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.