common theme, you might want to
name your heading “Retail Experience,” “Customer Service Experience,” or “Hospitality Experience.” This
approach tells the reader at a glance that you have valuable experience in the area you want to pursue.
You should know that employers look for people who have worked in retail and in restaurants because
they know that they can sell and work with customers. Use this type of experience to sell yourself.
If you have participated in projects or activities to support the community, you may want to include a
heading for “Community Service.” If you have additional activities that are worth noting, you might
consider a heading for “Activities.” It’s best to avoid a long list of generic activities at the end of your
résumé, so think about how they tell your brand story. It’s best to include your most recent activities.
Although you may include some key activities from high school, it’s better if you can replace those with
your more recent activities. It’s not necessary to include the dates of your involvement.

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It’s a good idea to have a final heading for “Skills” at the end of your résumé. This should include
computer software in which you are proficient such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, Adobe
Acrobat, and others. It’s a good reminder to your prospective employer that you are skilled for any
position. Although it may seem second nature to you to use these software products, there are employers
who didn’t learn them in school so they may not be aware that you are proficient in them.
A few things that should not be included on your résumé are “References available upon request,”
“Hobbies and Activities,” or a photo. Prospective employers expect to check your references, you should
have more substantial things to put on your résumé than hobbies and activities, and many companies
cannot consider résumés with photos as it would be considered discrimination.
See Rakeem Bateman’s résumé shown in Figure 2.9 “Standard Résumé Incorporating Effective
Headings” to see how headings are used effectively to highlight his brand points of leadership skills, sales
experience, and a committed work ethic.

Figure 2.9 Standard Résumé Incorporating Effective Headings

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Step 4: Write Your Bullet Points
Once you have determined your headings, it’s time to make your brand points come alive with bullet
points under each heading. Bullet points are better than a narrative format because they are easier for the
reader to skim. But, since the reader is skimming, each bullet point is that much more important. Keep
your bullet points concise, but specific, so that each delivers powerful information.
Start with your objective and write a short, specific goal. One sentence is perfect; you don’t have to be
flowery or profound. Something that helps the reader understand what you are looking for is best. For

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example, if you want to get a job in pharmaceutical sales, your objective might be, “To obtain a sales
position at a pharmaceutical company.” Or you might want to get a job in an advertising agency so your
objective might be, “To obtain a full-time position in account management at an advertising agency.”
Short, sweet, to the point, and effective.
For your education, include the formal name of your college or university, city and state, formal degree
(e.g., Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies), and year or expected year of graduation. It’s not
necessary to include the range of years you attended school. Now that you are in college, it’s best to
remove your high school education. See Figure 2.9 “Standard Résumé Incorporating Effective
Headings” for an example of how to list your education. You may be interested to know that your grade
point average is not a requirement on a résumé. Generally, if your GPA is 3.5 or above, you may want to
include it. [2] The fact is most business people don’t recognize the significance of a GPA unless it’s 4.0. So,
if academic achievement is one of your brand points, you should consider adding a heading for
“Scholarship and Awards” to demonstrate your accomplishments and make them come alive for the
reader. If academics aren’t your strong suit, don’t include your GPA; just list your education. [3] If you have
studied internationally, you might consider a heading or subheading named “International Study.”
Include the program name, school, and countries visited, as well as the dates of the travel.
Awards or honors can be listed as bullet points under the “Scholarship and Awards” heading. For
experience headings such as “Leadership Experience,” “Sales Experience,” or “Customer Service
Experience,” list the name of the company, city and state, your title, and dates of employment. If you use
boldface for the company name, it stands out and helps the reader see at a glance where you have worked.
The bullet points in these sections are critical to setting yourself apart; they should be concise and
specific, but descriptive, and they should focus on accomplishments and contributions, not a listing of
activities or tasks. This will most likely take some time to write these bullet points, but it will be time well
spent. Consider the difference between these two bullet points to describe a position at a restaurant:
• Took orders over the phone and in person
This statement can be more powerful when restated with quantitative details:
• Provided customer service to over 100 patrons during every shift, including taking orders by phone
and at table-side; named Associate of the Month in August 2009

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Consider the difference between these two bullet points to describe administrative responsibilities at an
office:
• Filled in for receptionist, answered phones, processed invoices
This line can be more powerful when restated in the following manner:
• Provided administrative support for the 30-person office; created new work flow for processing
invoices that reduced turnaround time by 2 days
Consider the difference between these two bullet points to describe responsibilities as a bank teller:
• Processed customer transactions
This statement can be more powerful when restated as the following:
• Processed over 80 customer transactions daily with 100% accuracy.
Your bullet points should help reinforce your brand points with details of how you delivered on those
points. It might be helpful to write down all the things you did at each job and then identify the stories you
can tell for each job. This is how you demonstrate traits such as ability to multitask, organizational skills,
teamwork, and other skills.
Step 5: Review, Check Spelling, Proofread, and Repeat
It’s true that some résumés are never even considered because of a typo or grammar error. After you
finish your résumé, take a break, and then review it objectively. Does it clearly tell your brand story? Are
your brand points the most important topics? If someone read your résumé, what would that person think
you have to offer? Make any necessary adjustments. Then spell-check and proofread it carefully. It’s a
good idea to ask some people you trust—perhaps at your campus career center, a parent, professor, or
mentor—to review and proofread your résumé. You can’t be too cautious.
When you are satisfied that your résumé is perfect, print it on twenty-four-pound paper (you can buy it at
your campus bookstore or any office supply store or Web site).

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It’s best to save your résumé and cover letter in several formats. A Word document is standard for sending
résumés and cover letters. However, online job posting boards remove formatting, so it’s best to also save
your documents as .txt files in Microsoft Word (File, Save As, for file type choose “Plain Text (*.txt).” Click
OK when the dialogue box appears. Check your document to be sure elements are still in place; adjust
accordingly, then save). It’s also helpful to save your documents in PDF format by going to
Acrobat.com. [4] It’s a good idea to use a file name such as “John Jones Résumé” because it lets the reader
know exactly what file he or she is opening and doesn’t give away your working name. [5] Avoid file names
such as “Official Résumé,” or “Résumé January 2010” as they don’t include your name and are not
professional.

Three Steps for a Cover Letter That Gets Noticed
If you haven’t prepared a cover letter to send with your résumé, you should consider writing one.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, “Cover letters are still necessary, and in a
competitive market they can give you a serious edge if they are written and presented effectively.” [6] A
cover letter is key if you need to set yourself apart, whether you are seeking an internship or a full-time
position.
Step 1: Start with Your Three Brand Points
Maybe you are dreading the thought of writing a cover letter. It’s easier than you think, since you have
already identified your brand points. Write a summary statement for each of your three brand points. In
other words, if you only had one minute to talk about your three brand points, what would you say about
each one? Write two concise sentences for each point. It might be rough right now, but it will become the
core of your cover letter.
Step 2: Understand the Elements of a Cover Letter
Now you just need to know how to structure your brand story to make it come alive for the reader. A cover
letter has three major sections:

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1. First paragraph. Introduction and purpose for your letter. [7]
2. Second paragraph. Reasons why you will bring value to the company (this is where you include
your brand points). [8]
3. Third paragraph. Closing and follow-up. [9]
Since business people skim cover letters and résumés, it’s a good idea to use boldface to highlight your
brand points. [10] Take a look at the cover letter inFigure 2.10 “Effective Cover Letter” to see how your
brand points become the focus of your cover letter. It’s important to repeat the highlights of your résumé
in your cover letter so the reader can see at a glance how you can bring value as a prospective employee.
Since you only have a few seconds to “sell” the reader on the fact that you are the right person for the job,
you want to introduce the highlights in the cover letter and then provide the details in your résumé. Your
cover letter and résumé work together to tell your brand story.

Figure 2.10 Effective Cover Letter

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Besides the three core paragraphs of your cover letter, you will also want to know about the appropriate
way to format a cover letter. Your cover letter should be limited to a single page and should include the
same font that you used for your résumé. See Figure 2.11 “Elements of a Cover Letter” for all the elements
of a formal cover letter.
Figure 2.11 Elements of a Cover Letter

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Step 3: Write Your Cover Letter
With your brand points in mind and the structure of a cover letter clearly defined, now you can get to
writing. This is the place where you are able to demonstrate you personality and your selling skills. You
can make your cover letter a powerful lead-in to your résumé and sell your prospective employer on the
reasons why you should come in for an interview. As with your résumé, be sure to spell-check and
proofread your cover letter carefully. Review your cover letter and résumé together to be sure your brand
story is clear and powerful. Look at Rakeem Bateman’s cover letter and résumé together in Figure 2.12
“Sample Cover Letter and Sample Résumé” to see how the two documents can work together and really
set you apart just at a glance.

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Figure 2.12 Sample Cover Letter and Sample Résumé

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This cover letter can be the basis of the letter you use for most situations. Now that you have your cover
letter, you should adapt it and personalize it for every situation. For example, if you are applying for a job
that is posted online, adapt the letter to show how your brand points address the needs of the position.
You may even want to create one or two new brand points that also define your brand that you can change
based on the job posting.
It’s best to use your cover letter whenever you send your résumé to someone, whether you are responding
to a job posting, networking, or sending out letters to your target companies. The Selling U section
in Chapter 8 “The Preapproach: The Power of Preparation” includes several ways to get your cover letter
and résumé out to prospective employers.

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K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Your résumé and cover letter are your “advertising” tools for your personal brand.
• There are five steps that help you write a résumé that stands out from the crowd.
1. Your brand points are the basis of your résumé because they define your brand and the value you
can bring to a prospective employer.
2. You can choose a résumé format that is easy for the reader to skim and see your brand points.
3. The headings on your résumé help provide a framework to tell your brand story.
4. The bullet points under each entry on your résumé should focus on your accomplishments and
achievements, not just a listing of job tasks.
5. Always spell-check and proofread your résumé carefully. In fact, it’s a good idea to have several
people review your résumé for accuracy before you send it to prospective employers.
• Your résumé should always be sent with your cover letter. Your cover letter highlights your brand points,
which are further reinforced in your résumé.
• A cover letter contains three major parts: the first paragraph that acts as an introduction, the second
paragraph that highlights the value you can bring to the company, and the third paragraph that is the
closing.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Visit your campus career center and learn about different formats for your résumé. Which ones do you
like? Why? Which one will you use? Is it easy for the reader to skim and see your brand story?
2. Visit your campus career center and learn about the format for a cover letter. What elements are
included in a formal cover letter, which are not included in a casual e-mail?
3. [1] Connie Pearson-Bernard, “Careers in Communications Night,” presentation at West Chester University,
West Chester, PA, March 23, 2009.
4. [2] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 156.
5. [3] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 156.
6. [4] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 224.
7. [5] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 226.
8. [6] Phyllis Korkki, “A Cover Letter Is Not Expendable,” New York Times, February 15, 2009, business
section, 10.

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9. [7] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 162.
10. [8] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 162.
11. [9] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 162.
12. [10] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 162.
2.4 Review and Practice
Power Wrap-Up
Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand the following opportunities that
are available for a career in selling.
• You can understand what traits it takes to be a successful salesperson.
• You can describe the difference between business-to-business and business-to-consumer selling.
• You can discuss other selling environments such as direct, entrepreneurial, global, and nonprofit
selling.
• You can create your résumé and cover letter so they quickly tell your brand story and focus on the
value you can bring to a prospective employer.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E ( A N S W E R S A R E B E L O W )
1. Name at least four of the traits of successful salespeople that are discussed in the chapter.
2. What is WII-FM, and what role does it have in a career in selling?
3. What does pay-for-performance mean in selling?
4. Which is better, a job that pays more or a job that you enjoy?
5. Identify whether each of the following is a B2B or a B2C selling channel:
a. ____ Selling a fence to a dog-training company.
b. ____ Selling business cards to a small business owner.
c. ____ Selling food to a school for the cafeteria.
d. ____ Selling energy drinks to spectators at a race.
Are there selling opportunities in a nonprofit organization?
What are the foundation of your résumé and cover letter?
P O W E R ( R O L E ) P L A Y

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Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. The following are two roles that are involved in the
same selling situation—one role is the customer, and the other is the salesperson. This will give you the
opportunity to think about this selling situation from the point of view of both the customer and the
salesperson.
Read each role carefully along with the discussion questions. Then, be prepared to play either of the roles
in class using the concepts covered in this chapter. You may be asked to discuss the roles and do a role-
play in groups or individually.
Trust Me?
Role: Seller of a home
You are the owner of a four-bedroom home in a very nice part of town. The home has a spectacular view
and impeccable landscaping. It is decorated so well that everyone who comes over wishes his or her house
could look like yours. You and your spouse have decided that you want to sell your home even though the
market is soft. You think you have found the real estate agent with whom you want to list the house. You
want to get top dollar for your home.
• What characteristics will you look for when you choose a real estate agent?
• What role do you have to help ensure a successful sale of your home?
• Is this a B2B or B2C sale?
Role: Real estate agent
You are a seasoned real estate agent with a loyal clientele in this part of town. You have a track record of
selling very expensive homes and reaping the benefits. You have done very well because of your referral
business. But lately, the soft economy has taken its toll on your sales. You believe that keeping the prices
as low as possible will attract new buyers.
• Is this a B2B or B2C sale?
• If you are the real estate agent, how would you approach the sellers to get the listing at the price you
want?
• What characteristics does the real estate agent need to be successful?
• What characteristics do the sellers need to be successful?
P U T Y O U R P O W E R T O W O R K : S E L L I N G U A C T I V I T I E S

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1. Follow the five steps in the chapter to create your résumé. Review your résumé with someone at the
campus career center, a professor, a parent, or a mentor and get feedback as to how you might refine
and improve it.
2. Follow the three steps in the chapter to write your cover letter. Review your cover letter and résumé with
someone at the campus career center, a professor, or a mentor and get feedback as to how well they tell
your brand story.
3. Use your cover letter and résumé to apply for an internship or job you want online. Adjust the cover letter
to personalize your cover letter for the requirements of the position.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E A N S W E R S
1. Character and ability to build trust, ability to connect, listening skills, ability to ask the right questions,
willingness to learn, drive to succeed, resilience and positive attitude, risk taking, ability to ask for the
order, independence and discipline, flexibility, and passion.
2. WII-FM is the radio station that everyone listens to: What’s In It For Me. It’s always important to think
about what you want out of life, and a career in selling has a lot of advantages for you, including financial
opportunity, chance for advancement, and personal satisfaction.
3. Pay-for-performance is a term that describes the fact that you make more money based on selling more.
Many sales positions include a pay-for-performance compensation structure, which means that the more
you sell, the more money you make. Conversely, if you don’t meet your objectives, your paycheck will be
smaller.
4. Although compensation is important, it’s not the only measure of a good job. Choosing a job that you
enjoy with opportunities to achieve what you want and working in the environment that you like with
people you like are important elements in evaluating a position.
5. a. B2B; b. B2B; c. B2B; d. B2C
6. Yes, fund-raising and development (as in creating and building endowments) are some of the selling
opportunities available in the nonprofit sector.
7. Your brand points are the foundation of your résumé and cover letter.

Chapter 3

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The Power of Building Relationships: Putting Adaptive
Selling to Work

3.1 The Power of Relationship Selling
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. Understand why relationships are so important in selling.
2. Explain how relationships bring value through consultative selling.
3. Identify who wins in the win-win-win relationship model.
4. Explain how networking builds relationships and businesses.
It was 4:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Ray Rizzo’s father, in town for the annual family get-together,
had forgotten to bring his suit. What made the situation even more challenging was that Ray’s father
is rather portly with a forty-eight-inch waist and even broader shoulders, a build that requires a fifty-
three-short jacket. Ray and his father rushed to Mitchells, a local clothing store in Connecticut, and
asked Jack Mitchell, the owner, for his help. It was hard to imagine that Ray’s father would possibly
be able to get a suit or even a sport jacket tailored to fit in time for the family gathering. After all, it
was Christmas Eve, and the store would be closing in an hour. Jack didn’t hesitate and immediately
enlisted Domenic, the head tailor, and before 6 o’clock that evening, the largest pair of pants and
jacket in the store were tailored to fit Ray’s father perfectly. Needless to say, Ray is a customer for
life. [1]
This situation is what Jack Mitchell calls a hug. If you go shopping for clothes at Mitchells or
Richards in Connecticut, you will get hugged. Maybe not literally, but you will most definitely get
“hugged” figuratively. Jack Mitchell, the CEO of Mitchells/Richards and author of Hug Your
Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, says, “Hugging is a
way of thinking about customers. To us, hugging is a softer word for passion and relationships. It’s a
way of getting close to your customers and truly understanding them.” [2]

From Personal to Problem Solving

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Think about your best friend. You know her so well that you can just about finish each other’s sentences.
You know her favorite flavor and brand of ice cream, and you can sense when she is having a bad day. You
text and talk to her all the time; you even go out of your way to surprise her sometimes with a gift that you
know she will like. You have a great relationship with her.
Now think about the last time you went into your favorite restaurant. Was it the same kind of experience?
Did the host greet you by name and seat you at your favorite table? Did the waitperson remember that you
like to drink raspberry-flavored iced tea? Was your fish served with the sauce on the side, just the way you
like it? Were you delighted with a new flavor of cappuccino after dinner? When these things happen, the
people at the restaurant make you feel special; after all, you are the reason they are there. When you have
a relationship like this with the people at the restaurant, you are more inclined to return to the restaurant
again and again. If these things don’t happen, it is easier for you to choose a different restaurant the next
time you go out.
The bottom line is that to be successful in selling, any kind of selling, you have to make selling personal.
People do business with people, not with companies. Even in the business-to-business (B2B) selling
channel, it is people who are making decisions on behalf of the company for which they work. Every sale
starts with a relationship. If your relationship is strong, there is a higher likelihood of a sale and a loyal
repeat customer. That means you have to get to know your customer on a one-to-one basis to understand
what he wants, what he needs, and what resources he has. This concept is called relationship selling (or
consultative selling). [3] It is defined by working personally with your customer to understand his needs,
put his needs first, and provide consultation to help him make the best decision for himself or his
business.
You might be thinking that selling is about the product or service, not about relationships. But that’s not
true. You may have heard someone say, “He’s just a pushy salesman,” or you may have experienced
someone trying to give you the “hard sell.” The fact is that selling has evolved dramatically over the past
thirty years. Business is more competitive. The use of technology and the expanded number of product
and service offerings have developed a need for consultative selling in more industries than ever before. It
used to be that salespeople wanted to simply make a sale, which meant that the sale began and ended with
the transaction. But now, it’s not enough to just make the sale. In today’s competitive world, it’s how you
think about the customer that matters. [4] It’s the difference between giving the customer what she needs

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rather than what you want to sell her. [5] The fact is that the sale is just one small part of the relationship.
The real essence of selling is in the relationship. [6]
The salesperson has a new role in most companies. The days of the salesperson as “product pusher” are
just about gone. Customers in B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) environments want and demand
more. Consider the evolution of some major industries. Many of the leading hotel chains keep your
preferences in a database so that their front desk sales team can recognize you personally at check-in and
provide the queen-sized bed in a nonsmoking room on the quiet side of the property that you prefer.
Restaurants work hard to learn, remember, and greet you by your name, maintain your favorite table,
wine, and entrée, and prepare to anticipate your every need. Airlines have tools to recognize you and the
fact that you like an aisle seat as far forward as possible in the plane. [7] All these tactics are steeped in the
theory that customers make choices on the relationship they have with brands. In each one of these
situations, the salesperson is the difference that sets a brand apart at the moment of truth, the moment
the customer comes in contact with the brand. [8] Some brands understand how important each moment
of truth is when creating relationships with customers. For example, Southwest Airlines makes their Web
site easy to use, has humans answer the phone, and has flight and ground attendants that make it a
pleasure to travel with them.

Power Selling: Lessons in Selling from Successful Brands
Boot Camp
Johnson Controls, manufacturer of heating and air conditioning systems, thinks that consultative selling
is so important that it holds a Basic Boot Camp for the company’s territory managers at its headquarters
in Norman, Oklahoma, that focuses on leveraging relationships in selling. The classroom-style “boot
camp” includes interactive exercises, product training, and business support training. The company’s
commitment to consultative selling doesn’t end there. Participants who score at least an 85 percent on
their final grade for the Basic Boot Camp and spend six months out in the field can qualify to attend the
elite Special Operations Training, which is by invitation only. [9]

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Relationships are so important in selling that one study surveyed one hundred top B2B salespeople and
found that they attribute 79 percent of their success to their relationships with customers. [10] It is the
relationship with a customer that allows you to bridge the gap between a customer’s problem and the
solution. The relationship is the framework for consultative selling; it’s what allows you to have an open,
honest dialogue, ask the right questions, understand your customer’s needs, and go beyond advising to
helping your customer make the decision that’s right for her. [11]
Common Ground
Selling relationships start as personal relationships. Making a personal connection is vital in the two to
ten minutes of a customer encounter or meeting. [12] Think about the last time you bought a new cell
phone. Chances are, if the person didn’t establish rapport with you from the start, you probably walked
away and bought the phone from a different salesperson, maybe even at a different store. The relationship
includes a sincere bond that goes beyond business and includes common interests and goals. [13] If you are
selling medical imaging equipment to hospitals, you want to build relationships with the administrators,
doctors, and nurses who will be using your equipment in each hospital. When you build a relationship
starting with what’s important to each person individually, it’s easier to expand that relationship to
sharing information and problem solving from a business perspective. As Bob Fitta, a manufacturer’s rep
for several tool companies said about Paul Robichaud, owner of Robi Tools, “I got to know him as a
business person and a real person, and that relationship has endured.” [14]
But consultative selling is more than simply building rapport. In fact, consultative selling goes beyond the
product or service you are selling; it even goes beyond the selling process. It is the “X factor,” the
intangible element that makes a customer choose your product or service even when the competition is
priced lower. Consultative selling is about your personal involvement and sincere focus on problem
solving that goes beyond selling to true partnership with the customer.
Consultative selling doesn’t start and stop at specific times during the relationship. In fact, it defines the
relationship before the sale, during the sale, and after the sale. [15] You will learn about the seven steps of
the selling process in through and how building long-term relationships and consultative selling are the
basis of each step. The concept of building professional relationships is apparent in this example: If you
are selling insurance, consider the fact that your customer may eventually buy a home, have a family, or
purchase a second property. So the relationship you develop when you sell him car insurance as a young

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single man could and should be nurtured and developed over time to provide solutions that answer his
needs as his lifestyle changes. Having this long-term view of customer relationships is called focusing
on lifetime value. It means that you consider not just one transaction with a customer, but also the help
and insight you can provide throughout the entire time frame during which you do business with him. So,
although you may only provide him with basic car insurance now, over the course of more than twenty-
five years that you do business with him, you may ultimately sell him thousands of dollars of insurance
and investment products that meet his changing needs. But that won’t happen if you don’t continue your
relationship and keep in touch, focusing on topics and events that are important to him. If you focus only
on the immediate sale, you will miss a lot of business, not to mention future referrals.
There are several elements that can be included in the calculation of the lifetime value of a customer.
However, a simple formula is
dollar value of purchase × gross profit percent × number of purchases.
For example, if a customer shopped at a retailer and spent $75 on one purchase that had a gross profit of
30 percent, the lifetime value of that customer would be $22.50, calculated as
$75 × 30% × 1 = $22.50.
If the customer made five purchases for $75 each over the course of the time she shopped with the retailer
(let’s say five years), at a gross profit of 30 percent, the lifetime value of the customer would be $112.50,
calculated as
$75 × 30% × 5 = $112.50. [16]
So you can see that the concept of retaining a customer for more than one purchase can provide financial
benefits. In addition, working with the same customer over the course of time provides an opportunity to
learn more about the customer’s needs and provide solutions that better meet those needs.
CRM Tools Help You Manage Relationships
With so many demands on your time as a salesperson, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of some customers
and not follow up, which means that you may only be developing short-term relationships. Or you might
unintentionally let your relationship with a customer “lapse into laziness,” which means that you let the
relationship run on autopilot, relying on your established relationship to keep the business going. In this
case, there’s usually no pressing reason to change; you might think that as long as the customer is happy,
everything is OK. But it’s best to avoid complacency because the world is constantly changing. While you

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are enjoying a comfortable, easy relationship, there are probably new business challenges that you should
be learning about from your customer. Or worse, you may open the door to a competitor because you
weren’t bringing new and relevant ideas to your customer and he began to think of you more as a nice guy
than a resource for advice and new ideas. [17]
Many companies use customer relationship management (CRM) tools, which are technology solutions
that organize all of a customer’s interactions with a company in one place. In other words, CRM is a
customer database that holds all the information regarding a transaction (e.g., date; products purchased;
salesperson who sold the products; and name, address, and contact information of the customer). In
addition, it captures all communication the customer has had with the company, including calls made to
the company call center, posts and reviews made to the company Web site, and the details of each sales
call made by a salesperson. Some CRM tools are extremely sophisticated and help the salesperson and the
company to manage relationships with prospects and customers. Other CRM tools are simpler and are
focused on helping the salesperson manage her relationship with prospects and customers.[18]
A CRM tool works in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples. A construction contractor calls a toll-free
number for a plumbing supply company after seeing an ad in a trade journal. The prospect inquiry is sent
via e-mail to the appropriate salesperson. The salesperson reviews the CRM system to see if there have
been any previous contacts with the customer and if there is any information about the customer and his
business. Then he returns the prospect’s phone call and sets up a date to meet him to learn more about his
business needs. The salesperson makes a note in the CRM system about the phone call and the date of the
meeting and sets a follow-up reminder for himself for the meeting and for three days after the meeting.
When the salesperson meets with the prospect, he learns that the prospect has five developments that he
manages. The salesperson makes a note in the CRM system so everyone from the company who comes in
contact with the prospect, such as other salespeople or customer service, know this information about the
prospect.
CRM tools can be extremely helpful in managing customer relationships, especially where there are
multiple people in the company who come in contact with prospects and customers. CRM tools also make
it easier to understand the lifetime value of a customer since all purchases, inquiries, and other contacts
are included in the system. It is the information that is gathered in a CRM system that helps a salesperson
better understand customer behavior, communication patterns, and short- as well as long-term needs.

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For example, many companies offer loyalty programs as a tactic to increase sales but also to gather
information about customer preferences to offer more relevant messages and offers. CRM tools are used
to manage loyalty programs, such as Best Buy Rewards Zone, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, and the
Safeway card for their different local grocery chains. This information is then used for marketing and
selling purposes. Best Buy can identify all the recent purchasers of Hewlett-Packard (HP) printers and
send them an e-mail for HP ink cartridges. CRM tools are used to manage customer relationships in other
ways. For example, Starbucks uses Salesforce.com, a widely used CRM tool, to power their
MyStarbucksIdea Web site. The Web site is a collaboration and feedback tool that engages customers in
providing ideas to the company. To manage the relationships with customers online, Starbucks uses a
CRM tool. This allows Starbucks to provide personal feedback to each customer on all the ideas they
submit. Visit MyStarbucksIdea.com to see this interactive suggestion box.

Link
MyStarbucksIdea
http://mystarbucksidea.force.com
Face Time
So you might think that customer relationships are easy to maintain with text messaging, e-mail, and
other technology-based methods of communication. After all, that’s how you communicate with your
friends. But while technology can enhance an established relationship because it allows you to provide
information and insight at a moment’s notice, the fact is that most significant customer relationships,
especially in B2B selling, require face-to-face communication. [19]
In this world of high-tech instant communication, some relationships can easily become “low-touch,” or
missing the human element. Meeting with and entertaining customers is an important part of the selling
process. It helps you get to know customers in an environment outside the office, in a casual or social
place such as a restaurant, sporting event, or concert. These can be excellent opportunities for you and
your customer to “let your hair down,” relax, and enjoy each other’s company. Many sales positions
include an entertainment budget for this reason. Taking someone out to eat is not the only part of a selling
relationship, but it’s an important part of building and developing a connection. One sales manager said
that he can tell when one of his salespeople is struggling simply by reviewing his expense reports. He

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looks for activities that take place outside business hours because those are the activities that build
relationships. In fact, according to one study, 71 percent of top-achieving salespeople use entertainment
as a way to get closer to their customers. [20]

Fore Relationships
What makes golf a good way to build a business relationship? During eighteen holes of golf, the typical
golfer actually hits the ball for only two and a half minutes during a four-plus hour round of golf. [21]
R-commerce
You’ve probably heard of e-commerce, selling products and services on the Internet, and m-commerce,
selling products and services via mobile devices such as cell phones and smart phones. But you probably
haven’t heard of r-commerce, a term that refers to relationship marketing, which establishes and builds
mutually beneficial relationships.
Terry L. Brock, an international marketing coach and syndicated columnist, says salespeople have the
opportunity to make the difference in their relationships with the little things. Sending a thank-you note
after a meeting, forwarding an article or video on a topic you discussed, remembering the names of your
customer’s children, even providing a personal suggestion for a vacation spot are all examples of little
things that can set you apart from every other salesperson. You might think that these “little things” aren’t
important when you get into the big world of business. But Harvey Mackay, renowned author, speaker,
and business owner, says it best: “Little things mean a lot? Not true. Little things mean
everything.” [22] Developing your own r-commerce strategy can help set you apart in sales. It’s expected
that you will make phone calls and follow up; it’s the extra personal touch that makes your customer feel
special and helps establish a strong relationship.

It’s the Little Things
Here’s an idea for a small activity that can turn into big opportunity along the way: every day take fifteen
minutes at the beginning of the day to write three notes or e-mails—one to a customer, one to a prospect,
and one to a friend just to say hi, follow up, or send an article of interest. At the end of the week, you will
have made 15 contacts and 750 by the end of the year. What a great way to build relationships by doing
the little things that make you stand out. [23]

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Trust Me
“The check is in the mail.” “The doctor will see you in ten minutes.” “I’ll call you tomorrow.” How many
times have you heard these promises, or ones like them? When people make promises that they don’t
keep, you lose trust in them. It’s unlikely that you will trust a person who doesn’t deliver on what he or she
says.
Trust is a critical element in every relationship. Think again about your best friend. Is she someone you
can trust? If you tell her something in confidence, does she keep it to herself? If you need her for any
reason, will she be there for you? Chances are, you answered “yes,” which is why she is your best friend.
You believe that she will do what she says she will do, and probably more.
You can see why trust is so important in selling. If your customer doesn’t believe that you will actually do
what you say you are going to do, you do not have a future in selling. Trust is built on open and honest
communication. Trust is about building partnerships. Salespeople build trust by following up on their
promises. They are accessible (many times 24/7), and they work to help their customers succeed.
Customers trust you when they believe you have their best interest at heart, not your personal motivation.
According to Tom Reilly, author of the book Value Added Selling, “Consultative selling is less about
technique and more about trust.” Trust is what gives a relationship value. It is the cornerstone of selling.
Trust creates value. In fact, one B2B customer described his salesperson by saying he was like an
employee of the company. Another described her salesperson in terms of problem ownership by saying,
“When we have a problem, he has a problem.” [24] Trust is equally important in B2C selling. For example,
at Zen Lifestyle, a salon in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, the approach to customers is described as soft
sell with a focus on educating customers and providing information. Customers are encouraged to try
products in the smallest size to determine whether they like the product. It is only after they have liked it
that larger and more economical sizes are suggested. “This helps develop a relationship between
customers and therapist built on trust, which in turn will generate future sales from recommendations,”
according to salon owner Fiona Macarthur. [25] In every business, these are all powerful testaments to
great salespeople.

Power Player: Lessons in Selling from Successful Salespeople

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Sign of Trust
Imagine not even bringing in product samples or literature with you on your first sales call with a
customer. That’s what Susan Marcus Beohm, a sales manager for a handheld dental instrument
manufacturer suggests. “I don’t go in as a salesperson—I go in looking to see how I can help them. Not
bringing my goods and wares with me says, ‘I’m here to find out what you need,’ and it makes an impact.”
When salespeople are too eager to start talking about features and benefits before they listen to the
customer, they make it more difficult to establish trust. [26]
People buy from people they trust. Consider the fact that customers put their trust in salespeople with
their money and, in the case of business-to-business selling, with their business and ultimately their
reputation. Customers actually become dependent on you, and their buying decisions are actually based
on the fact that they trust you and believe what you say. Thus, the relationship can be even more
important than the product. [27] It is said that you can give a customer the option to buy a product from a
salesperson she knows or buy the same product for 10 percent less from someone she doesn’t know, and
in almost every case she will buy from the salesperson she knows. [28]
Trust is such an important topic that sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer has written a book dedicated to the topic
of gaining and giving trust titled Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Teal Book of Trust: How to Earn It, Grow It,
and Keep It to Become a Trusted Advisor in Sales, Business, and Life.
Underpromise and Overdeliver
One of the tenets of selling is establishing trust and setting expectations. The best salespeople
underpromise and overdeliver. In other words, they say they will do something by a certain day, and then
not only do they do it, but they deliver it one day early. Here’s a way to think about the power of this
approach: if you order a new pair of jeans online and the estimated date of delivery is Tuesday, but you
receive them on Monday, you are delighted. You are pleased that they came early. However, if the jeans
were promised for Tuesday delivery, but they arrived on Wednesday, you would be disappointed and
probably would not trust that Web site for timely delivery in the future. You can imagine how this strategy
builds trust with customers—not only can you rely on the salesperson to do what she said, but she never
lets you down and even delivers earlier than promised sometimes. That’s how trust is built between
salesperson and customer, and the relationship goes to the next level: partnership.
When Times Are Tough

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No one likes to deliver bad news. But it’s not always good news that you will have to tell a customer. The
best antidote for bad news is a good relationship. If you have nurtured your relationship with the
customer and built trust, it is much easier to deliver bad news. When it’s time to deliver bad news, like a
delayed delivery, a cost increase, or a discontinued product line, don’t put it off. Use the same practices
that you use to build your relationships: open, honest, and timely communication.
As soon as you learn about information that may be bad news for your customer, contact her by phone to
discuss the situation: “I realize we set Thursday as the installation date for phase one, but there have been
some delays in development. Can we reschedule it for next Tuesday? I’m confident that everything will be
complete by then. I apologize for any inconvenience. Let’s talk about any challenges this may cause on
your end. I have some ideas about how we might work around them.” The sincerity in your voice and the
dialogue you have with the customer can help avoid turning bad news into a serious problem. Because you
have always made a point of underpromising and overdelivering, there is a high likelihood that your
customer will respond positively to your ownership of the problem and solution-based conversation. It’s
always best to include a realistic solution to the problem and, if you don’t have a solution, let the customer
know exactly when you will get back to her with an update.
Win-Win-Win: The Ultimate Relationship
If you do volunteer work for an organization such as Autism Speaks, you get involved because you believe
in raising awareness of autism to increase funds for research for the cure. Those who have autism and
their families benefit from your involvement. This is win #1. You also benefit because you gain the
satisfaction of helping people. This is win #2. You help build the strength of the organization, in this case,
Autism Speaks. The more people that are involved, the more people they can reach with their message,
and the more money they can raise to reach their goal of curing autism. This is win #3.
The above example is an illustration of the win-win-win concept in relationships. In other words, in the
ultimate relationship, all parties have something to give and something to gain. This same win-win-win
occurs in successful selling relationships. Your customer wins because he gets your advice and expertise to
help him find a product or service that meets his needs. You win because you have enhanced your
relationship and made a sale; and your company wins because the relationship, the sale, and the repeat
sales help it achieve its goals.

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Although the win-win-win may sound like a simple concept, it is a critical one to keep in mind in any
business position, especially in selling. This art of collaboration actually results in more business with
your existing customers because you have become a partner in solving their problems, and it brings you
new business in the form of referrals. The win-win-win also plays a significant role in the negotiating
process (covered in ). The best business relationships and negotiations are based on the win-win-win
model, not the win-lose model in which one party loses so that the other can win. [29]
A Seat at the Table
The seat at the table is given to those salespeople who deliver value, not sell products or services. They
develop the relationship to assist customers in implementing their business strategies. [30]Customers want
value in the form of strategic thinking around issues that are important to them and their company goals.
As a result, your goal as a salesperson should be to help your customers create demand, secure a
competitive advantage, and identify a new niche. When you deliver this kind of value, your customers will
no longer see you as a salesperson; they will see you as a “business person who sells.” It’s this kind of
thinking and value creation that earn you a seat at the table. The seat at the table also helps you expand
your business because you will be integrated into your customer’s business. That allows you to deliver
your core products or services and be a part of developing the new opportunities. It helps cement the
relationship and establishes a partnership that delivers value for all involved. [31]
Every salesperson wants “a seat at the table”; she wants to be a part of the decision-making process. That
is the epitome of consultative selling: you are included in the process from the beginning. You want to be
included as a valued partner with your business-to-business customers to discuss their company’s
strategic questions like “How will we grow our business in the next three years while technology is driving
down the average selling price of our product?” “How can we extend our relationship with our customers
beyond our contract period?” or “How can we expand to new markets and minimize our risk?” These are
not traditional sales questions; they are strategic issues that companies wrestle with. When you are a true
partner with your customers, you will be given a seat at the table when direction-setting issues are
discussed. This allows you to participate fully as a trusted advisor and asset to the customer and to help
shape the strategy of the company. It changes your relationship with the contact and the company from
salesperson to partner. Although it may seem like a lofty goal, consider this: If you want to have a seat at
the table, not only will you need to solve your customer’s problems and anticipate her needs, but

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according to Tim Conner, sales trainer and author, you will also need to be a creative problem creator.
That means that you will be in constant pursuit of identifying problems that your customer didn’t even
know she had. In other words, it means that you have to think ahead of your customer, not just along with
her. [32]

Networking: Relationships That Work for You
You probably use Facebook frequently to keep in touch with your friends. If you want to know who took a
particular course with a particular professor, you can ask your friends on Facebook. If none of your
friends took the course, one of their friends may have taken it and could give you some insight about the
course and the professor. Whether you realize it or not, you are networking.
Networking is the art of building alliances or mutually beneficial relationships. [33] In fact, networking is
all about relationships and exchange. In the example above, while you are looking for feedback on a class
from someone you know, someone else may be considering seeing a movie and wants to know if you’ve
seen it and if you thought it was good. This is a value exchange. Although networking isn’t exactly quid
pro quo (something for something), it does include the element of exchange: if someone is looking for
something, someone else can provide the information. What makes the network function is the fact that
people in the network at some point have a need and at some point may be able to help someone else with
his need. Said another way, networking is based on mutual generosity. [34]
Networking is an important part of the business world and an even more vital part of sales. It’s no longer a
question of “if” you should network; it’s a requirement to stay competitive because it’s virtually impossible
to do your job alone. Just as in social networking, professional networking allows you to leverage the
people you know to expand your relationship to people you don’t know. Building strong relationships with
customers is an excellent way to build your network. Satisfied customers will refer you to other people
who might become potential customers.
It’s best to always be networking rather than networking only when you want something. It makes it
easier to network and expand your relationships when you’re not asking for something. It also gives you
the opportunity to help someone else first, which can go a long way when you need help in the future.
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Today, networking can be done in person as well as online. Don’t limit yourself to just one method.
Networking is best done both in person and online to be truly effective. Here are a few tips for
networking in person.
Start with People You Know
Make a list of all the people you know, starting with your current customers, family, friends, friends’
family, and others. Include people such as your hair stylist, car mechanic, and others. Get to know
everyone in your extended network as each can be a lead for a potential sale or even a job. [35]
Join and Get Involved in Professional Organizations
If you want to meet people who are in the same business or profession as you, professional organizations
such as Sales & Marketing Executives International, Advertising Club of New York, Home Builder’s
Association, and so on are the best places to be. Joining is good, but getting involved in one of the
committees is even better. It helps demonstrate your skills and knowledge to the other people in the
organization. Since most professional organizations are made up of volunteers, it’s usually easy to be
invited to participate on a committee. [36]
Attend Industry Events
Make an effort to attend industry or other professional events. Arrive early and work the room. If you
come with someone, be sure to branch out to meet and mingle with other people. Set a time and a place to
meet the person with whom you came so you can both maximize your networking. According to Peter
Handel, the chairman and CEO of Dale Carnegie & Associates, a smile can be your greatest asset when
networking in person. He suggests always asking questions of the people you meet; it helps keep
conversation going and gives you more insight into their background and how you might work together in
the future. But the other side of asking questions is listening; that’s how you will learn. And always have
your business cards handy. Give out your business card to those you talk to, and don’t forget to get their
business cards, too. [37]
Keep in Touch
Many people think that networking is just about collecting business cards. Networking is so much more
than that. Networking is about creating mutually beneficial relationships. It’s best to use one of the basic
practices for building relationships when networking: keeping in touch. That means dropping an e-mail to
someone with whom you have networked just to find out how their big project is going, how their twins’

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birthday celebration went, or even just to say hi. Go beyond the e-mail by inviting someone to lunch. It’s
the perfect way to build a relationship, share common ground, and learn more about the person.[38] Many
people are gung ho about networking and meeting people, but rarely keep in touch. It almost defeats the
purpose of networking if you don’t keep in touch.
Online Professional Social Networking
Online professional social networking can be an equally powerful tool to build your contacts. But just like
networking in person, you can’t be passive and expect to expand your network. Consider a situation that
Austin Hill, Internet entrepreneur and founder of the angel investment firm Brudder Ventures,
encountered when his firm was trying to get access to someone in a specific department at a vendor. It
was a large company, and he kept getting the runaround. But after going onto LinkedIn and getting
introductions to the right people, within two days they were able to start doing business with the
company. [39]
Create a Profile on the Major Professional Social Networks
LinkedIn, Ryze, ZoomInfo, and Plaxo are all online professional social networks that have a substantial
number of members. You can also use Facebook MySpace, and Twitter to create profiles, peruse job
boards, and join the conversation.

Join The Power of Selling Group on LinkedIn
You can join the conversation about careers in sales created for this course on LinkedIn.
Visit http://www.linkedin.com and go
tohttp://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2566050&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr. Or go to “Search Groups,” search
for “The Power of Selling,” select it from the groups that are displayed, and click on “Join Group.” Once
you’ve joined the group, you can connect with sales professionals and other students across the country.
You will be able to listen to the conversation, ask questions, and start or join discussions. This group is an
excellent way to network and find people who work at companies that you may want to work at.
Start your professional networking now and network with sales professionals that want to help you.
LinkedIn
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http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2566050&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

Connect to People You Know, Then Network Personally
The number of connections you have is not a badge of honor. Take the time to connect to all the people
you know, and network within their networks. If you only add people for the sake of having a lot of
connections, you won’t know who can really help you in your network. When you do make a connection,
make it personal; don’t just send a group invitation to join your network. It’s always best to keep in mind
that the foundation of your network is relationships. [40]
Be Proactive
Ask for introductions to people with whom you want to network and ask your boss, colleagues, and
customers to write recommendations for you. It’s a good idea to use the features included on the
professional social networking sites such as groups, discussions, and “Answers” on LinkedIn, which
allows you to ask questions of your network. [41]
Mind Your Manners
Just a word of caution about professional social networking: Be professional in all of your
communications. You are participating in a professional forum so be aware that everything you “say” and
do reflects on you and your company.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Consultative selling is the process by which you get to know a customer personally, understand her
needs, and put her needs first in the relationship.
• Relationships are vital to success in most selling situations. When you understand what the customer
wants and needs, you can provide solutions to help your customer meet his goals.
• Lifetime value is a term that refers to the amount of business that you do with a single customer over the
course of the relationship. When you have a long-term view of your relationships with customers, you
have an opportunity to realize even greater success.
• R-commerce, or establishing and developing relationships with customers, focuses on the “little things”
you can do to take advantage of opportunities and set yourself apart.
• Trust is the cornerstone of every relationship. If you don’t have trust, you don’t have a relationship.

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• A solid relationship is essential, especially when delivering bad news. Always be honest and timely with
customers when you have to communicate news that might not be what they want to hear. They will
respect you and trust you for it.
• The win-win-win is when all parties in a relationship win: your customer, you, and your company or
organization.
• Networking, the art of building mutually beneficial relationships, is an indispensable business tool.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Identify a situation in which a salesperson has developed a relationship with you. Do you trust her more
since you know her better? Identify at least one way she puts your needs first in the relationship.
2. Name a situation in which a salesperson provided you with information to make your purchasing decision.
Did you trust him to provide this information? Why did you trust him?
3. Think about a situation in which a salesperson underpromised and overdelivered. How did your
perception of the salesperson and the company change because of your experience?
4. Go to http://www.linkedin.com and create your profile. Then use the search box to search groups and
search for “The Power of Selling.” Click on the “Members” tab and search for members that you want to
connect with and add them to your professional network. Click on the “Discussions” tab to begin or join
into a discussion.
5. Research professional organizations that might be of interest to you that have a chapter on campus or in
your local community. What is the mission of each organization? What events are scheduled soon? How
can you become a student member of the organization?
6. [1] Jack Mitchell, Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding
Results (New York: Hyperion, 2003), 22.
7. [2] Jack Mitchell, Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding
Results (New York: Hyperion, 2003), 28.
8. [3] Claire Sykes, “Relationship Selling,” Surface Fabrication 12, no. 1 (January–February 2006): 58.
9. [4] Jack Mitchell, Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding
Results (New York: Hyperion, 2003), 16.
10. [5] Jack Mitchell, Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding
Results (New York: Hyperion, 2003), 20.

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11. [6] Jeffrey Gitomer, “The Difference between an Account and a Relationship,” Long Island Business News,
August 3, 2007, http://libn.com/blog/2007/08/03/the-difference-between-an-account-and-a-
relationship/ (accessed June 29, 2009).
12. [7] Jim Sullivan and Phil Roberts, Service That Sells! The Art of Profitable Hospitality(Denver: Pencom
Press, 1991), 151.
13. [8] Howard Lax, “Fun, Fun, Fun in a Customer Experience Way,” Banking Strategies 84, no. 6 (November–
December 2008): 64.
14. [9] “Johnson Controls Runs Boot Camp,” Heating & Refrigeration News 233, no. 6 (April 14, 2008).
15. [10] Tom Reilly, “Relationship Selling at Its Best,” Industrial Distribution 25, no. 9 (September 2006): 29.
16. [11] Demmie Hicks, “The Power of Consultative Selling,” Rough Notes 151, no. 7 (July 2008): 701.
17. [12] Cathy Berch, “Consultative Selling: Ask, Don’t Tell,” Community Banker 18, no. 4 (April 2009): 261.
18. [13] Tom Reilly, “Relationship Selling at Its Best,” Industrial Distribution 25, no. 9 (September 2006): 29.
19. [14] Brad Perriello, “Relationship—Selling at its Best,” Industrial Distribution 97, no. 9 (September 2008):
34.
20. [15] Cathy Berch, “Don’t Wing It,” Community Banker 18, no. 2 (February 2009): 18.
21. [16] Michael Gray, “How Do You Determine Customer Lifetime Value?” Profit Advisors, May 20,
1999, http://www.profitadvisors.com/busfaq/lifetime.shtml (accessed November 30, 2009).
22. [17] Claire Sykes, “Relationship Selling,” Surface Fabrication 12, no. 1 (January–February 2006): 58.
23. [18] SearchCRM.com, “CRM (Customer Relationship
Management),”http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/CRM (accessed November 30, 2009).
24. [19] Susi Geiger and Darach Turley, “The Perceived Impact of Information Technology on Salespeople’s
Relational Competencies,” Journal of Marketing Management 22, no. 7 (August 2006): 827.
25. [20] Tom Reilly, “Relationship Selling at Its Best,” Industrial Distribution 25, no. 9 (September 2006): 29.
26. [21] “How to Use Golf as a Business Tool,” video, BNET, http://www.bnet.com/2422-13722_23-
323018.html (accessed July 27, 2009).
27. [22] Terry L. Brock, “Relationship-Building Skills Pay Off for Your Bottom Line,”Philadelphia Business
Journal, June 12–18, 2009, 25.
28. [23] Andrea Nierenberg, “Eight Ways to Say ‘Thank You’ to Customers,” Manage Smarter, February 6,
2009, http://www.crystal-d.com/eight-key-ways-to-say-thank-you-to-customers (accessed July 3, 2009).

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http://libn.com/blog/2007/08/03/the-difference-between-an-account-and-a-relationship/

http://www.profitadvisors.com/busfaq/lifetime.shtml

http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/CRM

http://www.bnet.com/2422-13722_23-323018.html

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29. [24] Tom Reilly, “Relationship Selling at Its Best,” Industrial Distribution 25, no. 9 (September 2006): 29.
30. [25] Annette Hanford, “Best Sellers Tell All,” Health & Beauty Salon 25, no. 12 (December 2003): 50.
31. [26] “A Foundation Built on Trust,” Selling Power Sales Management eNewsletter, August 8,
2001, http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=146 (accessed March 16, 2010).
32. [27] Brian Tracy, “Teaming Up with Your Customers,” Agency Sales 34, no. 2 (February 2004): 59.
33. [28] “Building Trust,” Selling Power Presentations Newsletter, February 25,
2002,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=186 (accessed March 16, 2010).
34. [29] Stephen R. Covey, “Win-Win Strategies,” Training 45, no. 1 (January 2008): 56.
35. [30] J. D. Williams, Robert Everett, and Elizabeth Rogol, “Will the Human Factors of Relationship Selling
Survive in the Twenty-First Century?” International Journal of Commerce & Management 19, no. 2 (2009):
158.
36. [31] Marc Miller, “A Seat at the Table,” American Salesman 54, no. 5 (May 2009): 9.
37. [32] Tim Conner, “Sales Strategies of Six-Figure Salespeople,”
TimConnor.com,http://www.timconnor.com/articles_sales.html (accessed June 29, 2009).
38. [33] “What Is Networking?” The Riley Guide,http://www.rileyguide.com/network.html#netprep (accessed
July 3, 2009).
39. [34] Meredith Levinson, “How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People,” CIO, December 11,
2007, http://www.cio.com/article/164300/How_to_Network_Tips_for_Shy_People?page=1(accessed July
3, 2009).
40. [35] Meredith Levinson, “How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People,” CIO, December 11,
2007, http://www.cio.com/article/164300/How_to_Network_Tips_for_Shy_People?page=1(accessed July
3, 2009).
41. [36] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 176.
42. [37] Meredith Levinson, “How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People,” CIO, December 11,
2007, http://www.cio.com/article/164300/How_to_Network_Tips_for_Shy_People?page=1(accessed July
3, 2009).
43. [38] Donna Rosato, “Networking for People Who Hate to Network,” CNNMoney.com, April 3,
2009,http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/02/news/economy/networking_jobs.moneymag/index.htm (access
ed July 3, 2009).

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http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=186

http://www.timconnor.com/articles_sales.html

http://www.rileyguide.com/network.html#netprep

http://www.cio.com/article/164300/How_to_Network_Tips_for_Shy_People?page=1

http://www.cio.com/article/164300/How_to_Network_Tips_for_Shy_People?page=1

http://www.cio.com/article/164300/How_to_Network_Tips_for_Shy_People?page=1

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44. [39] Lisa LaMotta, “How to Network Like a Pro Online,” Forbes, August 9,
2007,http://www.forbes.com/2007/08/09/google-microsoft-walmart-ent-tech-
cx_ll_0809networking.html (accessed July 3, 2009).
45. [40] Clare Dight, “How to Network Online,” Times Online, February 21,
2008,http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/career_and_jobs/graduate_management/article340
2745.ece (accessed July 3, 2009).
46. [41] Lisa LaMotta, “How to Network Like a Pro Online,” Forbes, August 9,
2007,http://www.forbes.com/2007/08/09/google-microsoft-walmart-ent-tech-
cx_ll_0809networking.html (accessed July 3, 2009).

3.2 Putting Adaptive Selling to Work
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. Explain the concept of adaptive selling and how to use it.
2. Understand how the social style matrix can help you be more effective in sales.
Adaptive selling occurs when a salesperson adapts, changes, and customizes her selling style based on
the situation and the behavior of the customer. [1]Adaptive selling allows you to truly listen,
understand the customer’s needs, and then adapt your conversation and presentation accordingly.
On the other hand, if you were giving a canned presentation, you wouldn’t be able to learn what the
customer thinks is important. For example, if you were selling landscaping to a customer, you
wouldn’t know if the customer wanted the landscaping to provide privacy or create a view. The only
way you would find out is by listening, asking questions, and adapting your recommendations and
presentation accordingly. Adaptive selling is much easier to do when you establish a relationship
with the customer.
Adaptive selling takes place in many situations in business and in life. It is the selling skill that allows
you to adapt your communications to a person or situation. Chances are you already use adaptive
selling in your everyday life, but you may not realize it. Do you approach your parents differently

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http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/career_and_jobs/graduate_management/article3402745.ece

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than your friends? Do you speak to a professor differently than you do to your roommate? These are
examples of adaptive selling.
It’s also likely that you interact with each of your friends differently. Do you have a friend that needs
tons of information to make a decision, while another friend makes a decision in an instant? Do you
know people who want to talk about their decisions before and after they make them and those who
just decide and don’t say a word? Understanding diversity, or the different ways people behave, is the
cornerstone of adaptive selling.

The Social Style Matrix
What makes people so different in their style, perceptions, and approaches to things is defined in
the social style matrix. It is an established method that helps you understand how people behave so you
can adapt your selling style accordingly. The social style matrix is based on patterns of communication
behavior identified by David Merril and Roger Reid. [2] It plots social behavior based on two dimensions:
assertiveness and responsiveness. In the matrix below, the x axis is assertiveness, which indicates the
degree to which a person wants to dominate or control the thoughts of others. The y axis represents
responsiveness, which is the degree to which a person outwardly displays emotions or feelings in a
relationship. [3] In Figure 3.4 “Social Style Matrix”, you can see the four quadrants; each quadrant
represents one of four social styles:analytical, driver, amiable, and expressive. Each of these styles
describes a different type of behavior. [4]
Figure 3.4 Social Style Matrix [5]

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Each of the social styles has specific characteristics that are important to keep in mind as you prepare and
present your sales presentation. Adapting to someone’s social style demonstrates the law of psychological
reciprocity, which says that when you adapt to someone’s style, that person will move toward your style.
In short, you are inspiring trust by acting according to the old adage of the golden rule. [6] So, whether you
are asking to borrow your mother’s car or asking someone on a date, understanding the social style matrix
is important to get the result you want.
Analyticals: They Want to Know “How”
Do you know someone who only wants the facts to make a decision? Perhaps it’s your father or mother or
a professor. Analyticals are all about the facts. They are defined by low responsiveness and low
assertiveness. In other words, they like to hear about the pros and cons and all the details before they
decide. They are likely to have a financial or technical background, and they pride themselves on being an
expert in their field. They want to hear about the tangible results, timelines, and details before they make
a decision. In fact, they are the ones who will actually read the directions before they put together a new
grill or set up a wireless home network. They are so focused on facts that they prefer to disregard personal

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opinions in their decision making. They like to understand all the facts before they decide so they know
exactly how the product, service, or contract arrangement will work. [7]
You might have some visual cues that will help you identify an analytical. She probably dresses
conservatively and has her achievement awards proudly displayed on her office wall. She is organized and
focused on work activities. [8]
If you are selling to a customer who is an analytical, she will ask you very specific questions about all the
details, and she will respond positively if you make her feel as if she is right. In other words, don’t
challenge her facts and point of view. Rather, provide history, data, financial details, and other facts in an
organized, structured format. She will ask many questions so that she clearly understands the product or
service. Since it’s important for her to make the right decision, she will take the time to gather all the facts.
Because she puts so much effort into making the right decision, she tends to be loyal to the people from
whom she buys, believing she doesn’t need to reevaluate the same facts.
Adapt your style to an analytical by focusing on the “how.” Slow down your presentation and let her take it
all in; don’t make her feel rushed. Use facts, historical data, and details to be sure she has all the
information she needs to make the decision. Use guarantees or warranties to reduce any perceived risk.
Give her the time she needs to analyze, evaluate, and decide. [9]
Drivers: They Want to Know “What”
You’ve probably watched Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts
play football on television or the Internet. One of the traits that makes him a champion is the fact that he
is focused exclusively on winning each game. When he is on the field, everything else is in second place in
his mind. Peyton Manning is a driver.
Drivers have some characteristics that are the same as analyticals in that they like to have all the facts to
make their decision. However, drivers are different from analyticals because they make decisions quickly.
On the social style matrix, they are in the low responsiveness, high assertiveness quadrant. These are the
people who are “control freaks”; they are decisive and controlling. They work with people because they
have to; they see other people only as a means to their end of achievement. They are smart, focused,
independent, and competitive. They have little regard for the opinions of others; a driver is rarely
described as a “people person.” They are high achievers who are in a hurry to meet their goals. [10] They

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don’t want facts just for the sake of having them; they want relevant information that will help them
decide quickly.
Like the analyticals, drivers dress conservatively and display their achievement awards on the wall of their
office. A calendar is usually prominent to keep focus on how long it will take to achieve something.
Because they are not focused on the feelings or attitudes of other people, drivers usually do business
across the desk rather than on the same side of the desk. [11]
The best way to adapt to a driver is to be professional and to the point. Don’t spend too much time on
small talk; get to the point quickly. Provide options so that he can feel as if he is in control. Include a
timeline so he can see how quickly he can get results.
Amiables: They Want to Know “Why”
Actress Reese Witherspoon was recently named the Honorary Chairperson of the Avon Foundation for
Women because of her ability to unite women around the cause of breast cancer. [12] She rallies people and
brings them together by focusing on the greater good, but she doesn’t assert herself. She is an amiable.
An amiable is most likely to be described as a “people person.” Amiables are team players who focus on
innovation and long-term problem solving. They value relationships and like to engage with people whom
they feel they can trust. They are less controlling than drivers and more people oriented than analyticals
because they are in the low assertiveness, high responsiveness quadrant of the matrix.
Amiables provide some visual clues because their offices are typically open and friendly. They often
display pictures of family, and they prefer to work in an open environment rather than sitting across the
desk from you. They tend to have a personal style in their dress, being casual or less conservative than
analytics or drivers. [13]
When you are presenting to an amiable, establish a personal relationship. She will be more likely to
discuss issues with you. When you demonstrate your personal commitment, she will be open to doing
business with you.
Expressives: They Want to Know “Who”
An expressive is intuitive, charismatic, persuasive, nurturing, and engaging. Oprah Winfrey is an
expressive; she has excellent rapport with people, even people she has never met. Relationships are
important to her, but only to help her achieve her higher goal of giving her viewers inspiration and a
better way to live their lives.

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Expressives are creative and can see the big picture clearly; they have a vision and use their style to
communicate it and inspire people. They don’t get caught up in the day-to-day details. Expressives build
relationships to gain power, so people like employees, viewers, or voters are very important to them.
Status and recognition are also important to them.
Since expressives are not big on details, you might find their offices to be a bit disorganized, even
cluttered and messy. Their offices are set up in an open format, as they would prefer to sit next to you
rather than across the desk from you. They avoid conservative dress and are more casual with their
personal style. They want to engage with you and talk about the next big idea. [14]
When you are selling to an expressive, take extra time to discuss everything. Give them recognition and
approval. Appeal to their emotions by asking them how they feel about the product or service; focus on
the big picture of what is possible as a result of buying your product or service. If you try to dazzle them
with facts and figures, you won’t get very far.
Table 3.1 Selling Style Summary
Social Style You’re Selling to How to Adapt
Analyticals
• Focus on “how”
• Include facts
• Communicate the pros and cons
• Provide history, data, financial details
• Don’t challenge her facts
• Demonstrate results
• Mention guarantees and warranties
• Give her time to decide
Drivers
• Focus on “what”
• Get to the point quickly
• Provide options
• Use facts
• Focus on results
• Provide timelines

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Social Style You’re Selling to How to Adapt
• Make him feel as if he is in control
Amiables
• Focus on “why”
• Establish a personal relationship
• Demonstrate personal commitment
• Work as a team
Expressives
• Focus on “who”
• Take extra time to discuss everything
• Give her recognition and approval
• Ask her how she feels about the product or service
• Focus on the big picture
• Use facts and figures to demonstrate what is possible
Source: Todd Duncan, “Your Sales Style,” Incentive, December 1, 1999, 64–66.

What Is Your Selling Style?
Before you think about the social styles of other people, you might find it helpful to think about your own
social style. Are you very emotional when you express your opinions, or are you more reserved and
formal? Are you the type of person who agrees with everyone, or are you extremely interested in the
details? You might want to take a few minutes to take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter to understand
your social style. But don’t stop here; visit your campus career center as it most likely offers several
assessment tools that can help you identify your social style.
Link
Take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter to Determine Your Social Style
http://www.keirsey.com/sorter/register.aspx
It would be easy to get stuck in your own style preference. But getting out of your comfort zone and
adapting quickly to your customer’s style preference can make the difference between a sale and a “no

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thanks.” It’s important to note that most people are a combination of styles, but when you understand the
basic behaviors of each style and how to adapt, you can increase your chances for success. [15]
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Adaptive selling occurs when you adapt and customize your selling style based on the behavior of the
customer.
• The social style matrix is based on patterns of communication that characterize communication behavior
based on two dimensions: assertiveness and responsiveness.
• Analyticals focus on facts, details, and analysis to decide but are reserved in their interactions with
people. They want to know the “how.”
• Drivers are similar to analyticals in that they like facts, but only the ones that will quickly help them
achieve their goals. They are people who are in a hurry and don’t really care about personal relationships,
except as a means to their goal. They want to know the “what.”
• Amiables focus on personal relationships in their communication style. They like to agree with everyone
and focus on team building. They want to know the “why.”
• Expressives enjoy building relationships, but don’t like focusing on day-to-day details; they like to paint a
vision and inspire everyone to follow it. They like to focus on the “who.”
• Most people use a combination of styles, depending on the situation.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Think about your professor for this course. What social style would you use if you went to see her about
your grade on the midterm exam? Discuss why you would choose this style.
2. Using the social matrix in this section, identify a situation in which you would use each style. Discuss why
you would choose the style for each situation.
3. For each of the following situations, identify the social style of the buyer and suggest how you
would adapt to appeal to the buyer:
o You are a salesperson for a floral wholesaler. Your customer owns a flower shop. When you arrive
to meet her you notice her office is a bit messy (in fact, you can’t understand how she finds
anything), but she is very cordial and takes the time to hear about your product.
o You are a salesperson for a company that specializes in social networking software for retailers.
Your customer is the chief information officer for a growing online retailer. He was very precise

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about the meeting time and agenda. You hope you can establish rapport with him quickly as he
was a bit brusque on the phone.
o You are a commercial real estate agent. Your customer is the founder and CEO of a start-up Web
site development company. Her enthusiasm is contagious as she describes her vision for the
company and her office needs for the next five years.
4. [1] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 151.
5. [2] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 155.
6. [3] Rick English, “Finding Your Selling Style,” San Diego State University, Marketing 377 class notes,
chapter 5, http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~renglish/377/notes/chapt05(accessed July 7, 2009).
7. [4] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 151.
8. [5] Todd Duncan, “Your Sales Style,” Incentive, December 1, 1999, 64–66.
9. [6] Ron Zemke, “Trust Inspires Trust,” Training 10, January 1, 2002.
10. [7] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 158.
11. [8] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 159.
12. [9] Sandra Bearden, “The Psychology of Sales: Savvy Selling Means Tailoring to Type,” UAB Magazine 20,
no. 2 (Fall 2000), http://main.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=41089 (accessed February 13, 2010).
13. [10] Rick English, “Finding Your Selling Style,” San Diego State University, Marketing 377 class notes,
chapter 5, http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~renglish/377/notes/chapt05(accessed July 7, 2009).
14. [11] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 158.
15. [12] Avon Foundation for Women, “Reese Witherspoon Joins Avon Foundation for Women and San
Francisco General Hospital to Celebrate 5th Anniversary of Avon Comprehensive Breast Center,” press
release, May 11, 2009,http://www.avoncompany.com/women/news/press20090511.html (accessed July
8, 2009).

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http://main.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=41089

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~renglish/377/notes/chapt05

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16. [13] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 159.
17. [14] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 159.
18. [15] Todd Duncan, “Your Sales Style,” Incentive, December 1, 1999, 64–66.

3.3 Selling U: Networking—The Hidden Job Market
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Understand the role of relationships and networking in your job search.
Did you know that 80 percent of jobs are filled through networking? [1]Networking is sometimes
referred to as the “hidden job market” because many jobs are filled before they are ever posted. This
is true now more than ever because of the challenging economy. Traffic at job boards like
Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, and Yahoo! HotJobs is up 37 percent over last year, which means
that companies are deluged with résumés. Despite the influx in résumés, companies are using more
networking—traditional and online—to fill their open jobs. In fact, about 50 percent of Facebook’s
new hires come from referrals from existing employees. According to Molly Graham, manager of
Facebook Human Resources and Recruitment, “One of our main philosophies is to get smart and
talented people. They tend to be connected.”
Zappos, a billion-dollar online retailer of shoes and apparel that was recently purchased by Amazon,
has taken employee referrals to the next level and has implemented software that lets employees use
their LinkedIn and Twitter contacts. The software uses an algorithm to identify people who might
have a skill set and experience match for open positions and then allows employees to invite the
prospective candidate to apply. [2]
So now you can see why networking can be a very effective method to potentially learn about or land
the job you want. But you might be wondering where you start and exactly how you network
effectively. Like everything else in selling, you need to develop a plan.

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Create a Networking Plan
Before you start, it’s a good idea to review exactly what networking is and what it isn’t. Just as in selling,
networking is about building relationships that are mutually beneficial; it is about the exchange of value
between people, usually over the course of time. Someone might help you now, and you might help that
same person or someone else later. It requires a relationship and ongoing commitment. Networking isn’t
a quick, easy way to get a job. Although it can be instrumental in helping you get a job, it isn’t easy, and it
might not be quick. You should approach networking for the long term and realize that you will help some
people and some people will help you. You have the power to help other people and to ask for help; that’s
how networking works. To help guide you, here are six power networking tips.
Power Networking Tip #1: Network with Confidence
Don’t think of networking as begging for a job. Start building relationships with people—family, friends,
professors, and executives—now. That will give you the opportunity to build relationships and potentially
help someone even before you begin your job search. When you do begin networking to find a job, be
yourself and get to know as many people as possible using the methods described earlier in the chapter
(e.g., professional organizations, events). Keep in mind that you may have the opportunity one day to help
the person with whom you are networking, so network with confidence. [3] You will be surprised at how
many people are willing to help you because you ask. The fact is people want to help you; they want to see
you succeed.
Power Networking Tip #2: Join Professional Organizations
There’s no better place to meet people you want to work with than to go where they go. Professional
organizations such as your local chapter of Sales & Marketing Executives International, American
Marketing Association, Entrepreneurs Organization, Public Relations Society of America, and others
provide the perfect environment to meet people in the industry in which you want to work. Start by
exploring the professional organizations on campus. Many are local chapters of national organizations
designed to encourage students to get involved. If you don’t know which organization is best for you, ask a
professor; she will be happy to provide some insight. Or go to a meeting and check it out; most
organizations allow nonmembers to attend at least one meeting or event at no charge. A good number of
professional organizations offer student membership rates that are designed for student budgets. Besides

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providing an excellent method to network, being a member of a professional organization also enhances
your résumé.
But don’t just join—get involved. You can impress people with your skills, drive, and work ethic by getting
involved in a committee, planning an event, working on the organization’s Web site, or other project. It’s a
great way to build your experience and your résumé and impress prospective employers. At the same
time, you can be developing professional references to speak on your behalf.
Power Networking Tip #3: Create Your Networking List
Networking, like selling, is personal. So make a list of all the people you know with whom you can
network. Don’t disqualify anyone because you think they can’t help. You never know who knows someone
who might be the link to your next job. Follow the same strategy for your personal networking as you
would use for networking for selling: write down the four Fs—friends, family, friends’ family, and family’s
friends using a format like the example shown in Table 3.2 “Sample Networking List”. [4] But don’t stop
there; include your manicurist, insurance agent, hairstylist, and anyone else with whom you have a
relationship. Don’t forget to visit your school alumni office. It’s always easier to start networking with
people with whom you already have a relationship.
Table 3.2 Sample Networking List
Name Relationship E-Mail Phone
Date of
Contact Follow-Up Date
Manny
Romeo
Dad’s friend at
Crane, Inc. mromeo@craneinc.com
616-
787-9121 March 4
Need to touch
base again at end
of the month
Marie
Jennings Mom’s friend mmjennings@comcast.net
616-
231-0098 March 6
Early April (April
6)
Jamal
Isper
Dad’s friend at
Polk & Polk jasper@polk.com
791-887-
9091
March
10 March 17
Shalee
Johnson Hairstylist
Not available; will talk to her on
my next appointment
616-
765-0120 April 7
To be
determined
based on first
contact

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Name Relationship E-Mail Phone
Date of
Contact Follow-Up Date
Rajesh
Sumar
Director of
Alumni Relations
at school Rajesh.sumar@university.edu
891-222-
5555 ext.
2187
March
12
To be
determined
based on first
contact
Annette
Roberts
General Sales
Manager, Castle
Controls Annette.roberts@castle.com
888-
989-
0000ext.
908
March
12
To be
determined
based on first
contact
Power Networking Tip #4: Know What to Say
Everyone tells you to do networking, but after you create your list, what do you say? You will be delivering
your brand message to everyone with whom you are networking, so be specific about what you are looking
for. Always take the opportunity to expand your network by asking for the names of other people whom
you might contact. For example, assume you are networking with Vera, a friend of the family:
You:
I really enjoy marketing and advertising. In fact, I’m looking for an internship at an advertising
agency in account management. Do you know of anyone who might be looking for an intern for
the summer?
Vera: I don’t really know anyone at an advertising agency.
You:
Thanks. I was wondering if you might know anyone who might know someone who works at an
advertising agency.
You will be surprised at how many people may be able to give you the name of someone you can contact.
Not everyone will give you a name, but if you don’t ask, most people won’t think about whom they might
know.
You might also network with someone who gives you the name of someone to contact. For example,
You:
I’m going to graduate from State College in May with a degree in business administration. I really
enjoy the idea of helping people increase their company’s sales, so I’m looking for a job in selling.
Do you know of anyone who might have an opportunity in sales?

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Jon:
Have you talked to anyone at Universal Parts? They have a great training program, and the sales
reps get a company car. You might want to touch base with Chris Reddy, who is one of the sales
managers. I can give you his contact information.
You: Jon, I really appreciate your help. Can I mention your name when I contact him?
Jon: Sure. Chris is a great leader and is always looking for good people.
When you contact Chris Reddy, it’s best to make contact by phone, if possible. That way you have an
opportunity to create a relationship (remember how important relationships are in selling, especially
when you are selling yourself). A phone call might start like this:
You: Hello, Chris. My name is Rakeem Bateman. Jon Keller suggested I give you a call.
Chris: Hello Rakeem. Jon and I have known each other for several years. How do you know Jon?
You:
I met him at a Sales & Marketing Executives International event last week. He was one of the
speakers. I enjoyed hearing what he had to say so much that I stayed to talk to him after the
event. I’m going to graduate from State College in May with a degree in business administration. I
really enjoy the idea of helping people increase their company’s sales, so I’m looking for a job in
selling. Jon suggested that I touch base with you to find out if Universal Parts might be looking to
expand their sales organization.
If someone has referred you, always include that as part of your introduction. If your networking takes
place via e-mail, you should do the same thing. When you send your résumé to someone with whom you
are networking via e-mail, it’s best to include your three bullet points from your cover letter as the body of
the e-mail (review the Selling U section in Chapter 2 “The Power to Choose Your Path: Careers in Sales”).
That allows the person to whom you are sending the letter to see at a glance that he wants to open your
résumé. In most cases the person to whom you are sending your résumé is forwarding it to someone else.
Writing a short, easy-to-skim note helps tell every recipient what you have to offer. For example,
see Figure 3.5 “Sample E-mail for Networking” for a sample e-mail to Chris Reddy.

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Figure 3.5 Sample E-mail for Networking

You can see that when you are networking you want to focus on being specific about what you are looking
for, asking for names of people with whom you might network, and creating a relationship with those
people.
Power Networking Tip #5: Online Professional Social Networking
Social networking sites can be a more powerful job search tool than most people realize, and their power
can go both ways: The sites can work in your favor, but they can also work against you. When you’re
preparing to apply for jobs, keep in mind that a growing number of employers search social networking
sites like Facebook and MySpace to weed out applicants who might not fit with their company culture. In
fact, 22 percent of employers claim to use social networking sites when considering potential hires, and of
those employers, 34 percent said they chose not to hire a candidate based on the information they had
dug up about that person online. [5] One human resources manager based in Seattle, says she has turned

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down an otherwise promising job candidate’s application on a number of occasions after visiting the
applicant’s networking profile. “Sometimes there are compromising photos or videos posted out there
where anyone can find them,” she says. “When that happens, those applications go right in the
trash.” [6] You can find out all kinds of things about a person from his MySpace profile that you couldn’t
necessarily learn from his cover letter or résumé! As social networking expert Patrice-Anne Rutledge says,
before you go on the job market, make sure you “get rid of your digital dirt.” In particular, look through
any videos or photographs you may have uploaded to your profile, any Web sites you may have linked to,
and any personal information you reveal that may be controversial or reflect on you in a negative light. [7]

You’ve Got the Power: Tips for Your Job Search
Clean Up Your Pages
“Get rid of your digital dirt” [8] now, before you even start applying for jobs. Your Facebook or MySpace
profile could negatively impact your chances of getting a job at your chosen company. Gauge the
appropriateness of the videos, photographs, and comments on your pages and decide whether it would be
a problem if a potential employer saw them. Many employers will search your social networking profiles
to learn the things your résumé and cover letter don’t reveal.
On the other hand, professional social networking sites are tools you can leverage to great advantage in
your job search if you use them proactively. LinkedIn is the biggest and most frequently used networking
site, but there are a number of others, including Jobster, Ryze, ZoomInfo, and Plaxo, that allow you to
create a professional profile and find contacts in your target industry or at target companies. [9] Although
it’s easy to create an account on these sites, you won’t get the full benefit unless you do two things: make
the effort to keep your profile up-to-date and make the effort to grow your network. Here are a few social
networking tips to keep in mind:
• Make yourself stand out. Think about the skills and qualities that make you unique. What sets you
apart as your own distinctive brand? Your online networking profile should reflect this. Don’t just
reproduce your résumé; make your profile into your “elevator speech,” highlighting your interests and
using power words to describe your experience and talents. Your network profile is searchable on
Google, so give some thought to the keywords you use to describe yourself. [10]

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• Publicize your profile. LinkedIn allows you to search your e-mail address book for contacts that
also have accounts, so you can easily grow your network. You should also be willing to ask people you
know in your industry, including professors and mentors, to join your network. These people are well
connected and want to see you succeed. In addition, you can start using your LinkedIn profile badge
on outgoing e-mails, and, if you have one, on your Web site. When you publicize yourself this way,
people will start linking to you. [11] Many companies and recruiters are accelerating their use of
LinkedIn. “We could not believe the candidates we got” from LinkedIn, says Scott Morrison, director
of global recruiting programs at software giant Salesforce.com. [12]
• Ask for recommendations. As you begin to build a professional network online, you can use it the
same way you would use a regular social network. Ask people for recommendations of your work and
for referrals to new contacts. Maybe a former professor knows the marketing manager at a company
where you want to work; ask her to introduce you. Making a request like this can be terrifying at first,
but have confidence. Keep in mind that your professors, mentors, and fellow professionals want to
help you, and when they can help you, they will. But you won’t get the help if you don’t ask for it.
• Join groups. Start by joining The Power of Selling group on LinkedIn. Sites like LinkedIn have
thousands of groups that are specific to interest, location, hobbies, and industry. Join your local
professional group—the Chicago Sales and Marketing Executives group, for instance—and join your
school’s alumni association. Your alumni group is an extremely important connection to make
because people are almost always eager to help their fellow alumni succeed. But don’t stop there;
search for other groups that are in the industry you want to pursue. You can just listen to the
conversation and then jump in when you feel comfortable.
• Create content. Think about when you are considering making a major purchase. What do you do?
You probably conduct research online to determine the pros and cons of each alternative. Employers
do the same thing, so be sure your profile is compelling and up-to-date. In addition, use your social
networking pages to create content to demonstrate your skills. For example, write a blog and link it to
your Facebook page or post tweets on Twitter about a project on which you are working, a topic about
which you are passionate, or even your job search. Get people to follow you and engage in the
dialogue. Direct them to your personal Web site, samples of your work, or the content you have
created. Social networking gives you the opportunity to show and sell with content that you create.

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• Search the social networking job boards. More and more employers are using professional
social networking sites to post jobs and seek out prospective employees. [13] It’s worth your time to
review the job postings using the appropriate keywords.
Power Networking Tip #6: Follow-Up
It might seem like networking doesn’t always work. It’s good to keep in mind that networking is all about
exchange of value. Sometimes, you may not find people who want the value you have to offer at the time
you are offering it. Don’t be discouraged. Follow-up is important in every part of your job search, so follow
up with everyone with whom you network. Sometimes, people are simply distracted or overwhelmed at
the time you first contacted them. Or sometimes their situation has changed, even in just a few days; you
won’t know this unless you follow up.
It’s best to follow up by phone within one week of a contact. It may seem easier to follow up by e-mail, but
you increase your likelihood of being successful and building a relationship when you follow up by phone.
Don’t simply leave a voice mail message as it is unlikely that someone will return your call. Continue to
call until your contact answers the phone, or leave a voice mail and tell her when you will call back along
with your e-mail address. Then, call back when you say you will. You will be pleasantly surprised at the
results.
Keep in mind that networking is an ongoing process, whether you are looking for a job or not. When you
establish a relationship with someone, keep in touch with her. You should touch base with people in your
network at least once every four to six weeks. It’s good to call to catch up, but an e-mail can be just as
powerful. Send a link to an article or video that you think she will like. It’s a perfect reason for keeping in
touch and helps establish you as someone who delivers value, even when you are not looking for
something.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Creating a networking plan will help make your networking efforts more effective.
• Networking is about exchanging value, not collecting business cards. It’s best to begin networking even
before you are looking for a job so you can get to know people and provide value to them; it will help you
when you begin your job search.
• Always network with confidence. You are not asking for a favor—you are simply tapping into a reciprocal
business practice.

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• It’s a good idea to create a networking list including friends, family, family’s friends, friends’ family, and
everyone else you know. Write down their names and contact information so you don’t miss anyone.
• Practice what you want to say when you network with people. It’s best to be specific about what you are
looking for and always ask for another person with whom you can network.
• Online professional social networks such as LinkedIn, Plaxo, and other networking sites including
Facebook and Twitter can help you expand your network and build relationships with many people who
might be able to help put you in touch with the right people.
• Your social networking pages represent your personal brand. Be sure that all words, pictures, and videos
are appropriate for prospective employers to view.
• Follow-up is the key to making networking work; don’t assume that because you haven’t heard back from
someone that he doesn’t want to talk to you. Take the time to follow up within one week of every
contact.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Choose one of your classmates. Review his social networking pages and do a search on major search
engines to see what his personal brand communicates online. Is it appropriate for a prospective
employer? What changes would you recommend?
2. Create your networking list. Identify at least fifteen people that you can contact about your internship or
job search. How can you expand your network to include twenty-five people?
3. Assume you were at a campus networking event and met someone who works at a company where you
would like to work. What would you say to her to try to learn about potential opportunities with the
company? If she said nothing was available, what would you say to be able to contact her at a later time?
4. Review your LinkedIn profile and identify ways that you can stand out. Ask a professor or other
professional to give you some feedback on your profile and other professionals you can add to your
network.
5. [1] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 171.
6. [2] Joseph De Avila, “Beyond Job Boards,” Wall Street Journal, July 2,
2009,http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203872404574260032327828514.html(accessed
July 3, 2009).

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7. [3] Meredith Levinson, “How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People,” CIO, December 11,
2007,http://www.cio.com/article/164300/How_to_Network_Tips_for_Shy_People?page=1(accessed July
3, 2009).
8. [4] Howcast, “How to Network,” video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9VUqB7wQpY(accessed July
27, 2009).
9. [5] Mike Hargis, “Social Networking Sites Dos and Don’ts,” CNN.com, November 5,
2008,http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/11/05/cb.social.networking/index.html(accessed May
16, 2010).
10. [6] Elizabeth Lee, personal communication, June 26, 2009.
11. [7] Mike Hargis, “Social Networking Sites Dos and Don’ts,” CNN.com, November 5,
2008,http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/11/05/cb.social.networking/index.html(accessed June
25, 2009).
12. [8] Mike Hargis, “Social Networking Sites Dos and Don’ts,” CNN.com, November 5,
2008,http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/11/05/cb.social.networking/index.html(accessed June
25, 2009).
13. [9] Kim Richmond, Brand You, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), 134.
14. [10] Diana Dietzschold Bourgeois, “Six Steps to Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn,” Magic Marketing USA,
January 7, 2009,http://magicmarketingusa.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/linkedin (accessed May 16, 2010).
15. [11] Diana Dietzschold Bourgeois, “Six Steps to Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn,” Magic Marketing USA,
January 7, 2009,http://magicmarketingusa.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/linkedin (accessed May 16, 2010).
16. [12] Matthew Boyle, “Enough to Make a Monster Tremble,” BusinessWeek, June 25,
2009,http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_27/b4138043180664.htm (accessed June 25,
2009).
17. [13] Matthew Boyle, “Enough to Make a Monster Tremble,” BusinessWeek, June 25,
2009,http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_27/b4138043180664.htm (accessed June 25,
2009).

3.4 Review and Practice

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Power Wrap-Up
Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand the importance of relationships in
selling and how to develop effective relationships.
• You can understand why building relationships is important to selling.
• You can describe how consultative selling works.
• You can identify ways to develop long-term, effective relationships.
• You can understand how to build trust in a relationship.
• You can list the ways to network to build relationships.
• You can recognize how to use adaptive selling.
• You can understand how to integrate networking into your job search.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E ( A N S W E R S A R E B E L O W )
1. Describe consultative selling and why it is different from transactional selling.
2. Describe lifetime value and why it is important in consultative selling.
3. Explain how to communicate bad news to a customer.
4. Who wins in the win-win-win relationship?
5. What is networking, and why is it important in selling?
6. Describe adaptive selling and why it is important.
7. If your customer is a driver, what is the best way to adapt your selling style?
8. Name at least three ways you can use networking to get the job you want.
P O W E R ( R O L E ) P L A Y
Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. The following are two roles that are involved in the
same selling situation; one role is that of an interviewer and the other is that of the aspiring salesperson.
This will give you the opportunity to think about this networking situation from the perspective of both the
networker and the person with whom he is networking.
Read each role carefully along with the discussion questions. Then, be prepared to play either of the roles
in class using the concepts covered in this chapter. You may be asked to discuss the roles and do a role-
play in groups or individually.
Networking That Works

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Role: Pharmaceutical sales manager
You are a sales manager at a major pharmaceutical company. You are always looking for extraordinary
people—the ones who really stand out. You judge people by your first impression of them. Even if you are
not hiring, you usually take the time to meet with people who impress you, or at the very least, you refer
her to someone you think may be hiring. If you are not impressed, you are courteous to the person, but
leave it at that.
• What would impress you if a potential candidate called to network with you?
• What information would you expect him to know about you?
• How would you respond to the networking phone call?
Role: College student
You are you. You are looking for a job in pharmaceutical sales, and you are networking to find any job
opportunities in that area. You have been given the name and phone number of a sales manager at a
major pharmaceutical company. You are not sure if the company is hiring right now, but the sales manager
is well connected in the industry so he is a good person with whom to build a relationship and put your
networking skills to work. You don’t know much about him, but you learned on his LinkedIn profile that he
went to the University of Florida and also volunteers for The Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
• What other research would you do before you called the sales manager?
• What is your objective for calling the sales manager?
• Assume you are calling the sales manager to network. How would you start the conversation?
• How would you wrap up the conversation?
• What would you do after the conversation?
P U T Y O U R P O W E R T O W O R K : S E L L I N G U A C T I V I T I E S
1. Identify at least one professional organization on campus and one organization off campus that you can
join to enhance your networking opportunities. Go to the campus student services office or career center.
Also, talk to a professor and a librarian to conduct your research to identify the organizations.
2. Contact at least five people a week on your networking list. Ask for the names of additional people to
contact and to build your network.
3. Set up a profile on LinkedIn (if you haven’t already done so). Connect to at least fifteen people to start
(use your networking list to build your LinkedIn connections). Ask for at least three introductions a week

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from people in your network. Contact each one personally and share what type of career you would like
to pursue. Ask each one for additional names of people you can network with.
4. Using LinkedIn, ask at least three professional people to recommend you. Consider people such as
previous supervisors, professors, and internship coordinators.
5. Create an account on Twitter. Follow at least twenty professional people in the industry in which you
would like to get a job.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E A N S W E R S
1. Consultative selling occurs when you develop a one-to-one relationship with your customer and truly
understand his needs, wants, and resources; it means putting the customer first. Consultative selling
helps you develop short-term and long-term solutions for your customer. Transactional selling focuses on
a single transaction with no input from or relationship with the customer.
2. Lifetime value means that you consider not just one transaction with a customer but also the help and
insight you can provide throughout the entire period that you do business with him. A customer that has
only limited needs right now may develop into a lucrative customer over the course of time based on your
advice and guidance.
3. It’s best to deliver bad news in person or over the phone when time permits. This tells your customer that
you think this is important. You should always communicate in an open, honest, and timely manner and
provide a realistic solution to the problem. If you don’t have a solution, let the customer know when you
will get back to her with an update.
4. The customer, you, and your company all win in a win-win-win relationship.
5. Networking is the art of building alliances or mutually beneficial relationships. Networking is built on the
concept of exchange. In selling, you can expand the number of people you know, which can expand your
business. When what you need provides value to someone else in your network, networking works. The
more you provide value to other people, the higher the likelihood that they will go out of their way to
help you.
6. Adaptive selling occurs when a salesperson adapts and customizes her selling style based on the behavior
of the customer. If you adapt to the customer’s social style, you can increase the chances that he will be
open to hearing your message.

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7. Be professional; focus on facts and timelines that will allow your customer to see how quickly she can
achieve her goal. Provide options that allow her to be in control.
8. Create a networking list, join professional organizations, use online professional social networks, publicize
your profile, ask for recommendations, join groups, create content, and follow up.

Chapter 4
Business Ethics: The Power of Doing the Right Thing

4.1 Business Ethics: Guiding Principles in Selling and in Life
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. Understand ethics and what composes ethical behavior.
2. Discuss the role of values in ethics.
3. Understand how you define your personal code of ethics.

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It seemed like a straightforward decision at the time—you could either pay ninety-nine cents per
song on iTunes, or you could download for free from a peer-to-peer network or torrent service. After
all, artists want people to enjoy their music, right? And besides, it’s not like Kanye West needs any
more money. So you pointed your browser to ThePirateBay.org.
Of course, that isn’t the whole story. The MP3s you downloaded have value—that’s why you wanted
them, right? And when you take something of value without paying the price, well, that’s theft. The
fact that you’re unlikely to get caught (and it isn’t impossible; people are arrested, prosecuted, and
ordered to pay massive judgments for providing or downloading music illegally) may make you feel
safer, but if you are caught, you could pay from $750 to $150,000 per song. [1] Other variables can
further complicate the situation. If you downloaded the MP3s at work, for example, you could lose
your job. Acting unethically is wrong and can have enormous practical consequences for your life and
your career.
What Is Ethics?
Ethics is moral principles—it is a system that defines right and wrong and provides a guiding philosophy
for every decision you make. The Josephson Institute of Ethics describes ethical behavior well: “Ethics is
about how we meet the challenge of doing the right thing when that will cost more than we want to pay.
There are two aspects to ethics: The first involves the ability to discern right from wrong, good from evil,
and propriety from impropriety. The second involves the commitment to do what is right, good, and
proper. Ethics entails action; it is not just a topic to mull or debate.” [2] Is it right? Is it fair? Is it equitable?
Is it honest? Is it good for people? These are all questions of ethics.[3] Ethics is doing the right thing, even
if it is difficult or is not to your advantage. [4] Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, discusses the
importance and impact of ethics on business.

Personal Ethics: Your Behavior Defines You
Ethics comes into play in the decisions you make every day. Have you ever received too much money back
when you paid for something in a store, didn’t get charged for something you ordered at a restaurant, or
called in sick to work when you just wanted a day off? [5] Each of these is an ethical dilemma. You make
your decision about which path to take based on your personal ethics; your actions reflect your own moral

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beliefs and moral conduct. [6] Your ethics are developed as a result of your family, church, school,
community, and other influences that help shape your personal beliefs—that which you believe to be right
versus wrong. [7] A good starting point for your personal ethics is the golden rule: “Do unto others as you
would have them do unto you.” That is, treat people the way that you would like to be treated. You would
like people to be honest with you, so be honest with others.
Your strong sense of personal ethics can help guide you in your decisions. You might be surprised to find
yourself with an ethical dilemma about something that is second nature to you. For example, imagine that
you’re taking a class (required for your major) that has an assignment of a twenty-page paper and you’ve
been so busy with your classes, internship, and volunteer work that you really haven’t had the time to get
started. You know you shouldn’t have waited so long and you’re really worried because the paper is due in
only two days and you’ve never written a paper this long before. Now you have to decide what to do. You
could knuckle down, go to the library, and visit the campus Writing Center, but you really don’t have the
time to do all that and still write the entire twenty pages. You’ve heard about some people who have
successfully bought papers from this one Web site. You’ve never done it before, but you are really
desperate and out of time. “If I only do it this one time,” you think, “I’ll never do it again.”
But compromising your ethics even just once is a slippery slope. The idea is that one thing leads naturally
to allowing another until you find yourself sliding rapidly downhill. Ethics is all about the art of navigating
the slippery slope: you have to draw a line for yourself, decide what you will and won’t do—and then stick
to it. If you don’t have a strong set of ethics, you have nothing to use as a guidepost when you are in a
situation that challenges you morally. A highly developed set of personal ethics should guide your actions.
The only way to develop a strong sense of ethics is to do what you believe in, to take actions consistent
with your principles time and time again.
So if you buy the paper and get caught, you will not only fail the class, but you may also find yourself
expelled from school. If you’re tempted to consider buying a paper, take a minute to read your school’s
academic dishonesty policy, as it is most likely very clear about what is right and wrong in situations like
this.
Link
Academic Dishonesty Policy at the University of Nevada, Reno
http://www.unr.edu/stsv/acdispol.html

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Even if you get away with using a paper that is not your own for now, it’s always possible that you’ll be
found out and humiliated even decades after the fact. Southern Illinois University (SIU) had three high-
ranking officials—a university president and two chancellors—revealed as plagiarists in a two-year
period. [8]Even more embarrassing, the committee formed to investigate the charges of plagiarism against
Chancellor Walter Wendler developed a new plagiarism policy whose parts were plagiarized—specifically,
it copied its academic dishonesty policy from Indiana University without citing that source. [9] SIU was
made a laughingstock, and its reputation has suffered considerably. Academic dishonesty is not a gamble
worth taking; though many students are tempted at some point, those who give in usually regret it.
Do the Right Thing
If you rationalize your decisions by saying, “Everyone does it,” you should
reconsider. Unethical behavior is not only what you believe to be right and fair, it is a reflection of your
personal brand and what people can expect from you personally and professionally. Even celebrities such
as Wesley Snipes, Willie Nelson, and Darryl Strawberry have fallen from grace in the eyes of the public
and learned the hard way that unethical—and in their cases, illegal—behavior such as tax evasion can
result in a prison term. [10] The consequences of unethical behavior can range from embarrassment to
suspension, loss of job, or even jail time, depending on the act.
Eliot Spitzer, the governor of New York, admitted that he violated his personal ethics and those of his
office when he resigned in March 2008 because of alleged involvement in a sex ring. Ironically, he built
his reputation as the “sheriff of Wall Street” due to his efforts to crack down on corporate
misdeeds. [11] His disgrace was the topic of many conversations about ethics.
You have no doubt heard the expression “Do the right thing.” It is the essence of ethics: choosing to do the
right thing when you have a choice of actions. Being ethical means you will do the right thing regardless of
whether there are possible consequences—you treat other people well and behave morally for its own
sake, not because you are afraid of the possible consequences. Simply put, people do the right thing
because it is the right thing to do. Thomas Jefferson summed up ethics in a letter he wrote to Peter Carr in
1785: “Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you
would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.” [12]
Ethical decisions are not always easy to make, depending on the situation. There are some gray areas
depending on how you approach a certain situation. According to Sharon Keane, associate director of

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marketing at the University of Notre Dame, people have different approaches, so there may be multiple
solutions to each ethical dilemma, [13] and every situation may have multiple options. For example, if one
of your best friends told you in confidence that he stole the questions to the final exam would you say
nothing, use them, or report him? Certainly, using the questions would not be ethical, but your ethical
dilemma doesn’t end there. Reporting him would be the right thing to do. But if you didn’t report him,
would it be unethical? You might not consider that unethical, but what if you just didn’t say anything—is
that still ethical? This is the gray area where your personal ethics come into play. Looking the other way
doesn’t help him or you. While you might be concerned about jeopardizing your friendship, it would be a
small price to pay compared with jeopardizing your personal ethics.

Business Ethics: What Makes a Company Ethical?
Ethics apply to businesses as well personal behavior. Business ethics is the application of ethical behavior
by a business or in a business environment. An ethical business not only abides by laws and appropriate
regulations, it operates honestly, competes fairly, provides a reasonable environment for its employees,
and creates partnerships with customers, vendors, and investors. In other words, it keeps the best interest
of all stakeholders at the forefront of all decisions. [14]
An ethical organization operates honestly and with fairness. Some characteristics of an ethical company
include the following:
• Respect and fair treatment of employees, customers, investors, vendors, community, and all who have
a stake in and come in contact with the organization
• Honest communication to all stakeholders internally and externally
• Integrity in all dealings with all stakeholders
• High standards for personal accountability and ethical behavior
• Clear communication of internal and external policies to appropriate stakeholders [15]
High-Profile Unethical Behavior in Business
While ethical behavior may seem as if it is the normal course of business, it’s unfortunate that some
business people and some businesses do not operate ethically. Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, HealthSouth, and
Lehman Brothers among other companies, have been highlighted in the news during the past several

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years due to unethical behavior that resulted in corporate scandals and, in some cases, the conviction of
senior executives and collapse of some companies. While business has never been immune from unethical
behavior, it was the fall of Enron in 2001 that brought unethical business behavior on the part of senior
executives to the forefront. Enron began as a traditional energy company in 1985. But when energy
markets were deregulated (prices were determined based on the competition rather than being set by the
government) in 1996, Enron grew rapidly. The company began to expand to areas such as Internet
services and borrowed money to fund the new businesses. The debt made the company look less
profitable, so the senior management created partnerships in order to keep the debt off the books. In
other words, they created “paper companies” that held the debt, and they showed a completely different
set of financial statements to shareholders (owners of the company) and the government (U.S. Securities
Exchange Commission [SEC]). This accounting made Enron look extremely profitable—it appeared to
have tripled its profit in two years. As a result, more people bought stock in the company. This lack of
disclosure is against the law, as publicly traded companies are required to disclose accurate financial
statements to shareholders and the SEC. There began to be speculation about the accuracy of Enron’s
accounting, and on October 16, 2001, the company announced a loss of $638 million. On October 22 of
that year, the SEC announced that Enron was under investigation. The stock price continued to fall, and
the company was unable to repay its commitments to its shareholders. As a result of this unethical and
illegal behavior on the part of senior management, the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection. [16] The unethical (and illegal) behavior of the senior management team caused a ripple effect
that resulted in many innocent people losing their money and their jobs. As a result of the Enron scandal,
a new law named the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (for Senator Paul Sarbanes from Maryland and Representative
Michael Oxley from Ohio) was enacted in 2002 that requires tighter financial reporting controls for
publicly traded companies. [17]
The epitome of unethical (and illegal) behavior was Bernard Madoff, who was convicted of running a $65
billion fraud scheme on his investors. For years, he reported extremely high returns on his clients’
investments, encouraging them to reinvest with even more money. All the time he was stealing from his
clients and spending the money. He cheated many clients, including high-profile celebrities like actor
Kevin Bacon and his wife Kyra Sedgewick and a charity of Steven Spielberg’s. [18] He was arrested, tried,
and sentenced to 150 years in jail, and his key employees were also sentenced to similar terms. [19], [20]

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Ethical Dilemmas in Business
Not all behavior that is unethical is illegal. Companies frequently are faced with ethical dilemmas that are
not necessarily illegal but are just as important to navigate. For example, if a travel company wants to
attract a lot of new customers, it can honestly state the price of a trip to Disney World in its advertising
and let customers decide if they want to purchase the trip. This would be ethical behavior. However, if the
company advertises a free vacation in order to get customers to call, but the free vacation package
includes a $500 booking fee, it is unethical. Or if an appliance store wants to get new customers by
advertising a low-priced refrigerator, it is an ethical way to let customers know that the company has
competitively priced appliances as well. However, if the store only has a higher-priced refrigerator in stock
and tries to sell that one instead, it is unethical behavior.
Sometimes ethical behavior can be a matter of disclosure, as in the case of Enron, Bernie Madoff, or the
examples above. Business ethics can also be challenged based on business practices. For example, in the
1990s Nike was accused of exploiting workers in third-world countries to manufacture their products. The
low wages they were paying the workers made Nike’s profits higher.[21] While this is not illegal behavior—
they were paying the workers—it was considered unethical because they were paying the workers less than
what is reasonable. Another example of unethical behavior is not disclosing information. For example, if a
car salesperson knows that a used car he is selling has been in an accident but says that it has not been
involved in an accident, that is unethical. Bribing an executive, saying or promising things that are
knowingly untrue, or treating employees unfairly are all examples of unethical behavior in business.

Corporate Social Responsibility
You may choose to shop at companies because of their business practices. For example, you might like
The Body Shop because of its commitment to selling products that do not use animals for testing. This is a
case of ethical behavior that is socially responsible. In fact, corporate social responsibility (CSR)is when
companies operate in a way that balances the interests of all stakeholders including employees,
customers, investors, vendors, the community, society, and any other parties that have a stake in the
company. While corporate social responsibility may seem easy, it’s not always as easy as it looks. Keep in
mind that in order to be socially responsible a company has to balance the social, economic, and

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environmental dimensions, which means generating a profit for investors while serving the best interest
of all parties that have a stake in the operations of the company. When companies measure the impact of
their performance along the three dimensions of social, economic, and environmental impact, it is called
the triple bottom line.

Link
Most “Accountable” Companies for Socially Responsible Practices
http://money.cnn.com/popups/2006/fortune/g500_accountability/index.html
Good Ethics = Good Business
The impact of ethical behavior by companies cannot be underestimated. It’s no surprise that companies
that consistently demonstrate ethical behavior and social responsibility generate better results. In
successful companies ethics is so integrated into the organization that it defines how every employee from
CEO to the lowest-level employee behaves. Ethics is not a separate topic but is incorporated into company
strategy. The company makes ethics part of every activity from strategic planning to operational
execution. [22] For example, Target has been committed to the triple bottom line even before it was in
vogue when the company’s founder, George Draper Dayton, established a foundation to give back to the
community. The company’s commitment has grown, and since 1946 it has donated 5 percent of its income
every year. Target’s Corporate Responsibility Report is information that the company makes available to
everyone on its Web site. [23]

Link
Target’s Corporate Responsibility Report
Target’s commitment to social responsibility is made public on the company’s Web site.
http://investors.target.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=65828&p=irol-govResponsibility
Target’s commitment to ethics and social responsibility are especially impressive given the current
economic challenges. It is times like these that can challenge many companies that do not have this kind
of ethical commitment. With pressure on short-term results, many companies set unrealistic goals and
employees feel extreme pressure to meet them or face the possibility of losing their jobs. Professor Neil
Malhotra of the Stanford Graduate School of Business calls this an “overemphasis on instant
gratification.” In fact, he feels that is the root cause of the current economic crisis. [24] But business ethics,

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just like personal ethics, mean doing the right thing even when it is a difficult choice or doesn’t appear to
be advantageous.
But ethical behavior and integrity are clearly linked to profitability. In a study of seventy-six Holiday Inn
franchises around the country conducted by Tony Simons, associate professor in organization
management at Cornell University and author of the book The Integrity Divided, Simons found that the
behavior of the hotel manager was the “single most powerful driver of profit.” [25]
Ethical Behavior in Sales
One of the most visible positions in any organization in terms of ethics is sales. That’s because it is the
salesperson that comes in contact directly with the customer. What the salesperson says and does is a
direct reflection of the organization and its ethics.
Consider this ethical dilemma if you were a real estate agent. You have just landed a fantastic listing: a
home that in the hot neighborhood that will surely sell quickly and yield a nice commission for you. The
seller tells you that the home inspector suspects there is insect damage to the siding of the house, but the
seller says she has never had any problems. Also, the seller feels so strongly about not disclosing this
information to prospective buyers that she said she would rather go with a different agent if you insist on
disclosing the possible insect damage. What would you do?
In a situation like this, it’s best to remember that doing the right thing can be a hard choice and might not
be advantageous to you. Although you really don’t want to lose this listing, the right thing to do is to
disclose anything that affects the value or desirability of the home. Even if you think it might not be a
major issue, it’s always best to err on the side of honesty and disclose the information.[26] Either
withholding or falsifying information is lying and therefore unethical.[27]
Imagine that you are a financial planner responsible for managing your clients assets. You make your
income on commission, a percentage of the value of your clients’ portfolios; the more you increase his
portfolio, the more money you make. One of your clients is a very conservative investor; right now you are
not making much money from his account. You have an opportunity to sell him a high-return investment,
but the risk is far greater than you think he would normally take. You think you can sell him on it if you
leave out just a few details during your conversation. The investment will actually be good for him because
he will get a significant return on his investment, and besides, you’re tired of spending your time on the
phone with him and not making any money. This could be a win-win situation. Should you give him your

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pitch with a few factual omissions or just make the investment and tell him after the money starts rolling
in? After all, he doesn’t look at his account every day. [28] What should you do?
Even though the result of the investment could be a good one, it is your obligation to provide full
disclosure of the risk and let the customer make the investment decision. You should never make
assumptions and decisions on behalf of your customers without their consent. If you are frustrated about
your lack of income on the account, you might not be the best financial planner for him. You should have
an honest conversation with him and perhaps suggest a colleague or other planner that might be a better
fit for his investment strategy. Sometimes it’s better to part ways than to be tempted to behave
unethically.

Just Say No
What if your employer asked you to do something that you are not comfortable doing? For example, if
your employer asked you to complete the paperwork for a sale even if the sale hasn’t been made, what
should you do? It’s best to say that you are not comfortable doing it; never compromise your personal
ethics even for your employer. It’s also a good idea to see someone in the human resources department if
you have any questions about the best way to handle a specific situation.
What if you were a salesperson for a textbook company and you are only $1,000 away from your $1
million sales goal. If you make your goal, you’ll earn a $10,000 bonus, money you’ve been counting on to
put a down payment on your first house. But the deadline is only two days away, and none of your
customers is ready to make a purchase. You really want the bonus, and you don’t want to wait until next
year to earn it. Then you remember talking to one of the administrators, and she mentioned the need for
donations. What if you made a $1,000 donation to the school. It would help the school during this
challenging financial crisis and it would be more inclined to make a purchase quickly. After the donation,
you would still have $9,000. This could be a good move for everyone. Would you make the donation to
“buy” your bonus?
When you are in sales, you are not only representing yourself, but you are also representing your
company. Although it appears that all parties will benefit from the donation, it is not ethical for the
school, you, or your company to make an exchange like that. Products such as textbooks should be
purchased based on the organization’s buying process. Donations should be made with no strings

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attached. You might miss the opportunity to earn your bonus this year, but you will learn valuable lessons
to make next year an even better sales year.[29]
Imagine that you are a sales rep for a software company and you’ve just taken a customer to lunch. It was
an expensive restaurant, and the two of you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves; you had steak, wine, and a
chocolate dessert. Now you’re filling out an expense report, and you need to fill in the amount of tip you
left. In fact, you left a twenty-dollar bill—but forty dollars wouldn’t have been an unreasonable amount to
leave for outstanding service. You could fill in the higher amount and use the difference to take your
girlfriend to the movies; you’ve been meaning to spend more time with her. After all, you make a lot of
money for the company and have been working a lot of nights and weekends lately. You also didn’t submit
your expense account for the mileage you traveled last week, so this should make up for it. Is it OK to
submit the additional tip money on this expense report?
It’s no surprise that it’s never acceptable to falsify information on an expense report (or any report for that
matter). If you have legitimate expenses, they should be submitted according to the company policy.
While it’s hard to keep up with the paperwork, it’s the right way to report and be reimbursed for company
expenses. This can be another one of those slippery slope arguments; if you do it once, you might be
tempted to do it again. Many people in many companies have been fired for providing false information
on their expense reports.
Personal ethics and business ethics are a part of everyday selling. It’s a good idea to remember the words
of Peter Drucker, famous management consultant and author, “Start with what is right, rather than what
is acceptable.” [30]

Power Point: Lessons in Selling from the Customer’s Point of View
Is the Customer Always Right?
The customer is always right, except when he asks you to do something unethical. What should you do to
uphold your ethics and maintain your relationship? SellingPower.com suggests the following four steps:
1. Evaluate the situation with a clear head. Most unethical behavior is driven by emotions such as fear,
greed, stress, and status. Identify what is causing the behavior but wait until you have some time to
reflect.

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2. Don’t jump to conclusions; identify the circumstances. You might not know the entire story so
determine what you know and what you don’t know.
3. Identify the criteria you are using to make this judgment. Is the behavior against company policy? Is it
against the law? Is it against your personal code of ethics?
4. Seek counsel. Always ask a trusted colleague, supervisor, or human resources representative for
advice. Chances are, she has experienced the same situation and can provide insight from the
company’s perspective and policies.

Understanding Values
Ethics are defined by moral principles; they are actions that are viewed by society as “right,” “just,” or
“responsible.” [31] Values define what is important to you: they are your guiding principles and beliefs, they
define how you live your life, and they inform your ethics. While certain values might be important to you,
they may not be important to your best friends or even every member of your family. While family,
friends, and your environment have a significant influence, you develop your own set of values. Consider
the list below, which includes some examples of values: [32]
• Honesty
• Open communication
• Teamwork
• Integrity
• Prestige
• Security
• Helping others
• Loyalty
• Social responsibility
• Impact on society
• Creativity
• Achievement
• Global focus

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• Religion
Values provide your personal compass and your direction in life. When something is not in line with your
values, you feel unhappy and dissatisfied. [33]Many people feel passionately about their values and want to
have their environment align with their values. Examples of this are evident during political elections
when people take sides on issues such as education, health care, and other social issues that reflect
personal values.
You might be surprised to learn that your values are not set in stone. Your personal values will evolve and
may even change drastically based on your experiences. [34] For example, Nikki Tsongas, wife of the late
Senator Paul Tsongas from Massachusetts, got involved in public service after the death of her husband.
She is now a congresswoman from the fifth district of Massachusetts. [35] She may have never considered
serving in public office, but the death of her husband had a dramatic impact on her values.
You have a set of values that inform your ethics, which in turn inform your decision making. No one can
tell you what your values are; that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself. John C. Maxwell, in his
book There’s No Such Thing as “Business” Ethics, lists the values that he lives by, such as “put your family
ahead of your work (having a strong and stable family creates a launching pad for many other successes
during a career and provides a contented landing place at the end of it)” [36] and “take responsibility for
your actions (if you desire to be trusted by others and you want to achieve much, you must take
responsibility for your actions).” [37] If you are looking for a comprehensive list of values, check out
HumanityQuest.com, which lists more than five hundred different values.

Link
Learn about What Values Are Important to You
http://humanityquest.com

Values of Organizations
Just like people, organizations have values, too. Values are “proven, enduring guidelines for human
conduct” according to Stephen Covey in his book Principles. [38] Many companies choose their values and
communicate them to employees, customers, and vendors on the company Web site and other company

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communications. For example, Whole Foods includes the following values, among others: “selling the
highest quality natural and organic products available” and “caring about communities and their
environment.” You can see their entire values statement on their Web site.

Link
Whole Foods Market Values Statement
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/corevalues.php
Levi Strauss & Co. identifies four key values for their company: empathy, originality, integrity, and
courage. Their values statement is also included on their Web site.

Link
Levi Strauss & Co. Values Statement
http://www.levistrauss.com/about/values-vision
Microsoft includes integrity, honesty, personal excellence, passion for technology, and commitment to
customers as part of their values statement on their Web site.

Link
Microsoft Values Statement
http://www.microsoft.com/about/default.mspx
Company values and personal values are important because your values motivate you to work. [39] You will
enjoy and excel at your job if you choose a company whose values you share. For example, if the
environment is one of your values, it’s best to choose a company that includes a commitment to the
environment as part of their values statement. Chances are you won’t be happy working at a company that
doesn’t put a priority on the environment.

Mission Statements: Personal and Corporate Guidelines
Ethics and values are major concepts. If you have developed personal ethics and values, you might be
wondering how they come together to help provide a roadmap for your life and your career. That’s the
purpose of your mission statement; it becomes your roadmap for your decisions, choices, and behavior.

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You learned about creating your personal mission statement in the Selling Usection of . Mission
statements such as “To gain experience in the public accounting field toward earning my CPA
designation” and “To master the leading Web development tools and become a best-in-class Web
developer” may sound simple, but each takes time, thought, and insight to create. [40] You may want to
review the Selling U section in if you haven’t already created your personal mission statement.
Just as your personal mission statement is a blueprint for how you make decisions in life, companies also
use a mission statement to define their direction, make operating decisions, and communicate to
employees, vendors, shareholders, and other stakeholders. In fact, most companies have a formal, written
mission that they include on their Web site. A mission statement is different than an advertising slogan or
motto. It is based on the company’s ethics and values and provides a broad direction as to what the
company stands for. For example, Harley-Davidson’s mission statement is below and can be found on
their Web site.

Link
Harley-Davidson Mission Statement
http://www.harley-
davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/Student_Center/student_center.jsp?locale=en_US#missionstateme
nt
We inspire and fulfill dreams around the world through Harley-Davidson experiences. [41]
FedEx expresses their mission statement a little differently as shown below and includes their mission
statement along with their values on their Web site.

Link
FedEx Mission Statement and Values
http://about.fedex.designcdt.com/our_company/company_information/mission_statement
FedEx will produce superior financial returns for shareowners by providing high value-added
supply chain, transportation, business and related information services through focused
operating companies. Customer requirements will be met in the highest quality manner
appropriate to each market segment served. FedEx will strive to develop mutually rewarding
relationships with its employees, partners and suppliers. Safety will be the first consideration in

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all operations. Corporate activities will be conducted to the highest ethical and professional
standards. [42]
The mission statement of the insurance company Aflac is short and to the point as shown below. It can
also be found on their Web site.

Link
Aflac Mission Statement
http://www.aflac.com/us/en/aboutaflac/missionandvalues.aspx
To combine innovative strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive
prices to provide the best insurance value for consumers. [43]
Many companies, like Google, put their mission statement or philosophy online—others use a printed
manual. The mission statement is made available for the following reasons: employees can use it to aid
them in ethical business decision making, investors can evaluate the company’s ethics before making a
decision about becoming involved with it, and customers can choose whom they will do business with
based on their ethics and purpose. In addition to their mission statement (which you may remember
from : “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and
useful” [44]), Google’s Web site gives their philosophy—ten guiding principles, ten “things Google has found
to be true,” which are values that reflect how the company conducts business:
1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.
2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
3. Fast is better than slow.
4. Democracy on the Web works.
5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
6. You can make money without doing evil.
7. There’s always more information out there.
8. The need for information crosses all borders.
9. You can be serious without a suit.
10. Great just isn’t good enough. [45]

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These ten things are the principles that Google uses to make decisions as a company; this list, with
accompanying explanations, details why they do things the way that they do. It is both practical and
concerned with ethics—the idea that “great just isn’t good enough” is part of their values, a declaration
that Google wants to do the best that it can in every endeavor—it means that they will not take shortcuts,
but will constantly strive to be more ethical, efficient, and user-friendly.

Character and Its Influence on Selling
As you have probably figured out, ethics, values, and missions are all very personal. Together they guide
you in the way you behave at home, school, work, or out with your friends. Your character is what sets you
apart; it includes the features and beliefs that define you. It’s no surprise that the word has it origin in the
Latin word character, which means mark or distinctive quality and from the Greek charaktr, which
means to scratch. [46] The Josephson Institute defines character as being composed of six core ethical
values:
1. Trustworthiness
2. Respect
3. Responsibility
4. Fairness
5. Caring
6. Citizenship [47]
This is a comprehensive description of character. Consider how you perceive other people; it’s their
character that defines who they are. Can you depend on him? Is she fair? Does he respect you? Just as
these ethical pillars define other peoples’ character, they also define your character to other people.
Customers ask the same questions about you: Can I trust her? Will he give me fair pricing? Is she honest?
Does he care about the best interest of my business?

The Power of Your Reputation

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In November of 2008, Tomb Raider: Underworld was released for multiple gaming systems. Knowing
how important a game’s reputation can be for sales, public relations firm Barrington Harvey—in an
attempt to massage the Metacritic score, a less-than-ethical move—asked reviewers to hold their scores
until after the first weekend of the game’s release. “That’s right. We’re trying to manage the review scores
at the request of Eidos.” When asked why, a spokesperson for Barrington Harvey explained, “Just that
we’re trying to get the Metacritic rating to be high, and the brand manager in the United States that’s
handling all of Tomb Raider has asked that we just manage the scores before the game is out, really, just
to ensure that we don’t put people off buying the game, basically.” [48] Eidos, the company that published
the game, tried to take an ethical shortcut—they wanted to be sure that the game’s reputation could
not precede it—but paid for that decision with a great deal of negative publicity that adversely impacted
their reputation.
Your overall character as judged by other people is your reputation. [49]Consider some celebrities who have
had unethical acts negatively impact their reputation: Tiger Woods, known as one of golf’s greats has been
reduced to tabloid fodder since the news of his extramarital affairs; Michael Phelps, the only person to
ever win eight gold medals in a single Olympic Games, has become the poster boy for marijuana use. Both
had stellar reputations and were considered role models. Now both are working to gain back the trust of
the public. Reputation isn’t limited to the wealthy or powerful. In high school, you knew that Sharon was a
brain and Timothy was the sensitive, poetic type. You may never have had a conversation with either one
of them, but you knew their reputations. Meanwhile, you avoided classes with Mrs. Avar because she had
a reputation as a hard grader. Your reactions to many of the people in your day-to-day life are affected by
their reputations.

Build Your Reputation: Be an Industry Expert
A great way to build your reputation in a specific industry is to become an industry expert: write a blog,
tweet regularly about industry issues, be a guest speaker or panelist at industry conferences or events
online or in person. Decision makers hear and see you take on a leadership role and seek you out to gain
your expertise. You can build your reputation, which, in turn, will help you build your client list. [50]
When you work in sales, you are selling yourself; you will have greater success with customers if you are
someone they want to “buy.” When customers buy from you, they are investing in your reputation. George

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Ludwig, author ofPower Selling, explains that “you’ve got to live out your identity consistently in every
facet of your life and make sure prospective clients bump into that identity everywhere they turn.” [51] In
other words, every action you take affects your reputation. If you fail to follow up, forget details, or even if
you are consistently late for meetings, you may become known as unreliable. On the other hand, if you
consistently deliver what you promise, you will be known as reliable; if you always meet your deadlines,
you will have a reputation for punctuality.

Power Player: Lessons in Selling from Successful Salespeople
Do the Right Thing
Robert L. Bailey, retired CEO, president, and chairman of the State Auto Insurance Companies, knows
how important a salesperson’s reputation can be and the value of consistent ethical behavior. “Back in my
corporate days I regularly met with new employees. I would tell them, ‘Regardless of the circumstances,
regardless of what the contract says, we always want you to do the right thing. Do you know what it means
to do the right thing?’ I would ask.” Bailey knows that any action taken by a salesperson can affect his or
her reputation: “If your actions are described on the front page of our local newspaper or USA Today, will
most people read the account and say, ‘I think they did the right thing?” That’s the kind of action we
encourage and expect.” [52] Your reputation speaks for you; make sure it’s saying what you want customers
to hear.

You’re Only as Good as Your Word
Unfortunately, not everyone in sales is ethical or honest. David Chittock, president of Incentra, Inc.,
discusses one encounter in which a customer shared her view of salespeople: “The prospect’s body
language told me she wasn’t just uncomfortable—she was downright hostile to me. Finally, she shared this
sentiment out loud: ‘I have to be honest with you. I think that all salespeople are liars, and I don’t trust
any of them, and I don’t trust you.’” He goes on to explain that “many (if not all) of our prospects, view
salespeople with suspicion, assuming that in attempting to make a sale, we will be self-serving,
manipulative, and possibly even untruthful.” [53] Chittock and his employees overcome that suspicion by

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making promises to their customers and then keeping them—sure, it sounds simple, but too many
salespeople are willing to promise their customers the moon in order to close the deal.
Dr. Pat Lynch conducted a study that was published in the Journal of Business Ethics in which he asked
more than seven hundred businesspeople and graduate business students to rank their values in the
workplace; these included competency, work ethic, overcoming adversity, seniority, and promise keeping.
Lynch found that keeping promises was that the bottom of people’s lists, whatever their gender,
supervisory experience, or religious background.[54] Honesty is a way to stand out and to build your
reputation.
If you are committed to finding win-win-win solutions for your customers, you need to be honest with
them and with yourself. Figure out what you can realistically guarantee, make the promise, and then keep
it. Jack Welch, in his book Winning, declares that “too many people—too often—instinctively don’t
express themselves with frankness. They don’t communicate straightforwardly or put forth ideas looking
to stimulate real debate. But when you’ve got candor, everything just operates faster and better.” [55] If
circumstances change and you realize that you will be unable to keep your promise, immediately
communicate with the customer; explain what has happened, offer a new solution, and apologize. While
that can make for an awkward conversation, in the long run, that kind of honesty and openness will help
you to build strong business relationships.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Facing Challenges
Imagine that you are the buyer for Chez Food, a popular pan-European restaurant on the West Coast. You
have good relationships with your suppliers, especially your produce guy, a genial fellow who owns his
own business. As the holidays approach, Ray, your produce guy, approaches you with a gift. He tells you
that he really appreciates both your business and your friendship, and he hands you two tickets to a
Caribbean cruise. The company policy is clear: you aren’t supposed to accept gifts from suppliers, but, you
argue to yourself, what could be the harm? After all, you were planning to keep buying from Ray before he
offered you the tickets; it’s not as though he’s asking you for anything, anyway. What will you do? Your
ethical obligation, of course, is to refuse the tickets—politely. Your relationship with Ray is important, but
doing the right thing—and keeping your job—is important too.

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At some point in your selling career—in fact, probably at many points—you will be faced with a situation
that challenges your ethics. At these times, it is best to follow your code of ethics and the company’s code
of ethics; when in doubt, don’t make an exception. If you’re having trouble finding the motivation to
refuse a gift or accurately detail your résumé, remember that you will very like be found out—and when
you’re found out, you will be very lucky not to lose your job. Is the case of wine from a supplier worth
losing your job over? But more important, when you fail an ethical challenge, you trade in your integrity.
If you are tempted to inflate your expense report by fifty dollars, ask yourself, “Is my integrity worth more
than fifty dollars?” The answer, of course, is that your integrity is worth more than any amount of
money—and once gone, it cannot be bought back. Ken Lay, former CEO of Enron, was a man with a great
reputation and an oil portrait displayed at his alma mater; once his crimes were discovered, however, his
name was forever associated with a willingness to break the law and exploit his own employees. [56]
Sir Michael Rake, chairman of KPMG International, says in Leading by Example, “Enron had an
enormously laudable charter of values in corporate social responsibility, but actually it was almost a
smokescreen for abuse…In investigations we’ve done into companies and individuals where things have
gone wrong…have crossed from white, to gray, to black. Most of them have to operate in the gray a lot of
the time…because of the aggressiveness with which the targets are set of the way in which their
achievement of those targets is rewarded, intelligent, honest people suddenly think that this act is OK:
because within that environment it seems to be OK. It isn’t OK; they’ve actually done something which is
illegal or amoral.” [57]
Finding yourself in a corrupt corporate culture is not reason enough to violate your own code of ethics or
break the law. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel pressured to do something unethical (or
even illegal), talk to your supervisor about it. If you don’t feel that you can talk to your supervisor—or your
supervisor is part of the problem—talk to someone in the human resources department. Give the company
a chance to resolve the situation; if they are not aware of it, they can’t make it right.
If you’re wondering about how the role of human resources works in a situation like this, it might be
helpful to think about an analogy: When you were in high school and you went out with your friends, your
mother, at some point or another (or perhaps every Friday night!), must have given you a talk that went
something like this: “I want you to have a good time with your friends—but if anything happens, just call
us and we’ll come pick you up and we won’t be mad. If there’s drinking at the party, or if someone has

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drugs, just call us if you need to, OK?” While you probably won’t be calling your mom when an ethical
problem arises at work (much as you might secretly like to), you can call the human resources
department. Human resources departments oversee hiring, promotions, and performance reviews, but
they also deal with employee relations and can provide confidential counseling to workers. It is important
for a company’s success that employee goals align with corporate goals; when this is the case, the
corporate culture is considered “successful.” [58] If your supervisor is involved in the wrongdoing, the
human resources department can be an excellent resource for you.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Ethics is moral principles, a system that defines right and wrong.
• Business ethics is ethical behavior applied to a business situation.
• An ethical dilemma is a situation that is presented with options that may be right or wrong.
• Values define what is important to you: they are your guiding principles and beliefs, they define how you
live your life, and they inform your ethics.
• A mission statement is a roadmap of where a person or company wants to go.
• Your reputation will affect how people see you throughout your life, which can have either a positive or a
negative impact on your career.
• Every action you take defines you; bear that in mind when making decisions.
• If you find yourself in a situation that challenges your ethics, talk to your supervisor. If you don’t feel that
you can talk to your supervisor, talk to someone in the human resources department.
• A good rule of thumb is that if you would be ashamed to tell your boss about it, don’t do it.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Evaluate your values. Choose three values that are important to you and discuss how they may impact
your decision making.
2. Think of someone you know only by reputation; what do you know about that person, and what
assumptions do you make about him or her?
3. Discuss the reputation of the following people. What actions has each taken that reflect their
reputation?
o Britney Spears
o Chris Brown

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o Simon Cowell
o Angelina Jolie
4. Discuss what you would do in each of the following situations. Is it ethical behavior?
o You are not really sick, but you want to take the day off. What do you say when you call your
supervisor?
o You are on a job interview for a job you really want, and the interviewer mentions that the
candidate she hires will need to be fluent in Excel. Although you are familiar with Excel, you are
not especially good at it and don’t really know all the features. What would you say when she asks
you about your skill level with Excel?
o You went on a business trip for the company you work for and are preparing your expense report.
You are able to include tips, mileage, and other categories without a receipt. Since you’ve been
working a lot of overtime without pay, you consider adding in an additional $25 to cover your
extra hours; no one will notice. What do you do as you are completing the expense report?
o Your boss takes the afternoon off but asks you to tell everyone at the staff meeting that he is in a
meeting with a client. When you are in a staff meeting, a manager asks you why your boss isn’t
there. What would you say?
5. [1] Elianne Friend, “Woman Fined to Tune of $1.9 Million for Illegal Downloads,”CNN.com, June 18,
2009,http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/18/minnesota.music.download.fine/index.html(accessed
February 13, 2010).
6. [2] John C. Maxwell, There’s No Such Thing As “Business” Ethics (New York: Center Street, 2003), 23–24.
7. [3] Manual Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, and Michael J. Meyer, “What Is Ethics?” Santa Clara
University,http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/whatisethics.html (accessed August 31, 2009).
8.
9. [5] College Confidential, http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/california-institute-technology/427749-
ethical-dilemma-question.html (accessed August 31, 2009).
10. [6] Manual Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, and Michael J. Meyer, “What Is Ethics?” Santa Clara
University,http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/whatisethics.html (accessed August 31, 2009).

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http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/18/minnesota.music.download.fine/index.html

http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/whatisethics.html

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/california-institute-technology/427749-ethical-dilemma-question.html

http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/california-institute-technology/427749-ethical-dilemma-question.html

http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/whatisethics.html

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March 16, 2010).
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2007,http://www.realtor.org/archives/feat2200703?presentationtemplate=rmo-
design/pt_articlepage_v1_print&presentationtemplateid=1b18c0004a12c9a4b7e1ffbdd1ec736f (accesse
d August 29, 2009).
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Lying to You,” Selling Power 15, no.
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http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/madoff-aide-reveals-details-of-ponzi-scheme/?scp=2&sq=madoff%20sentencing&st=cse

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/madoff-aide-reveals-details-of-ponzi-scheme/?scp=2&sq=madoff%20sentencing&st=cse

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_38/b3900011_mz001.htm

http://blogs.bnet.com/mba/?p=927&tag=content;col1

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http://blogs.bnet.com/mba/?p=927&tag=content;col1

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http://www.realtor.org/archives/feat2200703?presentationtemplate=rmo-design/pt_articlepage_v1_print&presentationtemplateid=1b18c0004a12c9a4b7e1ffbdd1ec736f

http://www.realtor.org/archives/feat2200703?presentationtemplate=rmo-design/pt_articlepage_v1_print&presentationtemplateid=1b18c0004a12c9a4b7e1ffbdd1ec736f

http://www.sellingpower.com/content/article.php?a=4256

http://investopedia.com/printable.asp?a=/articles/financialcareers/08/ethics-for-advisors.asp

http://investopedia.com/printable.asp?a=/articles/financialcareers/08/ethics-for-advisors.asp

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31. [29] Shel Horowitz, “Should Mary Buy Her Own Bonus?” Business Ethics, November 11,
2009, http://business-ethics.com/2009/11/11/should-mary-buy-her-bonus (accessed February 18, 2010).
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Power,http://www.sellingpower.com/html_newsletter/motivation/article.asp?id=2691&nDate=Novembe
r+20%2C+2006&lid=SP69444 (accessed August 29, 2009).
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55147.html?tag=content;col1 (accessed August 29, 2009
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55147.html?tag=content;col1 (accessed August 29, 2009).
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55147.html?tag=content;col1 (accessed August 29, 2009).
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55147.html?tag=content;col1 (accessed August 29, 2009).
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Bio,” http://tsongas.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=54&sectiontree=2,54 (accessed September 1, 2009).
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Planning, http://www.cssp.com/CD0402/ValuesAndStrategy/default.php (accessed August 29, 2009).
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55147.html?tag=content;col1 (accessed August 29, 2009).
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CollegeGrad.com,http://www.collegegrad.com/book/Job-Search-Prep/Develop-a-Personal-Career-
Mission-Statement (accessed September 1, 2009).
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davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/Student_Center/student_center.jsp?locale=en_US#missionstatement
(accessed August 29, 2009).

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Should Mary Buy Her Bonus? What Would You Do?

http://www.sellingpower.com/html_newsletter/motivation/article.asp?id=2691&nDate=November+20%2C+2006&lid=SP69444

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http://www.bnet.com/2410-13070_23-55147.html?tag=content;col1

http://www.bnet.com/2410-13070_23-55147.html?tag=content;col1

http://www.bnet.com/2410-13070_23-55147.html?tag=content;col1

http://www.bnet.com/2410-13070_23-55147.html?tag=content;col1

http://www.bnet.com/2410-13070_23-55147.html?tag=content;col1

http://tsongas.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=54&sectiontree=2,54

http://www.cssp.com/CD0402/ValuesAndStrategy/default.php

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http://www.bnet.com/2410-13070_23-55147.html?tag=content;col1

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http://www.collegegrad.com/book/Job-Search-Prep/Develop-a-Personal-Career-Mission-Statement

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44. [42] FedEx, “Company Information: Mission, Strategy,
Values,”http://about.fedex.designcdt.com/our_company/company_information/mission_statement (acce
ssed August 29, 2009).
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Values,”http://www.aflac.com/us/en/aboutaflac/missionandvalues.aspx (accessed September 1, 2009).
46. [44] Google, “Corporate Information: Company Overview,”http://www.google.com/corporate (accessed
September 1, 2009).
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Philosophy,”http://www.google.com/intl/en/corporate/tenthings.html (accessed September 1, 2009).
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webster.com/dictionary/character (accessed September 1, 2009).
49. [47] Josephson Institute, “The Six Pillars of Character,” Josephson
Institute,http://charactercounts.org/sixpillars.html (accessed September 1, 2009).
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2008, http://kotaku.com/5095674/eidos-trying-to-fix-tomb-raider-underworld-metacritic-
scores (accessed September 1, 2009).
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webster.com/dictionary/reputation (accessed September 1, 2009).
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Power,http://www.sellingpower.com/article/display.asp?aid=SP1900197 (accessed August 29, 2009).
53. [51] Renee Houston Zemanski, “The Power of Your Reputation,” Selling
Power,http://www.sellingpower.com/article/display.asp?aid=SP1900197 (accessed August 29, 2009).
54. [52] Robert L. Bailey, “A Story of Two Salespeople,” BNET, April
2008,http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3615/is_200804/ai_n25420875/pg_2/?tag=content;col (acc
essed February 18, 2010).
55. [53] David Chittock, “Outside the Box: A Question of Integrity,” Manage Smarter, May 28,
2009, http://www.presentations.com/msg/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003977677 (acce
ssed February 18, 2010).
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http://www.aflac.com/us/en/aboutaflac/missionandvalues.aspx

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2006,http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/06/opinion/06thurs4.html (accessed September 1, 2009).
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and Performance through Looking at Google Inc.,” extended essay, The University of Birmingham, The
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6,http://www.towers.fr/essays/culture%20performance%20and%20motivation
%20review%20and%20the%20google%20case%20study%20success (accessed September 1, 2009).

4.2 Policies, Practices, and Cultures
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Identify how company policies reflect business ethics.
You might be wondering how a company provides guidance to all employees about what behavior it
expects from them. Imagine a global company like Wal-Mart, which has over two billion employees
worldwide. [1] How do all the employees know what is considered ethical behavior by the company?
Can they take as much time as they want for lunch? Are they able to take off as many days as they
wish? What expenses qualify for reimbursement? All the policies of a company are included in
its employee handbook.

Employee Handbooks: Your Practical, Professional How-To
Every company has a highly specific code of ethics governing the actions of its employees. This manual,
the employee handbook (sometimes called the code of ethics or code of conduct or other similar name),
outlines the company’s policies concerning gift giving, nondisclosure of company information, and other
areas of behavior. Starbucks’ code of ethics, Business Ethics and Compliance: Standards of Business

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Conduct, for example, explains when employees may and may not accept gifts: “You may not encourage or
solicit meals or entertainment from anyone with whom Starbucks does business or from anyone who
desires to do business with Starbucks. Giving or accepting valuable gifts or entertainment might be
construed as an improper attempt to influence the relationship.” [2] An employee handbook will also
include the company’s sexual harassment and nondiscrimination policies, an explanation of procedures
including breaks and scheduling principles, a list of benefits for part- and full-time employees, a
breakdown of disciplinary policies and grounds for dismissal, as well as rules concerning phone, fax, mail,
Internet use, and the permissible use of company vehicles. The handbook will additionally contain
information like the history and goals of the company.
While all employee handbooks are slightly different, all include the guidelines and policies that define
ethical behavior in that company or organization. You can review several different companies’ policies at
the Web sites below:

Company Policies
Gap Code of Business Conduct
http://www.gapinc.com/content/dam/gapincsite/documents/COBC/Code_English
Source: The Gap, Inc.
McDonald’s Standards of Business Conduct for Employees
http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/investors/corporate_governance/standards_of_business_condu
ct.html
Source: McDonald’s Corporation
United States Government—Code of Ethics
http://usgovinfo.about.com/blethics.htm
Source: United States House of Representatives Ethics Committee

What Company Policies Say and What They Mean
Whatever company you end up working for will have its own policies with which you will need to
familiarize yourself. But most companies include the same basic issues that are frequently encountered in

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http://www.gapinc.com/content/dam/gapincsite/documents/COBC/Code_English

http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/investors/corporate_governance/standards_of_business_conduct.html

http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/investors/corporate_governance/standards_of_business_conduct.html

http://usgovinfo.about.com/blethics.htm

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sales: conflicts of interest, bribes, and noncompete clauses. The specifics of these policies will vary from
company to company, but this section will give you a good idea of what to expect, the meaning of key
terms you will encounter, and some sample policies to study.

A Page from IBM’s Employee Handbook
Most companies include a gift and entertainment policy in its employee handbook. IBM has a specific
policy that covers these areas.
No IBM employee, or any member of his or her immediate family, can accept gratuities or gifts of
money from a supplier, customer, or anyone in a business relationship. Nor can they accept a gift
or consideration that could be perceived as having been offered because of the business
relationship. “Perceived” simply means this: if you read about it in your local paper, would you
wonder whether the gift just might have something to do with a business relationship? No IBM
employee can give money or a gift of significant value to a supplier if it could reasonably be
viewed as being done to gain a business advantage. If an employee is offered money or a gift of
some value by a supplier or if one arrives at their home or office, a manager should be informed
immediately. If the gift is perishable, the manager will arrange to donate it to a local charitable
organization. Otherwise, it should be returned to the supplier. Whatever the circumstances, the
employee or the manager should write the supplier a letter, explain IBM’s guidelines on the
subject of gifts and gratuities. Of course, it is an accepted practice to talk business over a meal. So
it is perfectly all right to occasionally allow a supplier or customer to pick up the check. Similarly,
it frequently is necessary for a supplier, including IBM, to provide education and executive
briefings for customers. It’s all right to accept or provide some services in connection with this
kind of activity—services such as transportation, food, or lodging. For instance, transportation in
IBM or supplier planes to and from company locations, and lodging and food at company
facilities are all right. A violation of these policies may result in termination. [4]
A conflict of interest is “a situation in which a person, such as a public official, an employee, or a
professional, has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective exercise of
his or her official duties.” [5] There are four types of conflicts of interest that you may encounter in your
career: family interests, gifts, private use of employer property, and moonlighting.

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Family interests create a conflict when a relative of yours is either someone from whom you might
purchase goods or services for your employer or when you have influence over the potential hiring of a
family member of yours. It’s best to avoid these types of situations as it can be difficult to make an
objective decision.
Gifts create a conflict of interest when they are given to you by someone with whom you do business. Gifts
are frequently given at the holidays and may include something small like a case of wine or something
more extravagant like a trip.
private use of employer property can be anything from stealing pens to using your work computer to work
on editing your vacation pictures to driving the company car on a weekend getaway and then reporting
the mileage on a corporate expense report.
Moonlighting is holding down a second job. While that might not sound insidious at first, if you work two
jobs in the same field, it is almost inevitable that you will run into ethical problems. Who gets your best
ideas? Where does most of your energy go? And if you have inside knowledge of two different
corporations, working not to let that information influence you will be terribly difficult.
A bribe, according to Merriam-Webster, is “money or favor given or promised in order to influence the
judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust; something that serves to induce or
influence.” [6] Soliciting, accepting, offering, or giving a bribe is illegal—even if your offer is refused, you
are committing a crime. Bribery can take place in many different venues. Pharmaceutical companies
attempt to persuade doctors to prescribe their products by buying them meals and giving them pens and
other trinkets as well as trips to medical conventions. Business gifts are considered a form of bribery when
they are given by someone who could benefit from having influence on a decision maker. For example, if
you are the buyer of electronics at Wal-Mart, you are not able to accept any gifts from vendors or
prospective vendors as it might appear to influence your buying decisions for the chain.
A noncompete agreement (sometimes called a covenant not to compete, or CNC) prevents an employee
from entering into competition with the employer once his job has ended—in other words, it prevents you
from taking a job with a competitor after you’ve quit or been fired. A noncompete agreement may also
prevent former employees from starting their own businesses in the same field. The reasoning behind the
CNC is the fear that a former executive could take his insider knowledge and trade secrets—as well as his
contacts—with him to a new position. No employer wants to expose its strategy to its competitors.

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Noncompete agreements are generally upheld by the courts as long as they contain reasonable limits as to
the time period and geographical space—that is, for example, that you may not compete in the state for
two years after your termination. Noncompete agreements are not legal in California, although there are
still measures in place in that state to protect trade secrets. [7] Not every job will ask you to sign a
noncompete agreement, and if you haven’t signed one, then there are no restrictions on your future
employment. This is one reason it’s so important to read and understand anything you sign. However,
even if you don’t sign a noncompete agreement, you may be asked to sign a
nondisclosure agreement (or confidentiality agreement) or your company may have a nondisclosure or
confidentiality policy that requires you to protect your former employer’s trade secrets; you may not
exploit that information in future employment. [8] A trade secret is “any kind of information that allows
you to make money because it is not known.” [9] For example, Coca-Cola’s signature formula is a trade
secret, as is the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Information about the internal workings of a company
that could only plausibly be gained by working for that company is usually a trade secret.
If you find yourself between jobs and worry about the legality of finding another (having signed a
noncompete agreement with your previous employer), bear in mind that noncompete agreements are
most likely to be enforceable if your new job is strikingly similar to your old job. If you go from the sales
department at Target to the advertising department of Kmart, you are probably (legally) in the
clear. [10] Your new job is different enough that you are unlikely to be seen by the court as exploiting your
knowledge of Target’s sales practices. Remember that this is only a concern if you have signed a
noncompete agreement previously; while noncompete clauses are common, they are not universal.

What Is Whistle-Blowing?
Jeffrey Wigand, former head of research and development for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation
(the third-largest tobacco company in the United States), is one of the most famous whistle-blowers in
America. He says of himself, “The word whistle-blower suggests that you’re a tattletale or that you’re
somehow disloyal. But I wasn’t disloyal in the least bit. People were dying. I was loyal to a higher order of
ethical responsibility.” [11] Wigand’s testimony against the tobacco industry, his claims that executives at
Brown & Williamson knew that cigarettes were addictive, lied about it under oath, and destroyed

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documents related to that fact, led directly to the lawsuit brought by forty state attorneys general against
tobacco companies.
Whistle-blowing, the act of publicly exposing the misconduct of a company or organization, is a
courageous act. Wigand’s reputation was destroyed by a punitive smear campaign conducted by the
industry he spoke out against, and the stress resulting from that and the trial destroyed his marriage.
Brown & Williamson filed a lawsuit against him for revealing confidential company information (the suit
was dismissed as a condition of the $368 billion settlement against the tobacco industry). [12] But Wigand
blew the whistle in order to save thousands of lives. The true story was made into a blockbuster movie in
1999 called The Insider.
Of course, whistle-blowing exists on a less grand scale. If you know which of your classmates stole the
answer key to an exam and you tell the professor, you have blown the whistle. Whistle-blowing doesn’t
always involve risking your life, and it doesn’t always involve bringing a corporation to its knees. At its
heart, it is action taken to reveal wrongdoings in hopes of seeing justice done.
Only limited protection existed for whistle-blowers until recently; today, the best protection they have
(unless they work for the federal government) is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, mentioned earlier,
which states that “whoever knowingly, with the intent to retaliate, takes any action harmful to any person,
including interference with the lawful employment or livelihood of any person, for providing to a law
enforcement officer any truthful information relating to the commission or possible commission of any
federal offense, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.” [13] It’s
important to bear in mind that you have no obligation to blow the whistle; you can simply refuse to take
part in any unethical or illegal activity. If you know that crimes are being committed at your place of
business, you have to decide for yourself what form that refusal will take: you may simply not commit any
crimes yourself, you may try to persuade others to behave ethically, or you may feel that you must resign
your position. It will depend on your situation and your personal code of ethics.

Ethics and the Law
The ever-changing landscape of technology has created new opportunities to test ethics; spammers, scam
artists, and identity thieves have created the need to clearly define legal, and in some cases, ethical

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behavior online. An increasing number of cases of fraud committed via social networking sites have taken
place. There have been cases of people who create Twitter profiles in the names of other, real people.
News anchor Keith Olbermann and Tony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, have both been
victims of such hoaxes. [14]If tempted to such behavior yourself, remember: you are what you tweet. Your
reputation will be affected by all the things that you do—make sure that you’re making yourself look good.
Tightening Legal Loopholes
One of the best examples of laws being enacted in response to unethical business practices is the
Robinson-Patman Act. In 1914, the Clayton Act became the first federal statute to expressly prohibit price
discrimination in several forms. Large chain grocery stores used their buying power to negotiate lower
prices than smaller, independent grocery stores were offered. The Robinson-Patman Act was passed in
1936, during the Great Depression, as a direct response to that unfair business practice, closing the
loophole. [15]Buyers for the big chain stores weren’t breaking the law when they used their influence to get
better prices than small stores could, but they were behaving unethically—and the law caught up with
them in the end.
Another example of ways in which it can take the law some time to catch up to reality is the CAN-SPAM
Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act) of 2003. [16] CAN-SPAM
purports to take on spam—that is, unsolicited marketing e-mails, often with sexual or “STAY AT HOME,
EARN $$$!!!”–type messages. Perhaps the most famous arrest of a spammer came in 2005, when
Anthony Greco was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and charged with violating CAN-SPAM
by sending more than 1.5 million messages to users of the MySpace instant messaging service that
advertised pornography and mortgage-refinancing services. [17]
Culture and Ethics
When you are working in a different country, or with professionals from other cultures, there may be
different ideas as to what is appropriate and ethical. The Japanese, for example, have a culture of
corporate gift giving; kosai hi (literally “expense for friendly relations”) [18] refers to the Japanese business
practice of maintaining large expense accounts used for entertaining clients and nurturing other
professional relationships. This money is, for example, often used to buy golf club memberships as gifts
for people with whom Japanese businessmen and women have valuable working relationships. When you

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come face-to-face with these different customs, it is important not to be insulting, but you also cannot
ignore your company’s policies. “When in Rome” will only carry you so far.
A good rule of thumb is this: if you wouldn’t be comfortable telling your boss about it, or if you’d be
embarrassed to tell your mom about it, don’t do it. If you’re working for a company that does business in
more than one country, odds are they will have a liaison from each country that can help you to navigate
the intricacies of cultural difference. In Middle Eastern countries, there is a custom of baksheesh, a word
that encompasses everything from tipping to alms for a beggar to out-and-out bribery. If you are working
in the Middle East, there may be an expectation that you will help to grease the wheels; your supervisor
should be able to brief you on company policy in such situations. [19]
One excellent example of the ethical struggles unique to international business can be found in Michael
Crichton’s book Rising Sun, which deals with the clash of Japanese and American business practices. At
one point, two police officers are discussing how often they are offered gifts by the Japanese: “Giving gifts
to ensure that you will be seen favorably is something the Japanese do by instinct. And it’s not so different
from what we do, when we invite the boss over for dinner. Goodwill is goodwill. But we don’t invite the
boss over for dinner when we’re up for a promotion. The proper thing to do is to invite the boss early in
the relationship, when nothing is at stake. Then it’s just goodwill. The same with the Japanese. They
believe you should give the gift early, because then it is not a bribe. It is a gift. A way of making a
relationship with you before there is any pressure on the relationship.” [20] When you need to decline a gift
yourself, apologize and explain that company guidelines prohibit your acceptance of the gift. You should
then promptly report the gift to your supervisor.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Your company will make available to you their policies on various ethical issues in the employee
handbook; it is your responsibility to read the materials provided and remain familiar with their contents.
• There are four different types of conflicts of interest: family interests, gifts,private use of employer
property, and moonlighting.
• Bribery, the use of gifts to influence someone, is both unethical and illegal.
• Many employers will require you to sign a noncompete agreement; be sure that you understand the
details before you agree.
• A company’s trade secrets should never be disclosed.

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• Whistle-blowing, the exposure of a company’s wrongdoing to the public, is never your ethical
obligation—you are obligated only to refuse to participate. However, it can be a deeply noble act. You
must analyze the situation yourself and decide what is called for.
• Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 regulates corporate financial practices and provides protection for whistle-
blowers.
• While different cultures have different ideas about what is ethical, working in a different country or with a
client from another culture does not excuse you from following company policies regarding gifts, and so
on.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Review the employee handbook of the company for which you work (or have worked). What are the
company policies as they relate to travel expenses? How do you substantiate your travel expenses in
order to get reimbursement? What are the company policies as they relate to confidentiality? What kind
of information do you know that might be considered confidential?
2. Identify a situation in which you found yourself facing a conflict of interest: perhaps you had two after-
school activities with equal claims on your time, or maybe you wanted to use your part-time job to give
discounts to your friends. How did you resolve the conflict? Would you handle things differently if faced
with the same situation again?
3. Research a whistle-blower not mentioned in this chapter. Who was he or she, and what did he or she
expose? Do you agree with his or her decision to blow the whistle? Why or why not?
4. Find an example of someone who took part in bribery and was found out. Who was he or she, and what
were the consequences of his or her illegal actions?
5. Describe what is meant by confidentiality. What does a company expect when a company policy states
that employees are bound by confidentiality?
6. Describe the difference between unethical and illegal behavior. Is unethical behavior always illegal?
7. [1] “Fortune Global
500,” CNN.com,http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2008/snapshots/2255.html(accesse
d September 1, 2009).
8. [2] Starbucks, Business Ethics and Compliance: Standards of Business
Conduct,http://assets.starbucks.com/assets/sobc-fy09-eng (accessed September 1, 2009).

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9. [3] Starbucks, Business Ethics and Compliance: Standards of Business
Conduct,http://assets.starbucks.com/assets/sobc-fy09-eng (accessed September 1, 2009).
10. [4] Milton Snoeyenbos, Robert Almeder, and James Humber, Business Ethics (Amherst, NY: Prometheus
Books, 2001), 133.
11. [5] Michael McDonald, “Ethics and Conflict of Interest,” University of British Columbia Centre for Applied
Ethics,http://web.archive.org/web/20071103060225/http://www.ethics.ubc.ca/people/mcdonald/conflic
t.htm (accessed September 1, 2009).
12. [6] “Bribe,” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-
webster.com/dictionary/bribe (accessed September 1, 2009).
13. [7] “California Non-compete Agreements,”
Lawzilla,http://lawzilla.com/content/noncompete.shtml (accessed September 2, 2009).
14. [8] Gene Quinn, “What Is a Confidentiality Agreement?”
IPWatchdog,http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2008/01/03/what-is-confidentiality-agreement/id=31(accessed
September 2, 2009).
15. [9] “What Is a Trade Secret and How Is It Different from a Patent or Copyright?” HowStuffWorks, April 30,
2001, http://www.howstuffworks.com/question625.htm#(accessed February 14, 2010).
16. [10] Russell Beck, “Noncompete Agreements That Don’t Mean What They Say,” Journal of New England
Technology, September 5, 2008,http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2008/09/01/focus4-Noncompete-
agreements-that-dont-mean-what-they-say.html (accessed February 14, 2010).
17. [11] Chuck Salter, “Jeffrey Wigand: The Whistle-Blower,” Fast Company, December 19,
2007, http://www.fastcompany.com/articles/2002/05/wigand.html (accessed February 14, 2010).
18. [12] Jeffrey Wigand, “Biography,” http://www.jeffreywigand.com/bio.php (accessed September 2, 2009).
19. [13] Cornell University Law School, “Retaliating against a Witness, Victim, or
Informant,”http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/1513.html#e (accessed September 2, 2009).
20. [14] Danielle Citron, “Twitter Fraud,” Concurring Opinions, June 10,
2009,http://www.concurringopinions.com/archives/2009/06/twitter-fraud.html (accessed September 2,
2009).

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http://web.archive.org/web/20071103060225/http:/www.ethics.ubc.ca/people/mcdonald/conflict.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20071103060225/http:/www.ethics.ubc.ca/people/mcdonald/conflict.htm

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bribe

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bribe

http://lawzilla.com/content/noncompete.shtml

What is a Confidentiality Agreement?

http://www.howstuffworks.com/question625.htm

http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2008/09/01/focus4-Noncompete-agreements-that-dont-mean-what-they-say.html

http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2008/09/01/focus4-Noncompete-agreements-that-dont-mean-what-they-say.html

http://www.fastcompany.com/articles/2002/05/wigand.html

http://www.jeffreywigand.com/bio.php

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21. [15] Donald S. Clark, “The Robinson-Patman Act: General Principles, Commission Proceedings, and
Selected Issues,” Federal Trade Commission Web site, June 7,
1995,http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/other/patman.shtm (accessed September 2, 1010).
22. [16] Federal Trade Commission, “The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business,” September
2009, http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus61.shtm(accessed February 14, 2010).
23. [17] Paul Roberts, “Arrest, but No Relief from IM Spam,” InfoWorld, February 22,
2005,http://www.infoworld.com/d/security-central/arrest-no-relief-im-spam-863 (accessed September 2,
2009).
24. [18] Boye Lafayette de Mente, Japan’s Cultural Code Words (North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing,
2004), 225.
25. [19] S. E. Smith, “What Is Baksheesh?” wiseGEEK, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-
baksheesh.htm (accessed February 14, 2010).
26. [20] Michael Crichton, Rising Sun (New York: Ballantine Books, 1992), 136.

4.3 Selling U: Selling Your Personal Brand Ethically—Résumés
and References
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. Learn about the ethics of your résumé.
2. Understand how to ask references to speak honestly on your behalf.
You’ve been asked to submit your résumé because your roommate knows someone in the marketing
department at a major national food company. You really want this job, but you are concerned that
you don’t really have the qualifications yet. As you work on your résumé, you exercise your creativity:
“cashier” becomes “marketing representative.” You add to your skills “management of personnel”—of
course, you don’t have any management experience, but you just know you’ll be good at it. By the
time you’ve finished, you are surprised to realize that, looking at your résumé, you don’t recognize
yourself. Maybe this truth-stretching exercise wasn’t such a good idea.
Behaving in an ethical fashion throughout the hiring process only strengthens your personal brand—
and that’s just good business.

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Selling Yourself versus Stretching the Truth about Your Background and
Experience
When you create your résumé, you are selling yourself to potential employers; where do you draw the line
between putting your best foot forward and stretching the truth past the breaking point? The difference
between “attended Pacific Coast Baptist College” and “received degrees in theology and psychology from
Pacific Coast Baptist College” can be the difference between a successful tenure and an embarrassing
resignation, as former RadioShack CEO David Edmondson discovered in 2006. [1] Edmondson, by
claiming that he had earned degrees he had not (and, in one case, a degree not even offered by the
college), set the stage for the embarrassing scandal that cost him his job. It can be tempting to gamble on
the likelihood that an employer won’t do a background check—but even if you get away with a fib once or
twice, it’s not something you should bet on for your entire career. Social networking will out you. The
Internet has led to professional networks that are incredibly far reaching; your boss may have a
connection on LinkedIn to a manager at the company you pretend to have interned for. And, of course,
lying on your résumé is unethical; you should sell yourself, not an exaggerated version of yourself.
Your experiences as a waitress, cashier, retail store salesperson, babysitter, or any other part-time or
summer job can be very valuable on your résumé. Being able to demonstrate that you can multitask under
pressure, resolve problems quickly to customers’ satisfaction, be responsible, or increase sales are the
types of skills that prospective employers are looking for from entry-level employees. Use your experience
to tell a story about what makes you different and delivers value to your prospective employer. For
example, if you want to pursue a career in finance, your experience handling money and balancing the
cash drawer at the end of the day is important to highlight on your résumé. It’s also a good idea to put
your most important and relevant internships or jobs first on your résumé rather than adhering to the
traditional chronological order. Since you are just beginning your career, your most important jobs can be
listed first. When you gain more experience, it’s better to use the chronological format. The bottom line is
that you have a brand story to tell on your résumé; no matter what your background, you don’t need to
stretch the truth.

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Prospective employers want to see evidence that you are hardworking and have done things to distinguish
yourself by holding part-time jobs, completing internships, participating in professional organizations,
performing community service, and gaining other experiences. But one thing to remember about entry-
level positions in virtually every industry is that none of the hiring companies expects you to come in and
do the job from day one. The company will train you to do the job it wants done. That doesn’t mean that
you won’t be asked to “jump in” and do things, because you will. But companies don’t expect you to have
skills and experience that you will have after a few years of working. So use your résumé to sell yourself in
an honest but compelling way.

Asking References to Speak about Your Personal Brand
References, simply put, are people you can rely on to speak on your behalf; they come in two flavors,
personal and professional. Personal references are people like aunts or family friends—
professional references are by far the more important and are usually supervisors, professors, or
managers. While some prospective employers may accept personal references, you should have at least
three professional references available if a prospective employer asks for them.
You might be wondering what employers do when they receive your references.
When choosing references, be sure that the people you have in mind have good things to say about you.
It’s a good idea to keep in touch with your former boss from your internship or summer job. People with
whom you have had a good working relationship can be excellent references. It’s always best to contact
someone whom you would like to be a reference in person or on the phone. That way you will be able to let
them know exactly how much you respect her, and it will give you an opportunity to cement your
professional relationship. If she shows any kind of hesitation, you may not want to use her as a reference.
When you speak to a prospective reference, be professional and be specific. Here’s an example of a
conversation you might have with a professor whom you are asking to be a reference. If you are asking a
professor, it’s best to make an appointment or stop by his office.
You: Dr. Feng, I wanted to stop by and give you an update on my job search.
Dr. Feng: Great. I would like to hear about what companies you are interested in.

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You:
Well, I’ve been trying to get a sales position at one of the pharmaceutical companies in the
city. I think that’s what I’d like to do since I enjoy sales and I am very interested in science and
medicine. So I’ve sent my cover letter and résumé to all the pharmaceutical companies, and I
have a second interview with Ainion Pharmaceuticals next Thursday. I was wondering if you
would be a reference for me. They are looking for a sales assistant—someone who is
organized, analytical, good with follow-up, and is a creative thinker. I thought that you might
be able to speak about my work for the research practicum. I think it’s a great example of my
work ethic and drive as well as my attention to detail and ability to solve problems creativity.
Dr. Feng:
I would be happy to speak on your behalf. It sounds like the position could be a good fit for
your skills. I’ll let you know when someone from the company contacts me.
You:
Dr. Feng, thank you very much. I really appreciate all that you have done to help me start my
career. I’ll let you know how the interview goes on Thursday.
Once you know whom you’d like for your references, ask them. This is not a situation in which you want to
surprise people. Instead, talk with each person; you should personally speak with each person, preferably
in person or by phone as opposed to by e-mail. (By all means, avoid the group e-mail requesting
references.) Explain what the job is that you are applying for and ask for her permission to list her as a
reference. Always personally thank each of your references, even if you don’t get the job. Express your
gratitude—preferably in a handwritten note, but you must at least send an e-mail and let them know how
things turned out. Don’t feel as if you let down your references if you didn’t get the job. Each of your
references was in your situation at one point in time, and she didn’t get an offer from every job interview.
Stay positive and keep in touch with your references. They will appreciate it, and you will keep your
professional network strong.
If your potential employer wants references, he or she will ask for them; you should have them already
prepared, but they should not be listed on your résumé.

You’ve Got the Power: Tips for Your Job Search
Reference Checks
When you are asked to provide references, you will need to provide for each reference: full name, mailing
address, phone number, e-mail address, employer, job title, e-mail address, and relationship to you. Have
the information collected in a professional document (see ). Remember to get someone’s permission
before listing him or her as a reference every time; the fact that your internship supervisor was willing to

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be a reference two years ago doesn’t mean that you can take his assent for granted in the future. Your
references are chosen to be advocates for you—in return for their generosity of spirit, do them the
courtesy of asking whether they are still willing to speak well of you.

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Figure 4.4Sample References

Letters of Recommendation
As you go through classes and internships, collect letters of recommendation for your portfolio; such
letters demonstrate that people think highly of you. When you finish a class in which you did well, ask
your professor for a letter of recommendation. When you finish an internship, ask your supervisor. Not
only will these letters demonstrate your credibility, they will help to build your confidence. It’s a good idea

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to ask each of your references to write a letter of recommendation for you. That way you can bring the
letters to your interview to demonstrate the support you have from professionals.
Don’t hesitate to reread your letters after you’ve had a career setback. If you’re going to effectively sell
yourself, you need to believe in your personal brand. A reminder that Dr. Messimer thinks that you’re
awesome could be just the pick-me-up you need in order to dust yourself off and reenter the job market
with aplomb.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Lying on your résumé is not ethical and can have catastrophic consequences for your career.
• It is in your best interests to market yourself on your résumé—list your internships first, then your jobs,
including any “nonprofessional” jobs that are important to the history of your personal brand.
• Personal references are family and friends; professional references are people whom you have worked
with, and are vastly more important.
• Have at least three professional references available. Present your references only if asked for them; do
not include them on your résumé.
• Speak to each of your references before you provide their name and contact information to a prospective
employer. Get their permission, thank them, and let them know how things worked out.
• Letters of recommendation are important testaments to your character and abilities; when you finish an
internship or a class, ask your supervisor or professor for a letter of recommendation. Letters of
recommendation are excellent to present with your list of references.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Identify three people you could potentially use as professional references. Create a references sheet
using the information for these people.
2. Ask one of your former supervisors or a professor to write a letter of recommendation for you.
[1] Associated Press, “RadioShack CEO Resigns amid Resume Questions,” USA Today, February 20,
2006, http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2006-02-20-radioshack-ceo_x.htm (accessed February
14, 2010).

4.4 Review and Practice
Power Wrap-Up

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Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand ethical behavior in selling as well
as how to determine what the ethical decision is in a given situation.
• You can understand why behaving ethically is important to selling.
• You can describe how ethical decision making works.
• You can identify different ethical pitfalls, including bribery and conflicts of interest.
• You can understand how to locate and implement company policies.
• You can implement ethical decision making in the workplace.
• You can recognize an ethical challenge and know how to respond.
• You can analyze a company’s ethics based on their mission statement and philosophy.
• You can organize your work experience on a résumé in a way that is both honest and effective.
• You can understand how to integrate references into your job search.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E ( A N S W E R S A R E B E L O W )
1. What is ethical behavior?
2. What is an ethical dilemma?
3. What is an example of personal values?
4. What is an example of corporate values?
5. What is the purpose of a mission statement?
6. Why is your reputation important?
7. Explain how to determine a company’s policies on issues such as gifts, conflicts of interest, and so on.
8. Define a “conflict of interest.”
9. What is whistle-blowing?
P O W E R ( R O L E ) P L A Y
Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. Following are two roles that are involved in the
same selling situation—one role is the customer, and the other is the salesperson. This will give you the
opportunity to think about this ethical dilemma from the point of view of both the customer and the
salesperson.
Read each role carefully along with the discussion questions. Then, be prepared to play either of the roles
in class using the concepts covered in this chapter. You may be asked to discuss the roles and do a role
play in groups or individually.

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Ethics that Work
Role: Sales rep for Rold Gold, a fine jewelry wholesaler
You are a sales rep for Rold Gold, a jewelry wholesaler that specializes in high-end gold jewelry. The
holidays are coming, and one of your best customers, the owner of an independent jewelry store, has sent
you an expensive gift in appreciation for all that you have done to help her increase her business over the
past year. Your employee handbook makes it clear that you could be fired for accepting it, but you didn’t
actually accept it; it just turned up at your home, neatly wrapped, with a card attached. What will you do?
• Since no one will know that you received the gift, should you just keep it?
• If you decide to return the gift, what will you say to your customer?
• Will you write a thank-you note?
• If you decide to return the gift, what is the best way to do so?
• What, if anything, will you tell your sales manager?
Role: Owner, Jewels to the World jewelry store
You are the owner of a popular jewelry store. It has been a challenging year given the state of the
economy. One of your sales reps has really gone above and beyond the call of duty to help you increase
your business throughout the year with extra training, cost reductions, and promotional ideas. You want
to let him know that you appreciate all he does to support your business, so you send him a very generous
gift. You are not aware of any reason he wouldn’t accept it. Nonetheless, you have it sent directly to his
home to avoid any appearance of impropriety. You would be extremely disappointed if he didn’t accept
your gift.
• What will you say when the sales rep calls to thank you for your gift?
• If the sales rep decides not to accept the gift, will you insist that he keep it?
• If the sales rep doesn’t accept your gift, will it have an impact on your relationship?
• Will you expect special pricing and other deals in return for your gift?
P U T Y O U R P O W E R T O W O R K : S E L L I N G U A C T I V I T I E S
1. Identify at least one professor who might be willing to write you a letter of recommendation. Approach
him or her and make the request—be prepared to talk about your career aspirations. Be sure to choose a
professor in whose class you received a good grade and who likely remembers you.

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2. What influences your values? Make a list of your values and try to determine their origin. Do they come
from your parents, your church, or your own experiences?
3. Use the Internet to find a company whose mission statement and values statement reflects your mission
and values. Write a cover letter to that company explaining why you would be a good hire.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E A N S W E R S
1. Ethical behavior is morality applied to specific situations; it is behavior that addresses your obligations.
2. An ethical dilemma is a situation in which options are presented that may be right or wrong.
3. Personal values include (but are not limited to) honesty, integrity, accountability, drive, determination,
and sincerity.
4. Corporate values may be the same as personal values, which may also include teamwork, open and
honest communication, and diversity.
5. The process and reason for creating a mission statement, whether it is for a person or a company, is the
same: to develop a roadmap, a guide by which all future decisions will be made.
6. When you work in sales, you are selling yourself; you will have greater success with customers if you are
someone they want to “buy.” When a customer buys from you, they are investing in your reputation.
7. The employee handbook will outline the company’s policies concerning gift giving, nondisclosure of
company information, and other areas of behavior.
8. A conflict of interest is “a situation in which a person, such as a public official, an employee, or a
professional, has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective exercise of
his or her official duties.”
9. Whistle-blowing is the act of publicly exposing the misconduct of a company or organization.

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Chapter 5
The Power of Effective Communication

5.1 Ready, Set, Communicate
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. Understand the elements of effective business communication.
2. Recognize the implications of different types of verbal and nonverbal communication.
3. Learn how your dress communicates in an interview and the workplace.
4. Discuss how technology tools can help a salesperson manage customer relationships.

A text message.
A voice mail.
A passing comment.
A Facebook post.
An unreturned phone call.
Have you ever had one of these communications be misinterpreted? You meant one thing, but your
friend thought you meant something else? Sometimes, the miscommunication can result in the
confusion of a meeting time or a place to get together. Or worse, it can be entirely misunderstood and
may have a negative impact on your relationship.
Communication, the exchange of information or ideas between sender and receiver, is a challenging
aspect in your personal life, at school, and especially in selling. Today, it’s even more complex with
business being conducted around the world and with varying communication methods. In this
constant, high-speed business environment, communication blunders can cost you more than you
might think. Did you ever hear the saying, “You only have one chance to make a good first
impression”? It couldn’t be truer when it comes to communication: The first two seconds of
communication are so important that it takes another four minutes to add 50 percent more
information to an impression—positive or negative—within that communication. [1]Communication

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has often been referred to as a soft skill, which includes other competencies such as social graces,
personality traits, language abilities, and ability to work with other people. Soft skills also encompass
emotional intelligence, which Adele B. Lynn, in her book The EQ Interview: Finding Employees with
High Emotional Intelligence, defines as “a person’s ability to manage herself as well as her
relationship with others so she can live her intentions.” [2] But in today’s business world,
communication has become part of the new “hard skills” category, a technical job requirement,
because of the critical role that it plays in business. [3] According to Peter Post, great-grandson of the
late Emily Post, “Your skills can get you in the door; your people skills are what can seal the deal.” [4]

Misunderstood = Miscommunicated
In you learned about the importance of relationships. In fact, it is almost impossible to be in sales without
developing relationships inside your organization and with your customers. Your relationship skills build
trust, allow you to be a true partner, and help solve your customer’s problems; both internal trust and
external communication are essential keys to your ability to deliver on your promises. How are these
qualities intrinsically related? The way in which you communicate can determine the level of trust that
your colleagues or customers have in you. [5]
Just like relationships are the cornerstone of trust, communication is the foundation of relationships. But
it’s difficult to establish and develop relationships; it takes work and a lot of clear communication. You
might think that sounds simple, but consider this: Nearly 75 percent of communications that are received
are interpreted incorrectly. At the same time, interestingly, many people consider themselves good
communicators. The telling disconnect occurs because people tend to assume that they know what other
people mean or people assume that others know what they mean. This is compounded by the fact that
people tend to hear what they want to hear—that is, a person may interpret elements of a conversation in
such a way that the taken meanings contribute to his already established beliefs. When you put these
assumptions together, communication can easily become “miscommunication.” [6]

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The Communication Model
The standard model of communication has evolved based on two parties—the sender and the receiver—
exchanging information or ideas. The model includes major processes and functions categorized
as encoding, decoding, response, and feedback. In addition, the model accounts for noise, which
symbolizes anything that might disrupt the sending or receiving of a message.[7] The communication
model is shown in .
Figure 5.1 Traditional Communication Process [8]

The model helps describe exactly how communication takes place. For example, if you send a text
message to your friend to ask him if he wants to go a movie, you are the source, or sender, of the message.
You translated or encoded your message into text characters. A personal digital assistant (PDA) such as a
BlackBerry, iPhone, or cell phone is the channel, or the method by which you communicated your
message. Chances are, if your friend does not have his PDA or cell phone with him, your message will not
reach him, and you might miss the movie. So in this example, the PDA or cell phone is the channel. When
your friend, the receiver, reads the message, he decodes it or determines what you meant to communicate,
and then he responds. If he was talking to another friend while he was reading your text message and
didn’t see the time the movie started, that conversation would be considered noise because it would be
interfering with the communication of your message. Noise interferes with communication or causes
distraction, whether it is heard or seen. When your friend responds to you by saying that he wants to go
see the movie, he is providing feedback (or a response to your message). shows this example applied to
the communication model.

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The same thing can happen in a selling situation. For example, if you call a prospect to set up a meeting,
you are the sender. The message is the meeting information (e.g., date, time, and place) that you encode
into words. The channel is the telephone, and the receiver is the prospect. It sounds easy enough. Assume,
however, that the prospect responds to you and agrees to the meeting. But because he was checking his e-
mails while he was talking to you (which is noise), he puts the wrong time on his calendar. When you
come for the appointment, he’s out of the office, and your sales call doesn’t take place. Now you have to
start the communication process all over again. This is only an example of simply setting up a meeting.
Now imagine the challenges if you started explaining the features and benefits of a complex product or
negotiating a contract. You can see why understanding the communication process is so important in
selling.
Figure 5.2 Communication Process Example

Did You Know…?
• Positive e-mail messages are likely to be interpreted as neutral.
• Neutral e-mail messages are likely to be perceived as negative.
• People who send e-mails overrate their ability to communicate feelings.
• There is a gap between how a sender feels when he writes the e-mail and the way the emotional
content is communicated that can cause an error in decoding on the part of the receiver.
• One simple e-mail can lead to a communication debacle if the e-mail is not clearly written and well
thought out from the recipient’s point of view. [9]
Effective Communication

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How do you avoid the pitfalls of poor communication and build productive business relationships? It’s
best to always communicate in a timely manner and in the method that your customer prefers. That may
be easier said than done. Here are six tips that can help you increase your chances of making your
communications effective.
Tip 1: Empathy Is Essential
One of the key elements of being a good communicator is having empathy. That means thinking about
your communication from the receiver’s point of view. It’s focusing on what she wants to learn as a result
of your communication, not what you want to tell her. Empathy is about demonstrating that you care
about the other person’s situation. Think about when you received your acceptance letter from your
college; the letter probably mentioned what an exciting time it is in your life. The author of the letter
demonstrated empathy because she focused on the situation from your perspective. A purely factual letter,
without empathy, might have said that you were accepted and that now the school can make their budget
since they met their enrollment goal. That would be quite a different letter and would make you feel very
different (and probably not very welcome). Although it’s always best to be candid, you should deliver
information from the receiver’s point of view and address her concerns. [10]
Empathy is an integral part of emotional connection, one of the elements of a brand that you learned
about in . (Keep in mind that when you are in sales, you are the brand to the customer.) It is especially
important to have an emotional connection and empathy when apologizing to customers. Chances are the
customer is already angry, or at least disappointed, when you are not able to deliver as expected. You can
express empathy in your communications by saying or writing, “You have every right to be upset. I
understand how you must feel. I apologize for the late delivery. Let’s work on a new process that will help
prevent it from happening again.” [11] Some of the best brands have disappointed their customers but
showed empathy when they apologized. For example, the letter from then JetBlue CEO David Neeleman
shown in is an example of a letter of apology that demonstrates empathy and emotional connection and
also offers corrective action.

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Figure 5.3 Letter of Apology from JetBlue [12]

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Tip 2: Think Before You Communicate
Quick responses, whether verbal or via electronic methods, can be less effective than those that are
considered and can even cause misunderstanding. Although a timely response is critical, it’s worth a few
minutes to think about exactly what you want to say before you say it (or type it).
Tip 3: Be Clear
It seems obvious, but not everyone is clear in his communications. Sometimes, people are trying to avoid
“bad news” or trying to avoid taking a stand on a topic. It’s always best to avoid confusion and clearly say
what you mean by framing your message in a way that is easily understood by all receivers. It’s also a good
idea to avoid buzz words (or jargon)—those words, phrases, or acronyms that are used only in your
company. If they can’t be avoided, explain them in the same communication terms. You should also avoid
jargon on your résumé and cover letter—help your reader see your brand story at a glance without
needing a decoder ring.
Tip 4: Be Brief
Business communication should be short and to the point. Your customers are busy and need
information—whether it’s a proposal, report, or follow-up to a question—in a clear, concise way. It’s best
to avoid being verbose, especially in any business plans, proposals, or other significant documents. [13]
Tip 5: Be Specific
If you go to dinner at Cheesecake Factory and there is a wait to get a table, the hostess will hand you a
portable pager and tell you that the wait will be twenty to twenty-five minutes. Perfect. You have just
enough time to run a quick errand at a nearby store at the mall and be back in time to get your table. If, on
the other hand, she told you that you will be seated shortly, you might have an expectation of being seated
in five to ten minutes. Meanwhile, “shortly” might mean twenty to twenty-five minutes for her. You would
probably forgo running your errand because you think you are going to be seated soon but end up waiting
for twenty-five minutes and being frustrated. Being specific in your communication not only gives clarity
to your message but also helps set your customer’s expectations. In other words, your customer won’t
expect something you can’t deliver if you are clear about what exactly you can deliver and when. The same
is true for prices. For example, if you order from the menu at the Cheesecake Factory, you know precisely
what you will get to eat and how much it will cost. However, if there is a menu special that you heard
about tableside, but weren’t told how much the dish was, you might be surprised (and disappointed) when

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you receive the check. Specificity avoids surprises and sets expectations. See some examples in of general
statements that can be communicated more effectively when made into specific statements.
Table 5.1 General versus Specific Statements
General Statement Specific Statement
I’ll get back to you shortly. I’ll get back to you by Tuesday.
It will only take a few minutes. It will take less than 5 minutes.
It will cost about $5,000 plus installation. The cost is $4,800 plus $200 for installation.
Everything is included. It includes your choice of entrée, vegetable, dessert, and coffee.
Tip 6: Be Timely
Timing is everything in life and most certainly in selling. It’s best to be proactive with communication,
and if you owe someone a response, do it sooner rather than later. If you are slow to respond to questions
and communication, it will be difficult to develop trust, as prolonged responses may seem to imply that
you are taking action without informing the customer what it is you are doing. Timing is especially
important when you are communicating a negative response or bad news. Don’t put it off; do it as soon as
possible and give your customer the benefit of complete information.

Rules of Engagement
At the beginning of each relationship, ask your customer how he prefers to communicate. Getting the
answers to these simple questions will save time and confusion throughout your relationship and help
ensure good communication.
• How do you prefer to receive regular communication (e-mail, text, phone, in person, hard copy)?
• What can I expect as a standard turnaround time for response to questions and issues?
• How do you prefer to receive urgent communication (e-mail, text, phone)?
• Who else (if anyone) in the organization would you like to also receive communication from me?
• When is the best time to touch base with you (early morning, midday, or later in the afternoon)?
• How frequently would you like a status update and in what format (e-mail, phone, in person)?
Listen Up

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While you may think you are ready to communicate, it’s a good idea to stop and listen first. Creating your
message is only half of communication; listening is the other half. But it’s difficult to listen because we
listen faster than we speak—that is, based on what the other person is saying, we are already constructing
responses in our minds before they have even finished. As a result, many people are guilty of “listening too
fast.” [14] Cicero once said that it is good thing that humans were given one mouth and two ears, in light of
the way we use them. [15]
Listening, in fact, is so important that companies like Starbucks believe that it may directly improve
profits. According to Alan Gulick, a Starbucks Corporation spokesperson, if every Starbucks employee
misheard one $10 order each day, it would cost the company one billion dollars in a year. [16]That’s why
Starbucks has a process to teach their employees how to listen. Although listening may seem passive, it is
actively linked to success: One study conducted in the insurance industry found that better listeners held
higher positions and got promoted more than those who did not have developed listening skills. [17] So it’s
worth it to hone your listening skills now so that when you get into the business world you can be
successful. Here are a few tips:
• Use active listening. Confirm that you heard the sender correctly by saying something like, “Just to
be sure I understand, we are going to move forward with twelve cases for your initial order, then
revisit your inventory in five days.” Review the communication model above and take notice of the
importance of decoding. If you decode a message from your customer incorrectly, the communication
is ineffective and could even be costly. In the example above, the customer might have said in
response, “I meant that the initial order should be five cases, and we’ll revisit the inventory in twelve
days.” That’s a big difference.
• Ask questions. Questions are a way to gather more information and learn about your customer and
their business. They are also an excellent way to demonstrate that you are communicating by
listening. You learned in that asking the right questions is critical to being a successful salesperson.
Focus on listening and asking the right questions, and you’ll be rewarded with great information.
• Focus. Although multitasking has seemingly become a modern virtue, focus actually helps create
more effective communication. Stop and focus on your customer when he is speaking. This is a sign of
respect, and this concentration allows you to absorb more information. Take notes to remember
exactly what you discussed. There’s nothing more important than what your customer has to say. [18]

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• Take notes. While it may seem like you will remember everything that is said at a meeting or during
a conversation, taking notes signals that you are listening, and it provides you with an accurate record
of what was said. “The palest ink is better than the best memory.” [19]
Link
Are You a Good Listener?
Take this quiz to find out if you are a good listener.
http://www.chuckbauer.com/resources/assessments/are-you-listening-an-assessment

There’s More to Communication than Meets the Eye…or Ear
It’s important to remember that you will be communicating with many different people about many
different topics in selling. Sometimes, you will be communicating one-on-one and sometimes you will be
communicating with a group. Just as people have varying social styles (as you’ve learned in ), it’s
important to know that people also absorb information differently. Research conducted in the 1970s
indicates that people comprehend information in four distinct ways:
• Why. They want to know the reasons for doing something.
• What. They want to know the facts about it.
• How. They want to know only the information they need to get it done.
• What if. They want to know the consequences of doing it.
This can be a helpful road map of the elements you will want to include in your communications,
especially if you are communicating with a group, since you may not know everyone’s best method of
absorbing information. It’s been proven that if people don’t receive the type of communication they
prefer, they tend to tune out or reject the information.
You’ve probably noticed that both people and brands communicate the same message multiple times and
usually in multiple ways. Creative repetition is key to successful communication. Think about the
advertising Pepsi ran when it launched its new logo in early 2009; you most likely saw the television
commercial during the Super Bowl, noticed a billboard in a high-traffic area of a major city, received an e-
mail, saw banner ads on the Internet, reviewed the commercial on YouTube, and saw the new logo on the
packaging. Pepsi’s ad campaign illustrates the “three-times convincer” concept, which claims that 80

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percent of people need to be exposed a message three times to buy into it, 15 percent need to be exposed
to it five times, and 5 percent need to be exposed to it up to twenty-five times. [20] You may have seen the
message so many times that it’s hard to remember what the old logo even looked like.

Types of Communication
It is important to use multiple types of communication so that repetition does not become boring like a
broken record. There are three types of communication: verbal, which involves speaking to one or many
people to convey a message; nonverbal, which includes body language and other observations about
people; and written, which includes a message that is read in hard copy, e-mail, text message, instant
message, Facebook, Twitter, blog, or other Internet-based written communication. [21] Varying the usage
of these mediums can help ensure your customer’s attention, but you must carefully develop each skill
separately to communicate effectively.
Verbal Communication
An introduction, a presentation, a telephone conversation, a videoconference call: these are all examples
of verbal communication because information is transmitted orally. Despite the ubiquitous use of
technology in the business world, verbal communication is the most common method of exchanging
information and ideas. Verbal communication is powerful, fast, and natural and includes voice inflections
that help senders and receivers understand the message more clearly. The downside to verbal
communication is that once it is spoken, the words are essentially gone; they are preserved only in the
memory of those present, and sometimes the memories of the specific words spoken vary dramatically.
The he-said-she-said argument is an example of this. No one really knows who said what unless the words
are recorded. Recall is rarely exactly the same between two or more people.
Voice inflection, the verbal emphasis you put on certain words, can have a significant impact on the
meaning of what you say. In fact, the same words can take on completely different meaning based on the
inflection you use. For example, if you say the sentence in with an inflection on a different word each time,
the sentence communicates something completely different each time.

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Figure 5.4 The Impact of Intonation

Source: Based on ideas in Kiely, M. (October, 1993). When “no” means “yes.” Marketing, 7–9.
Verbal communication may take place face-to-face, such as an in-person conversation or group meeting,
speech, or presentation. It could also take place by phone in an individual conversation, a conference call,
or even a voice mail. Other forms of verbal communication include videoconferences, podcasts,
and Webinars, which are increasingly common in business. All these methods allow you to use inflection
to communicate effectively. Face-to-face meetings also provide the opportunity to use and interpret other
visual cues to increase the effectiveness of your communication.
Verbal communication is especially important throughout the steps of the selling process. Your choice of
words can make the difference in someone’s decision to first hear your sales presentation, and your
presentation can determine whether that person will purchase your product or service. You will learn
more specifically about how communication is used throughout the selling process covered in later
chapters.
Nonverbal Communication
Imagine that you are in a retail store buying a suit for an interview. When the salesperson approaches you,
she smiles, makes eye contact, and shakes your hand. You respond positively. You notice that she is
dressed professionally, so she makes you feel as if you will receive good fashion advice from her. When
you make your choice, the tailor comes over wearing a tape measure around his neck. You know he is a
professional and you can trust him to alter your new suit properly. On the other hand, if the salesperson
waits on you only after you interrupt her personal phone call, doesn’t make eye contact or shake your

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hand, acts as if she is bored being at work, and is dressed in worn jeans and flip-flops, it’s unlikely that
you trust her to help you choose your suit.
You have, no doubt, used and noticed nonverbal communication in virtually every personal encounter you
have had. Think about it: A gesture, a smile, a nod, eye contact, what you are wearing, the fact that you are
frequently checking your cell phone for text messages, and how close you stand to someone are all
examples of nonverbal communication.
Nonverbal communication is extremely powerful. In fact, some studies indicate that the influence from
nonverbal communication such as tone and visuals can have a greater impact than the spoken words. Dr.
Albert Mehrabian, a famed psychologist and professor emeritus of psychology at University of California,
Los Angeles, is considered a pioneer in the area of body language and nonverbal communication. His
research includes an equation, called theMehrabian formula, [22] that is frequently used to define the
relative impact of verbal and nonverbal messages based on experiments of communication of feelings and
attitudes. Dr. Mehrabian developed the formula shown in to define how communication takes place.
Figure 5.5 The Mehrabian Formula

The Mehrabian formula is used to explain situations in which verbal communication and nonverbal
communication do not match. In other words, when facial expressions contradict words, people tend to
believe the facial expressions. [23]

Types of Nonverbal Communication
• Handshake
• Body language
• Gestures
• Nodding or shaking your head
• Eye contact (or lack of eye contact)
• Eye roll
• Facial expressions

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• Touch
• Space or proximity
• Dress
• Multitasking (e.g., texting while listening to someone, earphones in ears while working)
Your Handshake Says It All
In some countries, you might bow when you meet someone; in others you might kiss; but when you meet
someone for a business meeting in the United States, it’s best to shake hands. [24] Although fist bumps and
high fives may be trendy as friendly greetings, neither is appropriate in a business setting.

Be Memorable
Here’s a networking tip: When you shake hands with people at a meeting, they are two times more likely
to remember you than if you don’t shake hands, according to a recent study conducted by the Incomm
Center for Trade Show Research. [25]
The exact history of the handshake is unknown; however, at one time it was used as method to prove that
you had no weapons in your hands. [26] A good handshake is essential in business; it is the first nonverbal
cue that you give to the person with whom you are meeting. It’s so important to have a good handshake
that a recent study conducted at the University of Iowa showed that during mock interviews, those
students who scored as having a better handshake were also considered more hirable by interviewers.
According to Greg Stewart, a business professor who conducted the study said, “We found that the first
impression begins with a handshake and sets the tone for the rest of the interview.” [27]
Do you think you have a good handshake? Believe it or not, it’s worth practicing your handshake. Here are
five tips for a good handshake:
1. Extend your right hand when you are approximately three feet away from the person with whom you
want to shake hands. [28]
2. Keep your wrist straight and lock hands connecting your hand with the same part of the other
person’s hand. [29] Apply appropriate pressure; don’t crush the person’s hand.
3. Shake up and down three or four times. [30]
4. Avoid the “wet fish” handshake. [31] This is where practice is really important. The more you shake
hands, the less nervous you will be.

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5. Smile and make eye contact. [32] This is your opportunity to use multiple types of nonverbal
communication to get your meeting or interview off to a good start.

Link
Shake on It
What does your handshake say about you?
http://www.howcast.com/videos/105154-How-To-Shake-Hands
Body Language
Do you use your hands when you talk? If so, you are using body language to help make your point. But
body language includes more than talking with your hands. Body language is what we say without words;
nonverbal communication using your body includes elements such as gestures, facial expressions, eye
contact, a head tilt, a nod, and even where and how you sit. Body language can indicate an unspoken
emotion or sentiment that a person might be feeling either consciously or subconsciously. Body language
can indicate if you are listening to someone and are engaged in what he is saying, disagreeing with him, or
getting bored. (You might want to think twice about the body language you are using in class.) It’s
important that you are aware of what you communicate with your body language and to understand and
respond to the cues you are getting from someone else’s body language.

Do You Speak Body?
Here are some common examples of body language and what they mean.[33], [34]
• Crossed arms: discomfort
• Spreading fingers: territorial display
• Mirroring (i.e., mimicking your body position to another’s): comfort
• Drumming or tapping fingers: frustration
• Hands on hips: there is an issue
• Hands behind the back: “leave me alone”
• Hands clasped, thumbs up: positive
• Thumbs down: don’t like
• Hands clasped with fingers forming a steeple: confidence

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• Touch neck: insecurity
• Crossed legs: comfort
• Glancing at watch: concerned about time or bored
Body language is not just an interesting topic to consider; it’s a proven science that can help you improve
your communication. Make eye contact with the person to whom you are speaking. Eye contact
avoidance can be distracting and can prevent you from establishing a relationship as shown in this video.
• Smile when you meet someone and throughout the conversation. A smile is a positive response to
another person and has a significant impact on how people perceive you. A smile can break the ice
and help you start a conversation.
• Dress for success at all times, which means always dressing appropriately for the situation.
The Selling U section in this chapter covers how to dress for an interview. But it’s best to keep in mind
that even after you get the job you want, it’s a good idea to dress a little better than the position. Even
in very casual work environments, what you wear is a nonverbal communication about who you are. If
you don’t dress for the next promotion, chances are you won’t be considered for it. Be aware of the
company policy and dress code, and if in doubt, dress more conservatively. This podcast featuring
Peter Post discusses how to handle casual dress in the workplace.
Written Communication
Although verbal and nonverbal communications usually take place in real time, written communication
has a longer consideration period. The sender must encode the message in words to be communicated on
paper or a screen. [35]Business reports, proposals, memos, e-mails, text messages, Web sites, blogs, wikis,
and more are all examples of written communication. Each of them is created over a period of time and
can include collaboration from multiple people. Collaboration is especially important for communicating,
planning, and creating documents so many people use tools such as wikis to share documents.
Written communication is preferred to verbal communication when careful consideration is important or
the information needs to be permanent, such as a company policy, sales presentation, or proposal.
Written communication can also take place when verbal communication isn’t an option, like when you
need to respond to an e-mail or text message at 1:00 a.m.
Although verbal communication is faster and more natural than written communication, each has its pros
and cons. Generally, written communication is better at conveying facts, while verbal communication is

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better at conveying feelings. Verbal communication has another significant drawback: consider the fact
that humans listen much faster than they speak. For example, the average public speaker speaks at about
125 words per minute. Although this sounds natural, the average person can listen at 400 to 500 words
per minute. That means that listeners’ minds have time and space to wander, which can impact the
effectiveness of verbal communication. [36] (You may have noticed your mind wandering during a class
lecture—even if you found the topic interesting.)
Written communication requires a good command of the English language, including the rules of
grammar and spelling. If you think that business exists solely on quick instant messages and text
messages, you might be surprised to learn that they are only a portion of the communication within a
company and between the company’s vendors and other partners. Because the nature of written
communication is such that it allows time for consideration and composition, the standards for writing
are much higher than for a casual conversation. Customers and colleagues alike expect clear, concise
written communications with proper grammar and spelling. And because written communication is long
lasting—whether on paper or on the Internet—errors or misstatements exist for an irritatingly long time.
So whether you are writing a proposal, a presentation, a report, a meeting recap, or a follow-up e-mail, it’s
best to take the time to think about your communication and craft it so that it is effective. Consider using
the following tips:
• Be short and sweet. Shorter is always better when it comes to business correspondence. It’s best to
include all pertinent facts with concise information. If you write your communication with the
receiver in mind, it will be easier to make it shorter and more effective.
• Grammar, please. Sentences should be structured correctly and use proper grammar, including a
subject and a verb in each sentence. Business correspondence should always include uppercase and
lowercase letters and correct punctuation. [37] If writing is not your strong suit, visit your campus
student services office or learning center to provide information about upcoming writing clinics and
access to other tools that can help improve your writing skills.
• Check spelling. Use the spell-check tool on your computer. There is no excuse for a misspelled
word. Text abbreviations are not acceptable in business correspondence.
• Read before you send. Reread your document or electronic communication before it goes out. Is
everything complete? Is it clear? Is it something you will be proud of days or weeks later? Take the

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extra time to review before you send. It’s difficult to revise a communication as revisions cause
confusion.
• Just the facts. Stick to the facts to maximize the impact of your written communications; leave the
emotional topics for verbal dialogue. For example, send an e-mail to confirm meeting time, date, and
location; use a verbal communication for the content of the meeting to be discussed, such as a
negotiation.

You Are What You Write
You might not think twice about sending a text to your friend. But in the business world, everything you
write in an e-mail, text message, letter, or memo is a direct reflection of your personal brand. This video
highlights the power of written communication and how it can help you build your personal brand.
http://www.sellingpower.com/content/video/?date=7/17/2009.
Source: SellingPower.com
Which Is Best?
Although verbal, nonverbal, and written communication all play a role in your communication with your
customers, you might be wondering which one is best. It depends on your customer and on the situation.
Some customers want to work day to day using all the latest technology tools, including text messaging,
social networking, Web conferences, wikis, and more. Other customers prefer more traditional face-to-
face meetings, phone calls, and some e-mail correspondence. Adapt to the method of communication that
your customer prefers and not the other way around. In some situations, a face-to-face meeting is best—
for instance, if you wish to discuss a complex issue, negotiate, or meet some additional members of the
team. Sometimes, a face-to-face meeting isn’t feasible, so other verbal communication methods such as a
videoconference, phone call, or conference call can be efficient and effective if used properly.
Chances are you will use a combination of communication types with each customer tailored to his
particular preferences and situation. Be guided by the fact that you want to keep your communication
personal in meaning and professional in content. Think about it from the receiver’s point of view, and
deliver bad news verbally whenever possible.

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It might seem intuitive, but it’s not always true that a face-to-face meeting is better than an e-mail. It
depends on the type of relationship you have with the person. If you are competitive with her, it’s best to
use e-mail to communicate. According to a study conducted by Robert B. Cialdini and Rosanna Guadagno
in 2002, if you have a more cooperative relationship, a face-to-face meeting is probably a better choice if
it’s physically possible.[38]
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Communication is vital in selling and is the foundation of relationships.
• The communication model describes exactly how communication is sent and received and provides clues
as to how to improve the effectiveness of communication.
• Empathy is thinking about your communication from the receiver’s point of view. Empathy helps build an
emotional connection.
• Effective communication is clear, concise, brief, specific, and timely.
• Creating your message is only one half of communication; listening is the other half. Being a good listener
improves your ability to be a good communicator.
• There are three types of communication: verbal, which involves speaking to one or many people to
convey a message; nonverbal, which includes body language and other observations about people;
and written, which includes a message that is read in hard copy, e-mail, text message, instant message,
Facebook, Twitter, blog, or other Internet-based written communication.
• Verbal communication provides the opportunity to change communication with inflection, or the
emphasis put on certain words in a conversation or presentation.
• Nonverbal communication provides additional insights into the sending and receiving of a message
through gestures, eye contact, proximity, and other elements of body language.
• Your handshake can be one of the most powerful elements of nonverbal communication and sets the
tone for the meeting or interview ahead.
• Written communication includes printed words designed to communicate a message on paper or a
screen and is more permanent than verbal ornonverbal communication.
• Written communication is best used for factual information, whereas verbal communication is best used
for emotional topics or those that require discussion.
• The best method of communication depends on your customer’s preferences and on the situation.

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E X E R C I S E S
1. Choose an advertisement online or in a magazine. Apply the communication model by answering the
following questions: Who is the source? What is the message? How is the message encoded? What is the
channel with which it is communicated? How is the message decoded? Who is the receiver? What might
be an example of potential noise that would interfere with the communication of the message? How can
the sender receive feedback from the receiver?
2. Are you a good listener? Complete this online listening activity to see how well you
listen.http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/words/listening/listeningforspecificinformation/activity.shtml
3. Can you listen to directions accurately? Take this online listening exercise to see how well you
listen.http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/words/listening/typesoflistening/game.shtml
4. Test your listening skills. Do this exercise with a partner, one is the speaker and one is the listener. The
speaker has three minutes to describe what he is looking for in a vacation destination. The listener has to
use active listening skills. Then, the listener has three minutes to “sell” a destination to the speaker, based
on what the speaker said he wanted. The speaker has one minute to review how close the listener was to
his destination. Reverse roles and repeat.
5. Name the three types of communication and give an example for each one. How might the
communication be misinterpreted in each example? How might the communication be made more
effective in each example?
6. Visit a local retailer that uses personal selling and ask a salesperson questions about purchasing a product
or service. Identify three types of communication the salesperson uses. Were they effective? Why or why
not?
7. Identify four examples of nonverbal communication you observe in class. What does each example
communicate?
8. Visit your campus student services or learning center and learn about the resources that are available to
help you develop your writing skills. What information, classes, or workshops are available? Which ones
sound like they might be helpful? Why?
9. Consider this situation: You are a salesperson who has to tell your customers that the original shipping
date will not be met and the new date is one week later. What are the four things that your customers
would want to know?

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10. Visit http://www.pbworks.com to set up a wiki for the class. Discuss a situation in which you could use a
wiki for class projects, campus activities, or other personal projects. Discuss a situation in which a
salesperson might use a wiki with a customer.
11. [1] Dave Rothfield, “Communicating Simply, Directly Will Improve You, Your Business,”Orlando Business
Journal, May 15,
2009,http://orlando.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2009/05/18/smallb2.html?t=printable(accessed July
12, 2009).
12. [2] “Interviewing for Emotional Intelligence,” Selling Power Hiring & Recruiting eNewsletter, October 15,
2008,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=878 (accessed March 16, 2010).
13. [3] Patricia M. Buhler, “Managing in the New Millennium: Six Tips to More Effective
Communication,” Supervision 70, no. 7 (July 2009): 19.
14. [4] The Emily Post Institute, http://www.emilypost.com/business/index.htm (accessed July 13, 2009).
15. [5] Gail Fann Thomas, Roxanne Zoliln, and Jackie L. Harman, “The Central Role of Communication in
Developing Trust and Its Effect on Employee Involvement,” Journal of Business Communication 46, no. 3
(July 2009): 287.
16. [6] Patricia M. Buhler, “Managing in the New Millennium: Six Tips to More Effective
Communication,” Supervision 70, no. 7 (July 2009): 19.
17. [7] George E. Belch and Michael A. Belch, Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing
Communications Perspective, 8th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 146.
18. [9] Jeremy Dean, “Avoid Email Miscommunication,” PsyBlog,http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/10/avoid-
email-miscommunication.php (accessed July 15, 2009).
19. [10] Steve Adubato, “Empathy Is Essential to Effective Communication,” NJBiz,http://www.stand-
deliver.com/njbiz/2008/020408 (accessed July 14, 2009).
20. [11] Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication, 6th ed. (Mason, OH: South-Western Publishing, 2008),
280.
21. [12] JetBlue Airways, “An Apology from David
Neeleman,”http://www.jetblue.com/about/ourcompany/apology/index.html (accessed February 18,
2010).

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http://orlando.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2009/05/18/smallb2.html?t=printable

http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=878

http://www.emilypost.com/business/index.htm

Avoid Email Miscommunication

Avoid Email Miscommunication

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22. [13] Patricia M. Buhler, “Managing in the New Millennium: Six Tips to More Effective
Communication,” Supervision 70, no. 7 (July 2009): 19.
23. [14] Jeffrey J. Denning, “How to Improve Your Listening Skills, Avoid Mix-ups,”Ophthalmology Times 26,
no. 10 (May 15, 2001): 28.
24. [15] Patricia M. Buhler, “Managing in the New Millennium: Six Tips to More Effective
Communication,” Supervision 70, no. 7 (July 2009): 19.
25. [17] Beverly Davenport Sypher, Robert N. Bostrom, and Joy Hart Seibert, “Listening, Communication
Abilities and Success at Work,” Journal of Business Communication 26, no. 4 (Fall 1989): 293.
26. [18] Jeffrey J. Denning, “How to Improve Your Listening Skills, Avoid Mix-ups,”Ophthalmology Times 26,
no. 10 (May 15, 2001): 28.
27. [19] “A Lesson on Listening,”Selling Power Pharmaceuticals eNewsletter, April 9,
2008,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=814 (accessed March 16, 2010).
28. [20] Natalie Zmuda, “Pepsi, Coke Try to Outdo Each Other with Rays of Sunshine,”Advertising Age, January
19, 2009, http://adage.com/abstract.php?article_id=133859(accessed July 14, 2009).
29. [22] Albert Mehrabian, “Silent Messages,” http://www.kaaj.com/psych/smorder.html(accessed July 15,
2009).
30. [23] “Mehrabian’s Communication Research,”
Businessballs.com,http://www.businessballs.com/mehrabiancommunications.htm (accessed July 15,
2009).
31. [24] Terri Morrison, “Kiss, Bow, or Shake
Hands,”http://www.getcustoms.com/2004GTC/Articles/new011.html (accessed July 23, 2009).
32. [25] Rachel Zupek, “The Worst Way to Shake
Hands,” CNN.com,http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/worklife/11/05/cb.hand.shake/index.html (accesse
d July 13, 2009).
33. [26] Rachel Zupek, “The Worst Way to Shake
Hands,” CNN.com,http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/worklife/11/05/cb.hand.shake/index.html (accesse
d July 13, 2009).
34. [27] “Good Handshake Key to Interview Success,” BC Jobs,http://www.bcjobs.ca/re/career-advice/career-
advice-articles/interview-advice/good-handshake-key-to-interview-success (accessed July 12, 2009).

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http://adage.com/abstract.php?article_id=133859

http://www.kaaj.com/psych/smorder.html

http://www.businessballs.com/mehrabiancommunications.htm

http://www.getcustoms.com/2004GTC/Articles/new011.html

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/worklife/11/05/cb.hand.shake/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/worklife/11/05/cb.hand.shake/index.html

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35. [28] Rachel Zupek, “The Worst Way to Shake
Hands,” CNN.com,http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/worklife/11/05/cb.hand.shake/index.html (accesse
d July 13, 2009).
36. [29] John Gates, “A Handshake Lesson from Goldilocks,” Free-Resume-Help.com,http://www.free-
resume-help.com/handshake-interview.html (accessed July 12, 2009).
37. [30] “Good Handshake Key to Interview Success,” BC Jobs,http://www.bcjobs.ca/re/career-advice/career-
advice-articles/interview-advice/good-handshake-key-to-interview-success (accessed July 12, 2009).
38. [31] “Good Handshake Key to Interview Success,” BC Jobs,http://www.bcjobs.ca/re/career-advice/career-
advice-articles/interview-advice/good-handshake-key-to-interview-success (accessed July 12, 2009).
39. [32] “Good Handshake Key to Interview Success,” BC Jobs,http://www.bcjobs.ca/re/career-advice/career-
advice-articles/interview-advice/good-handshake-key-to-interview-success (accessed July 12, 2009).
40. [33] Kathryn Tolbert, “What We Say without Words,” Washington
Post,http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/gallery/2008/06/23/GA2008062301669.html (accessed July 15, 2009).
41. [34] Neal Hendes, “How to Read Body Language: Ten Tips,” EzineArticles,http://ezinearticles.com/?How-
to-Read-Body-Language—Top-10-Tips&id=991635(accessed July 15, 2009).
42. [37] Patricia M. Buhler, “Managing in the New Millennium: Six Tips to More Effective
Communication,” Supervision 70, no. 7 (July 2009): 19.
43. [38] “Communicating Persuasively: Email or Face-to-Face,”
PsyBlog,http://www.spring.org.uk/2007/03/communicating-persuasively-email-or.php (accessed July 15,
2009).

5.2 Your Best Behavior
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Understand the appropriate etiquette for business communication.
You probably learned about table manners, thank-you notes, and other forms of etiquette when you
were younger. The way you conduct yourself says a lot about who you are in life and, by extension, in
business. Although many companies have a casual dress code, don’t be quick to assume that protocol

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and established practices aren’t important. It would be easy to misinterpret lack of formality as lack
of professionalism. Manners matter in selling, now more than ever.

Never Underestimate the Power of Good Etiquette
How do you make a positive impression when you meet someone? What’s the best way to ask for her
business card? When is it appropriate or expected to send a thank-you note? Who picks up the bill at a
business lunch? It’s hard to know the “rules of the road,” especially in today’s casual, fast-paced selling
environment. Etiquette can make the difference in how your customer perceives you and your personal
brand.
Etiquette Tips for Letters and Memos
Despite the use of electronic devices in business, formal written communication such as letters, memos,
proposals, reports, and presentations are still major methods of communication in selling. These more
official methods of communication reflect factual statements that you are making on behalf of the
company. Here are some tips for writing business communications:
• Use company letterhead where appropriate. For example, letters are always written on letterhead,
whether in hard copy or in an electronic format that can be sent via e-mail.
• Use the formal elements of a business letter shown in .
• For a company memo, use the company format. Most companies have a set format for hard copy and
electronic memos. See an example of a company memo in .
• Spell-check and proofread your document carefully before you send it. Be sure it is complete and
factually correct and does not include any grammar or spelling errors.
• Use CC to indicate the names of other people who should also receive a copy of the letter or memo.
The term “CC” is short for “carbon copy,” which dates back to the days of typewriters when carbon
paper was used to make multiple copies of a document. It can also mean “courtesy copy”: an
additional copy provided to someone as a courtesy. [1]
• Use BCC (blind carbon copy) to send copies to other people without having the primary recipient see
it. [2]

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Figure 5.7 Business Letter Format

Figure 5.8 Company Memo Example

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Etiquette Tips for Conversations, Meetings, and Presentations
Although common sense should prevail in all business communications, here are some tips that will help
make your conversations, meetings, and presentations more effective forms of communication:
• Be prepared; don’t waste anyone’s time or focus.
• Prepare a written agenda and hand it out at the start of the meeting to keep the group focused on the
desired topics.
• Speak clearly and at a volume that is easy to hear, but not too loud so as to be distracting.
• Be professional and respectful; don’t interrupt when others are speaking.
• Use eye contact.
• At the end, recap your key points and identify next steps.
In sales, time is money so conducting effective and efficient meetings is critical to your success.
Link
Seven Tips to Make Your Meetings More Effective [3]
http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=972

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Doodle to Save Time
If you are setting up a meeting that involves several people and it’s difficult to agree on a meeting date and
time, you can use Doodle.com to identify the best date and time to meet. You choose the options and e-
mail a link to the participants; when people respond, you see the Doodle.com summary that indicates the
best date and time for the meeting. Set up an account athttp://doodle.com.
Figure 5.9Sample Poll on Doodle.com [4]

Etiquette for Requesting and Giving Business Cards
Business cards are a branding tool for your company and a way to stay in touch with your customers and
other people in your network. [5] In fact, giving out and requesting a business card is considered good
etiquette. [6] Here are some tips to exchange business cards in a professional manner:
• Carry your business cards in a case or protective holder; never give anyone a card that is worn, dirty,
or out of date. [7]
• Always put a supply of business cards in your case when you attend a business event. [8]
• Present your card with the print facing up so the recipient can easily read it.[9]
• Never force anyone to take your card. [10]
• When receiving a business card, take a minute to review the information to make sure you remember
who gave you the card. Make any notes or comments on it later. [11]
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The purpose of a business breakfast, lunch, or dinner is to get to know someone and build a relationship.
As you learned in , to engage in business entertainment is considered part of the sales job description.
Table manners are a form of nonverbal communication, and impolite etiquette can reverse all the effort
you have put into a relationship. Business meals are so important that many companies use business
lunches or dinners as part of the interview process. Whatever the situation, you want to be prepared with
proper etiquette for the occasion.
• A meal is considered a business meeting, no matter where it is held. [12]
• To help you remember which dishes and utensils to use, think BMW: Bread plate on your left, Meal in
the center, Water goblet on the right. [13] Use silverware starting at the outside and work your way in
as the meal progresses.
• As a general rule of thumb, the person who invites pays. If you are invited to lunch for an interview,
your host pays. If you take a customer out to lunch, you pay. [14]
• If you don’t know what to order, ask your host what’s good. Order a midpriced entrée rather than
ordering the least expensive or most expensive item on the menu. If you are the host, make some
suggestions so your customer feels comfortable with her choice. [15]
• Don’t order anything messy; stick to food that is easy to eat. [16]
• Be courteous to the wait staff. Many people observe how you treat other people, even when you think
no one is watching.
Etiquette for Thank-You Notes
There’s nothing more personal than a thank-you note. For the most part, you and your customers are very
busy, which is why a thank-you note is even more appreciated. Whether it’s a handwritten note or an e-
mail thank you, it will go a long way in building your relationship. It’s a personal touch that sets you apart.
It’s never inappropriate to say thank you, but it may be inappropriate not to say thank you.
Here are some tips for writing thank-you notes:
• Start with a clear introduction and let the reader know right away that the purpose of the note or e-
mail is to thank him.
• Be specific about the situation, date, or other information surrounding the reason for the thank-you
note.

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• Make it personal and make it special by including your own sentiments. A generic message such as
“thanks for a great job” really doesn’t fill the bill. Think about exactly what moved you to write the
note and be sure your reader knows what she did that was special. [17]

Power Selling: Lessons in Selling from Successful Brands
Imagine getting a personalized handwritten thank-you note when you order a pair of shoes online. That’s
what SimplySoles.com does for each customer. Founder Kassie Rempel feels so strongly about thanking
customers for their business that every customer who purchases a pair of shoes receives one; each note
even mentions the name of the shoe that was purchased. [18]

High Tech, High Touch
The year was 1982, and the world was just beginning to realize the amazing potential of computer
technology. John Naisbitt wrote a book called Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives,
where he coined the term “high tech, high touch,” which he defined as the contradictory state in which
people are driven by technology yet long for human interaction. [19] He wrote about how the United States
has been transformed from being comfortable with technology to being intoxicated with technology, a
state he calls the “Technologically Intoxicated Zone” in his 1999 book, High Tech/High Touch. You
probably can’t imagine living without your cell phone or personal digital assistant (PDA), iPod, computer,
or other electronic devices. In fact, it’s likely you can’t even remember what communication was like
before the Internet.
Technology, with all of its efficiency and benefits, cannot, however, become a substitute for old-fashioned
human efforts. “Technology makes tasks easier, but it does not make our lives easier,” according to July
Shapiro in a recent article in Advertising Age. [20] Shapiro’s observation is true, especially as it relates to
business; sometimes, the crush of technology takes precedence over business etiquette. However, people
have begun to rethink the lack of personal interaction and its corresponding etiquette in the workplace.
Yes, “there’s even an app for that”; a firm named Etiquette Avenue has recently launched an iPod app for
business etiquette. The fact is, technology isn’t personal and can’t behave in the right way at the right time
with your customer or on an interview; that’s completely up to you. [21], [22]

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Now, we’re seeing a bit of a reverse movement: Technology is so pervasive in selling that salespeople are
actually pushing back on their managers and asking them for more face time and less gadget time. One of
the best opportunities for sales managers and their salespeople to discuss business problems and build
relationships with one another has traditionally been during “windshield time,” which is the time in the
car driving between sales calls. “Sales reps report that the intrusion of technology has stolen this valuable
time from reps and their principals [bosses],” according to a recent article in Agency Sales, because as
soon as they get into the car to drive to the next call, the sales manager pulls out his BlackBerry. “If there’s
one thing I could tell my principals [bosses] when they come see me in the field is to ditch the electronic
communications and pay attention to me and our customers,” said one salesperson quoted in the
article.[23] It’s no surprise that there’s a need for business etiquette, especially as it relates to technology.
Being Connected versus Being Addicted
In a recent pitch to a potential client, a marketing executive in Manhattan thought it was strange that his
potential customer was so engaged with his iPhone that he hardly looked up from it during the meeting.
After ninety minutes, someone peeked over the customer’s shoulder and saw that he was playing a racing
game on his iPhone. This was disappointing, but not shocking according to the marketing firm that was
doing the presentation; they continued with their pitch because they wanted the business. Some are not as
tolerant. Billionaire Tom Golisano, a power broker in New York politics, recently announced that he wants
to have State Senate majority leader Malcolm A. Smith removed from office because Smith was focused on
his BlackBerry during a budget meeting with him. Recently, in Dallas, Texas, a student lost his
opportunity for an internship at a hedge fund when he checked his BlackBerry to check a fact during an
interview and took an extra minute to check his text messages at the same time. [24] It’s no surprise that
BlackBerrys are also called “CrackBerrys.” According to Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted: The
Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, we are living in “an institutionalized culture of
interruption, where our time and attention is being fragmented by a never-ending stream of phone calls,
e-mails, instant messages, text messages, and tweets.” [25]
The need to be connected should not overwhelm respect for colleagues and customers. Although texting
has become a national pastime, especially among teenagers, it’s important to know the appropriate
etiquette for the use of handheld electronic devices when conducting a sales call.

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First, it’s best to turn off your electronic devices before you enter every meeting. If you think you can’t live
without checking your text messages, think about how you would feel if you went on a job interview and
the person with whom you were meeting was checking his electronic device during your interview. Just
because some people demonstrate bad behavior and check their electronic devices for messages during a
meeting doesn’t make it appropriate. In fact, it will help you stand out as a good listener, and you will
make your customer feel even more important when you focus exclusively on her.
Etiquette Tips for Telephone, Cell Phone, Voice Mail, and Conference Calls
Sometimes, however, the use of technology is entirely necessary to conduct business when personal
interaction is impossible. It’s important that verbal communication that is not face-to-face is effective and
professional. Because you don’t have the benefit of using or seeing the receiver’s nonverbal
communication, the challenges for effective and appropriate communication are even greater.
Here are some dos and don’ts of telephone etiquette:
• Do be aware of the volume of your voice when you are speaking on the phone in the office or on a cell
phone. [26]
• Do, when using a speakerphone, conduct the call in an enclosed or isolated area such as a conference
room or office to avoid disturbing others in the area.
• Do, when leaving a voice mail message, speak slowly, enunciate, spell your name, and leave your
number (this makes it much easier for the recipient to hear your message the first time).[27]
• Do, when you leave a voice mail message, be specific about what you want: make it easier for the
caller to get back to you and include what time you will be available for a callback to avoid playing
telephone tag. [28]
• Do customize your voice mail message: create a different message for each of your customers or
prospective customers so the message is personal and relevant. [29]
• Do speak with enthusiasm: it’s best to convey a smile in your voice, especially if it is the first time you
are calling or leaving a message for someone. [30]
• Don’t take another phone call during a meeting. [31]
• Don’t discuss confidential or personal issues during business calls.
• Don’t discuss confidential issues in public areas—you never know who might overhear a conversation
in the hallway, on a train, or in other public areas. [32]

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• Don’t leave a long, rambling voice mail message: be prepared with a message that is no longer than
sixty seconds. [33]
• Don’t multitask during a long phone call or conference call—give the other person or people the
courtesy of your full attention.
Etiquette Tips for E-mails, Text Messages, Instant Messages, and Social Networks
Written communication has evolved to include multiple methods, all of which have appropriate places in
selling. Notice the operative word here is appropriate. E-mail has become an accepted method of
communication in most businesses, whereas text messages, instant messages, and social networks are
commonplace for only some companies. That’s why etiquette is especially important when using any of
these methods of communication, and you should take time to choose your method carefully. Letters,
memos, proposals, and other written communication are considered formal, whether they are sent on
paper or transmitted via e-mail. However, text messages, instant messages, and social networking are
considered informal methods of communication and should be used only to communicate less formal
information, such as a meeting time when schedules have been adjusted during a factory tour. Text and
instant messages should never be used to communicate company policies, proposals, pricing, or other
information that is important to conduct business with customers. It’s also worth noting that in all these
methods your communication is permanent, so it’s a good idea to know the dos and don’ts of electronic
communication.
• Do use an e-mail subject line that clearly tells the recipient about the content of the e-mail.
• Do create a short, concise message that uses proper grammar and spelling—use spell-check to be sure
all words are spelled correctly. [34]
• Do, in all electronic communications, use uppercase and lowercase letters as grammar dictates. [35]
• Do use e-mail, text messages, and instant messages when appropriate, according to your company’s
practices, and with your customers to communicate factual information such as to confirm meeting
date, time, and location. [36]
• Do use social networking sites to join the conversation and add value—you can build your personal
brand by creating a blog or joining a professional conversation on social networking sites such as
Twitter or Facebook. [37]
• Don’t use all capital letters in an e-mail; it appears that you are shouting or angry. [38]

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• Don’t use “Reply to All” unless it’s absolutely necessary that all the recipients see your response—be
selective to avoid mailbox overload.
• Don’t send an e-mail, text message, or instant message when you are angry: take the time to think
about what you send because you can’t take it back after it’s sent. [39]
• Don’t use abbreviations like “ur,” “2b,” and others—this is not appropriate business
communication. [40]
• Don’t use company e-mail, text message, or instant message accounts to send personal
correspondence, and don’t check your personal accounts or pages during company time, as all
communication that takes place on company hardware and servers is property of the company.
• Don’t use electronic communication to transmit bad news: talk to the person first, and if follow-up is
necessary, reiterate the information in written form.
• Don’t use text messages, instant messages, or social networks to communicate information such as
pricing, proposals, reports, service agreements, and other company information that should be sent
using a more formal method.

Power Point: Lessons in Selling from the Customer’s Point of View
When the Customer Tweets
Social media give customers a voice like never before. When companies listen to customers, they can turn
a bad situation into a good one; but if they don’t respond, customers speak out. For example, a dissatisfied
Virgin America passenger posted a tweet on Twitter during a flight to Boston, thanks to the Wi-Fi service
onboard. Virgin America monitors Twitter so closely that by the time the plane landed, a ground team met
the customer at the gate to be sure his needs were met, and he left the airline with the memory of
extraordinary service. [41]
Music to Your Ears
When is an iPod or other MP3 player or a handheld gaming device appropriate at work? Only when it is
used for business purposes. “You’re isolating yourself,” says Dale Chapman Webb, founder of The
Protocol Centre in Coral Gables, Florida. “You are sending a message that my music is more important
than the work at hand.” If you feel the need to listen to your iPod or use handheld gaming devices at work,
sales may not be the right profession for you.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S

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• Proper etiquette is a necessity in selling. There are etiquette guidelines for virtually every form of
communication, including conversations, meetings, business cards, business meals, thank-you notes, e-
mails, text messages, and even social networking.
• Written communication should always include proper grammar and spelling. This applies to formal
business communications such as letters and memos, as well as informal business communications such
as e-mails and text messages.
• Written communication such as letters, reports, and memos are considered formal methods of business
communication; many formal communications are transmitted via e-mail. Text messages, instant
messages, blogs, and social networks are considered informal communications and should only be used
for informal communications such as confirming a meeting place when noise is an issue, such as on a
factory floor.
• It’s best to remember that most written communication is permanent, so take the time to craft it
carefully.
• Professionalism should prevail in all business meetings and communications, including meals. When you
are at a restaurant, it’s is good idea to remember BMW: Bread to the left, Meal in the middle, Water
goblet to the right. Use silverware starting with the utensils on the outside and work your way in
throughout the meal.
• You can add a personal touch to a business relationship by sending a thank-you note. Although it is
acceptable to send a thank-you note via e-mail, it is recommended to send a personal handwritten note
to reflect a sincere sentiment that really stands out.
• It is never appropriate to use an electronic device such as a cell phone, BlackBerry, or iPhone while you
are talking with someone else. Turn off your devices before you enter a meeting.
• When talking on the phone, be courteous and use an appropriate volume in your voice. Never discuss
confidential or personal topics on the phone when others might overhear.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Assume you work for a textile manufacturer. Draft a letter to invite your customer to tour your company’s
factory next month. Choose a specific date, time, and location for your tour to be included in your letter.
Who, if anyone, should be included as a CC? Why? Who, if anyone, should be included as a BCC? Why?

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2. Create a voice mail message that you would leave on a customer’s voice mail if you were calling to set up
a meeting to follow up from your first sales call. What information is essential to be included in the voice
mail? What information should not be covered in the voice mail?
3. You are scheduled to meet your customer for an off-site training meeting. You just realized you are at the
wrong meeting location, and you need to contact your customer and let her know that you are on your
way to the right location. What is the best method to communicate with your customer? What would
your message be?
4. You just learned about a delayed shipment date for your customer’s order. What is the best method to
communicate this to your customer?
5. You are in a meeting with a customer, but you have a potential problem that is developing with a
different customer. You are expecting a phone call about the second situation during your meeting with
the other customer. How would you communicate this to the customer with whom you are meeting?
6. You are at a business dinner with your boss and her husband in a very nice restaurant. Watch the
following video and answer the following questions.
Source: BNET
o From which side of the chair do you sit down?
o How do you determine which bread plate is yours?
o When do you put your napkin on your lap?
o When someone asks you to pass the salt, what do you do?
o When you want to excuse yourself, what is the appropriate way to do it?
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2008,http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/norman-birnbach/pr-back-talk/10-twitter-etiquette-
rules (accessed July 17, 2009).
47. [41] Gerhard Gschwandtner, “Wow Your Customers with Twitter in Real Time,” Selling
Power, http://sellingpower.typepad.com/gg/2009/07/wow-your-customers-with-twitter-in-real-time-
.html (accessed July 23, 2009).

5.3 Selling U: The Power of Informational Interviews
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Learn about informational interviews and how they can help your career search.
“Find someone who does what you want to do, then go talk to them.” That’s the advice that Ike
Richman, vice president of public relations at Comcast-Spectacor consistently tells students when he
is a guest speaker. That is the essence of what an informational interview is: one-on-one
communication that helps you learn about different industries and potential careers. You learned
about the power of networking in the Selling U section of Chapter 3 “The Power of Building
Relationships: Putting Adaptive Selling to Work”. And informational interviews are one of the best
ways to network. They are the ultimate in business communication because you are “trying on jobs
for size to see if they fit you,” according to Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your
Parachute? and the person who coined the term “informational interview.” [1]

What Is an Informational Interview?

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An informational interview is exactly what it sounds like; it’s an opportunity to learn about a particular
profession, industry, or job. [2] That means that if you are interested in sales, you might meet with an
account manager for a software company and talk to her about what it’s like to be in sales. Or, if you think
you want to pursue a job in advertising, you could meet with someone who works at an advertising
agency. This gives you the chance to learn the inside story about what it takes to start a career and work in
your target industry.
You’ve probably learned about several different professions in your classes; you most likely heard from
guest speakers. And through your networking activities, chances are you’ve met people who do what you
think you want to do. But it’s impossible to know exactly what career you want to pursue without getting
some one-on-one information. What does the job entail? Will you be working with people out in the field
or sitting at a desk? What kinds of opportunities are available for personal development? What kind of
skills and experience do you need? Is this really a career you will enjoy? What’s the best part of the job?
What’s the worst part of the job? All these are excellent questions to ask during an informational
interview.

Ask for Information, Not a Job
Informational interviews are an excellent source of information and insight. In fact, you can gain
knowledge through informational interviews that you might not be able to gain in any other way. It’s
important to note that informational interviews are not the place to look for an internship or job. [3] A job
or an internship could result from an informational interview because it is a time to make an impression
on someone, demonstrate your skills, and network. However, it’s best to keep in mind that when you ask
for an informational interview, you are asking for someone to take the time to share insights and
information with you. If you ask the interviewer for a job, you misled the interviewer about the purpose of
the meeting. [4]

Informational Interviews Made Easy
Informational interviews are an excellent way to gather real-world information about your career
direction. Here’s a guide to everything you need to know to get the most out of informational interviews

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using the tenets of journalism. As a guide, remember the five Ws and an H: who, what, when, where, why,
and how.
Why Go on Informational Interviews
You might think that if you shouldn’t ask for a job, why bother going on an informational interview? There
are plenty of reasons to pursue informational interviews.
• You can learn about what it is like to work in a particular industry, company, or job. [5]
• You have the opportunity to get to know key people in the industry. [6]
• You can learn about jobs that you didn’t realize exist—jobs that are open now or that might be open in
the future. [7]
• You can learn about where you might fit in a specific organization. [8]
• You can ask for referrals for the names of other people in the industry or company with whom you can
meet. [9]
• You can hone your interviewing skills in a low-pressure environment.
• You can get “insider” information that other job seekers might not get, because informational
interviews are an underused approach. [10]
Who to Ask for an Informational Interview
Here’s where your networking skills come into play. Identify people who do what you want to do or do
something that you think is interesting. Make a list of people using the following resources:
• Think of people in professional organizations you may have heard speak or may have met at an event.
• Think of guest speakers you may have heard speak in class or at a campus event.
• Talk to friends and family to get ideas for people they may know in the profession you want to learn
more about.
• Talk to your professors about people in the industry they may know.
• Visit the campus career center and alumni office to identify people with whom you can meet.
• Use online professional networking to find people whom you would like to talk with and learn from.
• Read local business journals and professional organization publications to identify people who have
jobs that you want to learn more about. You can usually find these publications online or in person at
your school library or public library. [11]
How to Ask for an Informational Interview

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Informational interviews are usually twenty to thirty minutes long and can take place in person or by
phone. Once you identify the people with whom you would like to have an informational interview, it’s
time to contact each person and ask for a meeting. It’s always best to request an informational interview
in person because you have the opportunity to communicate verbally as well as nonverbally. Although it’s
appropriate to send a letter or e-mail to request an informational interview, it’s best to call each person to
request the interview or talk to him or her in person. If you use your communication skills, a personal
conversation will be much more persuasive than a passive e-mail or letter, which could easily go
unanswered.
A telephone conversation should include an introduction along with the reason you are calling. Be clear
that you are seeking information; don’t frame your request as a veiled strategy for a job offer. If you are
honest about learning about the industry, most people will take the time to help you. You might consider a
telephone conversation like this:
You:
My name is Jorge Ebana, and I am a student at State University majoring in business
administration. I was in Dr. Wolf’s Creative Selling class on Thursday when you were a guest
speaker. I really enjoyed your presentation. I especially enjoyed hearing about how you
landed the XPress account.
Interviewer:
Jorge, thank you so much for calling. I’m really glad to hear that you found my presentation
interesting. I enjoyed speaking to your class very much. Yes, the XPress account took a lot
of work to land, but it’s been a great relationship for all parties involved.
You:
As you were speaking, I realized that as you described the research, preparation,
presentation, and follow-up, what you do daily is something that I would really enjoy, too.
You made me realize that sales could be the career I might want to pursue.
Interviewer:
Jorge, that’s so good to hear. I always like to share my experiences with young people so
that they understand the rewards and the challenges involved in selling. Personally, I enjoy
selling so much that I can’t imagine doing anything else.
You:
I would really like to learn more about how you got into sales. It sounds like you had some
very interesting positions at Intuit and CreditSys. I’d like to hear about what’s it’s like to sell
for a major corporation compared to a start-up company, and their differing advantages.
Would it be possible to get together for twenty minutes or so? I’d really like to learn more
about your background in the field.

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Interviewer:
Why don’t you drop by on Thursday morning at 8 o’clock. We can touch base, and I can give
you a quick tour of the office.
You: That would be perfect. I really appreciate your taking the time to help me.
Interviewer: It’s my pleasure. I’ll see you on Thursday morning.
If you use this type of approach when you are speaking with someone with whom you would like to meet,
you increase your chances of getting a positive response. If you don’t know the person or have a
connection to him, it’s still appropriate to call him directly to request an informational interview.
What to Wear, Bring, and Ask on an Informational Interview
Just like any sales call, business meeting, or job interview, you should always be prepared for an
informational interview. Treat it as if it were a job interview and dress in a conservative, professional
suit. [12] Men should wear a white or light shirt, conservative tie, and dark-colored suit. Women should
wear a skirt or pants with a blazer in a dark color. Some things the interview “fashion police” would tell
you to avoid: too much aftershave or cologne, low-cut blouse or short skirt, wrinkled anything, and
athletic-looking shoes or sandals.

Link
What Employers Want
Learn about what employers expect when someone comes in for an informational interview or job
interview.
http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/testimonial-from-an-employer-dressing-for-a-job-interview-
myjobpath-video-series/oy8-P3FAHjEbV1IhQKudcw
Source: Bay Area Video Coalition
Come prepared as if it were a job interview, even if you already know the person with whom you are
interviewing. That means doing research on the industry, company, and person before you arrive. Visit
the company’s Web site as well as those of competitors, research the industry on databases such as
Hoovers.com, and do a search on Google to learn more about the person with whom you are interviewing.
Also, look her up on LinkedIn, Plaxo.com, Ryze.com, or other professional social networking Web sites to
learn more about her professional background before your meeting.

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Bring extra copies of your résumé printed on twenty-four-pound paper (this is also called résumé paper;
you can buy it at your campus bookstore or at any office supply store or Web site). It’s best not to use
regular copy paper as it is lightweight and doesn’t provide strong nonverbal communication about your
brand. You never know when the person with whom you are meeting will ask for an extra copy of your
résumé. And, even if she already has a copy, she may not have it handy. [13]
This is a perfect opportunity to bring samples of your work. See the Selling Usection in Chapter 6 “Why
and How People Buy: The Power of Understanding the Customer” for some tips about how to put together
a portfolio that helps you show and sell yourself. If you have had an internship, bring clean samples of any
projects you worked on; the same is true for any student organizations, volunteer work, or community
service that you have done. You should also include a few key class projects to demonstrate your
versatility.
Now prepare for the questions. Unlike a regular job interview, you have requested this meeting so you
should be prepared to ask the questions. Keep the questions focused on learning about how your
interviewer broke into the business and what he can share as a result of his experience. Here are some
questions you might consider:
• How did you decide to go into this field?
• What was your first job?
• How did you get to your current position?
• What was your favorite job?
• What is the best thing about your current job?
• What is your least favorite part of your job?
• What is the single most important attribute someone needs to have to be successful in this industry?
• What is the typical salary range for an entry-level job in this industry?
• What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
• What is the outlook for the industry? [14]
In addition to having your questions ready, also be ready to talk about your brand positioning points
(review this concept in the Selling U section in Chapter 1 “The Power to Get What You Want in Life”). Use
your communication skills to make your experience and interest come alive in the interview. It’s a good

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idea to offer to show the samples of your work while you are talking about why you are interested in
pursuing a career path in the industry.
Take the time to print out your questions so you are organized during the interview. Put your questions
and spare copies of your résumé in a professional portfolio or folder. Don’t be afraid to refer to your
questions and take notes during the interview; it’s an excellent nonverbal cue that you think what the
interviewer has to say is important.
Wrap up your informational interview by asking for your interviewee’s business card. Also, ask for the
names of some other people that you might be able to learn from; for example, “I really enjoyed our
conversation today, and I learned so much about the industry. You have helped me realize that I would
like to pursue a career in sales. Can you give me the names of some other people I might be able to learn
from?”

You’ve Got the Power: Tips for Your Job Search
Keep in Touch
What about after the informational interview? Keep in touch. People who take the time to help students
also want to know what is going on with the young job-seeking population. Send an e-mail or touch base
by phone at least every four to six weeks. It’s a great way to develop a relationship and network, even after
you land your internship or job. Part of networking is providing exchange, and keeping in touch is your
part of the bargain. When you keep in touch, your interviewer might be able to help you in the future; or
better yet, you might be able to help her and return the favor.
When to Ask for an Informational Interview
It’s always a good time to meet and learn from experienced people in the industry in which you are
interested. However, you should actively pursue informational interviews when you are prepared with
your résumé and have compiled some samples of your work. Keep in mind that every contact you make is
a selling opportunity for your personal brand so it’s best to be ready as early as possible in your academic
career. It’s never too soon to prepare your résumé even as you are building your experience with
internships and other jobs. Whenever you meet someone interesting, follow up and ask him for an
informational interview so you can learn more about how he got into the business.
Where to Have an Informational Interview

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Your interviewee will most likely suggest a location for your meeting; it might be in her office, or you
might meet for breakfast or lunch. Some informational interviews might take place by phone. The
objective is to connect, learn, and network.
Whatever the location, always prepare and dress for each informational interview as if it were a job
interview. Also, always send a thank-you note to thank your interviewer for his time. You should send a
thank-you e-mail and a handwritten thank-you note on the same day, so your interviewer will receive your
e-mail followed by your handwritten note. That way, you leave a lasting impression and demonstrate your
good etiquette.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• An informational interview is an underused career search method that includes a meeting with a
professional to learn more about pursuing a career in a specific industry, profession, or job.
• You go on informational interviews to learn what it’s like to work in a particular industry, company or
job, connect and network with people in the industry, and hone your interviewing skills.
• One thing you should never do on an informational interview is ask for a job or internship. If the
opportunity presents itself and your interviewer asks if you might be interested, it’s appropriate to say
yes. However, you should not be the one to initiate dialogue about the possibility of a position with the
company.
• You should ask anyone who is in the industry or profession that you would like to pursue. It’s a good idea
to use your networking skills to identify people with whom you can have an informational interview.
Professionals such as guest speakers in class, prominent executives, and those in local professional
organizations are ideal people to ask for an informational interview.
• It’s best to request an informational interview in person or by phone because you increase your chances
for a positive response. You can also request an informational interview by letter or e-mail.
• Prepare for an informational interview as if it were a job interview, even if you already know the person.
Research the company, bring extra copies of your résumé and samples of your work, and prepare
questions that you would like to discuss.
E X E R C I S E S

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1. Identify three people with whom you would like to have an informational interview. Write down each
person’s name, company, title, and phone number. Write a phone script that you would use when you
call to ask for the interview. Discuss your approach.
2. Write down a list of six to eight questions that you would like to ask on each informational interview.
Which questions would you ask on all informational interviews? Which questions would be specific to a
particular interview? Why?
3. How would you answer the following question on an informational interview: “Why do you want to
pursue a career in (name of industry)?”
4. Identify at least four samples of your work that you would include in a binder when you go on
informational interviews. Why would each one be included? What would you tell an interviewee about
each sample? How would each sample demonstrate one of your brand positioning points?
5. Write a thank-you e-mail and a handwritten thank-you note that you would send after an informational
interview. Would you send both? Why or why not?
6. [1] “Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Background Information about Informational Interviews,”
Quintessential Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/information_background.html (accessed July 12,
2009).
7. [2] “Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Background Information about Informational Interviews,”
Quintessential Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/information_background.html (accessed July 12,
2009).
8. [3] “Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Never Ask for a Job,” Quintessential
Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/information_job.html (accessed July 12, 2009).
9. [4] “Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Never Ask for a Job,” Quintessential
Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/information_job.html (accessed July 12, 2009).
10. [5] “Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Potential Results of Informational Interviews,” Quintessential
Careers, http://www.quintcareers.com/information_results.html (accessed July 12, 1009).
11. [6] “Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Potential Results of Informational Interviews,” Quintessential
Careers, http://www.quintcareers.com/information_results.html (accessed July 12, 1009).
12. [7] “Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Potential Results of Informational Interviews,” Quintessential
Careers, http://www.quintcareers.com/information_results.html (accessed July 12, 1009).

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http://www.quintcareers.com/information_background.html

http://www.quintcareers.com/information_background.html

http://www.quintcareers.com/information_job.html

http://www.quintcareers.com/information_job.html

http://www.quintcareers.com/information_results.html

http://www.quintcareers.com/information_results.html

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13. [8] “Informational Interviewing Tutorial: Potential Results of Informational Interviews,” Quintessential
Careers, http://www.quintcareers.com/information_results.html (accessed July 12, 1009).
14. [9] “Informational Interview Questions,” Career Choice
Guide,http://www.careerchoiceguide.com/informational-interview-questions.html (accessed July 20,
2009).
15. [10] Kate Lorenz, “How Does an Informational Interview Work?”
CareerBuilder,http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-481-Getting-Ahead-How-Does-an-Informational-
Interview-Work (accessed July 20, 2009).
16. [11] “Informational Interview Tutorial: Identify People to Interview for Informational Interviews,”
Quintessential Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/information_people.html (accessed July 12, 2009).
17. [12] Katharine Hansen, “Informational Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts,” Quintessential
Careers, http://www.quintcareers.com/informational_interviewing-dos-donts.html(accessed July 20,
2009).
18. [13] Kate Lorenz, “How Does An Informational Interview Work?”
CareerBuilder,http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-481-Getting-Ahead-How-Does-an-Informational-
Interview-Work (accessed July 20, 2009).
19. [14] “Informational Interview Questions,” Career Choice
Guide,http://www.careerchoiceguide.com/informational-interview-questions.html (accessed July 20,
2009).

5.4 Review and Practice
Power Wrap-Up
Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand how to communicate effectively
and with proper etiquette in business.
• You can discuss the communication model and how it works.
• You can compare and contrast the different types of communication: verbal, nonverbal, and
written.

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http://www.careerchoiceguide.com/informational-interview-questions.html

http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-481-Getting-Ahead-How-Does-an-Informational-Interview-Work

http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-481-Getting-Ahead-How-Does-an-Informational-Interview-Work

http://www.quintcareers.com/information_people.html

http://www.quintcareers.com/informational_interviewing-dos-donts.html

http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-481-Getting-Ahead-How-Does-an-Informational-Interview-Work

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• You can recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each type of communication and when each is
appropriate to use.
• You can understand the role of listening in effective communication.
• You can recognize the impact of nonverbal communication.
• You can practice how to shake hands properly.
• You can discuss the appropriate etiquette for business situations, including the use of electronic
devices.
• You can understand the role that informational interviews may play in your career search.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E ( A N S W E R S A R E B E L O W )
1. Describe the difference between soft skills and hard skills.
2. Discuss two ways to demonstrate active listening.
3. Name the three types of communication. Identify at least one pro and one con for each one.
4. Which type and method of communication would you use to tell your boss that your car broke down and
you can’t make it to the customer presentation?
5. If you invite a customer to lunch, who should pay? If your customer invites you to lunch, who should pay?
6. When is it appropriate to write a thank-you note in sales?
7. Identify three situations in which it would be appropriate to have your electronic device such as a cell
phone turned on in a meeting.
P O W E R ( R O L E ) P L A Y
Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. The following are two roles that are involved in the
same selling situation—one role is the customer, and the other is the salesperson. This will give you the
opportunity to think about this selling situation from the point of view of both the customer and the
salesperson.
Read each role carefully along with the discussion questions. Then be prepared to play either of the roles
in class using the concepts covered in this chapter. You may be asked to discuss the roles and do a role-
play in groups or individually.
Safe and Secure
Role: Sales rep for Sun Security Systems for retail stores

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You are meeting with a potential customer who is responsible for purchasing security systems for over two
hundred retail stores. He is convinced that your company’s security system is the one he wants to use, but
he has to convince his boss. The key selling point in his mind, he mentions to you, is the fact that the
system carries a money-back guarantee so that if anything happens, the company will be protected. You
realize that he has misinterpreted the terms of the guarantee. It is a money-back guarantee only on the
security system itself, not for any other loss. It appears that there was some miscommunication between
all the meetings and follow-up e-mails.
• How would you tell this customer about the correct terms of the guarantee, even though it might be the
sale at risk?
• Since you are meeting in person, what type of follow-up would you consider to ensure that the
information is clearly understood? Why?
• What do you think caused this miscommunication?
• Using the communication model, describe what happened with the communication.
Role: Security manager at Argon Retail, Inc.
You have been looking at security systems for several months and reviewing the offering from different
suppliers. Sun Security Systems appears to offer the best performance at the best value. The key selling
feature is the money-back guarantee. It’s a strong statement about how the company stands behind its
products. This kind of low-risk investment is important to you and your company.
• Do you assume that what you heard or saw about the money-back guarantee is true? After all, it’s up to
the salesperson to be sure you’re informed, right?
• If you probe the details with the salesperson, what questions will you ask to be sure you understand the
terms of the guarantee?
• What type of communication will be best to learn about this information?
P U T Y O U R P O W E R T O W O R K : S E L L I N G U A C T I V I T I E S
1. Discuss at least three reasons why informational interviews are good to do. Then watch this video
to see if you named the reasons mentioned.
http://www.blinkx.com/video/what-is-an-informational-interview-myjobpath-video-series/6dugA0wq_-
PRAk4EeUVjdA

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Source: Bay Area Video Coalition
2. Invite someone on your informational interview list to come to class to speak about why he or she gives
informational interviews.
3. Invite three people on your informational interview list and ask them to participate in a panel discussion
in class about how to use informational interviews as an effective career search tool.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E A N S W E R S
1. Soft skills include communication, relationship building, emotional intelligence, and the ability to interact
with people. Hard skills are the technical skills required to perform your job, such as analytical skills in the
finance area.
2. The sender is Axe (Clix); Nick Lachey acts as the spokesperson in this commercial. The message is that Clix
is such a great scent that it attracts lots of women. The message is encoded in video: a commercial. The
receiver is the viewer of the commercial, and the target audience is young men. The decoding occurs
when a young man sees that Clix is so good that it can attract more women than Nick Lachey. The sender
(Clix) gets feedback in several ways: when people view the video, when people post comments about the
video or the product, and when people buy the product.
3. Repeat the information that you heard by saying, “Let me be sure I understand what you’re saying…,”
nodding your head, and taking notes.
4. Verbal communication is best for communicating emotions because you can use or hear intonation. It is
also natural and fast and provides instant feedback. However, verbal communication is gone in an instant
(unless it’s recorded), and people remember what was said differently. Also, we speak at about 125 words
per minute, but listen at about 400 to 500 words per minute, so people’s minds wander during a good
amount of verbal communication. Nonverbal communication includes body language and any other type
of communication that can be observed. Nonverbal communication can underscore a message, such as
hand gestures, or can send a different signal than the spoken words, such as crossed arms or physical
proximity. But sometimes people don’t realize the messages they are sending when they use nonverbal
communication because it can be more difficult to interpret. Written communication is the most
permanent of all communication types. It is usually considered and is used for formal business
communication such as policies, pricing, and other information. Written communication lacks intonation

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and is best used for communicating factual information. Grammar and spelling are critical for written
communication to be effective.
5. It would be best to call him to let her know. This would allow you the opportunity to demonstrate a high
sense of urgency, explain the situation, and discuss possible options. It’s always best to communicate bad
news (especially to your boss) verbally, whether in person or by phone.
6. You should pay when you invite. Although it is appropriate to let your customer pay for a meal once in a
while, it’s usually expected that the salesperson’s company will pick up the tab.
7. Whenever someone does something that is worth noting—referring you to a new prospect, hosting a
productive meeting, being a great business partner, providing some information that was difficult to get,
or any other situation that is worth a thank you—then note it. People rarely send thank-you notes, so it’s
an excellent way to set yourself apart. A thank-you e-mail is always appropriate, but a handwritten thank-
you note is more personal.
8. The only time it is appropriate is if you are waiting for an urgent phone call. If that is the case, you should
mention it before the meeting starts, put your cell phone on vibrate, and step out of the meeting to take
the call. If you are waiting for a text, only check your device occasionally as to not send the message that
the other matter is more important than the meeting you are in.

Chapter 6
Why and How People Buy: The Power of
Understanding the Customer

Meet Rachel Gordon. Rachel has been in sales for three years and has learned that selling is about
understanding the customer’s needs and wants. Rachel sells advertising and marketing programs to
businesses such as casinos, restaurants, car dealerships, and local businesses. Rachel graduated from

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Cornell University with a degree in fashion merchandising. After two years in retail, she learned that
selling is her passion.

6.1 Buying 101
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. Describe the different types of customers and why this information is important in determining
customers’ needs.
2. Discuss the implications of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for selling.
3. Learn the types of buyers and buying situations in the business-to-business (B2B) environment.
You walk into an Abercrombie & Fitch store at the mall, and without thinking about it, you turn to
the right and make your way through the denim, past the belts, and to the sweaters. You are so
engaged in the experience that you didn’t even realize that the huge mural at the entrance to the
store serves a purpose other than to make you look twice at the hot model in the larger-than-life
photo. Before you know it, one of the oh-so-gorgeous salespeople dressed in Abercrombie from head
to toe approaches you with a smile. “These hoodies are awesome,” she says as you pick up the pale
blue one.
Shopping. It’s the national pastime for some but a detested necessity for others. Whether you love
shopping (“Oh, that is sooooooo cute!”) or do everything to avoid it (“I’m not going to the mall, no
matter what”), it is a major source of spending in the United States. In fact, the retail industry
generated $4.475 trillion in sales in 2008, including everything from products and services in retail
stores and e-commerce to food service and automotive. [1] That’s a lot of selling—and a lot of buying.
But what makes you stop and pick up one sweater but not another? What makes you buy a pair of
jeans you weren’t even looking for? What makes you walk out of the store spending more than you
had planned?

Inside Consumer Behavior

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The science of consumer behavior describes and even defines how you shop and, more importantly, why
you buy. Smart retailers study consumer behavior patterns and lay out their stores and merchandise
accordingly. For example, did you know that 86 percent of women look at price tags when they shop,
while only 72 percent of men do?[2] And did you know that the average shopper doesn’t actually notice
anything that’s in the entrance of a store? According to Paco Underhill, famous marketer, CEO and
founder of EnviroSell, and author of the book Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, consumers don’t
actually begin shopping until a certain point after they enter the store. That’s why smart retailers include a
“transition zone” at the entry to their store; it allows customers to get their bearings and choose their
shopping paths. In other words, products, signs, and displays that are in the very front of the store might
not be seen if there is not a transition for the customers when they enter. In the case of Abercrombie &
Fitch, the transition is the space just inside the entrance that includes the humongous photo of the
Abercrombie model du jour. When you go into Hollister, it’s the outside porch that serves the same
purpose; it’s a transition that allows you to get your focus and plot your course in the store, even if you
don’t consciously realize it.
Think about the last time you went into a grocery store or drug store; you might not have noticed anything
until you were well inside the store, which means that the merchandise and signs that were displayed in
the area before you got your bearings were virtually invisible to you. [3] Based on consumer research,
there’s a high likelihood that you turned right when you entered the store. Take note the next time you go
shopping; chances are, you’ll turn right after you walk in. [4]
Understanding how and why customers buy can make a significant difference in how you sell. Is the
product a considered purchase, like a computer or car, or an impulse buy, like a sweater or music
download? Is the product bought frequently, like an energy drink, or only once every few years or even
once in a lifetime, like a car or a college education? For each of these products, the customer goes through
a buying process. Understanding the customer and the buying process can make your selling efforts
successful.
Do You Need It or Want It?
Think of something you need, like an annual medical checkup, a new apartment because your lease is up,
or even food to survive. There are some products and services you purchase solely because you can’t exist
without them. Now think about something you want: a new pair of jeans, an iPhone, tickets to a concert.

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There is a significant difference in what motivates you to buy products and services you need, compared
to those you want.
Needs versus Wants
Needs are essentials, those products and services you literally cannot live without. Food, shelter, clothing,
transportation, and health care are all examples of needs. Wants, on the other hand, are products,
services, and activities that can improve your quality of life; you don’t need them to exist, but rather you
desire to have them because you think they will make you happy. [5] Cell phones, vacations, sporting
events, restaurants, amusement parks, cable television, and fashion are all examples of wants. People are
motivated differently depending on if they are making a purchase for a need or a want.
Needs and wants have different motivations. Think about buying a car; you could focus on the functional
attributes of the car such as miles per gallon, maintenance costs, and safety ratings. Those are considered
utilitarian needs, or the objective, tangible aspects of a product or service.[6] So, if those were your only
needs, you might choose a Smart Fortwo, Ford Focus, or Toyota Prius. But you might want to have
something a bit sportier, maybe even hipper, to get around campus, and you might choose a Mini Cooper,
a Scion, or even a Jeep. These cars would do more than simply provide transportation; they would meet
your hedonic needs, which are subjective aspects of a product or service. [7] You might choose to buy a
Mini Cooper because you can customize the design online. That would certainly meet a need other than
providing basic transportation. Some people buy a BMW because they want the status that goes with
owning that make of car, or perhaps they think that having a Mercedes-Benz means they have arrived.
When you understand the difference between needs and wants and between utility needs and hedonic
needs, you are better able to tailor your selling communications.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
When Hurricane Katrina hit the United States on August 28, 2005, the Gulf Coast was devastated.
Thousands of people were stranded for days, some without food, water, or shelter due to overwhelming
flooding. Almost two thousand people lost their lives in the natural disaster. [8] During those horrible days
and in the aftermath, those who were affected by the catastrophe did not care what kind of car they drove,

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what anyone did for a living, or if they forgot to sign up for French or scuba lessons. They were focused on
the basics: food, shelter, and clothing.
This tragedy is a demonstration of exactly how Maslow’s hierarchy of needs works. Abraham Maslow is
among the most renowned psychologists of the twentieth century. His theory explains human behavior in
simple terms: A hierarchy of needs that begins with the most basic of physiological needs(e.g., food,
water, shelter, and clothing) motivates people, and when the lowest-level needs are satisfied, they are no
longer motivators. [9]
During the days after Hurricane Katrina hit, people were rescued and provided with water, food, and
shelter. Many were relocated to temporary housing or even to housing outside the affected areas. It was
not until after the physiological needs were met that people became concerned about the next level of
needs on Maslow’s hierarchy: safety needs. Looting of shops in some of the cities began to occur, and
there was even concern that the police force in some cities was not taking an active role in arresting those
who were breaking the law. [10] The people of the Gulf Coast were no longer motivated by simply getting
water, food, or shelter; they had moved up Maslow’s hierarchy and were concerned about their personal
security and well-being.

Figure 6.3

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Maslow’s hierarchy of needs demonstrates that humans fill higher needs only after lower needs are
met.
As the days and weeks passed after Hurricane Katrina hit, its victims wanted to get back to their normal
lives. They searched for options to put their children back in school, ways to get jobs, and options to
rebuild their lives. By Christmas 2005, people stopped to celebrate the holiday together. According to a
story reported by CBS Evening News on December 25, 2005, about the Christmas gatherings in New
Orleans, “The will to be home for the holidays outweighed everything else.” [11] By this time, they were
motivated by social needs, or the need to belong and have an attachment or bond to others. [12]
Slowly but surely, people began to rebuild their lives and their cities. People took on leadership roles and
began to take recovery to the next level. Even people who were hundreds of miles away from the
hurricane-ravaged area wanted to help. Volunteers from all over the country began to make the
pilgrimage to the Gulf Coast to help in any way they could. In fact, volunteer vacations to help rebuild
cities such as New Orleans became commonplace and are still going on today. [13] This is an example
of esteem needs, or the need to feel respected and appreciated by one’s peers. Although volunteers were
motivated by social needs and the need to help their fellow human beings, they found that they were also
greatly appreciated for their efforts.

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Although recovery will be going on for years to come, many of the people affected by the destruction of
Hurricane Katrina are striving for self-actualization, which focuses on learning new skills, taking on new
challenges, and “being all you can be.” [14] John and Starr Chapman are perfect examples of this; their
restaurant, Chappy’s Seafood Restaurant, was lost in the hurricane. The couple relocated to Nashville,
Tennessee, and in 2006, opened Chappy’s on Church Street. Although it was challenging and
overwhelming at times, the husband-and-wife team is not only surviving but also thriving after this life-
changing experience. [15]

Power Point: Lessons in Selling from the Customer’s Point of View
Self-Actualization Means Help for Others
Nikki Olyai, president and CEO of Innovision Technologies, recently made a significant investment for her
company and purchased new software and hardware. Her buying philosophy? Nikki looks for a strong
value system, trust, commitment, a proactive approach to helping her solve her business problems, and
cost-effectiveness. But she expects more from a vendor and business partner; she gives extra
consideration to vendors who have demonstrated a commitment to community service and development.
Nikki believes that businesses and their vendors need to give back to the communities they serve. [16]
This all comes together at the point of sale, whether you are selling in business-to-consumer (B2C) or
business-to-business (B2B) environments. When you understand the motivation of your customer, you
can customize your solution and your message to meet their needs, emotions, and motivations. Consider
the Hurricane Katrina example; would you attempt to sell fine jewelry, pitch the benefits of a landscaping
service, or suggest a home theater system to someone in New Orleans on August 29, 2005? Probably not.
People were focused on their most basic needs at that time, and none of these products or services would
have been appropriate to sell. Although this may seem like an extreme example, it’s a good way to
remember to look at the world through your customer’s eyes, as you’ll see a completely different view.
Now that you can see what motivates people to buy, it’s time to learn who is buying. Although the buying
process is similar for B2C and B2B, there are some distinct differences that can make a difference in the
way you sell.

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Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Buying
Think back to your visit to the Abercrombie & Fitch store. It’s pretty obvious that you are the customer, or
in marketing parlance, you are the consumer, the end user of the product or service. You might be
shopping for yourself or buying a gift for a family member or a friend. Either way, you (or the person to
whom you are giving the product) are the ultimate consumer, which is what defines B2C buying. So,
whether you are buying a cell phone and service at a Verizon store, a music download from iTunes, or a
burger and fries at Burger King, you are buying in the B2C arena. Even though you may behave differently
than your brother or roommate in terms of your purchasing decisions, you are all described as B2C
customers because you are the ultimate consumer of the products or services you buy.

Why People Buy: Virtual Purchases
Clothes for your avatar, “bling” for your online profile, or a virtual birthday cupcake are all reasons to
make digital purchases virtually: paying real money for something that exists only online. Facebook,
SecondLife.com, and Stardolls.com are just a few Web sites that give users the option to buy virtual goods.
Why do people buy things that aren’t even real? For some of the same reasons people buy the real thing:
to be able to do more (i.e., increase functionality), build relationships, and establish identity. [17]

Business-to-Business (B2B) Buying
With B2B customers, sometimes referred to as organizational (or institutional) markets, there are several
different types of situations that define needs and purchasing behavior. Some companies buy products to
sell directly to consumers, whereas others purchase products as ingredients or components to produce
their product. Still other companies lease products or services, while others serve the public, such as
government or nonprofit organizations. Each of these different types of companies and organizations has
different needs and requirements that impact the buying process. [18]
Producers
Companies that buy products to make or build a product or service to sell for a profit are called producers.
For example, in the case of Reebok, the company purchases components for its athletic shoes from a
variety of vendors around the world. Reebok uses the components to manufacture the shoes and sell them

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to retailers such as Foot Locker, which in turn, sell the shoes to consumers like you. In this example,
Reebok is engaged in B2B buying as a producer because the company purchases parts or materials to
make shoes and then sells them to other companies. [19] Reebok is a B2B purchaser but not a B2C seller;
the company markets its brand directly to B2C consumers to gain recognition and drive consumers to
participate in B2C buying at retailers that carry its brand.
Figure 6.4 Types of B2B Buyers

Resellers
Resellers purchase finished goods to sell, lease, or rent to B2B or B2C purchasers. In the example above,
Foot Locker is a reseller because the company buys finished products from manufacturers such as
Reebok, Nike, New Balance, Ryka, and others. In other words, Foot Locker doesn’t manufacture products
but rather buys them from other companies to sell them. It’s important to note that although Foot Locker
buys in the B2B arena as a reseller, the company sells in the B2C arena because it sells its products to the
ultimate consumer. [20] Besides retailers, other types of resellers are wholesalers, brokers, and agents.
Organizations
organizations include government bodies (federal, local, and municipal, as well as the District of
Columbia) and nonprofit groups (churches, hospitals, colleges, and cause-related groups like the
American Red Cross). The government is a huge consumer, using over $1 trillion in goods and services
annually. [21] In fact, according to the U.S. government budget in 2010, the government outlays are
projected to be 24.4 percent of the U.S. gross national product. [22] This makes the U.S. government the
single largest customer in the world. In fact, government purchases are so large that when the Obama
administration decided to replace its fleet of government vehicles in 2009, it purchased 17,205 cars for a
total of $287 million—that’s just one government purchase! [23] As a result of the government being such a
huge customer, there are processes for prospective vendors to apply to provide products or services to the

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government. The Web site https://www.fbo.gov provides information about federal business
opportunities. [24]
Nonprofit organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American
Cancer Society, churches, schools, shelters, and others are also B2B purchasers of goods and services.
Some may be producers, such as a soup kitchen that buys ingredients for soup and other meals, and some
may be resellers, such as the yellow bands for LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. [25]
Figure 6.5

Nonprofit organizations such as the Lance Armstrong Foundation are purchasers of products and services. [26]

Big Differences
B2C and B2B purchasers are different for several reasons. The most important differentiator is that
consumers purchase for their own consumption (or the consumption of their household or friends),
whereas B2B customers purchase to produce or resell the product to a company or the ultimate consumer.
There are also several other key differences between B2C and B2B buyers. Generally, B2C buying is
based—for the most part—on impulse, low-risk decisions for products and services that are readily
accessible. Whether you shop online, in a store, or at a direct selling party, your buying decisions impact
only yourself and your family and do not put you at risk. Although you may make some significant buying
decisions such as a house or a car, your options are easily accessible (go online, go to the mall or store),

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and your decisions don’t put you in danger of losing anything—except, of course, if you spend money you
don’t have.
Table 6.1 Comparison of B2C and B2B Buying Decisions
B2C Buying Decision B2B Buying Decision
Impulsive Methodical
Simple Complex
May or may not be budgeted Budgeted
Low risk High risk
Individual decision Coordinated decision with buy-in and approval from many people
May or may not include some research Analytical including cost-benefit analysis
Source: Data from Randy Shattuck, “Understand the B2B Buying Cycle,”http://www.internetviz-
newsletters.com/PSJ/e_article001037852.cfm(accessed August 1, 2009).
However, in a B2B buying decision, the buying decision is complex, and there is significant risk because a
single decision can affect the quality of a product or service offered by a company to its customers, safety
of consumers, or even profitability of the company. If a B2B buying decision is the wrong decision, the
person or people who made the decision might suffer the consequences, including the loss of his job. [27]
Size of Purchases
Because B2C buyers are purchasing only for their consumption or for the consumption of a limited
number of people, the size of the purchases is relatively small. By contrast, B2B purchases are significant
because the companies are purchasing to sell to other companies or to many consumers. Consider this
difference: you might buy ten pairs of jeans in a year, but Nordstrom buys hundreds of thousands of pairs
of jeans to stock in their inventory. [28] The size of B2B purchases is always significantly larger than B2C
purchases simply because a company is buying for more than one consumer.
Multiple Buyers

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If you think it’s difficult to keep everyone in your apartment happy with the food purchases you make at
the supermarket, that’s easy compared to the number of people involved in a B2B purchasing decision. In
most B2B transactions, there are multiple decision makers involved in each purchase. Think about your
trip to the supermarket from the B2B buyer’s perspective. The decision about which products to stock on
the shelves was ultimately made by someone who holds the title of “buyer” in the company. However, she
could not decide unilaterally what to carry in the bottled water section. She has to understand which
bottled water her customers want, consult with the general merchandise manager, who is responsible for
the shelf space, and the vice president of merchandising, who oversees all product choices. She may even
need to make a presentation to a buying committee before she makes the decision to carry another flavor
of Vitaminwater. She will need to get approval for the money to invest in the inventory and shelf space.
Depending on the organization and the size and impact of the decision, several people from several
different departments may be involved in a B2B buying decision.
Number of Customers
There are over three hundred million people who live in the United States and approximately a hundred
million households. However, there are less that half a million businesses and other
organizations. [29] Because B2B buyers are making decisions that may ultimately impact the sale of a
product or service to millions of consumers, there are naturally fewer businesses. Consider the fact that
according to the United States Census Bureau, there are only 7,569 hospitals in the country, yet there are
over 110 million visits to emergency rooms annually. [30]
Geographic Concentration
Since there are many fewer businesses and organizations compared to the number of ultimate consumers,
it makes sense that there is a geographic concentration of B2B customers. For example, the fashion
industry is primarily located in New York, filmmaking in Los Angeles, and technology in Silicon Valley.
B2B buyers can determine where they want to be located based on resource or on access and can even
choose where to build warehouses or call centers based on costs, transportation, and availability of
labor. [31]

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Figure 6.7 Comparison of B2C and B2B Buyers

Business-to-Business Means Person-to-Person
Although B2C buying behavior is very complicated, B2B buying behavior is even more complex. The fact
is, although it’s called business-to-business buying, the term actually describes people doing business
with people. A business never makes a buying decision; the decision is made by people who work for the
company. So B2B buying decisions are subject to the same behaviors as B2C buying decisions, but on a
more challenging level because B2B buying decisions usually include multiple decision makers, an
extensive evaluation process, extended analysis, and they represent a high risk on the part of the decision
makers. [32]
While many B2B buying decisions are made by an individual decision maker, many are made by a group
of people working together, usually from different departments. When this is the case, the group is called
a buying center, all the people in a group who are involved in the buying decision. [33] For example,
hospitals use buying centers to make decisions on new equipment, a retail company might use a buying
center to determine which point-of-sale register system to purchase. The buying center usually includes
people from the organization who have expertise in different areas, and each may play a different role in
the buying decision. Following are some roles that may be included in the buying center.
Users

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The people in the B2B buying process may include some or all of the following roles. Users are the people
who are actually using the product or service. In the case of a company purchasing a telecommunications
system, the users are all employees of the company because each uses the telephone, Internet, and other
communications technologies. But in the case of a company purchasing a security system, only the
employees in the security department would be users of the product; other employees would simply enjoy
the benefits of the product without actually using it. Because the users’ satisfaction is so important, many
companies involve users at various points throughout the buying process, including gathering input,
participating in product demonstrations, or even using the product as a test.
Initiators and Influencers
Initiators are those people in the company who start the purchasing process for a particular product or
service. [34] For example, the e-commerce manager in the marketing department may begin the process of
seeking a new technology provider for e-mail and social networking services on the company’s Web site.
However, he may not be the final decision maker. There may be several departments involved in the
purchasing decision including marketing, IT, and customer service, just to name a few. The e-commerce
manager will most likely be a user and will take part in the buying process. In fact, he may even be an
influencer in the final buying decision because he can lend his expertise to the team of people who will be
making the final decision. He may compare the offerings from competitive companies, do a competitive
cost analysis, and even conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine which product will provide the most
benefit for the least amount of cost. He might have a preference of which vendor to choose as a result of
this information and his knowledge of the different companies in the industry. His influence may be quite
significant as to what choice the company makes for the purchase. There may be other people in the
organization who are also influencers, such as the IT manager, customer service manager, and others.
Decision Makers
At the end of the day, it is the decision maker or decision makers who will make the final purchasing
decision. Decision makers could be anyone who holds the responsibility or accountability for making
buying decisions for the company. In the case of the e-mail and social networking technology purchase,
depending on the company, the decision maker might be the CEO, the head of the marketing department,
or even a committee of people from marketing, IT, and customer service. A smart decision maker involves
the users and influencers in her decision-making process to make the best choice. An investment in

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technology will not only be expensive, but will last for years; once a company makes a commitment to
integrate their systems with a technology company, it is not practical to make frequent changes. The
decision making process in B2B can take days, weeks, months, or even years to make, depending on the
company and the product or service being purchased.
Finding the “Power Level”
When you are selling in a B2B environment, you may not always have access to the ultimate decision
maker. But building a relationship with the initiator, influencers, and users can be just as important and
effective as meeting with the decision maker. However, you should always be aware of the “power level,”
or exactly the level in the organization that is making the buying decision. Sometimes, salespeople don’t
get to the power level, but instead stop at one or two levels below that critical level where the purchasing
decision is being made. If the vice president of human resources is making the decision as to which vendor
to choose for the company’s training programs, it’s important to build a relationship with her. Having a
relationship with the director of training is critical, but a successful salesperson wouldn’t stop there; he
would work to secure a relationship at the power level, which is the vice president.

Types of B2B Buying Situations
There’s still more you can learn about the B2B buying environment. Although companies are so different
from each other (some are large multinational corporations while others are one-person operations) and
the types of products and services being purchased are so different (everything from business cards to
office buildings), it might seem difficult to know how to apply the concepts covered to every buying
situation. One way is to understand the different types of buying situations that face a B2B buyer.
New-Task Buy
If a company is moving its headquarters to a new building that does not come equipped with office
furniture, the company will need to acquire furniture for all of its employees. This is a new purchase for
the company, which would classify it as a new-task buy. [35] When a customer is contemplating a new-task
buy, it is an excellent opportunity to use your consultative selling skills to bring information to your
customer to help her make the best possible decision.
Straight Rebuy

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What if your customer is already purchasing the product or service regularly? Although he may currently
be purchasing the product from you, he already knows about the product or service, how to use it, and
how much he is currently paying for it. This is called a straight rebuy, [36] a routine repurchase of a product
or service. Usually, straight rebuys are consumable products or supplies such as office supplies,
maintenance supplies, or parts. This is an opportunity for you to shine, whether the customer is currently
purchasing from you or not. When purchases are on “auto pilot,” sometimes the salesperson gets lazy,
takes the business for granted, and doesn’t go the extra mile to suggest something new or better. If a
prospective customer is already buying from someone else, you have the opportunity to win her over by
suggesting a better or more efficient product, a different pack size or method of replenishment, or other
ideas that will help the customer save time or money or increase quality. For straight rebuys, it is often
price that gets the customer’s attention, but it is service (or lack of it) that makes the customer switch
providers.
Modified Rebuy
Sometimes, your customer may already be purchasing the product but wants to change the specifications;
this is called a modified rebuy. [37] For example, when the magazine Vanity Fair did a split run of their
magazine cover for their September 2009 issue, they printed half of the copies with Michael Jackson on
the cover and half with Farrah Fawcett. [38] Although they print the magazine monthly, they modified the
printing specifications for that issue. Therefore, the sales rep from the printer sold the September 2009
print run as a modified rebuy. Selling to a customer who is purchasing a modified rebuy is an excellent
opportunity to demonstrate your flexibility and creativity. Many times, customers have an idea in mind
for a modification, but if you can bring them ideas and insights that will help them increase their business
profitably, you will have the upper hand in securing the buy.
Figure 6.8

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The September 2009 issue of Vanity Fair magazine is an example of a modified rebuy because the normal print order was
adjusted to print two different covers.[39]
Strategic Alliance
Although most B2B selling depends on relationships, some selling situations go above and beyond the
traditional relationship between a salesperson and the customer. Some relationships go to the next level
and actually create a partnership that puts both parties at risk and provides opportunities for all parties to
gain; this is called a strategic alliance. The relationship between Yahoo! and Microsoft is an example of a
strategic alliance. The two companies finally decided to join forces in July 2009 in an effort to leverage
resources as a stronger competitor to industry leader Google. As part of the relationship, Microsoft will
power Yahoo!’s search with its new engine called Bing; Yahoo! will receive 88 percent of the search-
generated advertising revenues from Bing.[40] Both Microsoft and Yahoo! have “skin in the game,” which
means that each party has something at risk and much to gain. The strategic alliance represents a way for
both companies to prosper in the Internet search business. Separately, each represents less than one-fifth
of the searches done in the United States. Together, their market share is 28 percent, still a far cry from
industry-leading Google at 65 percent. [41] Despite spending billions, neither company has been successful
overtaking Google alone; the strategic alliance gives these companies a chance to compete. [42]
Figure 6.9

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Bing, the search engine created by Microsoft, is now also the search engine used on Yahoo!
Who Makes the Buying Decision?
In many companies, there is a function called buyer, purchasing manager, materials manager, or
procurement manager. These are the people who are responsible for making buying products, services,
and supplies for the company or for the company’s customers. In most cases, they are the decision makers
for purchasing decisions.
Because most purchasing decisions in a company have a significant impact on the users and on the
profitability of the company, some companies create cross-functional teams called a buying center. These
people work together to make important buying decisions for the company or organization. For example,
many colleges and universities have a buying center that makes decisions that impact all users in the
school such as a new e-mail system, classroom, or dormitory supplies. [43]
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Customer behavior is a science, not an art, driven by specific needs that drive motivation.
• A consumer who purchases in a B2C environment is the end user of the product or service.
• A B2B purchaser, also called an organizational or institutional purchaser, buys a product or service to sell
to another company or to the ultimate consumer.
• B2B purchasers may be producers, resellers, or organizations.
• B2B buys are characterized by being methodical, complex, budgeted, high risk, analytical, and
coordinated across different parts of the company.
• B2B purchases are larger than B2C purchases, include multiple buyers, involve a smaller number of
customers, and are geographically concentrated.
• Maslow’s hierarchy of needs describes how people are motivated based on the level of needs that are
being satisfied. Understanding a customer’s motivation based on the hierarchy can provide valuable
insights for selling.
• There can be several types of people involved in a B2B purchasing decision,
including users, initiators, influencers, and decision makers.

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• An individual such as a buyer, purchasing manager, or materials manager might make buying decisions.
Some companies use a buying center, a cross-functional team that makes buying decisions on behalf of
the company.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Visit at least two different retailers. Determine whether each has a transition zone at the front of the
store. Discuss the differences between the shopping experiences. Which one is more conducive to
buying?
2. Identify one B2C seller and one B2B seller. Describe at least three differences between their buyers.
3. Identify one B2B company or organization that fits each of the following descriptions and describe
why each belongs in the category:
o Producer
o Reseller
o Government
o Nonprofit organization
4. Consider each of the following products and services. Evaluate each one based on utilitarian need
and hedonic need:
o Trip to Las Vegas
o Subscription to Rolling Stone magazine
o Internet service
o College education
o iPod Touch
5. Jessica wants to celebrate her twenty-first birthday in style. She bought a new outfit, had her nails done,
and went to the tanning salon. She is not only having a party for one hundred of her closest friends, but
she is going to broadcast it live on Facebook and Twitter while the party is going on. Which need on
Maslow’s hierarchy is Jessica striving to satisfy?
6. Assume you are a salesperson for Chevrolet and you are among the first to sell the new electric-powered
car called Volt. Which need on Maslow’s hierarchy is the car designed to meet?

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7. Imagine you work in the communications department of your school. Homecoming is just a few weeks
away, and you are in charge of getting the banner for the parking lot, which will direct alumni where to
park. This year, the directions to the parking are different than they were on the banner last year. Identify
the type of purchase a new banner for the parking lot is and explain.
8. Assume you are selling printers and copiers to a group of clinics. The buying center includes people from
purchasing, information technology, administrative assistants, doctors, and nurses. Discuss the role that
each might take on as part of the buying center and the impact they may have on the final buying
decision. How might you interact with each one?
9. [1] Barbara Farfan, “Retail Industry Information: Overview of Facts, Research, Data, and Trivia,”
About.com,http://retailindustry.about.com/od/statisticsresearch/p/retailindustry.htm (accessed August
3, 2009).
10. [2] Paco Underhill, Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (New York: Touchstone, 1999), 99.
11. [3] Paco Underhill, Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (New York: Touchstone, 1999), 46.
12. [4] Paco Underhill, Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (New York: Touchstone, 1999), 46.
13. [5] Kristin Biekkola, “Needs versus Wants,” slide show, Wisc-Online.com,http://www.wisc-
online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=ABM3302 (accessed August 2, 2009).
14. [8] United States Department of Health and Human
Services,http://www.hhs.gov/disasters/emergency/naturaldisasters/hurricanes/katrina/index.html (acces
sed August 2, 2009).
15. [10] Associated Press, “Looters Take Advantage of New Orleans Mess,” msnbc.com, August 30,
2005, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9131493 (accessed August 2, 2009).
16. [11] Joel Roberts, “Christmas After Katrina,” CBS Evening News, December 25,
2005,http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/12/25/eveningnews/main1165360.shtml(accessed August
2, 2009).
17. [13] Sheryl Kane, “Volunteer Vacations: Rebuilding New Orleans,” June 26, 2009,
SingleMindedWomen, http://singlemindedwomen.com/2009/06/rebuilding-new-orleans(accessed August
2, 2009).
18. [15] Joy Messer, “Survivors of Hurricane Katrina Overcome Adversity and Open ‘Chappy’s on Church
Street,’” July 23, 2008, Associated

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http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=ABM3302

http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=ABM3302

http://www.hhs.gov/disasters/emergency/naturaldisasters/hurricanes/katrina/index.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9131493

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/12/25/eveningnews/main1165360.shtml

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Content,http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/887343/survivors_of_hurricane_katrina_overcome.h
tml?cat=22 (accessed August 2, 2009).
19. [16] Mary Cantando, “How Savvy Women Entrepreneurs Make Buying Decisions,” Women Entrepreneurs,
Inc., January 1,
2005,http://www.perfectbusiness.com/articles/newsarticle.cfm?newsID=948&news=1(accessed August
1, 2009).
20. [17] Jeremy Liew, “Why Do People Buy Virtual Goods?” Wall Street Journal, February 9,
2009, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123395867963658435.html (accessed August 1, 2009).
21. [19] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th
ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 86.
22. [21] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th
ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 88.
23. [22] Office of Management and Budget, “Updated Summary Tables, May 2009: Budget of the U.S.
Government, Fiscal Year
2010,”http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html (accessed August 2, 2009).
24. [23] Jeremy Korzeniewski, “U.S. Government Buys 17,205 Cars for $287 Million, Ford Represents,”
Autoblog Green, http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/06/11/u-s-government-buys-17-205-new-cars-
for-287-million-ford-repr (accessed August 2, 2009).
25. [25] Lance Armstrong Foundation, http://www.livestrong.com (accessed August 2, 2009).
26. [26] Lance Armstrong Foundation, http://www.store-laf.org (accessed August 2, 2009).
27. [27] Randy Shattuck, “Understand the B2B Buying Cycle,” http://www.internetviz-
newsletters.com/PSJ/e_article001037852.cfm (accessed August 1, 2009).
28. [30] United States Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/Press-
Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/004491.html(accessed August 2,
2009).
29. [32] Kae Groshong Wagner, “The B2B Buying Process,” http://www.internetviz-
newsletters.com/PSJ/e_article001037852.cfm (accessed August 2, 2009).
30. [34] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 97.

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http://www.perfectbusiness.com/articles/newsarticle.cfm?newsID=948&news=1

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123395867963658435.html

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/06/11/u-s-government-buys-17-205-new-cars-for-287-million-ford-repr

http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/06/11/u-s-government-buys-17-205-new-cars-for-287-million-ford-repr

http://www.livestrong.com/

http://www.store-laf.org/

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http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/004491.html

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/004491.html

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31. [35] Gerald L. Manning, Barry L. Reece, and Michael Ahearne, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value,
11th ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010), 163.
32. [36] Gerald L. Manning, Barry L. Reece, and Michael Ahearne, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value,
11th ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010), 163.
33. [37] Gerald L. Manning, Barry L. Reece, and Michael Ahearne, Selling Today: Creating Customer Value,
11th ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010), 163.
34. [38] Lorena Bias, “Fawcett, Jackson Get ‘Fair’ Magazine Play,” USA Today, August 3, 2009, life 1.
35. [39] “Vanity Fair’s Two September 2009 Covers: Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett Split Cover,” Huffington
Post, August 3, 2009,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/03/vanity-fairs-two-
septembe_n_249809.html(accessed February 20, 2010).
36. [40] “Yahoo-Microsoft Deal,” New York Times, July 30,
2009,http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/yahoo_inc/yahoo-microsoft-
deal/index.html (accessed August 3, 2009).
37. [41] Patricia Resende, “Microsoft Keeps Watchful Eye on Yahoo’s Earnings,” Yahoo! Tech, July 20,
2009, http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nf/20090720/tc_nf/67859 (accessed August 3, 2009).
38. [42] “Yahoo-Microsoft Deal,” New York Times, July 30,
2009,http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/yahoo_inc/yahoo-microsoft-
deal/index.html (accessed August 3, 2009).

6.2 How the Buying Process Works
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. List the steps in the buying process and describe how and why the process is evolving.
2. Understand the role of emotions in the buying decision.
3. Learn how to use FAB for effective selling.
For years, the buying process was considered to be linear; scholars and researchers who closely
monitored buying behavior identified several steps that the B2B customer goes through before she
makes a purchase. It’s helpful to understand these steps to appreciate the changes that are taking
place, even as you read this.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/03/vanity-fairs-two-septembe_n_249809.html

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/yahoo_inc/yahoo-microsoft-deal/index.html

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/yahoo_inc/yahoo-microsoft-deal/index.html

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/nf/20090720/tc_nf/67859

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The Traditional View of the Seven Steps of the B2B Buying Process
You are probably familiar with buying as a consumer. But did you ever think about how Aéropostale
decides what products will be in their stores for the spring season, how a restaurant determines which
beverages it will offer, or how Hewlett-Packard (HP) identifies which parts it will use to manufacture its
printers? The buying process outlines the steps that the B2B customer goes through when he is making a
purchasing decision on behalf of the company. This process applies whether the buying decision is being
made by an individual or by a buying center.
1. Recognizing the need. The buyer realizes there is a need for the product or service. [1] In the B2B
environment, this might occur because of an internal need (e.g., the company needs more office space) or
because of a customer need (e.g., green tea is becoming more popular, and so we want to offer it on our
menu). This is the ideal opportunity for you to learn about your customers’ needs, although it may be
difficult to know exactly when a customer or prospective customer is beginning this step. That’s why it’s
important to engage your customer in dialogue to understand their current and future needs. Sometimes,
you can help your customer see an opportunity that he didn’t realize.
2. Defining the need. This step usually involves users as well as initiators to put more definition around
the type of product or service that will help meet the need. [2] For example, in the case of office space, the
head of facilities would ask the head of human resources about the types of new positions that will be
needed and the type of workspace each requires. He might also ask for insight from each hiring manager
or department head in the company, such as the head of operations, marketing, finance, and other areas.
This will help him more fully understand the general type of product or service that is needed. Salespeople
can play a role in this step of the buying process by sharing information and insights from other
customers, without divulging any confidential information.
3. Developing the specifications. This is the step at which the exact needs are outlined. [3] For
example, if Target identified the need to create its own brand of DVD player, the appropriate people in the
company would determine the exact specifications of the product: what functions it will have, how large it
will be, what materials it will be made of, how many colors will be offered, and all other attributes of the
product. When a salesperson has a good relationship with a customer, the buyer might ask the

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salesperson for insights and advice on different features, functionality, and production costs to finalize the
product or service specifications.
4. Searching for appropriate suppliers. This step is focused on researching potential suppliers. This
research can be conducted online by doing a Google search for suppliers of the desired product or
service. [4] Trade associations are also an excellent source as many provide unbiased evaluations of
suppliers; for example, Forrester Research publishes a report on Web site analytic tools.

Link
Forrester Research Reports on Web Site Analytics Tools
http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/web_analytics_buyers_guide/q/id/53043/t/2
And industry trade shows can be an excellent source of information about prospective suppliers. One of
the best ways to identify suppliers is by referrals; use your business network, including LinkedIn, to get
feedback about reliable suppliers that might be able to meet your needs.
5. Requesting proposals. This is when the buyer or buying center develops a
formal request for proposal, often called an RFP, and she identifies several potential vendors that could
produce the product or service. [5] For example, if Home Depot decided that it wanted to upgrade its bags,
the buyer would have determined the specification, quantity, shipping points, usage, and other
requirements (e.g., being environmentally friendly), and put the information into a formal document that
is sent to several bag manufacturers along with questions about the history of the company, key
customers, locations, manufacturing capacity, turnaround time, and other relevant information. Each
manufacturer would have the opportunity to respond to the RFP with a formalproposal, which means that
each company would provide information about their company, capabilities, delivery, and pricing to
manufacture the bags. This is an opportunity for a salesperson to respond with a complete proposal that
addresses the customer’s needs and concerns. See the sample RFP template for a nonprofit organization
below.

Link
RFP Template for a Nonprofit Organization
http://www.npguides.org/guide/grant1.htm

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6. Evaluating proposals. After the proposals are submitted, the buyer or buying center reviews each
one and determines whether the company would be a good fit for the project. At this point, the number of
potential vendor choices is narrowed to a select few. Usually, salespeople from each of the chosen
companies are invited to meet with the buyer or buying center to discuss the proposal, capabilities, and
pricing. Negotiation for pricing, quality, timing, service, and other attributes may also take place during
this step. [6] This is the step where a salesperson may need to overcome objections, or the reasons why the
customer may not want to choose her as the company of choice. [7]
7. Making the buying decision. The buyer or buying center chooses one (or the necessary number) of
companies to execute the project, finalizes details, negotiates all aspects of the arrangement, and signs a
contract. This step requires perseverance and attention to detail on the part of the salesperson. Once the
decision is made, the real business of selling begins: delivering the product or service as agreed upon and
building the relationship.
8. Postpurchase evaluation. Throughout the buying process, the buyer is provided all the good news:
how the new product or service will solve her company’s problems, increase demand, reduce costs, or
improve profitability. It is the postpurchase evaluation that tells the tale. Did the product or service
perform as promised? Was the delivery and installation done correctly and on time? Are the business
results in line with expectations? Is the relationship growing? Do the salesperson and his company really
care about the performance of the buyer’s company? Does the salesperson add value to the buyer’s
company? This is where the rubber meets the road; it presents an opportunity for the salesperson to
communicate, anticipate, and solve any problems that may have arisen. [8]
The process makes sense and is a flow of systematic steps that leads a B2B buyer through a logical buying
process. But there are two flaws in this thinking that significantly impact the buying process and, as a
result, the selling process: (1) the Internet changes everything and (2) emotions dominate B2B
buying. [9], [10]

The Internet Changes Everything
It used to be that B2B buyers relied on salespeople to get information, demonstrations, and cost about
products and services. Salespeople sold, and buyers bought; the world was a simpler place.

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Today, B2B buyers are doing the work of two or even three employees because there are fewer people
working at companies due to cutbacks and restructuring. The fact is, buyers don’t have the time to meet
with salespeople like they used to. And the Internet has been a game changer. Buyers can not only
research product and supplier options online, but they can also see product specifications, view
demonstration videos, participate in online forums, get real-time recommendations and feedback from
users on social networks, and basically be smarter than any salesperson before he even calls for an
appointment. [11] The power has shifted from sellers to buyers. In fact, the Internet has had such a
profound effect on how people make purchasing decisions that the Wall Street Journal has coined a new
term: “new info shopper.” These are people who can’t buy anything without getting information online
first. What’s even more important to note is the fact that 92 percent of new info shoppers have more
confidence in the information they get online than from an ad, salesperson, or other company source. [12]
So what’s a salesperson to do? Stop, listen, and help your customer make the best decision for her
business, even if it means that she doesn’t buy your product. Despite the importance of the Internet in
providing information throughout the buying process, B2B buyers still gather insight from a variety of
sources that include salespeople. Successful salespeople are those that truly focus on the buyer’s needs,
which may mean giving up the sale and bringing valuable feedback to your company to change the
product, service, or other options that are reasons why customers might not buy from you. The new world
order requires everyone to rethink the conventional wisdom. Selling used to be something you “do to” a
customer; now it’s something you “do for” a customer.[13] The salespeople who win are the ones who listen
in person, on the phone, and online, then make the recommendation that is in the customer’s best
interest.
Information is no longer the exclusive domain of the salesperson. But great salespeople bring value to
their customers with ideas, insights, knowledge, and personal commitment that can’t be duplicated on a
Web site, online forum, or even on a social network. And the role of the Internet in B2B buying decisions
is changing quickly.
Sales 2.0 has changed the way people seek, receive, and interact online. The Internet used to be only an
information source, a place to search Web sites for information. But static Web sites have given way to not
only information gathering, but to problem solving. Crowdsourcing occurs when a company takes a job
that is traditionally done by an employee and issues an “open call,” usually online, to people all over the

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world to solve the problem. This is a new way for businesses and individuals to leverage the Internet in an
efficient and effective way. [14] Crowdsourcing uses the wisdom of the crowd in a virtual way to make
information and solutions readily available to everyone.
Salespeople can embrace crowdsourcing and bring the power of the crowd to solve any customer problem.
Facebook, iPhone apps, and YouTube are just three examples of crowdsourcing. Consider this example of
the power of the crowd: Apple offered more than 65,000 apps for its iPhone in less than two years, and
the number is projected to rise to 300,000 in 2010. [15], [16]

Power Selling: Lessons in Selling from Successful Brands
What’s Next? Ask the Crowd
How do content companies know what people will want to read about in six months? How do retailers
determine what color will be hot next season? How will car companies know what defines luxury next
year?
Trendwatching.com, a global trend service, uses a team of global network of business and marketing-
savvy “spotters” (a.k.a. the crowd) in 120 countries to gather data, observe consumers, and talk to the
people who are innovators and trendsetters to identify what’s next. Trendwatching.com offers a free
version of its basic trend reports on its Web site (http://trendwatching.com), but also sells premium and
customized trend information to all types of companies such a retailers, media companies, manufacturers,
and others. [17]
The use of technology in B2B selling, especially social networking, will continue to explode
as digital natives (people, probably like you, who are under the age of 27) move into the workplace and
meet the digital immigrants, Generation X and baby boomers who accept technology, but developed their
online habits during a different time. Processes, behaviors, communication, and decisions will occur
differently in the future.

Emotions Dominate B2B Buying
Whether you look at the traditional buying process or the role the Internet plays in providing information,
it appears that the B2B buying process is logical and rational, but appearances can be deceiving. Despite

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the implication and belief that companies make purchasing decisions based on facts, it’s a good idea to
remember one of the key tenets of B2B buying mentioned earlier: business-to-business means person-to-
person. That means that although a B2B buyer is making a decision on behalf of her company, she still
behaves like a consumer and is subject to emotions and feelings. “People rationalize buying decisions
based on facts, but they make buying decisions based on feeling,” according to Bryan Eisenberg from
ClickZ.com. [18]
Fear and Trust
You learned in how important trust is in a relationship. People won’t buy from someone they don’t trust,
which is why some salespeople are more successful than others; they work to establish and develop trust
with the customer. People buy when they feel comfortable with the product and the salesperson and when
they believe it is the best decision they can make. They want to do business with someone who
understands all their needs, not just the needs of the product or service. And because the B2B purchasing
process usually includes multiple people, it means that the salesperson needs to develop a relationship
and establish trust with as many people involved in the purchasing process as possible.
Although trust is a positive emotion that can influence a sale, an even stronger emotion in B2B buying is
fear. B2B buyers have several fears, not the least of which is being taken for a fool. Many executives have
had the experience of being told one thing by a salesperson only to learn the hard way that what he said
just wasn’t true. “People are afraid of being sold,” according to Tom Hopkins, author of How to Master
the Art of Selling. [19] The best way to overcome this fear is to demonstrate that you are trustworthy. That
means something as simple as returning a phone call when you say you will, or following up with
information as promised. Even the language that you use can signal trust. For example, “initial
investment” is a better term than “down payment,” “fee” is more customer-friendly than “commission,”
“agreement” says something different than “contract,” and “can’t” sounds more negative than “would you
consider.” Understand your customer’s fear of buying and replace it with comfort, trust, and confidence—
in you. [20]

Power Player: Lessons in Selling from Successful Salespeople
Fear as an Opportunity

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Norm Brodsky is the owner of an archive-retrieval business called CitiStorage. He is a master salesperson
because he is an astute listener and understands how to “listen between the lines” to pick up on
customers’ fears. One day he was showing a prospective customer through his facility when she saw all the
boxes and said, “Gee, aren’t you afraid of having a fire in this place?” Norm was not concerned at all
because he already had backup coverage. But he realized that she was afraid of a fire so instead of simply
saying that he was not concerned, he took the opportunity to address and respect her fear, not gloss over
it. He responded by saying, “Yes, certainly, I’ve thought about the danger of a fire, and let me show you
what we’ve done about it.” [21] He used the opportunity to put her fear to rest, even before his sales
presentation.
Some consumer products such as virus protection, security systems, or insurance, appeal to the emotion
of fear; consumers balance the assurance of owning it with the pain of acquiring it. (Let’s face it: It’s more
fun to buy a new PC than to buy virus protection.) However, in the B2B buying process, the buyer is not
the person who experiences the benefits of the product or service she purchased. [22] The fact is if the
product or service doesn’t perform as expected or doesn’t generate the desired results, the decision maker
could put their job in jeopardy. [23] “B2B buying is all about minimizing fear by minimizing risk,”
according to a recent study by Marketo, a B2B marketing company. [24] There are actually two kinds of
risk: organizational risk and personal risk. Most salespeople address the organizational risk by discussing
the rational aspects of the product or service with information such as, “This server accommodates more
than five times as much traffic as your current server.” However, it is the personal risk, which is usually
not articulated, that has a significant impact on the buying decision. This is especially true today given the
focus on personal accountability, budgets, and performance. Imagine being the buyer at a fashion
boutique that bought too many plaid skirts and has to request a budget for markdowns, or the decision
maker who bought the computer system to power the United States’ government car rebate program,
Cash for Clunkers, which was delayed for over three weeks because the system crashed. [25] Some
purchasing decisions at certain companies have been so bad that people have been fired as a result. Every
B2B purchaser thinks about nightmares like this, so she is naturally risk-averse. The best approach in
these instances is for the salesperson to reassure her that you realize how important it is for her to look
good to her boss and throughout her organization as a result of the decision and show her exactly how you
will help her do that. [26]

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Fear is a strong motivator in a B2B buying decision, and it can’t simply be addressed in one meeting or
conversation. Successful salespeople are aware of it in each contact and use every opportunity to
demonstrate trustworthiness. “It’s how you handle the little things that show customers how you’ll handle
the big ones,” says Tom Hopkins. [27] It’s best to look at the situation from your customer’s vantage point;
you’ll see more clearly how you can deliver value.[28]

The Evolving Buying and Selling Processes
The framework for the buying and selling processes has been in place for many years. The buying process
changes literally every day and has dramatic impact on the selling process. As a result, the “new”
processes are not yet clearly defined. One thing is for certain; the processes are no longer organized,
controllable functions. “Linear is so twentieth century,” according to the author of Consumerspace:
Conquering Marketing Strategies for a Branded World. [29] Cultural, social, and technological changes
will continue to drive companies for even better performance, faster, and with ideas as currency, which
will continue to drive change in the buying process.
To understand the impact of the rapid changes occurring in the buying process, it’s important to know the
basic steps in the selling process. The next seven chapters review the selling process in detail and include
insights into how the process is changing. A study by William Moncrief and Greg W. Marshall provides a
roadmap for the evolution of the selling process in .
Table 6.2 The Evolution of the Seven Steps of Selling
Traditional Seven Steps
of Selling Transformative Factors Evolved Selling Process
1. Prospecting
• Telemarketing
• Internet selling
• Organizational prospecting
Customer retention and deletion
2. Preapproach
• Laptop account data
• Support staff
Database and knowledge
management

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Traditional Seven Steps
of Selling Transformative Factors Evolved Selling Process
3. Approach
• Build a foundation
Nurturing the relationship
(relationship selling)
4. Presentation
• PowerPoint/multimedia
• Listening
• Team selling
• Multiple calls
• Value-added
• Buying centers
Marketing the product
5. Overcoming
Objections
• Predetermining needs
Problem solving
6. Close
• Identifying mutual goals
Adding value/satisfying needs
7. Follow-Up
• Increased effectiveness of communication
through technology
Customer relationship
maintenance
Source: Reprinted from Industrial Marketing Management, 34/1, William C. Montcrief and Greg W.
Marshall, “The Evolution of the Seven Steps of Selling,” 13–22, Copyright (2005), with permission from
Elsevier.
Buying Process Meets FAB
No matter how the buying process evolves, customers continue to make purchase decisions driven by
emotions. You learned how motivating trust and fear are for people who are making B2B buying
decisions. Comfort, vanity, convenience, pleasure, desire to succeed, security, prevention of loss, and need
to belong are all emotions that motivate purchases. A company may want to build a new building that
carries its brand name downtown to signal its importance to the city and business community; that would
be an example of vanity as a motivator. Or perhaps the company wants to move its headquarters to a
better part of town to provide better security for its employees. Maybe a prominent figure in the
community donates a large sum of money to your college motivated by the desire to give back. The same

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types of motivations apply to B2C purchases: a woman purchases makeup in the hopes of looking as
beautiful as the model in the ads, a man buys a sports car in the hopes of turning heads, a student buys a
microwave for the convenience of having food when she wants it.

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Figure 6.10 Nutritional Information

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Source:http://www.thedailyplate.com/nutrition-calories/food/doritos/cool-ranch-ind-bag
Emotions are the driving force in so many B2C and B2B purchases that you might not even realize it.
Consider this: would you buy the product in ?
So how do you create the same type of emotional appeal with your customers? The answer is simple: FAB.
While you might not consider buying it based on only this factual information, you probably have bought
this product based on the emotional appeal of the packaging, advertising, and other marketing messages
that tell you that the product is the best late-night snack.
Consider this information that was on the home page of Amazon recently:
3G wireless means books in 60 seconds. No monthly fees, service plans or hunting for Wi-Fi
hotspots. Over 300,000 of the most popular books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs
available. [30]
Amazon truly understands how to use FAB, a selling technique that focuses onFeatures, Advantages,
and Benefits, to sell its Kindle electronic reader. FAB is more than a way of selling; it’s a way of thinking
like your customers. Using the Kindle as an example, here are the details about how to use the FAB
approach for effective selling.
• A feature is a “physical characteristic” of the product. [31] In the Kindle example above, the feature is
the 3G wireless capability. Features are characteristics of the product; a feature comparison chart
between the Kindle and the Kindle DX is shown below.
Figure 6.12 Feature Comparison Chart between the Kindle and the Kindle DX

Source: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0015T963C
• A product advantage is the “performance characteristic” of the product, or what the feature
does. [32] In the information about Kindle included at the start of this section, the advantages of the 3G

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service are that the user doesn’t need to hunt for Wi-Fi hotspots and that over 300,000 of the most
popular books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs are available in sixty seconds.
• The benefit is the “result” the buyer will realize from the product because of the product advantage, or
in other words, what the feature does or the result it delivers. [33] The benefit of the Kindle is the fact
that you can “rediscover reading anywhere, any time.” [34]
Amazon skillfully reinforces the benefit of portability by showing someone reading on a beach or a bus.
Why does FAB work? Because customers want to know what a product or service will do for them—not
just what it’s made of. B2C and B2B customers seek information before making a buying decision but are
also driven by emotions. FAB helps you appeal to a customer’s rational and emotional buying behavior by
providing the most compelling features and factual information and then showing how the features
provide an advantage that delivers a benefit. This is how salespeople help customers establish an
emotional connection with a product. You remember from the power of an emotional connection between
a customer and a brand.
You probably use FAB sometimes without even realizing it. “My new Lucky Brand jeans have a dirty wash,
fit great, and make me look thin. The best part is they were on sale for only $89.00.” The features are the
dirty wash and the fact that they were on sale for $89.00; the advantage is that they fit well (no easy feat
when it comes to jeans); the benefit is that they make you feel like you look thin and, as a result, make you
feel good when you wear them. Your statement is much more powerful when you frame it with FAB than if
you simply say, “I got some new jeans today for $89.00.”
Or maybe you stopped into McDonald’s and tried one of their new Angus Third Pounders. The product
feature is that the burger is one-third of a pound and is available in three flavor options; the advantage is
that it is thick and juicy; the benefit is that you will enjoy the taste and your hunger is satisfied. The FAB
message is more compelling than simply saying that you had a hamburger that was one-third of a pound;
that would be stopping at the feature and not offering an advantage or benefit.
If you want to be able to use FAB in conversation, simply think in terms of the following:
• Feature: what the product has
• Advantage: what the features do
• Benefit: what the features mean [35], [36]
gives features, advantages, and benefits for some common products.

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Table 6.3 FAB in Action
Product Feature Advantage Benefit
HP Pavilion
Computer 250-GB hard drive
Enough space to store music,
pictures, documents, and more.
Do more from playing video games
to downloading all of your favorite
music and still have space for your
homework projects.
Caribbean
Vacation
4 all-inclusive nights
with airfare for only
$599 per person
Don’t worry about how to
budget for the cost of the
vacation because everything is
included in one low price.
Enjoy a spring break you will never
forget on a beach in the Caribbean.
2010 Honda
Insight
40 mpg highway/43
mpg city
Lower your gas prices with a
fuel-efficient Insight.
Be kind to the environment and
travel in comfort for less with an
Insight.
For example, if you were describing Netflix in terms of FAB, you might say something like the following:
For only $8.99 a month you can watch as many movies as you want and never be charged a late
fee. You can order online and have a DVD delivered in about a day and exchange it as many
times as you want without a late fee, or you can watch streaming video of your favorite movies
online anytime. Now that’s total personalized entertainment.[37]
Now look at this FAB statement with the features, advantages, and benefits in bold:
For only $8.99 a month [feature] you can watch as many movies as you want and never
be charged a late fee [advantage]. You can order online and have a DVD delivered in
about a day[advantage] and exchange it as many times as you want without a late
fee [advantage], or you can watch streaming video of your favorite movies online
anytime [advantage]. It definitely saves you time and money [benefit] and gives you total
personalized entertainment [benefit].
It’s easy to remember by using the FAB framework as your guide.
[Name feature] means you [name advantage] with the real benefit to you being [name
benefit]. [38]
Here’s another example, based on research about the 2009 Nissan Cube: [39]

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The Nissan Cube has funky, Japanese-like design and is friendly to the environment with a fuel-
efficient 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine that gets over 30 miles per gallon. It’s hip, cool, and fun to
drive. At $15,585, it’s a great value for the money.
How to Use FAB
Now that you know what FAB is, you probably want to know how to use it most effectively in selling. Here
are three easy steps to put FAB to work for you:
1. Know your customer. Benefits speak emotionally to customers in a way that rational facts can’t.
But you need to know what is important to each customer. The health club that’s open twenty-four
hours might be attractive to a young professional because he can work out late in the evening after a
long day, whereas the club’s day care center might be appealing to a young mother. Similarly, in a B2B
selling situation in which a buyer is evaluating warehouse space, one customer might be interested in
the warehouse because of its state-of-the-art systems, while another might be focused on location.
Know what motivates your customer, and then you can craft an effective FAB statement. [40]
2. Think outside your box. If you want your FAB to work for your customer, you will need to deliver
value in the form of benefits that she can’t get from anyone else. Think about your product or service
in a different way; talk to people, watch the trends, see what else you can bring when you look at your
product or service in a different way. Baking soda had traditionally been used as a leavening agent for
baking. Arm & Hammer reinvented baking soda as a way to remove odors from refrigerators. Can you
be as creative with the application for your product or service? [41]
3. Get in touch with your customer’s motivation. Listen, learn, and craft an FAB message that
will “have your customer at hello.” [42] Although that might be an overly romantic notion of how selling
works, your goal is to have your customer fall in love with your product or service so much that it’s
something he can’t live without. Imagine living without iTunes, your cell phone, or your favorite pair
of jeans. That’s how your customer should feel about the product or service you are selling. If you
understand his motivation, you can deliver features, advantages, and benefits that not only tell him
why he should buy, but why he can’t afford not to.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S

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• The traditional B2B buying process has seven steps: need recognition, defining the need, developing the
specifications, searching for appropriate suppliers, evaluating proposals, making the buying decision, and
postpurchase evaluation.
• The Internet is a game-changer as it relates to the buying process because information is no longer the
exclusive domain of the salesperson; the power has shifted from the seller to the buyer.
• Crowdsourcing occurs when a company takes a job that is traditionally done by an employee and issues
an “open call,” usually online, to people all over the world to solve the problem. Salespeople can
use crowdsourcing to get the best solutions for their customers.
• Emotions such as comfort, security, convenience, pleasure, and vanity are major motivations for buying
decisions.
• Trust and fear are especially important in B2B buying because the decision maker has to
consider organizational risk and personal risk as part of his buying decision.
• The buying process continues to evolve, which changes the selling process; the traditional selling process
provides a foundation and insight into the evolution.
• FAB (a.k.a. features, advantages, benefits) is the way to appeal to your customer’s emotions with
factual and emotional appeals.
o A feature is what a product has.
o An advantage is what the feature does.
o A benefit is what the features mean to the customer.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Identify a recent major purchase that you made recently. How did you recognize the need for the product
or service? Where did you go to gather information about the options that were available to you? Did you
use one method or a combination of methods?
2. Contact a buyer at the headquarters of a retailer such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, GameStop, Costco, Urban
Outfitters, or another company. Ask him about the process he uses to determine which products to put in
the retail stores. Is his process similar to the process outlined in this chapter? How does it differ? How
does his postpurchase evaluation impact his decision to buy the product again?

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3. Based on the comment that “customers don’t want to be sold,” what should a salesperson do to
sell to a customer? Identify an example of a good buying experience and a bad buying experience
that you have had recently. Did the salesperson “sell” to you?
4. Describe a situation in which a salesperson might use crowdsourcing.
5. Assume you are a salesperson for a major telecommunications company and you are calling on a major
construction company that is considering buying smart phones for the key people in the company.
Describe at least one organizational risk and one personal risk that might be involved in the customer’s
decision.
6. Identify a feature, advantage, and benefit for each of the following products and services:
o MTV
o Kia Sportage
o Palm Pre
o Virgin Mobile phone
7. [1] Ron Brauner, “B2B Buying Process: 8 Stages of the Business Sales
Funnel,”http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68 (accessed August 1, 2009).
8. [2] Ron Brauner, “B2B Buying Process: 8 Stages of the Business Sales
Funnel,”http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68 (accessed August 1, 2009).
9. [3] Barton A. Weitz, Stephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships, 7th ed.
(New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009), 93.
10. [4] Ron Brauner, “B2B Buying Process: 8 Stages of the Business Sales
Funnel,”http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68 (accessed August 1, 2009).
11. [5] Ron Brauner, “B2B Buying Process: 8 Stages of the Business Sales
Funnel,”http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68 (accessed August 1, 2009).
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Funnel,”http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68 (accessed August 1, 2009).
13. [7] Ron Brauner, “B2B Buying Process: 8 Stages of the Business Sales
Funnel,”http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68 (accessed August 1, 2009).
14. [9] Geoffrey James, “Is Your Sales Process Obsolete?” BNET, March 30,
2007,http://blogs.bnet.com/salesmachine/?p=30 (accessed August 1, 2009).

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http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68

http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68

http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68

http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68

http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68

http://www.ronbrauner.com/?p=68

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15. [10] Bryan Eisenberg, “Buying Is Not a Rational Decision,” ClickZ, November 26,
2001,http://www.clickz.com/927221 (accessed August 1, 2009).
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2007,http://blogs.bnet.com/salesmachine/?p=30 (accessed August 1, 2009).
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August 1, 2009).
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2007,http://blogs.bnet.com/salesmachine/?p=30 (accessed August 1, 2009).
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2008,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0-UtNg3ots (accessed August 3, 2009).
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2009, http://www.intomobile.com/2009/08/03/apple-bans-hundreds-of-spammers-iphone-
apps.html (accessed August 3, 2009).
21. [16] Daniel Ionescu, “Android Market Hits 20,000 Apps Milestone,” PC World, December 16,
2009,http://www.pcworld.com/article/184808/android_market_hits_20000_apps_milestone.html (acces
sed December 20, 2009).
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2001,http://www.clickz.com/927221 (accessed August 1, 2009).
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2003,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=296 (accessed March 16, 2010).
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2003,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=296 (accessed June 21, 2010).
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1997,http://www.inc.com/magazine/19980301/878.html (accessed August 9, 2009).
27. [22] “Beyond the B2B Buying Funnel: Exciting New Research About How Companies Make Complex
Purchases,” Marketo, April 22, 2009,http://blog.marketo.com/blog/2009/04/beyond-the-b2b-buying-

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http://www.clickz.com/927221

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http://www.intomobile.com/2009/08/03/apple-bans-hundreds-of-spammers-iphone-apps.html

http://www.intomobile.com/2009/08/03/apple-bans-hundreds-of-spammers-iphone-apps.html

http://www.pcworld.com/article/184808/android_market_hits_20000_apps_milestone.html

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funnel-exciting-new-research- about-how-companies-make-complex-purchases.html (accessed August 1,
2009).
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2003,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=296 (accessed June 21, 2010).
29. [24] “Beyond the B2B Buying Funnel: Exciting New Research About How Companies Make Complex
Purchases,” Marketo, April 22, 2009,http://blog.marketo.com/blog/2009/04/beyond-the-b2b-buying-
funnel-exciting-new-research- about-how-companies-make-complex-purchases.html (accessed August 1,
2009).
30. [25] “Cash for Clunkers Launch Postponed Due to Computer Crash,” U.S. News and World Report, July 24,
2009, http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/daily-news/090724-Breaking-News-Cash-for-
Clunkers-Launch-Postponed-by-Computer-Crash(accessed August 4, 2009).
31. [26] “Fear of Buying,” Selling Power, August 18,
2003,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=296 (accessed June 21, 2010).
32. [27] “Fear of Buying,” Selling Power, August 18,
2003,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=296 (accessed June 21, 2010).
33. [28] Bryan Eisenberg, “Buying Is Not a Rational Decision,” ClickZ, November 26,
2001,http://www.clickz.com/927221 (accessed August 1, 2009).
34. [30] Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com (accessed August 4, 2009).
35. [31] Charles M. Futrell, Fundamentals of Selling: Customers for Life through Service, 10th ed. (New York:
McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 114.
36. [32] Charles M. Futrell, Fundamentals of Selling: Customers for Life through Service, 10th ed. (New York:
McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 114.
37. [33] Charles M. Futrell, Fundamentals of Selling: Customers for Life through Service, 10th ed. (New York:
McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 114.
38. [34] Amazon.com, http://www.amazon.com (accessed August 4, 2009).
39. [35] Laura Clampitt Douglas, “Marketing Features vs.
Benefits,” Entrepreneur,http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/homeofficemagcom/2000/december/3
4942.html(accessed August 4, 2009).

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http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/daily-news/090724-Breaking-News-Cash-for-Clunkers-Launch-Postponed-by-Computer-Crash

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40. [36] Bryan Eisenberg, “Want The to Buy? Sell Benefits,” ClickZ.com, April 9,
2001,http://www.clickz.com/840121 (accessed August 4, 2009).
41. [37] Netflix, http://www.netflix.com (accessed July 12, 2009).
42. [38] Charles M. Futrell, Fundamentals of Selling: Customers for Life through Service, 10th ed. (New York:
McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2008), 116.
43. [39] Ben Stewart, “2009 Nissan Cube vs. Kia Soul vs. 2009 Scion xB: 300-Mile Fuel-Economy Test-
Drive,” Popular Mechanics, February 24,
2009,http://www.popularmechanics.com/blogs/automotive_news/4306145.html (accessed August 4,
2009).
44. [40] Laura Clampitt Douglas, “Marketing Features vs.
Benefits,” Entrepreneur,http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/homeofficemagcom/2000/december/3
4942.html(accessed August 4, 2009).
45. [41] Laura Clampitt Douglas, “Marketing Features vs.
Benefits,” Entrepreneur,http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/homeofficemagcom/2000/december/3
4942.html(accessed August 4, 2009).
46. [42] IMDB, Jerry McGuire, written and directed by Cameron Crowe, released December 13,
1996, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116695 (accessed August 4, 2009).

6.3 Selling U: Developing and Communicating Your Personal
FAB
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E S
1. Understand how to develop your personal FAB message.
2. Learn how to make your FAB message memorable in an interview.
You can see that FAB is a powerful way to build an emotional connection with a customer. It is also
an excellent way to stand out to a prospective employer in an interview. You’ll learn more about the
interviewing process in the Selling Usection of , but now it’s a good idea to do some advance
preparation.

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You’ve already done a lot of work that will serve you well as you network and interview—you’ve
identified your brand positioning points in the Selling Usection of , put them to work in your résumé
and cover letter in , and developed your elevator pitch in . All these activities help you bring your
personal FAB (feature, advantage, benefit) message into focus. Your FAB message will help you tell
the details about your brand and will help you tell your “stories” about your experience and
accomplishments during your interviews.

Stories Paint Pictures
If getting the job or internship you want were only about the facts, you would only need to present your
résumé on a job interview. But prospective employers are looking for that “certain something,” an
emotional connection that helps them know that you are the one. [1] Every candidate comes into an
interview trying to impress the interviewee and saying how much he wants the job. Why not stand out,
show, and sell?
Think about your three brand positioning points you developed in . Now, think about the stories that
demonstrate each one in terms of FAB. shows you some examples.
Table 6.4 Personal FAB Example
Brand
Positioning
Point Feature Advantage Benefit
Marketing
Experience
Had an internship
at an advertising
agency
I worked on the Limited, Too
account developing Twitter
conversations with target
customers.
I can help SpitFire engage its
customers directly and learn about
shopping preferences using social
networking.
Customer
Service
Experience
Worked as a
server at Olive
Garden
I interacted with customers and
provided excellent customer
service under pressure.
I understand how to handle
multiple tasks under pressure
without losing my cool.
Leadership
Experience
President of Young
Entrepreneurs
Club
I developed a forum for local
investors to regularly hear pitches
from student entrepreneurs,
I understand the process it takes to
turn ideas into profitable
businesses, and I’m able to be the

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Brand
Positioning
Point Feature Advantage Benefit
which led to the launch of three
new products.
driving force behind bringing
people, ideas, and money together.

Every Picture Tells a Story
Take your FAB one step up and create a portfolio that you can show during job interviews. When
you tell someone about your experience and accomplishments, that’s good, but showing them really helps
you stand out in the crowd. If you are lucky enough to get an interview, capitalize on the opportunity to
sell yourself. Keep in mind that most companies interview at least two or three people, and sometimes
more, before they make their hiring decision.
A portfolio isn’t just for creative or advertising people; everyone should have a portfolio. It is simply a
collection of samples of your work from class projects, internships, volunteer projects, and any other work
that demonstrates your skills. [2] Creating a portfolio is as simple as putting samples of your work in a
three-ring binder
You probably have more samples of your work than you think. And each sample is an excellent way to
show and tell your FAB. Here are some ideas about what to put in your portfolio:
• Class projects. Choose those projects that demonstrate your skills, especially in your major. For
example, if you did a sales presentation, include a video clip along with your selling aids. Or if you
created a PR plan, include the plan along with the exhibits. Group projects are acceptable as long as
the group names are included on the title page. A team project allows you to talk about how you
provided leadership to the team or helped the team get focused.
• Internship projects. If you had an internship or multiple internships, include samples of the
projects on which you worked. For example, include copies of Web pages, brochures, flyers, graphs,
presentations, or other samples of your work.
• Volunteer projects. If you have been involved in a student group, community service, or other
service organization, include samples of the projects on which you worked. For example, if your group

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did a fundraiser for breast cancer, include the flyer for the event along with photos and a summary of
the contributions.

You’ve Got the Power: Tips for Your Job Search
Keep a Copy
Whenever you work on a class project, internship, volunteer project, or any other type of project that
demonstrates your skills, keep a copy for your portfolio. The same is true when you begin working; keep
copies of all your projects to continue to build your portfolio throughout your career. You never know
when you will need to show samples of your work. It’s best to avoid including any confidential or
proprietary information from companies or organizations.
• Other work samples. If you enjoy photography, writing, design, selling on eBay, or other activity
that has application to the position for which you are seeking, include that work. In other words, print
the Web page for your eBay store along with the feedback you have received, include photographs or
other projects on which you have worked to show your work. If you don’t have samples of your work
for your portfolio, consider starting a blog and print copies of your entries.
• Letters of recommendation. Ask for a letter of recommendation from former supervisors,
colleagues, team leaders, professors, and other people who will be happy to write a letter about your
skills. [3] If you have had a summer job or internship, ask your former boss and other people with
whom you worked to write a letter of recommendation. Keep the copies of the letters in your portfolio
and show them to prospective employers during your interview. Although these letters are different
from references, they serve the purpose of showing your prospective employer how highly people
regard you and your work. You will be asked for references after the interview process if you are one
of the final candidates. See the Selling Usection in for more information about how to contact and
submit references, including how letter of recommendation from references can help set you apart.

Tips to Make Your Portfolio Even More Powerful
After you gather all of your work samples, here are a few tips that will help you organize them for an
effective visual story.

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• Choose a few work samples. Select samples (no more than five or six) that reflect your brand
positioning points. If leadership is important, be sure to include projects, results, pictures, and other
visual elements that will demonstrate your leadership story.
• Create a summary page for each work sample. Include bullet points for the project name,
objective, approach or strategy, and results. A sample is provided in . This will help you quickly
summarize the key points when you are showing your portfolio.

Figure 6.13 Sample Summary Page

• Use clean copies, in color where appropriate. Avoid using papers that include comments or
grades. Use fresh, clean copies of all samples. If you need to make a copy of an original document that
was in color, splurge and pay for color copies; it’s worth it.

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• Include extra copies of your résumé. Your portfolio is a great place to keep at least three or four
extra copies of your most current résumé printed on twenty-four-pound paper. Although your
interviewer may have already received your résumé before the interview, he may not have it handy
when you come in. Or you may be asked to meet with some people that were not on the original
interview schedule. If this is the case, you can be the consummate professional and offer your
interviewer a reference copy of your résumé. It’s also the perfect time to mention your portfolio.
• Use a professional binder or portfolio. Visit a local or online art supply or office supply store
and get a professional three-ring binder or portfolio. You can include your work samples in plastic
sleeves, but it is not required. Many portfolios include plastic sleeves for your samples. Ask if the store
offers a student discount.

Make It Memorable
As you develop your FAB and portfolio, think about the stories you want to tell about each one. Stories are
much more powerful than facts. For example, “I can really appreciate what it takes to go the extra mile for
a customer. When I worked at J&J Catering, they needed someone to mix the giant vats of cookie dough.
Needless to say, I spent hours working with the dough, but I wanted to make it interesting, so I learned
how ingredients work together, and I created a new recipe for lemon cookies that became the signature
dessert of the company.”

www.You.com
A portfolio is a must to bring on a job interview. You might be wondering if it’s a good idea to also create
an online portfolio. The answer is “yes.” Creating your own professional Web site as a way to showcase
your résumé, samples of your work, awards, and letter of recommendation is a perfect way to build your
brand and demonstrate to your prospective employer that you have additional technology skills.
Your online portfolio, or Web site, should include all the elements that are included in your offline
portfolio. Since space is not an issue, you may want to include even more samples of your work, especially
if you have writing or design samples. This is also an ideal place to include a link to your blog.

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A word of caution: Your professional Web site should be exactly that—professional. That means no
personal photos, comments, or casual blog posts from friends. In other words, your Facebook page is not
an appropriate place for your professional Web site. Use a business-like domain name
(http://www.yourname.com); if you don’t already have one, you can get one at Google or GoDaddy.com,
for a minimal annual fee.
Use your online portfolio as a way to sell yourself on your résumé: add your Web site address to your
contact information and mention it in your cover letter. [4] See résumé and cover letter samples in
the Selling U section in .

How to Use Your Portfolio in an Interview
It’s always best to bring your portfolio to every interview, even if it’s an informational interview. In most
cases, the interviewer will not ask you about your portfolio so you will have to bring it up in the
conversation.
Be proud of showing your work samples. The Financial Times, in reference to Peggy Klaus’ book Brag:
The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, wrote, “Start bragging…if you don’t speak up for
yourself, who will?” [5] To ensure that you are getting all of your FAB points across, it’s best to rehearse
how you will review your portfolio in an interview. Keep in mind that time is short so it’s best to be
concise and underscore the FAB points you want your interviewer to remember. A portfolio is an excellent
visual tool that makes your FAB message come alive for your prospective employer. The bottom line is, “If
you walk into an interview empty-handed, you’re missing an opportunity.” [6]
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Develop your FAB message using your brand positioning points as a foundation. Develop one or
more FAB messages for each point.
• Create a portfolio to bring on job interviews to visually tell your FAB messages. Include extra copies of
your résumé, samples of your work from class projects, internships, volunteer work, and relevant hobbies
in a professional three-ring binder. Be sure all samples are clean and are in color where appropriate.

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• You can also create an online portfolio on a professional Web site that includes the same information as
your physical portfolio. Also include your Web site address in the contact information on your résumé
and mention it in your cover letter.
• Be ready to introduce and review your portfolio in an interview; you’ll need to take the initiative as your
prospective employer won’t know you have work samples to show.
• Be proud of showing your work samples. Rehearse exactly what you will say about each sample and keep
it concise.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Write down your FAB using the chart below. What examples or stories can you tell about each
one?
Brand Positioning Point Feature Advantage Benefit

2. Identify at least four samples of your work that you can include in your portfolio. Discuss which FAB
message each sample demonstrates. Create a summary sheet for each sample.
3. Shop online or in a local art supply or office supply store and identify a professional binder or portfolio for
your samples.
4. Review your portfolio with a professor, supervisor, or other professional. Ask for feedback on your
portfolio and presentation.
5. [1] Bryan Eisenberg, “Buying Is Not a Rational Decision,” ClickZ, November 26,
2001,http://www.clickz.com/927221 (accessed August 1, 2009).

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6. [2] “Job Search: Back Up Your Resume with a Portfolio,”
WorkForce2.org,http://www.workforce2.org/resume-portfolio.htm (accessed August 5, 2009).
7. [3] Maureen Crawford Hentz, “How to Obtain and Use References and Recommendation Letters,”
Quintessential
Careers,http://www.quintcareers.com/references_recommendation_letters.html (accessed August 5,
2009)
8. [4] Resumemic09, “What Is a Portfolio and How Can I Use One to Get a Job?” video, July 24,
2009, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrHI0m0B1l4 (accessed August 5, 2009).
9. [5] Peggy Klaus, Brag: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It (New York: Hachette Book
Group, 2003), front cover.
10. [6] “How to Create an Awesome Work Portfolio,”
ManifestYourPotential.com,http://www.manifestyourpotential.com/en/work/tensteps/4preparework/ho
wto/jobsearch/portfolio.htm (accessed August 5, 2009).

6.4 Review and Practice
Power Wrap-Up
Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to understand why and how people buy in B2C
and B2B situations.
• You can describe the types of customers and why this information is important in determining
customers’ needs.
• You can discuss the implications of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for selling.
• You can learn the types of buyers and buying situations in a B2B environment.
• You can list the steps in the buying process and describe how and why the process is evolving.
• You can understand the role of emotions in the buying decision.
• You can learn how to use FAB for effective selling.
• You can understand how to develop your personal FAB message.
• You can learn how to make your FAB message memorable in an interview.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E ( A N S W E R S A R E B E L O W )

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1. Describe the three types of B2B customers and what makes them different.
2. Name at least three differences between a B2C and a B2B purchase.
3. Describe two products or services a B2B purchaser would buy to meet esteem needs.
4. True or false: B2B buying decisions are rational.
5. True or false: The initiator in a B2B buying situation is also the decision maker.
6. Describe the first step in the buying process.
7. What is an RFP, and at which stage in the buying process is it used?
8. Describe FAB and how it is used in the selling process.
P O W E R ( R O L E ) P L A Y
Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. Following are two roles that are involved in the
same selling situation—one role is the customer, and the other is the salesperson. This will give you the
opportunity to think about this selling situation from the point of view of both the customer and the
salesperson.
Read each role carefully along with the discussion questions. Then, be prepared to play either of the roles
in class using the concepts covered in this chapter. You may be asked to discuss the roles and do a role-
play in groups or individually.
The Best Way to Reach Boomers
Role: Director of marketing at Shooz Athletic Shoe Company
Sales have been far less than expected as a result of the economy. Shooz brand athletic shoes are targeted
to baby boomers; they are flexible and comfortable, yet look cool. They are priced higher than the
competition, and it seems to have been suffering at the hands of the promotional efforts of competitors.
But the marketing strategy of Shooz is to continue to focus on its niche and be higher priced, despite the
sinking economy.
You have a limited advertising budget that has been devoted primarily to television advertising. You are in
the process of reviewing the numbers before your next meeting.
• Should you be open to new options and ways to increase your business?
• What role could a salesperson play in helping you think about different advertising options?
Role: Internet advertising salesperson

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You are a salesperson for an advertising company named Online Marketing Concepts. You sell banner ads,
e-mail, and social networking advertising for several online networks. Despite the growth of Internet
advertising in the past several years, online advertising sales have been down due to the economy, which
has had an impact on your paycheck. You would really like to get the Shooz account to buy some Internet
advertising. You’ve done your homework, and you think that online advertising could really help the Shooz
business. You haven’t found any ads online for Shooz, and you have a great idea for an interactive
advertising campaign targeted to baby boomers. Now, you’re confident that if you get in front of the right
person, you can see your idea and help Shooz grow its business.
• What step in the buying process is the director of marketing currently in?
• How might you prepare for this sales call based on what you know?
• How will emotions come into play in the purchase of advertising for Shooz?
P U T Y O U R P O W E R T O W O R K : S E L L I N G U A C T I V I T I E S
1. Ask a professor, mentor, or other professional to share her portfolio with you. Ask her how she gathered
examples of her work that she shows to prospective customers or employers. Ask for feedback on your
portfolio.
2. Create an online portfolio including your résumé, samples of your work, letters of recommendation,
awards, and other proof of your skills. Review Web sites such
as http://sites.google.com and http://www.myevent.com. Don’t forget to include your URL on your
résumé in the contact information area.
3. Create a blog to demonstrate your skills. Review Web sites such
ashttps://www.blogger.com/start and http://wordpress.com as possible hosts for your blog. Choose a
topic that you are passionate about (sports, music, movies, fashion, or whatever moves you). Follow the
directions to personalize your blog and start writing. Remember to make regular and frequent posts;
there’s nothing less professional than an out-of-date blog. Keep it professional. Promote your blog on
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other professional networking Web sites.
T E S T Y O U R P O W E R K N O W L E D G E A N S W E R S
1. Producers are companies or organizations that buy parts or ingredients to make a product or service.
Resellers are companies or organizations that buy finished products or services to sell them to other

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companies or consumers. Organizations are government or nonprofit groups that buy products or
services for consumption or to be sold to companies or consumers.
2. Size of purchases, multiple buyers, number of customers, and geographic concentration.
3. A building that bears the company name; doing business with only those companies that have the best
reputations, such as McKinsey & Company; hiring only people who have an Ivy League education.
4. False. B2B decisions are dominated by emotions, especially trust and fear.
5. False. Although the initiator may be the decision maker, that is not always the case, especially in complex
B2B buying decisions.
6. Need recognition includes the realization that there is a need for the product or service. The need might
be identified by a user or anyone else inside the organization or by a customer.
7. The request for proposal is part of step four: searching for appropriate suppliers.
8. Feature, advantage, benefit is used in B2B and B2C selling and is used to appeal to a customer’s emotions
as in “what will this product or service do for me?”

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Chapter 7
Prospecting and Qualifying: The Power to Identify Your
Customers

You met Lisa Peskin in Chapter 1 “The Power to Get What You Want in Life”. She has over twenty years
of experience in sales and sales training at companies such as Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP),
Commercial Direct, and Interbay Funding. Lisa is now a sales trainer and works with companies to
help increase their sales. She understands the importance of always identifying potential new
customers. Without new customers, businesses would ultimately die. Great salespeople are constantly
looking for new prospective customers everywhere.

7.1 It’s a Process: Seven Steps to Successful Selling
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Explain the role of the seven steps of the selling process.
You may have been surprised if someone told you that movie scripts, regardless of the genre, all
follow the same basic formula—the same sequence of events—almost down to the minute: after three
minutes, the central question of the movie is introduced; after twenty-seven more minutes, the main
character will set off on a new path; fifteen minutes more, and something symbolic will happen; and
so on. [1] It’s hard to believe that The Fast and the Furious would follow the same formula as The

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Notebook, but once you know what to look for, you’ll see that the structure holds up. Clearly,
Hollywood has come to learn that this particular structure is the secret to keeping the audience’s
attention, earning positive reviews, and selling movies.
In the same way, almost all selling—regardless of the product that’s being sold—follows a particular
sequence of steps. It’s a simple but logical framework that has been the accepted model for almost a
hundred years. [2] Salespeople have adapted the specifics of the process as culture and technology
have changed, but the fact that they’ve followed the same basic model has for so long testifies to its
effectiveness. The selling process is generally divided into seven steps that, once you understand
them, will empower you to sell virtually anything you want and satisfy your customers:
1. Prospect and qualify
2. Preapproach
3. Approach
4. Presentation
5. Overcome objections
6. Close the sale
7. Follow-up
Each step of the seven-step process is covered thoroughly in this and the next six chapters so that
you can learn the details of each step and how to apply them in various selling situations.
Figure 7.1 Seven-Step Selling Process [3]

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When the Seven-Step Selling Process Is Used
As you learned in Chapter 3 “The Power of Building Relationships: Putting Adaptive Selling to Work”, the
sales process is adaptive, which means that each situation may be different and salespeople have to adapt
and understand what is important to each customer and where each is in the buying process. But in order
for a salesperson to use adaptive selling, he or she must thoroughly understand the steps in the selling
process and how each works to can use them effectively.
The Evolving Role of Technology in the Selling Process
While the basics of the selling process have remained the same over the years, the methods of
communication and the way people interact are quickly evolving with the use of the interactive
capabilities on the Internet by customers and salespeople alike. Each step now includes much more
collaboration between customers and salespeople (and even between customers) with the use of social
networking, consumer reviews, wikis, and other community-based tools. This technology allows
salespeople to learn more about their customers at each step, and therefore provide more relevant and
powerful solutions to customers at each stage of the buying process (covered in Chapter 6 “Why and How
People Buy: The Power of Understanding the Customer”). [4]
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Sales
Let’s say you want to buy a gym membership. Maybe you received a promotional offer in the mail, your
friends on Facebook have had good things to say about a particular gym, or you picked this club because
it’s close to home. Whatever the reason, you wander in and ask to speak to the membership director who
seems to know a lot about the club and what you might be looking for. After some small talk about the fact
that you both live in the same apartment complex, he tells you about the gym’s amenities and gives you a
tour of the facility. Then, you sit down to discuss pricing options and payment plans. If you have any
questions or concerns (i.e., “I noticed there are only three tennis courts. Is there usually a long wait to use
one?” or “Why aren’t there any kickboxing classes on your class schedule?”), the membership director will
attempt to address those. Maybe he will tell you there is occasionally a wait to use the tennis courts at
peak times, but you can reserve a spot up to a week in advance, in which case you can get right in. Or
maybe he’ll say that while they don’t have kickboxing classes, they offer Zumba, which is a fun aerobic
alternative.

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If you’re satisfied with his responses, and the price and product meet your needs, you will probably decide
to sign a contract. Once you’ve signed, someone from the club will probably follow up with a call in a few
weeks to see if you’re satisfied with your experience at their gym, or you may get an e-mail from them with
a membership satisfaction survey or a text message about an upcoming event.
The example above is an actual selling situation. Although you may not have realized it while you were
reading it, the situation follows the seven-step selling process.
Whether you’re buying a gym membership or a car, cell phone service or a new computer, the situation
may be different, but the steps in the selling process will follow the same pattern.
Business-to-Business (B2B) Sales
The process isn’t only limited to business-to-consumer sales; it’s also the process that IBM will use to sell
servers to a corporation, that Accenture will use to sell consulting services to a technology company, or
that the Coffee Brewers Company will use to sell espresso machines to coffee shops. Imagine you run a
chic new restaurant. You get a call from a salesperson who compliments you on the roasted chicken she
had at your restaurant last weekend. After some conversation, she asks if you’re satisfied with your
commercial ovens. You have been having some problems with them and have been doing some casual
research online. You know that her company is rated as one of the best oven manufacturers, so you tell
her: the ovens are over ten years old, they take a long time to heat up, and they sometimes cook things
unevenly.
“Many older ovens have this problem,” she says. “Would you be interested in learning about the state-of-
the-art commercial ovens our company sells?”
Since you need a solution for your current ovens, you agree to set up an appointment with the
salesperson. When the she arrives, you are impressed that she knows so much about your business. She
visited your restaurant, reviewed your menu, spoke with some of the wait staff, read reviews on the city
magazine Web site, and even had some conversations with some of your patrons on Chef’s Blog. She
explains that the ovens she sells heat up quickly and use energy more efficiently. She gives you an
estimate of your annual savings on energy costs if you switched over to her product line.
You’re interested, but you’re concerned that the ovens might not cook food evenly. Ovens are a big
expense—what happens if you aren’t satisfied with the product? The salesperson says you can lease an
oven for a trial period at no obligation, and she shows you reviews from other customers on her

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company’s Web site and on some restaurant industry blogs. You feel like this might help you solve your
problem, so you agree to lease the machine for four months.
After two months, the salesperson calls to ask if you’ve been satisfied with the product so far, and she
offers you a discount if you sign a contract to purchase two ovens in the next ten days. Since you have
been happy with the leased oven and checked out the company’s service record online from other current
customers, you make the purchase.
As in the gym membership example above, this B2B selling situation follows the seven-step framework.
Now, take a minute to review this selling situation in the box below to see exactly how the steps are
implemented.

The Seven Steps of Selling
Compare the B2B and B2C examples you just read about. Do you notice a pattern? Although the products
and customers were quite different, both salespeople adapted to the situation and the customer’s needs,
but followed the same seven steps to successfully complete their sales. In fact, you’ve probably used a
version of these seven steps yourself before without even realizing it. Take a look at some real-world
selling examples below and how of each of the steps is used.
Step 1: Prospecting and Qualifying
Before planning a sale, a salesperson conducts research to identify the people or companies that might be
interested in her product. In the B2B example, before the salesperson called the company, she had to find
the company’s information somewhere—probably in a local business directory. This step is called
prospecting, and it’s the foundational step for the rest of the sales process. A lead is a potential buyer.
A prospect is a lead that is qualified or determined to be ready, willing, and able to buy. The prospecting
and qualifying step relates to the needs awareness step in the buying process described in Chapter 6 “Why
and How People Buy: The Power of Understanding the Customer”. In other words, in a perfect world, you
are identifying customers who are in the process of or have already identified a need.
Undoubtedly, when the salesperson called the target customer to discuss his ovens (in the example, you
were the customer), she asked some questions to qualify him as a prospect, or determine whether he has
the desire and ability to buy the product or service. This is the other component to step one. What

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happens if the customer is not interested in the salesperson’s product, or he’s interested but his business
is struggling financially and doesn’t have the resources for a big purchase? Perhaps he is only an
employee, not the manager, and he doesn’t have the authority to make the purchasing decision. In this
case, he is no longer a prospect, and the salesperson will move on to another lead. Salespeople qualify
their prospects so they can focus their sales efforts on the people who are most likely to buy. After all,
spending an hour discussing the capabilities of your company’s ovens with a lead that is about to go out of
business would be a waste of time. It’s much more fruitful to invest your time with a qualified prospect,
one who has the desire or ability to buy the product or service.
Step 2: Preapproach
The preapproach is the “doing your homework” part of the process. A good salesperson researches his
prospect, familiarizing himself with the customer’s needs and learning all the relevant background info he
can about the individual or business. [5] Remember that in the B2B example, the salesperson knew
important information about the restaurant beforehand. She came prepared with a specific idea as to how
her service could help the prospect and gave a tailored presentation.
Step 3: Approach
First impressions (e.g., the first few minutes of a sales call) are crucial to building the client’s trust. [6] If
you’ve ever asked someone on a first date (yes, this is a selling situation), chances are you didn’t call the
person and start the conversation off with the question, “Hey, do you want to go out on Saturday night?”
Such an abrupt method would turn most people away, and you probably would not score the date you
were hoping for. Similarly, as a professional salesperson, you would almost never make a pitch right away;
instead, you’d work to establish a rapport with the customer first. This usually involves introductions,
making some small talk, asking a few warm-up questions, and generally explaining who you are and
whom you represent. [7], [8] This is called the approach.
Step 4: Presentation
There’s a good deal of preparation involved before a salesperson ever makes her pitch or presentation, but
the presentation is where the research pays off and her idea for the prospect comes alive. By the time she
presents her product, she will understand her customer’s needs well enough to be sure she’s offering a
solution the customer could use. If you’re a real estate agent selling a house and your customers are an
older, retired couple, you won’t take them to see a house with many bedrooms, several flights of stairs to

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climb, and a huge yard to keep up—nor will you show them around a trendy loft in a busy part of town.
The presentation should be tailored to the customer, explaining how the product meets that person or
company’s needs. It might involve a tour (as in this real estate example), a product demonstration, videos,
PowerPoint presentations, or letting the customer actually look at or interact with the product. At this
point, the customer is using the information that is being shared as part of his evaluation of possible
solutions.
Step 5: Handling Objections
After you’ve made your sales presentation, it’s natural for your customer to have some hesitations or
concerns called objections. Good salespeople look at objections as opportunities to further understand
and respond to customers’ needs. [9] For instance, maybe you’re trying to convince a friend to come
camping with you.
“I’d like to go” your friend says, “but I’ve got a big project I need to finish at work, and I was planning to
spend some time at the office this weekend.”
“That’s no problem,” you tell him. “I’m free next weekend, too. Why don’t we plan to go then, once your
project’s out of the way?”
Step 6: Closing the Sale
Eventually, if your customer is convinced your product will meet her needs, you close by agreeing on the
terms of the sale and finishing up the transaction.[10] This is the point where the potential gym member
signs her membership agreement, the restaurant owner decides to purchase the ovens, or your friend
says, “Sure, let’s go camping next weekend!” Sometimes a salesperson has to make
several trial closes during a sales call, addressing further objections before the customer is ready to
buy. [11] It may turn out, even at this stage in the process, that the product doesn’t actually meet the
customer’s needs. The important—and sometimes challenging—part of closing is that the seller has to
actually ask if the potential customer is willing to make the purchase. [12] When the close is successful, this
step clearly aligns with the purchase step in the buying process.
Step 7: Following Up
OK, so you’ve completed a landscaping job for your customer or sold him a car or installed the software
that meets his needs. While it might seem like you’ve accomplished your goal, the customer relationship
has only begun. The follow-up is an important part of assuring customer satisfaction, retaining customers,

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and prospecting for new customers. This might mean sending a thank-you note, calling the customer to
make sure a product was received in satisfactory condition, or checking in to make sure a service is
meeting the customer’s expectations. This is the follow-up e-mail you get from Netflix every time you
return a movie by mail. It’s Amazon’s invitation to “rate your transaction” after you receive your Amazon
order. Follow-up also includes logistical details like signing contracts, setting up delivery or installation
dates, and drawing up a timeline. From the buyer’s perspective, the follow-up is the implementation step
in the buying process. Good follow-up helps ensure additional sales, customer referrals, and positive
reviews [13] and actually leads you back to the first step in the selling process because it provides the
opportunity to learn about new needs for this customer or new customers through referrals.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• The seven-step selling process refers to the sequence of steps salespeople follow each time they make a
sale. The process gives you the power to successfully sell almost anything.
• The first step of the selling process, prospecting and qualifying, involves searching for potential
customers and deciding whether they have the ability and desire to make a purchase. The people and
organizations that meet these criteria are qualified prospects.
• Before making a sales call, it is important to “do your homework” by researching your customer and
planning what you are going to say; this is the preapproach.
• The approach is your chance to make a first impression by introducing yourself, explaining the purpose of
your call or visit, and establishing a rapport with your prospect.
• Your research and preparation pays off during the presentation, when you propose your sales solution to
your prospect.
• Your prospect will naturally have objections, which you should look at as opportunities to better
understand and respond to his or her needs.
• Once you overcome objections, you close the sale by agreeing on the terms and finalizing the transaction.
• The sales process doesn’t end with the close; follow-up (i.e., ensuring customer satisfaction and working
out the logistics of delivery, installation, and timelines) is essential to retaining existing customers and
finding new ones.
E X E R C I S E S

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1. Think of a personal interaction in which you sold someone on an idea (e.g., a vacation, a choice of movies,
or a date). Explain how the seven steps applied to this particular situation.
2. Consider the last major purchase you made. Did the salesperson use the seven steps? In what ways could
he or she have done a better job? What eventually sold you on the product?
3. Imagine you are trying to sell season tickets to your local ballpark. After you present the product to your
prospects, a middle-aged married couple, they tell you they are very interested but are concerned they
might be out of town on some of the weekends when there are home games, and they don’t want their
tickets to go to waste. What solutions could you offer to overcome their objections?
4. Discuss the difference between a prospect and a customer.
5. [1] Viki King, How to Write a Movie in 21 Days (New York: Quill Harper Resource, 2001), 34–37.
6. [2] William C. Moncreif and Greg W. Marshall, “The Evolution of the Seven Steps of Selling,” Industrial
Market Management 34, no. 1 (2005): 13–22.
7. [4] Selling Power Sales 2.0 Newsletter, Selling Power, September 18,
2008,http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=868 (accessed June 21, 2010).
8. [5] Geoffrey James, “6 Things to Know about Every Prospect,” BNET, January 12,
2009,http://blogs.bnet.com/salesmachine/?p=705 (accessed June 9, 2009).
9. [6] Michael T. Bosworth, Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets (New York: McGraw-
Hill, 1995), 106.
10. [7] Paul Cherry, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process of Discovering What Your Customer Really
Wants (New York: AMACOM, 2006), 21.
11. [8] Neil Rackham, The SPIN Selling Fieldbook (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996), 40.
12. [9] William C. Moncreif and Greg W. Marshall, “The Evolution of the Seven Steps,”Industrial Marketing
Management 34, no. 1 (2005): 14, 15.
13. [10] Thomas A. Freese, Secrets of Question Based Selling (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2003), 166.
14. [11] Dave Dolak, “Sales and Personal Selling,” http://www.davedolak.com/psell.htm(accessed June 10,
2009).
15. [12] William C. Moncreif and Greg W. Marshall, “The Evolution of the Seven Steps,”Industrial Marketing
Management 34, no. 1 (2005): 14, 15.

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16. [13] Dave Dolak, “Sales and Personal Selling,” http://www.davedolak.com/psell.htm(accessed June 10,
2009).
7.2 Prospecting: A Vital Role in the Selling Process
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Understand the role prospecting plays in the selling process.
Imagine you decide to build a house from the ground up. After designing your ideal house, of course
it would be nice if you could snap your fingers and get to the fun part: watching the finishing touches
come together. But before the walls go up you have to make detailed plans and measurements, find
your materials and negotiate with contractors, and lay the foundation. All these things require
patience, time, and effort, but these steps are absolutely necessary for the project to move forward.
Planning and laying a foundation is a little like prospecting and qualifying. Finding leads (or people
who might be prospects) is the most vital part of the selling process—you can’t make a sale without
identifying the people to whom you’ll be selling. [1]In other words, without prospecting, nothing else
can happen. Yet, unlike laying a foundation, prospecting doesn’t happen just once; it’s a constant
process. Businesses lose some customers every year for a variety of reasons: customers may no
longer need the product or service, have the financial means to purchase the product or service, or
live or do business in the area, or the business may no longer be open. So if you haven’t been building
your prospect list, you won’t have new customers to replace the ones you lose. More than this,
finding new prospects is the only way you can increase your sales and expand your business.

The Value of a Lead
Think of the last time you went to the store to make a major purchase and you started by browsing the
products. A salesperson probably approached you with the standard “Can I help you?” and you may have
responded with the equally standard “No, thanks. I’m just looking.” Chances are good that the salesperson
left you alone after that, very likely assuming you weren’t genuinely interested in making a purchase. Most
people—salespeople and customers alike—are surprised to learn that over two-thirds of shoppers who give
the “just looking” response end up purchasing the product within a week. [2] In other words, these
customers are valuable leads, and all too often their business goes to a competitor.

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Let’s say you are planning to buy a new refrigerator. That’s generally not the kind of purchase you make
on the spot; you will probably go to a number of stores to compare products and prices first. If you tell the
salesperson at the second store that you’re just looking, you may then go to a third store and decide you’re
ready to buy. As a customer, if the vendors seem more or less equal, you will base your purchasing
decision on price, product features, convenience, or a combination of these things. But imagine the
salesperson at the second store who took the time to determine your specific needs, wrote down your
contact information, and followed up with you. It’s very likely she would make a sale. Her products might
be quite similar to her competitors’, but if she goes out of her way to provide you with a solution, you have
a reason to buy from her over someone else.
Now let’s change hats. What does knowing this information mean for you as a salesperson? Most
importantly, it means that you should never write off a lead until you are certain he can’t be qualified as a
prospect. If you work in a showroom that sells only high-end cars like Lexus or BMW and a potential
customer walks in wearing torn jeans and a T-shirt, you might be tempted to mentally disqualify him,
assuming he won’t have the money to buy such expensive cars. But appearances are often misleading, and
you won’t know whether or not your lead is actually qualified until you ask some specific, qualifying
questions. When you realize that a lead is the only thing you can turn into a sale, you also realize just how
valuable every lead is.
This is true for both B2C and B2B sales, wherein 30 percent to 50 percent of companies that see and
respond to business-specific ads end up purchasing the product or service about which they’ve inquired
within one or two years. This percentage is nothing to sneeze at. Yet, according to businesses, only about 1
percent to 5 percent of the ad-related inquiries they get from businesses translate into sales. [3] That’s a big
gap. In other words, a lot of valuable leads can slip through your fingers if you don’t follow up and qualify
them.

The Sales Funnel
If you talked to a guidance counselor when you were applying to colleges, he probably told you to consider
several and then apply to a number of schools (more than just two or three) even though you would only
end up choosing one school in the end. This is because not all the schools that you apply to end up being a

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good fit. Sometimes you aren’t accepted, sometimes you are accepted but don’t get an ideal financial
package, and sometimes as you learn more about a school you decide it isn’t the right one for you.
Whatever the reason, you start out by considering many schools and generally end up deciding between a
few.
The same can be said of the selling process. In fact, the process is often compared to a funnel. You start
out with many leads, and after gathering more information, you come up with a smaller list of qualified
prospects. As you communicate with these potential customers and work toward a solution, some will
turn out to be more likely to buy than others. It’s common sense to assume that you will have more leads
than you have buyers since not all leads turn into customers. The concept of the sales funnel is a helpful
way to visualize the process of finding and qualifying your customers and effectively illustrates the value
of identifying a large pool of potential prospects. If you don’t bother to find more than a handful of leads,
you limit your chances of ever closing a sale no matter how much effort you put into your sales
presentation. It’s a common temptation that most people want the results without having to put in the
foundational work of finding and contacting prospects.
Figure 7.4 Traditional Sales Funnel

But wait a minute, you might think, “Isn’t it hugely inefficient to spend time and effort communicating
with so many prospects with the expectation that only a handful of those will turn out to be buyers?” This
is also true, which is why qualifying and prioritizing your prospects is such an important part of the sales
process. Technological tools like collaborative communities and other online resources can help you

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identify, qualify, and prioritize prospects. But you might wonder how do you decide which prospects you
should invest your time in pursuing. To begin with, you should create a profile of your ideal buyer. [4]

Create a Profile of Your Ideal Buyer
• What particular qualities and characteristics will define this individual or company?
• What specific problems would this buyer have that your product could solve?
• In what ways should the buyer be compatible with you or your organization?
For instance, if your company sells expensive, high-quality kitchen utensils, the average college
student won’t fit your ideal profile. While a young adult living away from home for the first time might
have something in common with your ideal customer, the college student likely won’t have the budget or
desire to go out and get the top-of-the-line products.
Your ideal customer profile will help you prioritize and target your efforts because it provides a model
against which you can measure your leads to determine whether a potential customer is worth pursuing.
If you focus your energy on prospecting and qualifying, which is learning more about your target
prospects, you will save valuable time and resources, which you can then devote to giving your customers
a more satisfying experience. Effective prospecting and qualifying empower you to invest in the
opportunities that count. [5]
Now that you understand the concept of prospecting and why it’s important, you’ll find the next sections
helpful as they will provide you with tools to help you find prospects and qualify prospects.
K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Prospecting is the most vital part of the selling process. Without prospects, you won’t be able to make
sales, and without constantly searching for new prospects, you won’t be able to replace the customers
you lose and grow your business.
• A lead, or prospect, is the only thing you can turn into a sale, so it’s important to follow up with your
leads. Don’t write someone off without legitimately qualifying him.
• The concept of the sales funnel illustrates the value of generating a large pool of leads because many of
your prospects won’t qualify or will drop out during the selling process.
• You should begin searching for leads by building an ideal customer profile to help you target your search
efforts.
E X E R C I S E S

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1. Describe the ideal customer for the following products or services:
o iPod Touch
o Ferrari sports car
o GEICO car insurance
2. Discuss the sales funnel and why leads are important to the selling process.
3. Discuss the difference between a prospect and a customer.
4. If someone goes into a Best Buy store and looks at the home theater systems, is he a lead or a prospect?
Why?
5. Visit a local jeweler and shop for a watch. What questions does the salesperson ask to qualify you as a
prospect?
6. [1] Charles M. Futrell, The ABC’s of Relationship Selling, 9th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2005).
7. [2] Channel Intelligence, “2004 Channel Intelligence Consumer Buying Intent Survey Reveals Online
Shopping
Trends,” http://channelintelligence.vnewscenter.com/press.do?step=pkview&contentId=1184050872399
&companyId=1123580114932 (accessed June 10, 2009).
8. [3] John Coe, The Fundamentals of Business-to-Business Sales (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003), 125.
9. [4] Ron Hubsher, interview by Gerhard Gschwandtner, Daily Report, Sales Optimization Group, Selling
Power, http://www.salesog.com/index.html (accessed June 9, 2009).
10. [5] Ron Hubsher, “Turning the Sales Funnel Upside Down,” interview by Michelle Nichols, Savvy Selling,
podcast audio program, BusinessWeek, July 13,
2007,http://www.businessweek.com/mediacenter/podcasts/savvy_selling/savvy_selling_07_13_07.htm (
accessed June 9, 2009).

7.3 Go Fish: Resources to Help You Find Your Prospects
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Identify resources to use when prospecting.
In the last section, you read that prospecting can be compared to setting up the plans and laying the
foundation for a building project. You could also say that prospecting is a little like going to class or

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making your bed—you’ve got to do it, and you know that it won’t be long before you’re doing it again
(assuming you make your bed regularly!). Because prospecting is one of those jobs that’s never truly
finished, it’s helpful to draw on a number of sources and be creative about the places where you find
your leads.
Where to Find Prospects
Knowing your ideal customer and where he or she is likely to go for information will allow you to choose
the best prospecting sources for your business. It helps to be your customer. Imagine yourself in your
prospect’s shoes and think about where you would go for information. For instance, if you are a
photographer who specializes in professional yearbook and graduation pictures, you might want to set up
a Facebook account so you can let students in local schools know about your services. [1] Meanwhile, if
you’re in B2B sales and your ideal prospects are car dealerships in northern California, you might build up
your professional network by joining the local branch of the National Auto Dealers Association or by
joining some community organizations in your city.
Prospecting takes knowledge and creativity, so start your prospecting and qualifying with the top ten
power prospecting list below. No matter what business you’re in, think of this section as your GPS for
finding the leads that will fuel your business growth.

Top Ten Power Prospecting List
1. Existing customers
2. Referrals
3. Networking and social networking
4. Business directories in print
5. Online databases and directories
6. Newspapers, trade publications, and business journals
7. Trade shows and events
8. Advertising and direct mail
9. Cold calling
10. Being a subject matter expert
Power Prospecting Source #1: Existing Customers

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It costs five times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing customer. [2] So it stands to
reason that your best new customers are your existing customers. Salespeople who make an effort to
deliver excellent customer service during and after a sale know the secret that some of their best prospects
are the customers they already have. To keep and develop your existing customers, love them, service
them, be partners with them, live and breathe in their world, understand them, and anticipate their needs,
and you will succeed in sales.
One of the keys to retaining your best customers is to keep in touch with your customers’ needs and
update your solutions as their needs change. Say you work for a marketing company that offers a variety
of services to businesses. One of your customers, a record company, is using your printing services, but
they’re turning to another organization for their public relations needs. If you’re aware of this, your
existing customer is now a prospect for additional sales. You might tell the record company, “You know,
your current PR people are setting up events and concerts to increase your publicity, and that seems to be
working only moderately well. If we were running your PR, we would integrate your events with a variety
of other media. For instance, we think a blog would be a hugely effective tool.…” If the company is already
a loyal customer and you let them know that you are aware of their needs and can offer a better solution,
then you may very well make a new sale.
Power Prospecting Source #2: Referrals
There’s nothing more powerful than getting information about a product or service from a friend or
people you trust before you buy. Think about the last time you bought a printer. You probably checked out
the customer reviews on Amazon, asked your friends, checked out some blogs, and maybe even got some
insights on Twitter (in 140 characters or less). Before you bought the Hewlett-Packard (HP) OfficeJet
6310, you knew exactly what to expect from people who have bought and used the product, and you
learned that if you buy it at Office Depot, you get free shipping and two free ink cartridges. Although you
never shopped at Office Depot before, you were sold before you even clicked “buy now” on the Office
Depot’s Web site. Imagine that you didn’t even come in contact with HP or Office Depot. You made your
purchase based solely on the information from others. The power of the referral cannot be
underestimated.
Referrals and word-of-mouth advertising have always been one of the most effective—and cost-efficient—
ways to get new customers. It used to be that the circle of referrals was limited to people who used your

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product or service in a given geographic area. The Internet has amplified that network, especially with
user-generated content such as communities, blogs, customer ratings and reviews, and social networking
sites. So as a salesperson, you have to think creatively about all of resources you have to generate referrals.
Seth Godin, best-selling author and entrepreneur, talks about “flipping the funnel.” He challenges
salespeople to think about turning the sales funnel on its side, thinking of it as a megaphone, and then
handing the megaphone to those who already love you. He suggests that when many of your customers
enter into the conversation on Web sites such as Digg, Flickr, and Delicious, the power of your message
gets even stronger, and new referrals find you. [3]
Want to see how it works? When Naked Pizza, a small takeout and delivery operation in New Orleans,
decided they wanted to compete with the city’s chain pizza places, they turned to their existing customer
base for sales prospects by putting their Twitter address on every pizza box that went out the door. As Jeff,
Randy, and Brock, the company’s founders put it, “Even your most core customers must be continually
and softly nudged.” [4] The prospecting effort has been a huge success with their existing customers
posting tweets that have introduced the brand to new customers. The Twitter-enabled follow-ups allowed
Naked Pizza to continue the conversation and ensure that a greater number of first-time buyers become
repeat customers—and that they spread the word to more new customers. Talk about a megaphone!
Whether you sell pizza or insurance, if your existing customers are happy, they’re usually happy to refer
you to their friends, online or offline. Consider Flycaster & Company, a Florida-based branding and
advertising agency for businesses. For a number of years now, almost 100 percent of the firm’s new
customers have been referred to them by friends and colleagues. According to John Spence, one of the
company’s managers, referrals are the “best possible” source of prospects for any B2B business. [5]
So let your customers speak for you. Their voices will be heard by people you could never reach.
Power Prospecting Source #3: Networking and Social Networking
Networking works.
The art of networking, developing mutually beneficial relationships, can be a valuable prospecting tool,
not only for retaining old prospects, but also for connecting with new ones. The larger and more diverse
your network becomes, the bigger your pool of potential prospects. Your networking connections often
become sources of referrals for your business, just as you will become a referral source for theirs.

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If you’re a member of the American Chemical Society and you work for a chemical supply company, you
might use your membership to get acquainted with chemists who work at a variety of labs. You could offer
them your card and let them know that you provide supply discounts for fellow Chemical Society
members. Now these prospects will be more likely to buy their chemical supplies from you than from a
company or individual with whom they have no personal connection. If one of your customers needs a
chemist with a particular specialty, you, in turn, will be able to refer him to someone in your network.
Joining a professional trade association is one simple way to network with others in your field, or with
prospects in your target industry.
If your business is location specific, joining community organizations can also be a valuable tool for
connecting with local business leaders and prospects. Consider service organizations (like the Rotary
Club), fraternity organizations, and other affinity groups that will allow you to build relationships with
members of the community.
What about social networking? You’re probably well acquainted with online social networking sites like
Facebook or MySpace, but you may be less familiar with the ways people leverage these tools in a
professional capacity. According to professional networking expert Clara Shih, online social networks can
be an effective means of prospecting for sales with organizations. After all, the decision makers at any
organization are individuals with whom you can build relationships (remember, you learned in that even
though it’s called business-to-business, buying decisions are made person-to-person, so relationships
matter). [6] By connecting socially with key individuals, not only can you open lines of communications
with potential customers, but you can also build your knowledge of your prospect base.
Professional networking sites like LinkedIn are increasingly important as well. (In fact, the Selling
U section of this chapter includes information about how you can use professional social networking sites
to help you network to find a job.) And there are many industry-specific networking sites you can join, like
Sermo for doctors or INmobile.org for people in the wireless industry. [7] Your profile on professional
networking sites becomes a tool for selling yourself as a brand. These sites allow you to list your
education, professional experience, and testimonials from satisfied customers, and as you add contacts,
you become connected to their contacts, allowing your network to grow. [8]
Link
This article includes examples of how some major companies are using Twitter to drive sales.

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http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/issue.php?pc=1007
Power Prospecting Source #4: Business Directories in Print
Figure 7.5

American City Business Journals publish the Book of Lists in cities across the country. The book includes lists of
local companies by category including fastest-growing privately held companies, women-owned companies,
nonprofit organizations, and more. The book is also available online athttp://www.bizjournals.com.
Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, used with permission.

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Forget Google for a minute. It might surprise you to know that your local library can actually be a
potential goldmine for finding prospects in B2B sales. If you spend even twenty minutes with a
knowledgeable librarian, he can point you to business lists, journals, and business directories that will
help you generate a pool of leads to contact. Your ideal customer profile is an important guiding tool here.
If you want customer information that’s location specific, check out your local chamber of
commerce listing. It’s one of the best sources for finding local businesses. If the listing is not at the local
library, chances are the librarian will have the contact information for the chamber office.
You can also review business lists and directories published by local newspapers and regional business
journals. Local newspapers and their Web sites often provide listings of local businesses along with key
information about the company. Also, the Book of Lists is published locally by the American City Business
Journals in several cities—for example, the Philadelphia Business Journal publishes the Book of Lists for
the Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Delaware area. It is a book that includes lists of companies organized
by groupings. For instance, the fastest-growing companies, minority-owned businesses, and lists of
companies by industry such as video production companies, health care companies, public relations
agencies, law firms, and more are included with the contact information, profiles, and key facts for
specific businesses in your state or city. You can generally find these books at your local library, and
they’re an excellent source for digging up prospects that most closely match your ideal profile. Business
lists are also published by other business journals such as Crain’s in some key cities or are available online
(also see Power Prospecting Source #6: Trade Journals and Business Journals below).
If you want to search businesses by industry, ask a reference librarian to help you look up the
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and the
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code that most closely matches your ideal prospect’s business—or
access the indexes online, and bring the codes with you to the library. NAICS and SIC codes are
numbering systems that classify businesses by their particular industry, so they can be valuable search
criteria to mine general business directories (e.g., Ward’s Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public
Companies) for specific kinds of companies. For example, you could use the SIC code 6371 to find all
businesses that deal with pension, health, and welfare funds. [9] You can also search through industry-
specific directories like the Standard Directory of Advertisers, and you can check out
professional trade associations related to your prospect profile. These organizations, whose members all

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operate in a particular industry, are especially good places to look if your ideal prospect is a smaller
business because smaller businesses and individuals are the most likely to join. Ask your librarian if she
can access a copy of Gale’s Encyclopedia of Associations, which lists more than 160,000 trade
organizations. Finding a relevant association should be no problem, as you can find a professional
organization for virtually any industry you can think of. Even the pecan shellers of America have a
professional association! [10]
Power Prospecting Source #5: Online Databases and Directories
Going to the library can be hugely helpful because it gives you access to people who are pros at finding
information. Also, the added perk is that your library will probably give you free access to several online
business directories and databases. [11] Of course you can search these directories from the comfort of your
own home or office, but if you want the deluxe package—the most up-to-date directories that cover
industries of all types nationwide—you’ll have to pay a price. Online business directories, such as those
listed in the table below, are searchable by industry and will give you access to company contact info,
number of employees, financial standing, industry rankings, names of executives, and other company
profile information. Most of these directories allow you to search businesses by SIC or NAICS codes.
So how do you know which business directory to use? For one thing, it helps to know whether your ideal
prospect would be a private company or a public company or whether it could be either. Is your ideal
prospect a large organization that attracts top executives? In this case, you’ll mostly be searching
for public companies—companies that sell stocks and bonds to the general public. Public companies are
required to file financial information and other company reports with the U.S. government, so these
organizations are easier to find in general business directories, and their directory listings usually provide
more detailed company information. [12] However, not all large companies are publicly owned. State Farm
Insurance and Cargill Foods, for example, are both private companies. [13] If you’re only interested in
smaller, local businesses, you will be dealing with private companies, or companies that aren’t owned by
the public. In this case, some directories and databases will be more helpful to you than others.
Another thing to consider is whether you want the option to refine your search to include a number of
criteria closely matching your ideal prospect profile. Several online databases allow you to input multiple
search terms like location, company size, and minimum and maximum sales volumes.
Table 7.1 Online Databases and Directories for Prospecting

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Database or Directory
Good
source for
private
companies
Good
source for
public
companies Description
infoUSA
http://home.infousa.com
✔ ✔
• For B2B
prospecting:
Allows you to
search for
businesses by
criteria such
as industry,
SIC, sales
volume, and
number of
employees.
Particularly
useful for
finding
smaller
companies.
Their Web
site offers
a videowith
instructions
on how to
build a
business list.
• For B2C:
Provides

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Database or Directory
Good
source for
private
companies
Good
source for
public
companies Description
phone and e-
mail contact
lists for
consumers by
criteria like
income,
geography,
and/or
interest. See
theirinstructio
nal video for
more detail.
Dialog
http://www.dialog.com
✔ ✔
• Allows
researchers to
perform
advanced
searches
based on a
number of
criteria, such
as company
financial
information,
industry
trends, and

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Database or Directory
Good
source for
private
companies
Good
source for
public
companies Description
market
research.
• Option for
subscription
to automatic
news alerts
that will keep
you up-to-
date on your
target
industries and
prospects.
Bizjournals
http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/sales_
marketing/prospecting
✔ ✔
• Offers several
directories
that are
searchable by
industry.
• Allows you to
subscribe to
company-
specific and
industry-
specific e-mail
alerts.
• Option to

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Database or Directory
Good
source for
private
companies
Good
source for
public
companies Description
create a
customized
prospect list
by specific
search
criteria.
• Provides
access to local
Books of Lists
for location-
specific
company
profiles.
Hoovers
http://www.hoovers.com
✔ ✔
• For B2B:
Contains
directories
that are
searchable by
industry,
region, and
other
characteristics
; also provides
detailed
information

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Database or Directory
Good
source for
private
companies
Good
source for
public
companies Description
about
companies
including
address,
phone
number, key
decision
makers,
financial data,
business
strategy,
competitive
information,
and more.
• For B2C:
Provides
phone and e-
mail contact
lists for
consumers by
criteria like
income,
geography,
and/or
interest.

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Database or Directory
Good
source for
private
companies
Good
source for
public
companies Description
Standard & Poor’s
http://www.netadvantage. standardandpoors.com
✔ ✔
• Directory that
is searchable
by a number
of criteria,
including
NAICS code.
• Has data on
more than
85,000
private
companies.
• Includes
biographies of
corporate
executives
and directors.
D&B Million Dollar Database
http://www.dnbmdd.com
✔ ✔
• Searchable by
several
criteria,
including
NAICS and
SIC codes.
• Option to
create a
customized

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Database or Directory
Good
source for
private
companies
Good
source for
public
companies Description
prospect list
by specific
search
criteria.
D&B Prospector
http://www.dnb.com/us/dbproducts/sales_marketing/find.html
✔ ✔
• Option to
search using
over thirty-
five search
criteria to
create an ideal
prospect
profile as a
search tool.
Mergent Online
http://www.mergentonline.com
✔ ✔
• Directory that
includes
domestic and
international
annual
reports from
1996 to the
present.
Directory of Corporate Affiliations
http://www.corporate affiliations.com
✔ ✔
• Directories
searchable by
location,

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Database or Directory
Good
source for
private
companies
Good
source for
public
companies Description
revenue,
industry,
NAICS and
SIC codes,
and so on.
• Especially
good for
finding out
about key
individuals in
your target
companies.
• Search tool
for finding out
about
company
relationships
and outside
vendor
relationships.
Power Prospecting Source #6: Trade Publications and Business Journals
Figure 7.6

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Business journals such as the Philadelphia Business Journal can be an excellent source of leads.
Business journals for various cities are available athttp://www.bizjournals.com.
Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, used with permission.
Where could you go to learn that three bottled beverage companies have recently lightened their package
designs, that a new biodegradable shrink film is now on the market, and that the Pharmaceutical
Packaging Forum has chosen a location for its next event? These definitely aren’t top headlines on Yahoo!
But to people in the packaging and packing materials industry, this is important news, and many of them

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use Web sites like Packworld.com to stay updated. Trade publications, journals geared toward people who
work in a certain industry, and trade Web sites are good sources for netting prospects. For instance, if you
work for a company that designs food and beverage packaging, and your department specializes in bottle
design, you might read an article on Packworld.com and find out that Pepsi has released a new, eco-
friendly bottle design for its Aquafina product that uses 50 percent less plastic than the 2002
version. [14] You decide to make a call to some managers at competing companies like Fiji. You tell these
prospects that you’ve read about their competitor’s new bottle design and ask if they are interested in
some packaging updates as well, which will help save on shipping costs and provide some good PR.
Many industry trade journals offer free e-mail newsletters or even free copies of the magazine. If you don’t
know the best trade journals to read in the industry in which you are interested, ask a professor. Your
professor will be happy to show you copies of specific trade journals and the corresponding Web sites. It’s
a good idea to take the time to sign up for the free updates and check to see if the publication offers a free
subscription to the magazine.
But what if your ideal prospects aren’t limited to a particular industry but are specific to a certain
location? In this case, business journals, which are often regionally published and offer business news and
industry information for particular cities or states, will be helpful. Your local library will undoubtedly have
a subscription to one, or even several, business journals for your region. Additionally, Bizjournals.com
links you to the Web sites for forty regional business journals.
Power Prospecting Source #7: Trade Shows and Events
If you’ve ever been to a trade show or expo, like a career fair or bridal show, you know they’re a good place
to find out about products and services about which you might not otherwise be aware (and to get some
fun free giveaways while you’re at it). While most people who stop by a given booth at an expo
might not be seriously interested prospects, trade show displays and product demonstrations generate
enough strong leads to make this activity a worthwhile prospecting endeavor. For one thing, trade shows
are industry-specific events that have the advantage of bringing your target market to you. If you are a
horse breeder and you know that an estimated ten thousand visitors will attend the Horse World Expo in
Syracuse, New York, you might decide it’s worthwhile to go. [15] You could look into giving a presentation
about judging horse pedigrees, for instance, or maybe you will pay to set up a booth with videos and
photos of the horses you breed and sell.

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As a salesperson, you can use trade shows not only to present and demonstrate your products but also to
identify and qualify prospects. [16] Asking a few specific questions can help you assess a prospect’s needs
and determine whether he has a genuine interest—as well as the resources—for buying. Trade show
booths usually have a place for leads to enter their contact information so you can follow up with your
prospects and save leads in your customer database. If you are a sales representative for a textbook
company and you attend a faculty book fair at a large university, when professors stop by your booth, you
might ask them which texts they are currently using and what they like or dislike about these books. This
is a quick way to identify potential need. One professor might tell you she uses such-and-such a textbook,
which is thorough, but her students don’t find it very engaging. Aha! You have identified a need, and you
now have a prospect. You might tell the professor about a textbook that covers similar information but
uses a more conversational style and ask if she would like you to send her a complimentary copy. If she
says yes, you now have an opportunity to take her contact information, and you have permission to follow
up.
Power Prospecting Source #8: Advertising and Direct Marketing
When you think of “junk mail,” you probably think about something you would normally throw in the
trash. But have you ever received a direct-mail advertisement that you’ve actually considered, or even
responded to? Maybe you’re a member of the American Library Association, and someone has sent you an
e-mail about an upcoming library conference in a nearby city because you opted in, or gave permission to
receive information from the company. Or maybe a local real estate agent has sent out fliers to the
residential areas in your zip code and you just happen to be thinking of selling your house.
As a sales professional, direct marketing, or communication in the form of direct mail or e-mail sent
directly to your potential prospects, gives you the advantage of reaching a large pool of leads without
having to invest the time to individually contact each one. Methods such as direct mail and e-mail allow
your prospects to self-qualify since only the ones with genuine interest will follow up. On the flip side,
direct mail yields a lower rate of return than most other methods: usually only about one to three
percent. [17], [18] E-mail has similar response rates depending on the offer or communication. These
methods can still be worth the investment, considering the relatively low inputs of time and money it
takes to reach so many.

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However, the time and money you do put into direct mailing or e-mail campaigns will be wasted if you
send out your communications at random. There are three ways you can go about generating targeted
mailing lists:
1. Every major city has organizations that specialize in mailing list research, allowing you to order up-to-
date address lists organized by zip code, income, age, interests, or other characteristics that matter to
you. For as little as $25, you can get lists of up to a thousand prospects.
2. Many of the business directories and databases you read about earlier in this section provide e-mail
and postal mailing addresses for businesses and private households based on specific criteria.
3. Professional salespeople also develop personal directories for their mailing lists. When you meet
prospects, trade business cards with them. If these prospects pass your initial stages of qualification,
you can add them to your personal list of mail recipients. [19]
Power Prospecting Source #9: Cold Calling
In the last ten years, Pat Cavanaugh, CEO of a Pittsburgh-based promotional products company, has
grown his business 2,000 percent—and he’s done almost all of it through cold calling. Cold calling, or
making an unsolicited phone call or visit to a prospective customer, can be quite effective for the
salespeople who know the right approach, but it’s also most salespeople’s least favorite prospecting
activity. For one thing, you never know whether the person on the other end of the line will be rude or
hang up on you altogether. Additionally, most salespeople feel pressured to actually sell their product or
make a pitch during a cold call, but according to Cavanaugh, cold calling isn’t about making sales; it’s
about establishing a connection with the prospect. [20]
According to Cavanaugh, it’s essential to get the prospect to like you in the first thirty seconds. [21] While
this may sound like it’s putting a lot of pressure on you as the caller, you can actually think of it as a way of
taking the pressure off. Remember, you don’t have to sell your product during the call; the goal is only to
make a positive connection. You don’t have to lay the schmooze on either. Instead, be direct and sincere,
and be yourself. Your prospect, who is probably very busy, will appreciate directness and brevity.
Hanzo Ng, CEO of the Malaysian company Sales Ninja, agrees. Ng says the goal of the cold call should be
to find out whether your prospective buyer’s needs match your solutions. If you know you can’t help your
lead solve her problems, you shouldn’t pursue the call further. [22] A cold call is a perfect way to find out at
what stage the lead is in of his buying process. She might still be a lead for future sales, but at this time she

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isn’t a qualified prospect. For that matter, if your lead seems unreceptive, you might also decide to end the
call or to offer to try back at another time. Ultimately, it’s important that your prospective buyer doesn’t
feel like she’s being pressured in any way; people have come to expect pushy salesmen and saleswomen on
the phone, and you want to set yourself apart from this perception.
If the lead does have a problem that you can address, you should go ahead and offer to make an
appointment to meet in person. Again, there should be no pressure on either end; your prospect will
accept an appointment if she is interested. If she doesn’t agree to an appointment, don’t try to press it.
Sometimes, it may simply be a matter of timing: your prospect might ask you to call back in few months.
In this case, get your calendar out and set up a specific time when you can try to call back. For instance,
“Three months from now will be early March. Is it all right for me to try calling again then?” If she agrees,
go a step further and ask something like this: “In the meantime, would it be OK if I sent you occasional
updates by e-mail to let you know about new developments and promotions with our product?” This
enables you to periodically follow up so that you maintain a connection with your lead. [23]
Finally, it’s important to research your prospect before making a call. You should know the size and scope
of the company, key people, company culture, and anything about the company that has recently come up
in the news. Doing your research allows you to personalize your introduction. After explaining who you
are, you might say, “I recently read in Crain’s Chicago Business that your company’s number one priority
in the coming year is doubling revenues by increasing your sales force….” Doing your research and
keeping a few simple tips in mind should take the pressure off in cold calling and give you the confidence
to establish crucial prospect connections.
Power Prospecting Source #10: Be a Subject Matter Expert
Wouldn’t it be great if, rather than going out to track down prospects, you could get your prospects to
come to you? Presenting yourself as a subject matter expert, an authority in your field, is one secret for
making this happen. CEO and consultant Keith Ferrazzi, started using this technique shortly after
graduating from college. Even though he didn’t have much experience under his belt as a new graduate,
he picked an area and began researching until others in his industry came to know him as an expert and
would go to him for consultation and advice. Set up a blog or write articles offering free advice. According
to Ferrazzi, you should make a habit of writing and publishing articles in your industry. [24]

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If you include your contact information and a brief bio on the page, then qualified prospects will often find
you on their own. For instance, maybe you work for a company that sells résumé and cover letter
consulting services for job seekers. You decide to write an article explaining “10 Things to Avoid When
Dressing for a Job Interview,” and you post the article on your blog and submit it to CollegeGrad, a Web
site that publishes helpful blog posts like yours. You allow CollegeGrad to use your article for free in
exchange for posting a link to your Web site in the margins of the Web page. Now when people perform a
Google search on “dressing for a job interview,” your article may come up, ensuring that a number of
people who match your ideal prospect profile see the information about you and your product.
When generating B2B leads, you can often find prospects by offering Web-based seminars, or Webinars,
with helpful advice on some aspect of marketing, or by publishing informative reports (white papers) that
people can download for free. For instance, a marketing consulting firm might offer a white paper on
“Increasing Your Open Rate on E-mails” that businesses can download for free as long as they register
their information on the firm’s Web page. Requiring users to register allows the firm to track contact
information for new leads with whom they can then follow up by e-mail, cold call, or mail. Even better, if a
lead finds that the free advice they downloaded is useful, they will quite likely contact the firm voluntarily
to find out about the marketing services they provide.

Organizing Your Prospect Information
If you’ve ever ordered shoes from Zappos, you might be aware that the company is known for its excellent
customer service. But you might not know one of their secrets to achieving this: keeping detailed records
of every interaction they have with a customer. These records are part of a
customer relationship management (CRM) system, the tools a company uses to record and organize their
contacts with current and prospective customers. If you ever shop at Amazon, you’ll notice the product
suggestions that pop up on your screen when you log on. That’s also an example of how CRM is used. [25]
Choosing a System
CRM software allows you to maintain relationships in a systematic way, following up more consistently
with your leads and continuing to meet the needs of your existing customers. If the individual with whom
you’ve been doing business at a particular company leaves, you should update that in your database and

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begin prospecting for another lead at the company. If you’ve recently mailed information to some of your
leads, CRM software will help you keep track of which customers the mailing went to and how recently it
went out, so you know when to follow up with those prospects by phone. You have a huge range of CRM
programs from which to choose, and while these applications were once large-business luxuries, more
recently there are versions that are priced within the reach of smaller businesses as well. [26]
On the other hand, depending on the type of sales and prospecting your company does, you may only
need to use a contact management system (CMS), a system that keeps track of your customer calls and
meetings, which is usually less expensive than CRM software. CMS programs are another means of
tracking and organizing customer and prospect information, but unlike CRM, CMS programs don’t track
all information about every customer interaction. If you are the only person from your organization
dealing with a particular prospect (e.g., if you’re a stockbroker or a real estate agent), you usually only
need CMS software. The CMS will allow you to keep current contact and company information on your
prospects and to record detailed notes about your conversations with them. But if your company uses
multiple methods and/or multiple salespeople to communicate with a prospect (think Zappos.com or Best
Buy), then CRM will be a better tool so that each salesperson who interacts with the customer can record
their interactions with that individual or company and so that your organization know how and when to
follow up. [27]
Gathering Intelligence
If you know your prospect is an eight-year-old online auction house with fifty-two employees operating
out of Atlanta, that’s information—statistics you regularly update in your customer databases. These are
facts that your competitors can also easily access using a simple online directory search. But what about
the last time you visited your prospect in person? While waiting to meet with your contact, you overheard
the receptionist talking about the complaints the company had been getting recently because of their
confusing Web page layout. If you represent a Web design firm, that’s valuable information, and it’s news
your competitor can’t access. In other words, it’s not just information, it’s intelligence. You can use this
intelligence to your advantage when you put it together with other information. In this situation, assume
you happen to know that one of the competing design firms in town just lost its best online retail
specialist, while your company has two designers who have worked with similar online retailers in the
past. So you know your company can address your prospect’s need in a unique way. Now you’re armed

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with competitive intelligence. Keeping your eyes and ears open for intelligence during every interaction is
an important part of prospecting, and it’s particularly important to track the intelligence you gather in
your customer databases. You never know when it might prove useful.
It’s also helpful to think about information that will help you make a personal connection to your prospect
(remember from how important the emotional connection is). Your observations and information
gathering should carry over to personal details like your prospect’s family, his birthday, or his hobbies.
Include these insights as part of your organized records, too. It might seem strange at first to make a
formal record of personal details, but keeping track of things like the name of your prospect’s two children
sends the message that you care about the person, not just his business, and this in turn builds customer
loyalty. Upscale hotels like the Four Seasons do this kind of customer relationship management
particularly well. Receptionists and concierges track personal details of repeat customers, learning to
greet them by name and ask about specific details from previous visits: “Did your sister like the gift you
bought her last time you were here?” or “How was your recent trip to Japan?”
Keep It Up-to-Date
Things can change quickly in business, particularly at large companies. The account manager you spoke
with last month may have moved to another company yesterday, or the purchasing agent who seemed
excited about your product last year may have had to deal with significant budget cuts this year that
prevent him from buying again. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your prospect information current. If your
competitor sees an opportunity before you do, you’re likely to lose yourself a prospect. And if the
individual with whom you’ve been doing business at a company is no longer working there, it’s important
to find another key person to contact soon if you want to keep your customer.
Several online business directories (like those mentioned earlier) let you subscribe to customized alerts
that will notify you when one of your target companies appears in the news, when there’s turnover of key
personnel, or when companies in your industry merge or split off. Most of the directory services have a
fee, but there are a number of ways to stay current, on industry news at least, without paying. RSS (Really
Simple Syndication) readers (Microsoft Outlook has one, and so does Google) allow you to subscribe to
specific news feeds, like The Hollywood Reporter or Advertising Age’s Web page, so that you can keep
abreast of the news that affects your industry without having to go out and mine several Web pages every
day. Google News Alerts (http://google.com/alerts) is a free service that sends you e-mail updates of the

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latest Google search results based on your choice of search criteria so you can keep current on your
competitors and prospects.

Qualifying Your Prospects
After you’ve identified your prospects, it’s important to understand that all customers are not created
equal. Some customers are willing to form business partnerships and grow with you over time while
others are just looking to do business with whoever offers the lowest price. Some prospects may never be
able to help you or your company achieve your business goals, or their goals may not be strategically
aligned with yours, even if you really like doing business with them. Choosing customers carefully will
save you time and energy and help you meet you goals. You don’t want to spend several hours writing up a
proposal for one of your prospects only to find out they were never genuinely interested. [28]
Think back to the sales funnel and the idea that you start out with a large pool of leads and end with a
much smaller number of customers. While it is important to cast your nets broadly when you’re rounding
up leads, you’ll work most effectively if you weed out the likely from the unlikely early on. You can qualify
your leads to determine whether they are legitimate prospects by discovering whether they have
the willingness and the ability to make a purchase. Consider these five questions to help you meet your
qualifying objectives:
• Does your prospect have a need? This is the most basic thing to figure out about your prospect.
There is no use pursuing another individual in the company or delivering a persuasive presentation if
there is nothing you can do for this person or organization. If you sell new cars, and your lead is
satisfied with the car he bought three months ago, you don’t have anything to offer him.
• Does he or she have the authority to make the buying decision? You can try to sell candy to
a five-year-old, and he’ll probably want to buy it, but unless you can convince his parents to make the
purchase you don’t have a sale. Similarly, your lead at a company may love your product and tell you
it’s exactly what her company needs. But if she isn’t the person with the power to buy, she isn’t a
qualified prospect. This doesn’t mean you should write the company off, but you’ll have to figure out
how to get in touch with the person who can make the buying decision.

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• Does he or she have the resources to purchase the product or service? Sometimes knowing
the answer to this question involves contacting the lead and asking some questions. Other times, you
can figure this out by doing company research before ever getting in touch with the lead. You wouldn’t
have tried to make a major sale to Circuit City just before they went out of business because they
wouldn’t have had the resources to buy.
• Does he or she have the willingness to purchase the product? Even if your lead has the
resources and authority to buy, he might not be interested in what you’re selling. He might be dead
set on a Caribbean cruise when you are selling packages to a ski resort.
• Do you have access to the influencer or decision makers? This is relatively straightforward in
B2C sales, but in B2B, it can be hard. If you wanted to sell your clothing line to Macy’s, you couldn’t
go downtown to your local branch and pitch your product. Large organizations have layers of
personnel, and it’s challenging to ferret out the people whose can influence the buying decision. Think
about whether you can reasonably access these individuals.
Managing Your Prospect Base
So you’ve qualified your prospect and you have his or her information in your CRM system. It would be
nice if that were all it took. But your CRM is only a way of tracking and organizing customer information;
making an action plan, a specific plan of approach, for each customer is up to you. And you won’t make
any sales if you don’t act.
After qualifying, you might have some prospects with a clear need, buying authority, and a fairly high level
of interest, while others seem uncertain. If you classify your prospects as “hot,” “warm,” and “cold,” you
can prioritize by devoting the most initial energy to your top potential customers. [29] No two customers
are alike. This means that even though you’ve qualified prospects A and B and determined that
they do have needs you think you can meet, those needs will be different, possibly drastically so. It’s a
good idea to begin your action plan by conducting a careful needs analysis—that is, what specific problems
is this prospect facing and how can my product help solve those problems?
Finally, think about the next steps in the sales process. Based on this customer’s specific needs, how will
you design your preapproach? What details should be in your presentation, when should you make your
presentation, and how and when will you try to close? Develop a timeline and plot out the steps. If you can
envision the sale, you are already halfway there.

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K E Y T A K E A W A Y S
• Prospecting takes creativity and knowledge. You have to look for potential buyers in many places.
• Existing customers and referrals can be excellent sources of prospects because the customers are already
familiar with your service and can speak on your behalf.
• Networking provides the opportunity to leverage your existing relationships to develop new leads.
• Business directories and databases (in print and online), trade publications, business journals, are all
excellent sources to identify leads.
• Trade shows and events give you an opportunity to talk to prospects.
• Advertising and direct marketing provide a way to reach out to many prospects who may have an interest
in your product or service.
• Cold calling is an opportunity to approach the prospect and learn more about how you can meet her
needs.
• Being a subject matter expert can set you apart and help generate leads because of your expertise.
• Qualifying the lead includes identifying if the prospect is ready, willing, and able to make a purchasing
decision about your product or service.
E X E R C I S E S
1. Assume you are selling staffing services to banks and financial institutions. Identify three sources you
would use to identify prospects.
2. Imagine that you sell real estate in your area. Discuss three ways referrals can find you.
3. Assume you are selling advertising. Identify three trade organizations that you might use as sources for
leads.
4. Assume you are responsible for donations at a local nonprofit organization that provides services for
battered women. You are looking for possible corporate sponsors for your shelter. Visit your campus
library and review at least two of the databases or directories listed in this section and identify two leads
from each one.
5. Assume you sell lumber to construction companies. How would you use a trade show to identify leads?
6. Identify the industry for each of the following NAICS codes. How would this information be helpful
in prospecting?

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7. [1] Adam Stone, “Dennis Kelly Photography Took a Shot with Facebook,” Philadelphia Business Journal,
June 5–11, 2009, 10–11.
8. [2] Jeff Bressler, “How Much to Spend to Acquire New Customers?” CEO World Magazine, May 13,
2009, http://ceoworld.biz/ceo/2009/05/13/hto-much-to-spend-to-acquire-new-customers (accessed June
10, 2009).
9. [3] Seth Godin, “How to Flip the Sales Funnel,” video, Selling
Power,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McmEyr0oWew (accessed June 9, 2009).
10. [4] Jeff Leach, Randy Crochet, and Brock Fillinger, “How One Small Business Uses Twitter to Build Its
Brand,” Advertising Age, May 29, 2009, http://adage.com (accessed June 9, 2009).
11. [5] John Spence, “Seven Steps to Successful B2B Marketing,” John Spence Blog, comment posted October
31, 2007, http://johnspence.com/blog/?p=52 (accessed June 9, 2009).
12. [6] Clara Shih, The Facebook Era (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009), 2.
13. [7] Jessica E. Vascellaro, “Social Networking Goes Professional,” Wall Street Journal, August 28,
2007, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118825239984310205.html (accessed June 9, 2009).
14. [8] Clara Shih, The Facebook Era (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2009), 2.
15. [9] Occupational Health and Safety Administration, “SIC Search,” United States Department of
Labor, http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sic_manual.display?id=56&tab=group (accessed June 9, 2009).
16. [10] David Whitford, “Built by Association,” Inc., July
1994,http://www.inc.com/magazine/19940701/3005.html (accessed June 10, 2009).
17. [11] Boston Public Library, “Directories on the
Internet,”http://www.bpl.org/research/kbb/websites/dirs.htm (accessed February 15, 2010).
18. [12] Center for Business Research, “Public vs. Private Companies,” Long Island
University,http://www2.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/cbr/publicvprivate.htm (accessed June 10, 2009).
19. [13] “About Hoovers Handbook of Private Companies 2009,”
Hoovers,http://images.hoovers.com/images/i/books/lookinside.pv2009 (accessed June 10, 2009).
20. [14] “Beverage Bottles Lighten Up,” Packworld, May 1, 2009,http://www.packworld.com/news (accessed
June 10, 2009).

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http://ceoworld.biz/ceo/2009/05/13/hto-much-to-spend-to-acquire-new-customers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McmEyr0oWew

http://adage.com/

http://johnspence.com/blog/?p=52

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118825239984310205.html

http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sic_manual.display?id=56&tab=group

http://www.inc.com/magazine/19940701/3005.html

http://www.bpl.org/research/kbb/websites/dirs.htm

http://www2.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/cbr/publicvprivate.htm

http://images.hoovers.com/images/i/books/lookinside.pv2009

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21. [15] Paige Palmateer, “Inaugural Horse World Expo Coming to Syracuse,” CNY Business Journal, May 4,
2007,http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3718/is_20070504/ai_n19304825/?tag=content;col1 (acces
sed June 10, 2009).
22. [16] Barton A. Weitz, Sephen B. Castleberry, and John F. Tanner, Jr., Selling: Building Partnerships (New
York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2003).
23. [17] Tony Alessandra, “Direct Mail Prospecting,” Speakers
Roundtable,http://www.speakersroundtable.com/sales-training-tony11.html (accessed February 15,
2010).
24. [18] Tony Alessandra, “Direct Mail Prospecting,” Speakers
Roundtable,http://www.speakersroundtable.com/sales-training-tony11.html (accessed February 15,
2010).
25. [19] Tony Alessandra, “Prospecting, ” Assessment Business
Center,http://www.assessmentbusinesscenter.com/media/articles/article_prospecting (accessed
February 15, 2010).
26. [20] Susan Greco, “The Nonstop, 24-7 CEO Salesman,” Inc., August
2000,http://www.inc.com/magazine/20000801/19766.html (accessed June 11, 2009).
27. [21] Susan Greco, “The Nonstop, 24-7 CEO Salesman,” Inc., August
2000,http://www.inc.com/magazine/20000801/19766.html (accessed June 11, 2009).
28. [22] Hanzo Ng, “Prospecting, Cold Calling & Networking,” Malaysian Business, October 1,
2008, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn6207/is_20081001/ai_n30902653/?tag=content;col1 (acce
ssed June 11, 2009).
29. [23] Keith Rosen, “Keep the Lines of Communication with Your Prospects Open,”
AllBusiness, http://www.AllBusiness.com/sales/sales-management/4001387-1.html(accessed June 11,
2009).
30. [24] Keith Ferrazzi, “To Be Known, or
Unknown,” Inc.,http://www.inc.com/resources/sales/articles/20061001/kferrazzi.html (accessed June 11,
2009).
31. [25] “Making Customer Relationship Management Work,” Inc.,
2001,http://www.inc.com/articles/2001/07/23102.html (accessed June 11, 2009).

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http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3718/is_20070504/ai_n19304825/?tag=content;col1

http://www.speakersroundtable.com/sales-training-tony11.html

http://www.speakersroundtable.com/sales-training-tony11.html

http://www.assessmentbusinesscenter.com/media/articles/article_prospecting

http://www.inc.com/magazine/20000801/19766.html

http://www.inc.com/magazine/20000801/19766.html

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn6207/is_20081001/ai_n30902653/?tag=content;col1

http://www.allbusiness.com/sales/sales-management/4001387-1.html

http://www.inc.com/resources/sales/articles/20061001/kferrazzi.html

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32. [26] Karen M. Kroll, “CRM: Software as a Customer Service,” Inc.,
2007,http://technology.inc.com/software/articles/200706/CRM.html (accessed June 11, 2009).
33. [27] Andrew Boyd and Alex Jeffries, “The Crucial Difference Between Contact Management and CRM,” E-
commerce Times, January 29,
2009,http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/smb/65995.html?wlc=1244423929 (accessed June 11,
2009).
34. [28] Paul Cherry, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process of Discovering What Your Customer Really
Wants (New York: AMACOM, 2006), 37.
35. [29] Derek Brown, “Growing and Managing Your Prospect Pipeline,” Coreconnex, February 2,
2009, http://www.coreconnex.com/2009/02/04/growing-and-managing-your-prospect-pipeline (accessed
June 11, 2009).

7.4 Selling U: How to Use Prospecting Tools to Identify 25
Target Companies
L E A R N I N G O B J E C T I V E
1. Understand how to identify prospective employers.
If you’ve ever applied for a job or an internship, you know how frustrating it can be. You might scour
the local paper or Craigslist for new postings, only to find one or two promising leads. This is
especially true if you’re applying during peak times (e.g., the beginning of summer, when all the
students are looking for work at once) when you know that tens, maybe hundreds of others, are
sending in applications for the same positions. The good news is that now that you know about
prospecting and qualifying, you are in control of your job search and have the power to set yourself
apart from your competitors.
Three Steps to Prospecting for the Right Employer
You don’t have to limit yourself to a handful of job prospects. Once you know where to look, you’ll be
overwhelmed with the possibilities. There is no need to wait for your prospects to post job openings or to
find your résumé somewhere and approach you; instead, you identify your “buyer” and approach them.
Most job seekers look for advertised positions through Internet job sites, newspaper want ads, or

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employment agencies. This is a fair starting point, especially if some of your target companies have posted
vacancies. But it’s important to know that only about one-fifth of the jobs are actually advertised this
way. [1]The other four out of five positions are never publicly announced; they might be filled internally, by
networking (covered in Chapter 3 “The Power of Building Relationships: Putting Adaptive Selling to
Work”), or through cold-contact (or unsolicited) applications. This means that prospecting and qualifying
potential employers (whether or not they are advertising for a position) is likely to yield good results,
provided you do your research first.
If this sounds far-fetched—What? You can send an application when there’s no job posting?—think about
J. Crew. When the company has new merchandise, they send out a catalog. You don’t usually request the
catalog, but when it comes, if you like J. Crew’s products, you’ll take a look, and you might just buy. Just
because a company hasn’t posted a position doesn’t mean there isn’t a need. Let them know what you
have to offer. [2]
Step 1: Build Your Ideal Company Profile
If you could work for your dream company, what would it look like? Would it be a fast-paced, competitive
environment with good opportunities for advancement? Would it be a creative organization where you
could work collaboratively with like-minded individuals? Would it be a company that includes social
responsibility as part of its mission statement? Would you work for a nonprofit, where you could see
firsthand the difference you were making in the world? Just as you begin prospecting by building an ideal
customer profile,[3] you should also prospect potential employers by visualizing your ideal work
environment.
Consider not only the criteria that are most important to you (e.g., benefits, company values,
advancement opportunities), but also location. Do you want to stay in a particular region of the country?
Is it important that you live in or near a big city? Do you want to live somewhere with good outdoor
recreation? Is there some other condition that matters to you? You’re free to choose. FindYourSpot.com is
a resource that can help you with your location decision. You can also look at lists like Relocate-America’s
Best Places to Live and then visit Salary.com (use the Cost of Living Wizard) to determine how much more
or less it will cost you to live in your favorite location.
Finally, you should consider which employers will be interested in the skills you have to offer. But don’t
sell yourself short here, either. Just as in prospecting you should never write off a lead without

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investigating it, you should also never write off a lead in your job search. If you can see how your skills
would benefit a company, that company is a potential employer.
Essentially, there are three things to consider when you build your prospective employer profile:
1. What are the most important characteristics of your ideal company?
2. In which location would you most like to live?
3. Which companies might be interested in the skills you have to offer in return?
You can use all these factors as guidelines to generate a list of target companies. Building the ideal
company profile isn’t about saying “wouldn’t it be nice if.…” Instead, it’s about empowering you to go out
and find the employer for whom you want to work.
Step 2: Make a List of 25 Target Companies
So how many companies should you consider? Definitely more than the four or five that have recently
posted ads in your local paper. Think about the sales funnel model: cast your net broadly to begin, but
after some qualifying research, you should have a list of at least twenty-five prospects you’d like to target.
Don’t define your targets too narrowly. For instance, if you’re going into accounting, consider service
providers (accounting firms), but also consider companies that have an accounting department and
recruiting firms that are interested in people with your skills. [4]
Twenty-five prospects is a good rule of thumb for the top of your funnel because it doesn’t leave you with
so many that you will overwhelm yourself with research and applications, but it is enough to allow for the
fact that some prospects will drop out along the way. After additional research and contact with your
prospects, you will find that some don’t meet your qualifications after all. Some companies in turn might
not be willing to give you an interview; others might give you an interview, and even hang onto your
résumé, but will tell you they don’t have any openings at the moment. Others might give you an interview
but decide your qualifications aren’t what they are looking for. Even as the funnel narrows, an initial pool
of twenty-five prospects should leave you with a number of companies that are interested in you and in
whom you are also interested. Just as you learned earlier in this chapter, prospecting is never ending so
you should always be adding new qualified prospects to your target company list.
Finally, it is critical that as you define your prospects and perform your research, you keep records. Think
about the contact management systems businesses use to organize and track their prospects. While you
don’t need such a complex system for a job search, taking notes on Post-its or scraps of paper that

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you might or might not find later on, or trying to commit details to memory, will sabotage your hard
work. You can use a simple spreadsheet in Excel to organize and track prospective employer information.
Even if you don’t consider yourself an organized person, if you use a simple tool like this one, you have the
ability to keep your job search organized—and make your life much easier.
Step 3: Forget about “To Whom It May Concern”
If you ever get mail addressed to “Resident at (your address),” you know that these are the letters that end
up straight in the trash. If someone can’t be bothered to find out your name, you won’t bother yourself to
read their mail. The same is true with your job search: keep in mind that people, not organizations or
departments, are ultimately responsible for hiring. So it’s essential to find key individuals at each
company, especially when you’re sending out cold-contact cover letters and résumés. You want to make
sure your letters actually get read, and if you open your letter with a general, impersonal address, it
immediately sends the message that you don’t care enough to learn about the company and its people—
more likely than not, your letter will end up in the recycle bin. [5]
On the other hand, a little knowledge can go a long way. If a letter with the hiring manager’s name on it
comes across his desk, he isn’t likely to ignore it. The best thing to do is begin with the company’s general
number listed on their Web site (or in a directory or phone book) and ask the receptionist for the name,
contact info, and title for the hiring manager in your field. If the receptionist gives you the name of the
human resources manager, be persistent until you get the name of either the hiring manager, the head of
your targeted department, or the company president (if it is a smaller organization). Especially if a
company hasn’t announced that they are hiring, sending a letter to human resources means that your
hiring manager—who might very well be interested in what you have to offer—will probably never receive
your application. If calling the company’s general number doesn’t get you the contact information you
need, the directory of Corporate Affiliations is an online source where you can find contact information
for the key individuals in many companies.

You’ve Got the Power: Tips for Your Job Search
Every Company Should Get More than One
You might think that you should send only one letter to each company. Don’t stop there! Increase your
chances of getting a call by sending as many letters as possible to appropriate hiring managers at each

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http://www.corporateaffiliations.com/

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company. For example, if you are applying to an advertising agency for a position in account
management, send a letter to the agency president, vice president of account services, account directors,
account supervisors, even account executives. Don’t be afraid to send your letter to people like the
president or vice president. Often times they will pass it along to the hiring manager and ask him to follow
up with you. [6]

Sources for Prospecting: How to Identify Your Target Companies
So how do you go about finding prospective employers? The task may seem overwhelming, but there is a
wealth of resources to help you once you’ve asked yourself some questions to help guide your search. You
can start by choosing the specific area of your field you’d like to focus on. [7] For instance, an
environmental designer might choose to specialize in sustainability issues, health care environments, or
the design of retail spaces. Your prospects should be the companies who hire people with your skill set
and particular focus.
A number of good online business databases can get you started here; many are the same directories and
databases you would use to find prospective buyers for your products (see the previous section). Keep in
mind that while many of these databases charge a fee for their services, your local or school library should
have free subscriptions. Directories are good resources for finding industry-specific companies (e.g.,
accounting firms if you’re an accountant). But since you want to keep your search open to several kinds of
companies, try using a combination of prospecting sources.
Figure 7.7

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Local business journals, like the Philadelphia Business Journal, can be found online athttp://www.bizjournals.com.
Find the business journal for forty different cities by using the drop down menu at the top. Enter “book of lists” in
the search box and find the link for the Book of Listsfor all sixty-six markets.
Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, used with permission.
Many sources you would use for prospecting potential customers are also good sources for finding
employment prospects. You can try membership lists for professional organizations, such as the American
Marketing Association or the American Institute of Architects. It’s especially helpful to look for local
chapters or organizations in the city in which you would like to work. For example, at the Philly Ad Club’s
Web site, you can find a list of over one hundred advertising agencies in the region. Trade publications
and trade Web sites are good sources for industry and employment information as well—as are business
journals and business journal Web sites. Just as you might subscribe to an RSS (Really Simple
Syndication) feed or Google News Alerts to stay up-to-date on your leads and competitors in business
prospecting, you can do the same when prospecting for employers by subscribing to feeds for trade Web
sites or business journals. Again, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of going to your local library. Ask
your librarian to point you to some business lists, journals, and directories and take advantage of their
free online subscriptions.
Table 7.2 Sources for Finding Your Target Companies

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Business Directories and Databases
Riley Guide
http://rileyguide.com/careers.html
This Web site is loaded with information on job searching, and it
provides a customized Google search to help you identify target
employers. Best of all, it’s free.
Hoovers
http://www.hoovers.com
The site allows you to search by industry and geography. It also
provides the name of the top companies in an industry segment.
Advertising Redbooks
http://www.redbooks.com
The Web site contains information on over 20,000 advertising
companies. This is an excellent source if you’re considering work in
advertising or marketing.
Business Lists
Book of Lists
Published in most major cities by American City Business Journals,
these have contact information, company profiles, and key facts for
specific employers in your targeted region. Most libraries have a
hard copy available at no charge.
Bizjournals
http://www.bizjournals.com/bookoflist
s
The site links you to the Book of Lists for 40 U.S. cities (for a fee).
“Best of” and “Top” Lists
Top Entry Level Employers, Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work
For, The Fastest-Growing Technology Companies, and The Best
Places to Launch a Career are some examples. Check local
publications as well as national publications such
as BusinessWeek,http://www.businessweek.com/managing/career,
andFortune,http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/managemen
t.
Professional Membership Organizations
Local Professional Organizations
Location and industry specific: Use your local online resources to
identify local organizations. For
example,http://www.iloveseattle.org includes a listing of local
professional organizations for multiple industries.

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http://rileyguide.com/careers.html

http://www.hoovers.com/

http://www.redbooks.com/

http://www.bizjournals.com/bookoflists

http://www.bizjournals.com/bookoflists

http://www.collegegrad.com/topemployers/2009_entry_level.php

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2009/full_list

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2009/full_list

http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/28/fast-tech-growth-technology-fasttech09_0129_intro.html

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_38/b4001601.htm

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_38/b4001601.htm

http://www.businessweek.com/managing/career

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/ma