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Gerry Weinberg & Associates, Inc. | Southfield, Michigan

Sooner or later, a prospect is going to tell you, "Send literature." It's a natural response to a salesperson. It's an easy way to reject the salesperson without getting personal. 

Before you agree to send literature, ask yourself, "Why is the prospect requesting literature? Is this a sign of no interest?"

Ask the prospect, "Maggie, it's no problem; I can send you some literature. But before I do, I need to ask you a question. Okay?" (Notice the up-front contract: You've made an offer to do something - send literature - but you need to understand the situation better, thus you want to ask a question. And, you're asking for the prospect's acceptance.)

Maggie agrees to let you ask a question, so you continue, "Sometimes when people ask me to send literature before they know anything about my product (or service), as opposed to inviting me in, what they're really saying to me is they just don't have any interest. But they don't want to hurt my feelings. Is that the case here Maggie?"

If you decide to send literature to a prospect, don't do it without an up-front contract that explains what happens next.

"George, I have a tremendous amount of literature which may or may not be of interest to you. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions to make sure you'll be reviewing the right material before I send it?"

The questions you will ask will do one of two things:

1. Narrow down the literature you need to send the prospect; or
2. Stir up enough interest in the prospect's mind to give you the opportunity to try a second time to set an appointment.

If you've got to send literature, then continue as follows:

"I'm going to send you the literature, George. It's on its way. It should arrive by Thursday. How much time will you need to review it?"

Wait for George to respond, and then say, "Let's assume you do get the literature by Thursday. You say you'll need 24 hours to review it, so I'll call you Friday. And here's what I'd like to have happen, if you're comfortable with this. I'd like you to be able to say, 'John, I read the literature and I have some questions,' or you can say, 'I've read the literature and there's absolutely no reason for us to get together.' If you tell me you have some interest, George, then I'd like you to invite me in for a face-to-face meeting. Is that fair?"

Does anyone have any idea how much money is wasted every year by salespeople who send literature to prospects only to never hear anything from the prospects? It's got to be enough money to cure the national debt! Don't contribute to the waste. Set an up-front contract before you mail your literature.

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