Five Rules that Open the Gates

Chances are, you've lost a sale that you thought was in the bag.

It happens. The way to improve the odds of success is to learn and follow the five "Rules of Qualification." These are so critical to successful salesmanship that some say for each rule you violate, your chances of closing the deal drops by as much as 50%.

So before your next sales call, follow these rules. You'll open the right doors and come back to the office with a smile on your face and a contract in your briefcase:

Once you adopt these five rules, you might want to reconsider what you're really selling.

Are you just selling a product or service, or fulfilling a need? According to Dale Carnegie — author and recognized expert on salesmanship, self-improvement, and corporate training — you'll hit the bullseye more often if you if you can show your prospect what he wants.

Here's an example to illustrate Carnegie's point. A struggling life insurance salesman was advised to change his strategy. Instead of trying to sell insurance as security for the insured's family, he framed his sales pitch as a way the prospect could meet his own needs.

Suppose the prospect was intent on having his children attending his alma mater, an Ivy League school, when they reached college age. He knew he couldn't influence them in that direction. But if he were to pass away, his wishes might go unfulfilled, especially if money was tight. By making college funds available through life insurance, he might still have some influence, even after he was gone.

Realizing how important this goal was to the prospect, the salesman successfully changed his sales pitch from selling security for the prospect's family, to selling his ability to help guide his family whether in life or in death.

"There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. Just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it. Remember, there is no other way." — Dale Carnegie

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