How to stop selling

Many reps have no clue how salesy they sound to others. Do you really want to come across as salesy?

When we hear the breathless “wonderful, amazing, just the best, everyone will want this, you must get this,” etc. all of us, as listeners, know. Suddenly it’s time for the bathroom.

The only one who’s clueless is the salesperson who can’t stop talking long enough to notice.

Here’s a little tip to make sure you don’t act like the typical sales type everyone loves to hate.

Say you like tennis. You’ve just met some new folks at a social at the church. Now, you’d like to find some possible tennis partners. Do you:

1) Tell everyone listening that tennis is the best, most amazing and wonderful sport out there?

2) Do you tell them that other sports are really inferior?

3) Do you keep calling folks who don’t play to persuade them to reconsider?

4) Do you have your tennis pro call them to see if HE can talk them into playing?

5) Do you mention tennis and how great it is each time you see your contacts?

What do you ask instead?

Uhh, maybe, “Do you know anyone who plays tennis? I love to play and would love to find people to play with.”

Products and business opportunities are like tennis. Personal preferences. Experience. (Yes you might get a total newbie. But it’s no fun to play tennis with someone who can’t play yet. When I’m looking to play, I look for players.)

How would you pose a question to see what the interest of someone else might be, for your product or business?

Comment below. We’ll help.

Have you seen the latest “Art of Recruiting MP3s here (and the A of R CDs, here)?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • I like to have people think about problems that may be affecting them. If they are interested, I direct them to my website which explains the product & business. They can then filter themselves out of the process, without pressure, if they don’t feel I will be able to help them.

    Here it is:

    “Maybe you can help me.

    You know how a lot of people have concerns about their future, just like me, with things like mortgage repayments, their children’s education, their health…

    Well I’m in the business of helping those people come up with solutions to their concerns.

    Do you know anybody around here who might like to take a look at my website to see if I can help them too?”

    Would appreciate any feedback.


  • Kim, your illustration of the tennis player is really helpful for showing us what we are trying to do. I understand the concept and totally agree with you. What I have a little trouble with is the difference between asking for a tennis partner and asking for someone who might want to buy a new racquet. Can you help me make the leap with this example?

  • Sue – you write: [What is] the difference between asking for a tennis partner and asking for someone who might want to buy a new racquet.

    First, to sell a good racquet, you’d have to be talking to people who already play tennis…especially if it’s a first date. So your mission would be to find people who already play tennis and love it. Who else would spend $150-200+?

    Second it would be good if YOU played well, and used the new racquet, so you could show the advantages over other racquets you have used, first hand.

    People who’ve never played before buy racquets too, but often, they just go to WalMart and get a cheapo. See if they like it or will do it more than once or twice.

    I assume that would not be your ideal customer.

    So given this analogy, you know what kinds of people you have to ask for, yes?

    People who…and who…and who might like to know about something new, especially for people are committed to their…like me.

    Does that help?

    There are lots of those kinds of examples in the Customer Enchilada CD program…

  • The tennis player analogy really opens ones eyes to the whole sales pitch mentality. Here is what I have crafted to say after reading and listening to the 100 customers/100 days course.

    My company is introducing a family of spa products to overworked women who are looking for a way to pamper themselves but dont have the time, like I used to. Do you know anyone who might like to know about spa products like that?

    I still have to shake myself now and again when I hear myself sounding salesy or talking too long.

    Kim, thanks for all you do to teach others how to reach out to others without losing ones dignity in the process.

  • Kim, I can see how this works with tennis, dogs, kids, camping etc. But I have a hard time when it’s business.

    I have tried and look forward to feedback.

    1. Do you know anyone who takes a multivitamin and might want a free report to see if they are safe?

    2. Do you know anyone who takes multivitamins like One A Day? I ask because the company I’m working with is offering a trade for a new class of whole food multi.

    3. Do you know anyone who eats organic? I’m really into “real” food and enjoy meeting like minded people.

    4. I’m looking for a person who is a health nut to market a new class of whole food multis. Do you know anyone like that?

    5. Do you know any health nuts who want to stay in peak condition who might want to know about a new whole food multi?

    6. I’m a blogger – I write about healthy eating – taking safe supplements and more. Do you know any online folks interested in health who might want look at my blog and market this safe supplement on their site?

    7. Do you know anyone who takes prenatal vitamins and might want to see if the ingredients are safe for them and baby?


  • My response to Darren:

    Please be watchful as you approach people with the “help” attitude. Many people out there believed that they are “self-sufficient” and don’t like to be helped. In their minds, they feel that having to be “helped” means they are “not capable”, “inferior” or “loosers”.

    To these people, offering your “help” they didn’t ask for could make them resist whatever you are promoting.

    I did met a person with such mentality and only learnt that later on from a friend of this person. Let’s share this with all marketers. Beware!

  • Robin,
    Have you listened to or read the book on 100 customers in 100 days? Because the whole idea is not to be in the persons’s face. By using the script it is so easy. I just did it a networking event tonight and I got really great response from people. Funnily enough people were turned off by the other MLM guy doing the traditional in your face stuff!

    Try it and work it and ask the End question as you have been shown. And use the like me – your hot button not theirs…. It works – I proved it tonight, people were asking me for more information…. That’s a first at a networking event…. They usually want to tell you all about their deal!

  • Hi Carol

    Seems funny to me to have someone ask if I’ve read Kim’s stuff. Yes I have read all of Kim’s training materials and done all her classes for the past 2 years.

    I didn’t realize I came across as “being in your face” I was not asking them to buy, simply asking if they knew anyone like me, that wants safe products , likes to learn and talk about food etc. These are my hot buttons. Of course this would not work in a networking group and luckily I don’t do these groups.

    Back to Kim’s books for me – looks like I got off track – it is harder than asking if someone knows any dog lovers, now that I can do.


  • Carol,
    Were you leading with your product or with the opportunity? If it was the opportunity, would you tell us what you said?


  • Sorry all.. It took me a few days to get back to this… I’ve been a bit busy with my new recruits!

    When I go out networking in the community, I go out and tell people I market products…. This is key. I never promote my business ie. as looking for recruits…

    In contrast…..My colleagues in other network marketing companies arel at the networking event promoting THEIR businesses…It is respectful to remember that.. People who are promoting their media, internet, cleaning, insurance, coaching business etc. usually are not looking for another business to add to their already stressed lives. And…. Telling people you are looking for people who……blah blah.. your product fix ….And I said to these folks since I was standing in front of them…. If you know of anyone who might like to know about a product like that, I would really appreciate the referral…. (We all know why we are at the networking events, so that is not in your face).

    A tip here….. When I followed up after the event… I did NOT pitch me or my product…. I just said how great it was to meet them and how I looked forward to seeing them again.. If I could help ie. my Hubby is an accountant, so I passed on a couple of cards to him and told them that I had done this…..

    I got lots of follow up emails, selling me stuff…. People tend to remember this…. Ah yes, that Carol, she never did tell me all about her business. Next time I see her….I really must ask her… Well if they do great, if not, also great… I keep being friendly… I stand out from the “Let me tell you how great my product….My deal… I am…. etc…

    And Robin… My comments were meant to be constructive, not destructive… We are all comrades in arms here….. And sometimes someone who doesn’t know you can possibly trigger a thought process that might make you go back and take another look…. That was all.

    Good luck all… We are all making our luck by all this great training….. And having fun too!


    To my fellow networkers… I truly believe we can make a huge difference here if we keep behaving professionally and just be different… Back to the cracked pots Kim….

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