“As a salesperson, what is the strangest thing you ever did to make a sale to a customer?”
This question usually comes in training groups with new salespeople.
Anyone who has been in sales for years will have similar ‘war’ stories.
In this episode, I share a few of my experiences where I get a little more personal with Story Time With Jason (instead of the usual how-to-sales stuff).
Episode 87 – Transcript
Welcome back to another episode of the sales experience podcast.
My name is Jason Cutter. This is episode 87 before I get into the question of the day; I wanted to remind everyone that you can subscribe to the show, iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify.
You can also find it on sound cloud and if you go to the cutter consulting group.com website, there’s a full transcript of each show on the site, so if there’s something that you heard that was interesting or useful for, you can go on there, find the transcript, read through it, highlight copy, use what you can in your daily sales walk.
All right, let’s get into it for today. The question is, as a salesperson, what is the strangest then you have [inaudible] ever done to make it a sale with a customer? Yeah. This is not necessarily advice, so this is going to be more story time with Jason, me sharing something.
I’ve told people this story for years now. It was really the make it or break it for me mentally in realizing what it meant to go in a sales transaction where at the end of the day I could say I did everything I could to make that sale in the previous episode.
With that question in the answer, I talked a lot about intention, so what’s your intention? Are you willing to do whatever it takes wit whatever it takes? I have a couple of stories from my real estate per-foreclosure loss mitigation days.
What that means is people were going into foreclosure. This was in Washington State in the middle and late two thousand people going into foreclosure. They’d get a 90 day notice. Then they’d have an auction.
Auctions were always on Friday mornings in Washington State. Now we were dealing with people who are behind on their mortgage, sometimes six months, sometimes years.
The longest I’ve ever dealt with somebody behind on their mortgage. At that point, it was four years. They hadn’t made a payment and were still in their house. There was one guy in particular, I remember this to this day.
His name was James and he was losing his house. He was behind, I think it was 12 months on his payments. He did not have a phone. He did have electricity. I did deal with some people who didn’t even have electricity turned on, but he did not have a phone, no home phone, no cell phone or anything like that.
So in dealing with James, once he called us, he called us from a friend’s house. Moving forward in these kinds of transactions, they would take anywhere from three to nine months dealing with banks, dealing with real estate, negotiating back and forth, you know, short sales if you’re familiar with those.
So James not having a phone, there was times where I needed something from him regularly, like I needed documents or updates or let him know he’s going to get something in the mail. There was also updates that I wanted to give him as far as the timeline goes and pushing things out,Yeah.
So James and I spoke every week at three 30 every Thursday. I still remember this very clearly. There was a payphone that was nearby him and what he would do is he would go to that payphone every Thursday around three 30 and then I would call him no matter what.
I had that as a standing appointment and every week I would call James, give them an update or ask for things and get whatever I needed from or let him know the process and literally we did that for four months every Thursday and that’s one of those things where it’s like you’re going to do whatever it takes.
Then you got to do it. Yeah. Another example that I have is somebody who also didn’t have a phone and literally every time I needed to call him, I had to call his neighbor’s home phone because they had a phone. This guy didn’t call the neighbors home phone.
They would answer, put the phone down, run next door to get the person I was trying to talk to, bring him over, and then he would talk on the neighbors phone and we did that for months as we dealt with these transactions.
That’s why it’s one of those things where I hear sales people use excuses like, oh, they were driving or they didn’t have time to talk or their voicemail’s full or this and that, or knows they didn’t have their phone right now or I can’t ever seem to reach them. If your intention is to get it done, you’ll get it done.
Now I want to also share a story. This is the time where I didn’t actually get the sale, but the key is I know at the end of the day I gave it everything I could and there was literally nothing else I think I could have. Yeah, done.
So same period dealing with real estate. Like I said, auctions are always on Friday mornings at 10:00 AM. There was this woman a little bit older, I think she was in her sixties and she had a house going to foreclosure. We had talked to her months beforehand and then she kind of disappeared and wasn’t responding and I think she was working under their options.
Then Thursday, right before the auction, 8:00 PM she calls up and says that she’s ready to talk. She’s ready to meet [inaudible] and ready to work on some way to save her house from the foreclosure auction. So we agree to meet at Denny’s down the street and I literally meet her at 10:00 PM on Thursday.
I sit there with her partially trying to work out the arrangement and the deals and figure out what’s going to make the most sense for her. Partially listened to her talk because she wanted to talk and talk and talk.
Sat there at Denny’s for four hours with her left at two o’clock with a verbal deal and notes on what we were going to do and how we were going to [inaudible]. Push off the foreclosure auction, save their house, and then give her time so she could do other things with it.
Get back to the office about two 15 in the morning, put together the paperwork, fax it to her home. Fax By three o’clock drove home, slept for a couple of hours, woke up around six 30 met her at her house at seven in the morning outside her house.
She came out, went through the facts, documents, read through everything. [Inaudible]went back inside so she could think about it, talk to her husband, and literally then she disappeared again, auction at 10:00 AM so there was only three hours left. I didn’t hear from her.
So then at about nine 30 she finally said that she’s not going to do it and she’s going to take her chances. And I literally went to the foreclosure auction. She was there, wouldn’t even make eye contact with me.
So I watched her house go to auction to the highest bidder and I don’t know what she was going to do after that, but that was [inaudible] really one of the first times I can ever say [inaudible] I did whatever it took. [Inaudible] I know at the end of that transaction, even not getting the sale, I know that I gave it my all and there was nothing else I could have done in that moment.
So that’s where I push a lot of salespeople to just make sure you can do that no matter what it is, no matter what happens, no matter what the outcome is and the results, if you don’t get the sale, do you feel like you gave it your all at the end of the day?
That’s all that matters. Like I said in the last episode, you can control your intentions and your actions, but not the results. All right. That’s it for this episode.
Hopefully you enjoyed some story time with Jason. Some stuff from my background and deals that I have worked on in the past. Make sure to subscribe, leave a comment, leave a rating, you know on iTunes if you can. That’d be great.
Always, remember that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.