The #1 Reason Customers Change Service Providers! (And what you can do—personally—to prevent it)

Here is the question of the day:  “What do you think is the #1 reason customers change service providers?”

All together now, 1 . . . 2  . . . 3 . . . PRICE!

Right?  WRONG!

I am not trying to dismiss the price issue with all the salespeople out there who get beat up every day over price. There is no denying price is huge and some buyers, particularly professional procurement officers, use price as the main driver of their decisions.  But that is not the #1 answer, particularly among buyers who are purchasing services to go along with the products.  Read More

Double Your Success Rate!

That’s Right . . . I said DOUBLE! Let’s talk about the raw power of the “Reciprocity Principal.”

Someone said that the simplest ideas are the best ideas. So here is one that is so basic, I almost hate to bring it up to the professionals who read my column. And YET . . . we can all use some positive reinforcement from time to time.

So check out the difference between a scenario orchestrated by a salesperson who doesn’t work the Mr. Shmooze philosophy and, later, how Mr. Shmooze would set up the same call.  Read More

Raise the Mood . . . Make the Sale

“Raise the Mood . . . Make the Sale.”  This sales truism has been around for a long time, but all the research we have seen still supports it with vigor. Here’s why.

The buying decision is an emotional decision.  Yes, the buyer analyzes the transaction intellectually, but at the moment of truth, the decision of whether or not to actually pull the trigger switches over to the emotional side of his mind and becomes a very personal moment of commitment. And when we are talking emotions, we are talking mood, so a positive mood is pivotal to the transaction moment. But it goes further than that.  Read More

“Great Question . . . Thanks for Asking!”

Here is how many salespeople might answer an “apparently” straightforward question.

(Buyer): “What about emergency response? When all hell breaks loose, I need to reach someone immediately!”
(Salesperson): “We have a 24/7 hour hotline to handle emergencies. You will get a response immediately.”

This is not a bad answer, but a huge selling opportunity is missed in the process. Here is how Mr. Shmooze would handle the same question.  Read More

A Friendly Thought From Mr. Shmooze

So you are in the market for a printer at work. You arrange to have a few salespeople come in and talk about their products. You find out there are any number of good printers out there, all with decent warranties and service follow ups. But one of the programs stands out. Why?  Read More

People Love to See Pictures of Kids . . . THEIR Kids!

Have your kids ever participated in an event at school . . . you know, a holiday play or sports event . . . and pictures are passed along later? Be honest  . . . do you really stop to admire the pictures of all the other kids . . . or do you focus on finding pictures of your kids?

Same thing as when you are in the audience for the Christmas show and the whole third grade class comes out and stands on the bleachers. Where are your eyes focused, like a laser?  On the other kids?  Nope . . . your kid.  Read More

Mr. Shmooze on the Roof!

I always love to run into real time Mr. Shmooze stories I can share with our readers. Here is one from over the weekend.

I was having a beer with a friend who had some roofing issues and had been told by two roofers he needed new roofs. But this is not just any house . . . it’s a moose, with multiple roofs angling up as many as four stories. So a full re-roofing could be easily in the $30,000 range . . . an important job for most residential roofers. I had recommended another roofer to him that had provided excellent service for me and who had branched off from a bigger company to form his own firm. I trusted him and knew his lower overhead operation would be very competitive. Here is what my buddy said about the meeting.  Read More


Hello everybody,

Our next column entitled “Yessssss!” follows directly. But this week we also wanted to make you aware of a parallel column we are now writing each week for business owners and managers responsible for recruiting, training and deploying salespeople. It is co-written by our chief psychologist Dr. Christopher Croner and focuses on assessment and interviewing research and techniques, as well as some of the deeper psychology behind the selection and development of successful salespeople. If you are interested, click here to check it out and to sign up if you are so inclined.

Now . . . Back to the Art & Science of Selling Through Relationships!


Every meeting and every phone call you make to a prospect must end with a call to action or you have virtually wasted the call. Remember, in this case we are talking about prospects, not current clients, so this requires a different mindset . . . one designed to advance the relationship toward the first transaction, and that means being proactive and focused.  Read More

The Moment of Truth

Ah, the “close.”  The moment of time in the selling cycle when the transaction is agreed upon, when buyer and seller come together and the commitment is actually made to move forward, together, with the deal. In this context, I am not talking about the mechanics of the close, like a formal real estate closing after the decision to buy/sell has been made earlier. I am talking about the moment of truth when a buyer makes the emotional leap and decides to buy . . . the real essence of the transactional process. In that context, I want to mention a specific communications technique that can work very well at that moment . . . validation and reassurance. Let’s use an automobile transaction as an example.  Read More

Getting the “Special” Treatment

So I had a clogged drain in the kitchen recently. I tried a few of the usual remedies that never work, like liquid drain stuff and then I relented and called a plumber. Actually, not a plumber . . . that would be unfair to guys I really respect. I called one of those national companies that specifically address blockages. You know, the crackerjack order intake system, “The ‘specialist’ will be there between 10 and 12 and will call you first,” so I sat down, switched on a ballgame and waited. Sure enough the call came in and the “specialist” showed up. He fished around a little and said, “That is a deep clog . . . my estimate for the work is $400.”  Read More

Talking Over the Customer. Interrupts Intimacy . . . and the Sale.

So you are in a nice restaurant and deep into a conversation with your friend(s) and the waiter comes over and interrupts you, blurting out, “How is everything?” or “Can I get you anything else?” It’s OK once, but when it happens twice, or three times, you really have to ask yourself why the restaurant would not simply take a little extra time to train their staff to come up to the table, wait to make eye contact and see if the people want to be spoken to or not at that moment.

On the phone with a service provider? It usually starts with them asking you to repeat the same information you gave earlier to the computerized prompt, then a script and finally getting to the point. And then, all too often, the serviceperson on the phone, again, interrupts and talks over us, often with a time delay from a remote location.  Read More

Death by PowerPoint! (cont.)

OK, so if you read last week’s column, I talked about being careful not to drag an audio guy through a visual presentation (or vice versa). We need to figure out how our clients like to be presented to before imposing a one size fits all format.

But now let’s assume that we DO have a visual person on our hands and he has INVITED us to show our deck. That is great, so long as we DON’T do the following (which, unfortunately, I see time after time):  Read More

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