The Five Step Prospecting Script
People ask me how to “start a sale.” Most professional salesmen would rather begin with an
announced “prospect” who already has demonstrated interest. I find that most of my successful
sales start with citizens, who have no interest in me or what I am selling. The Five Step
Prospecting Script is the fastest way to have a citizen learn what I am selling and the fastest way
for them to figure out how to buy. I have been successfully using this technique for over 30 years.
Step 1 – “I just wrote a new brochure/resume/nuclear weapons treaty.” (Pick one)
Step 2 – “Would you give me your opinion of it?” (Give them something short, one page
maximum, because you are reading your own copy at the same time and you will read it many
times. Don’t finish before they do.)
Step 3 – Listen, smile, accept what they say and tell them that their critique helps you.
Step 4 – “If you were me, who would you show this to?”
The most common question I get is, “Do you mean in my company or outside?” The
answer is “Yes.”
As they try to think of names, they are also most efficiently trying to see if they want
your offer. If they see a value for themselves they will tell you.
Write down every name they give and don’t interrupt until they are done.
Step 5 – “What is the best way to contact X?” (Pick the name from their referrals you are most
interested in meeting. After you have fully discussed the first opportunity, ask for the next, until
you are no longer interested.)
If they have changes to your brochure, mark them in red ink and keep the copy. Give them a
clean copy in case they think of someone else who should see it. You don’t have to make all their
changes, but you should keep the recommendations until you fully understand them. I figure the
readers are more like a buyer than I am.
The primary reason for conducting a five step is that is the most efficient way to sell the person
you are talking to. I usually have far more directed, personal referrals than I can pursue, but that
is a delightful secondary consequence of getting them to understand my offer. If they think your
offer can help them, they will try to buy. That is their instinct for self preservation kicking in.
The Five Step Prospecting Script works very well on spouses, in laws, CEOs, COOs, Vice
Presidents, Directors, Managers, Technicians, Receptionists, people stranded on an airplane, in
an airport, or a doctor’s office. Whether reading your brochure is fun for the other person
depends on your attitude. Most people like to learn new things.
The key requirements are having a supply of handouts with you for distribution and being able to
keep quiet while other people do your selling for you.
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