Profit-Point 21:


Once, I was lured into a men’s clothing store by a large sign:

“Bargain, We Won’t BE Undersold! Sale Today!”

While sifting through suits, I heard a salesman exclaim to his customer who just bought one suit, “As long as I got you in a buying mood, I’ll take advantage of it!”

The ignorance of his statement caused me to grab for pen and paper, record his “classic sales motivator,” and send it to the Museum of Stupid Business History!

Let’s analyze this myopic marketeer’s not-so-clever “come-on”:

  1. “As long as I got you”Although a fine haberdasher attempts to fit a man’s entire body, this statement seemingly indicates the salesman may have “gotten” his customer by another part of his anatomy!
  2. “in a buying mood”Are we ever in a “buying mood?” Sure! But what does that really mean? The mood of the new clothes shopper is often pride, recognition and status. This shopper ain’t just buying clothes, he or she is investing in enhanced self-image. Products and services must be marketed and sold with emotion, yet rationalized with logic!
  3. “I’ll take advantage of it!”This salesman was already counting his commission! His focus was on his paycheck, not his customer’s satisfaction. He was pushing clothes. Not value, pride, self-esteem and quality.He may have cleaned-up with this customer, but long-term, he’s programmed for failure! With a value-driven, integrity-based and non-manipulative approach, he may have asked, “With the biggest savings of the year, how would you like to take advantage of…?”Remember, one foolish utterance, often destroys the rapport and trust of your business relationship. It’s better for people to think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and confirm it!

© Blackman & Associates, LLC

Profit-Point 25:

A piece of the pie.

How’d you like to replace or eliminate your competitors? Cool! But unlikely. Because as we’ve already determined, buyers are reluctant to change, even if the change helps them attain a more favorable future. Therefore, as much as you’d like to replace your competitors, your decision- maker will have a comfort or security level with the past they probably don’t want to disrupt.

My suggestion, is never try to “replace” your competitor. Instead, position yourself to become the next best solution. Here’s the question you ask,

“Irv, I can now understand why you’ve been so happy with Hard Sell Enterprises and why   you wouldn’t want to replace them. So let me ask you this, how can I, (our company and our products and services) complement what Hard Sell is doing for you?”

This question is extremely powerful. Here’s why.

It allows your decision-maker to breathe a sigh of relief. He now knows he doesn’t have to replace his current supplier. There could be high risk with replacement, but minimal risk when he complements. Together, you and your decision-maker can now determine how you can complement, contribute to or be a part of his solution, and not the entire solution. (If you can’t get the whole pie, be sure to get a tasty slice of it!)

© Blackman & Associates, LLC

Profit-Point 27:

Budget builders.

At what stage of the sales process do you determine or gain some insight into your decision maker’s budget? That’s right, it’s done early, with winning words that are part of the probe. Because not only must your prospects and customers have a need to fill, dream to realize or problem to solve, but they must also have the ability to pay for it!

You should never place yourself in a position to guess at somebody else’s budget or investment potential. “Budget builder” questions remove the guesswork and uncertainty.

However, your decision-maker may be unwilling to share with you a budget, a “number” or say something like:

  • “I have no idea what this should cost, that’s why I called you!”
  • “Money is no object. If it’s worth it, I’ll pay it!”

If you get responses like these, you can still determine the budget. Here’s one way. You let your buyer know you want them to make the best possible decision. And that decision will obviously be a reflection of their goals, needs and budget.

Therefore, if they have no idea what the investment might be, you can share several ranges. For example, you let them know other satisfied clients or customers with similar predicaments, dilemmas or goals have invested between i.e., 3 ranges, let’s say:

  • Range 1 is $5,000 – $10,000
  • Range 2 is $11,000 – $20,000
  • Range 3 is $21,000 or greater.

(In this example, the principles matter, not the dollar amounts. Simply apply the figures most appropriate for you.) It’s also important to stress, you should never put an ending parameter or restriction on your final range.

You now ask your decision maker, “Which range, are you most comfortable with, 1, 2 or 3?” If they say, “Range 2,” you say “Wonderful.” You can even ask, “Would you prefer to stay closer to $11,00 or $20,000?” Their responses help guide you in your creation of the best possible solution.

Is the budget really firm?

How do you handle the decision-maker who gives you a “firm” budget?

Let’s take a look at an example, that’s easy to relate to. Imagine I’m a real estate agent and you’re a motivated buyer. We’ve already determined you want a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house in a quiet community, close to schools, shopping and transportation and the lot has to be at least a quarter of an acre. You have told me you’re only willing to look at homes listed at $350,000 or less.

Armed with this information, the first house I take you to is listed at $375,000. Not only do you detest the floor plan and neighborhood, but you’re also disappointed and disturbed with me, because the house was listed at more than $350,000. You feel I took you here just so I’d make more on my commission! Uh oh. I’m in trouble! You feel I didn’t listen and you may begin to question my integrity.

However, what if this scenario took place. Imagine I said to you,

“Let’s make sure I understand what’s important to you. You’d like a four-bedroom, two- and-a-half-bath house in a quiet community, close to schools, shopping and transportation  and the lot has to be at least a quarter of an acre. You have also told me, you’re only willing to look at homes listed at $350,000 or less, correct?” You nod affirmatively.

Now I ask a question that combines the budget builder strategy along with The Fairness Doctrine:

“Would it be fair to say, if I come across a listing that offers you and your family everything you want, the space, the community, the lot size and then some, but it’s listed at more than $350,000, would it be fair to say, you’d prefer I not even show it to you?”

Now how do you think you’d react? It’s likely you’ll say, “Well, if it had all that, I guess I’d be willing to look at it.” I say, “Great! How much more than $350,000 are you comfortable with?” You say, “Up to $380 is probably okay, maybe even $400, but then it has to be something really special!”

Who just increased the budget? Me or you? You did! And it was accomplished once again with winning words in a power probe.

© Blackman & Associates, LLC

P.I.T. Stop

P Provocative or Playful
I Inspirational or Informational
T Thoughts or Theories

You can observe a lot, just by watching!

Spotted on a resume: “I enjoy participating in observing sports.”

Huh? Doesn’t this mean, this guy is a spectator?!

Pants perplexity.

I recently found in the pocket of a new pair of pants, a slip of paper that declared:


Hmmm. It made me wonder, if #1 can’t spell “inspected,” how effective could he be at doing it?!

“Far more than our abilities, our choices show what we truly are.”

Professor Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster

© Blackman & Associates, LLC

Profit Pillar IV: A Profit Parade →

To order, please go to:

Jeff is a Hall of Fame speaker, best selling author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a “business-growth specialist.” If you hire speakers, please contact Sheryl Kantor at: 847.998.0688 or [email protected]. And visit to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff’s FREE e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff’s books include; Stop Whining! Start Selling!, (an Amazon Bestseller), and the revised 4th edition of the bestselling Peak Your Profits. You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults