Sales and Selling Ideas #270 – This week: Listening, Someone’s ROI, Aging

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Hearing and listening sound the same, but the latter is more active and former passive. If 80% of communication is non-verbal, listening is even more important in the Zoom world. Turn off the video, turn away from the gallery, and listen.
  • Early in your sales presentations you need to communicate what your company stands for before the customer is ready to listen to a product details. If you don’t, the customer is forced to compare features to make their choice.
  • You have to work for differentiation. It’s easy for your prospects to lump you in with others. If our security agencies label everything Top Secret, how will we know what’s special? Do the hard work to differentiate up front.
  • Company culture quote via James Baldwin, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” Pay more attention to how your teams behave, less attention to slogans on the wall.

Being Human – Will somebody want to know the ROI?


Sales is all about implementing change. Whatever a company is doing now, if they make the changes you suggest, their results will improve. A good measure will go up or a bad measure will go down. Put a dollar figure on those measures, make sure your service is less, and voilà! ROI. Easy peasy.

The problem

The only thing that can throw a wrench in this process is if your prospect isn’t willing or able to get into the measurements or put dollar figures on the measurements. I see this with soft measures like customer satisfaction or brand affinity where it’s hard for the measurement to be found. More often, I see this with sales that originate with the prospect. When they call into the company and want to buy something, the ROI may not have been calculated. Especially with complex solutions.

Your reps will push for evidence of a ROI but when the buyer is adamant it’s not needed, they’ll move past opportunity discovery, past resource discovery, and past the decision process right into a proposal. This is a mistake because the proposal will have the “I,” the investment required, but it’s missing the “R.” And you know what they say, the price is always too high, so your sales process gets rough.

A solution

Here is a question you can arm your people with when the search for Return is hitting a roadblock. “I know you can see the need for the solution, and don’t have a need for hard measures, but is it possible that someone, somewhere in your organization will need to see the calculations for ROI?” It’s best to pause here while they think about it. Then suggest, “like, maybe the CFO?”

The ROI isn’t just a sales tool for making the case for change. It’s how both sides will measure success in the end, so your implementation team needs it to manage the relationship. It’s important enough the best sales teams in the world invest a lot of time getting good at. Invest some time in overcoming the ROI calculation objection.

Good stuff.

Random stuff


“If you’re not getting older, you’re dead.”—Tom Petty,


The process of aging is slow. So slow I barely notice it. It creeps into conversations with an old friend. We used to talk about things like parties and the pursuit of the fairer sex, but now I comment on my knees, career choices, and memory lapses more often than not.

There are some perks to aging. I am called “sir” more, I never get carded, I know more people, and I have more stories to think about. But as I said, most days I barely notice getting older.

Yesterday I arrived a few minutes early to check into my doctor appointment. We do the Covid-19 screening questions and temperature check. I hand over my ID and insurance card. I review the materials in front of me, and before I get my paper ID bracelet, I am told to review the information and make sure it’s correct.

Greg Chambers, DOB 2/25/1969, Male, Age 52

I kid you not, I almost blurted, “I’m not 52,” before an image flashes in my brain. It’s me blowing out candles in the shape of 52 just a week ago.

I guess it really happened.


If you need to set up a time to visit, follow this link: