The Art of Sales

Increasing revenue is at the top of the to-do list for most business owners. Today, I want to share an article with you from Art Waskey, former sales executive turned author and speaker. Plus, Art is married to my cousin making us “family.” I have known Art for about 50 years and know him to be a man of immense character and integrity.


The Art of Sales Weekly

by Art Waskey

“A sales manager recently brought a problem to my attention. One of his customers had called and asked why he hadn’t been by to see him. The frustrated sales manager explained that the prospect had plenty of quotes from him but never purchased. He believed making further calls was a waste of his time. He asked for my advice. My response — look for the reason why your customer is unresponsive.

 Build a relationship

I suggested he call the prospect and make an appointment to see him. During the meeting, he should allow 20 minutes of continued focused attention to build a relationship. Let the customer talk 80% of the time. Then ask the prospect why he hadn’t followed up on previous quotes.

 Don’t assume

Too often we make assumptions about our clients. Instead of guessing, ask your customers about their actions, or lack thereof. Don’t assume that when an order isn’t placed, it’s because a final decision has been made not to purchase.

 As a sales manager, I once instructed a rep to ask his customer why he hadn’t made the move to our company. The customer smiled, laughed, and said that he didn’t really have a good reason. This response indicates the relationship between the rep and the customer was weak. If the rep had invested time in building a relationship with the prospect a sale would have been more likely.

In another instance I learned a prospect was stalling on a sales decision because he did not have the time to spend with his purchasing department. When the sales rep offered to help with that transition, the business was secured.

 Be proactive

Too often our assumptions about why customers hesitate are negative. Such thoughts are counterproductive and a drag on your daily activity. Successful businesspeople are positive thinkers. Don’t let “head trash” prevent you from closing new business. Be proactive. Build relationships. Don’t be afraid to ask your unresponsive customers why they are not acting on your proposals. Be creative in leading them toward the deal.”

I would add that even in this digital age, where everyone seems to be wanting a digital workforce and it becomes harder and harder to speak to a “live person,” Art is still emphasizing to “build a relationship.” Too often today, someone wants to make a connection with me on LinkedIn, then they start selling their products or services to me without ever getting to know me. They play the numbers game and focus on selling instead of building a relationship. People still want to do business with people that they know, like and trust.

For more information on this article, please contact Art Waskey at [email protected] or visit his website:

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