One of the old masters of selling who was willing to school me with his lessons was Pete Scatton, one of the original “Tin Men.” “By being prepared and knowing your product you multiply your profit by one hundred times,” was Pete’s math.

 The most obvious thing that can go wrong when it is time to ask for the sale is that we weren’t prepared for our appointment to begin with and so we aren’t able to ask for the sale when the time came.

“Before you leave to go to your next sales appointment, ask yourself, ‘Am I ready to sell this job?,” Pete said during a long lunch over a plate of homemade spaghetti and meatballs prepared by Mom and served to “the men” sitting around our dining room table.

“Ask yourself, do I have my samples, literature, price-lists, measuring tape, blank contract and pen? Do I know my product?’ If you can’t answer yes, you aren’t ready to sell. That’s lesson number one.” Pete said between forkfuls of Mom’s fantastic Pasta.

Of course, “Rule #1 – Be Prepared” means you have brought along the tools you need to measure and estimate your potential client’s project. If you don’t have a measuring tape, pen, note pad, sketch pad and blank contract it is very difficult to go through the final steps in the sales process – asking for the sale and receiving the order.

Your sales appointment will likely end with, “I’ll have to get back to you with a price for this project.” You may eventually still get the sale, but you have reduced your chances, in most cases, dramatically.

You are prepared for the sales appointment only when you have the tools you need to ask for the sell. When you are prepared to ask for the sale you will close more sales on the first call, because you won’t get any sales on the first call you weren’t prepared to ask for.

It is amazing how good sales practices can grow your business over time, like a snowball grows as it rolls downhill… It is a very good sales practice to be well prepared … Maybe Pete’s math was right, after all.

So, on your next sales appointment don’t forget to be prepared – know your product and bring your pen. Look for my next blog, coming soon… “Show and Tell.”

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