The Three Favors

(editors note:  When in the sales process, clients tend to find ways to escape without properly understanding the offer or deterring a decision.  Bern uses this technique at the beginning of the sales process to assure the client that they can say no, but to encourage them to say yes)

Once you’re reasonably certain that you have a real prospect, continue with…

Based on what you’ve already told me and what I’ve observed, I feel compelled to fill you in on the features and benefits of _________________.  As I do this though, I would like to ask you for three favors, none of which are to buy anything. Would that be O.K.?

Sure. Go ahead.


The first favor is that you please listen to and evaluate everything I say. And, if you think for a single moment that I have misrepresented, exaggerated, shaded the truth, or stretched it a little, or if there’s something you don’t understand or makes you feel uncomfortable, I’d like you to stop me – right there! Would you do that?

Sure. O.K.

Because, if you don’t, everything I say after that would be a waste of your time. Wouldn’t it?

Yes, I guess that’s right.

Now, the second favor is that you please try to keep an open mind. You see, both you and I know that I can’t sit here and sell you on something that you don’t want, don’t need and can’t afford. Isn’t that right?

That’s right!

And that’s not my job. As I said, what I’d like to do is convey the excitement, features and benefits of our group, and how they might apply to you and your future. If you’re as enthusiastic about our program as we are, once you understand it, we’ll invite you to participate. And, I promise I won’t say nor do anything that will embarrass or annoy you. Is that fair enough?

Fair enough…

And the third favor is that you please, please, not embarrass me – by asking me to come back later – like tomorrow, next week, next month or maybe next year. Oh! Please don’t misunderstand me, I know I’d enjoy coming back for a visit and a cup of coffee if you’d have me. It’s just that I’m committed to a policy that prohibits me from ever coming back into your office or home again with literature and enrollment forms. The principal reason for this is to avoid any possibility of harassment. So, in other words, I’ll explain everything, answer your questions as candidly and openly as I possibly can, and expect that you’ll either say, ________, This sounds great! I wouldn’t want to miss this for the world! Or, _________, this kind of stuff just isn’t my cup of tea. And understand that either way is one hundred percent O.K. with me. So will you do that?



The Three Favors

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