The Millionaire Next Door

On the Lighter Side: A Mutual Benefit

A rather interesting fellow once told me how he became head of marketing for what is today a major mutual fund.  He said that being the fund’s top sales professional had helped him a great deal.  How did he become an extraordinary sales professional (ESP)?

My own research shows that mutual funds are hard to sell  if they are not major funds with tremendous advertising dollars.  This ESP attained stardom by having to sell Three Great Unknowns:  his firm, his product, and himself.  He felt that this would take more than a 60-second phone call or form letter.  He had to devise a way of obtaining a personal meeting with the prospect, and he would need more than just a few moments with the prospect.  But most affluent prospects have very little time to devote to solicitations and are protected by a picket line of employees who intercept sales callers before they ever get near the target.

These problems did not deter this ESP.  He responded to the situation with one of the most extraordinary techniques ever developed:  he paid for their time.  His main client base consisted of physicians.  His technique enabled him to penetrate the various levels of sales interceptors that may be found in a physician’s office.  He simply made an appointment with the physician.  No one ever intercepted him.  No one ever denied him a “for fee” visit/consultation with the physician.

At the doctor’s visit, the ESP would say that he had a problem, but not a medical problem.  When the physician asked him to describe the problem, he would answer, “Doctor, you are my problem.  I will pay you for a visit to help you with your investment needs.”

This ESP told me that most physicians will listen to someone who pays them for their time.  While other sales professionals would sit in a physician’s office for hours waiting to make their pitch, this ESP was able to obtain the undivided attention and business of several physicians each day.  While sales people in field ranging from pharmaceuticals to life insurance are trying to sell by stealing the physician’s time, this ESP paid for it.

3 thoughts on “On the Lighter Side: A Mutual Benefit”

  1. This is pure genius. Lets say I want to pitch my local plumber on doing some marketing. Instead of cold calling him, why not have him come out and give me a free estimate and then while he is doing that propose the idea. My favorite is when I call people off the phone numbers on their vehicle advertising. Just the other day I was inside a Burger King and I saw a guy ordering through at the drive thru. I can promise you that they pay a little more attention when you say, “Um, yeah, are you guy that’s at the Burger King drive thru right now?” “Well, yes, yes I am.” Similar kind of deal as the post mentioned.

  2. Aspiring Millionaire @

    This is such a good idea. I would suggest putting this in your book, Networking with Millionaires and their Advisors.

  3. @Tibbets –

    You missed the point of the salesman making an appointment and then paying $70-$90 for a 1/2 hour of a physician’s time. The Doc will listen happily because it’s no lose proposition (and far easier than seeing a sick patient).

    Making a plumber come out for a free estimate and then trying to sell him something is pretty well guaranteed to insure he or she will never buy from you. You just cost them gas and time if you’re not serious about using them for a repair.

    I do free estimates in my line of work and have gotten sales pitches in the middle of those. My overall impression was the other party was a)rude and b)prone to waste everyone’s time.

    Drive to the plumber’s office and pay their hourly rate – then you’ll have the warmest prospect you can imagine.

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