How Your Spider Senses Can Cost You Money


Remember how Spiderman had that ability to sense when something was wrong…you know his “spider senses were tingling”. Would that be handy in sales? Sure, but few salespeople (despite what you may have heard) actually have superpowers. Sometimes we think we have have “spider senses” when it comes to whether our customer is going to buy or not but relying on a superpower you don’t have, could cause you to miss big sales and big opportunities.

On today’s show discover:

  • … you really don’t have spider senses (at least not when it comes to sales);
  • … why focusing on “NO” is a good way to go;
  • … the simple technique top salespeople use to earn big commissions!  

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Sales is full of surprises! Like when you’re working with someone you thought for certain wasn’t going to buy and then all of a sudden they say “I’ll take it”

If you’ve been in sales for any length of time, chances are really good this has happened to you. It’s still a surprise because it doesn’t happen that much. Most of the time when you think someone isn’t going to buy, you’re spot on, right?    

Prejudging Costs Money

You know prejudging customers is something that has probably resulted in hundreds of thousands of miss-opportunities. Have you ever said “I knew she wasn’t going to buy” (don’t worry we’ve all said it before) but the question is did your pre-conceived opinion influence what you did? Did she not buy because of the way you approached the sale? … and for that matter would you rather be

  • right and poor or
  • wrong and rich?

You know we sometimes think we can tell if our customer is going to buy and we use things like, they way someone talks, the questions they ask, the way they look and even where they live (none of which is an accurate indicator of someone’s desire to purchase a product)

When you approach a customer thinking they aren’t going to buy it influences what you do. You don’t take as much time, you skip steps, you go right to the close. It can even impact the tone of your voice and how you come across. And what happens? The customers who weren’t going to buy won’t and some of the customers that were going to buy won’t….but you’ll be right…they weren’t going to buy anyway… (just hard to make that car payment being right).

But what if you approached every customer as if they were going to buy? How would that change things? You wouldn’t cut corners, you’d have a more enthusiastic tone in your voice and you’d be friendly.  And the customers that were going to buy will buy and some of the customers that weren’t going to buy, will buy too!

A True Story

Boyd was a salesman at a local Chevy dealership. He was sitting at his desk finishing up some paperwork when he noticed a Blind man in the showroom with his seeing-eye dog.

He also noticed that all the other salespeople were ignoring him and he thought  to himself “he must be lost”.  So he went up and asked the blind man if he needed any help. The blind- man (Roger) said yes, and told Boyd he was looking to buy a truck.

Boyd’s first though was “this guy must be messing with me, but I’ll play along.” “What type of truck are you looking for Roger?”

“I want a Black Silverado LTZ with Navigation and the works.”

Again, Boyd was skeptical but kept playing along. “Sounds great Roger, who is the truck for?”

“It’s for me”

“Roger, I don’t mean to be rude but you’re blind. How could you drive a truck?”

“Oh, well my son has a hardship license and chauffeurs me around.”

In the end, Roger bought a $43,000 dollar truck right on the spot. Boyd was thrilled! The other salespeople were kicking themselves for listening to their “spider senses” and ignoring a blind man shopping for a car.  

Going for No

But can your spider senses hurt you even after the customer says yes? Yes!

After your customer says “Yes” to your main offer your next job is to Go for the No. What? Why should a salesperson EVER go for the no?

Well here’s a quick story from the book Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There by Richard Fenton that explains it.

A new salesman just made a huge sale over $1000.00 in clothes to one customer. He was really excited because his District Manager was visiting the store and he was sure he’d get some kudos and “atta boys” out of it.

Sure enough the DM came over and congratulated him on a fine sale and shook his hand. Then he asked “What did the customer say no to?” The salesman said… “nothing he wanted all of it.” “I understand, said the DM but at what point did he say, no?” Slowly, the salesman understood that he was the one who had ended the shopping spree not the customer. Perhaps the customer would’ve purchased more.

Sometimes we let our own biases get in the way of opportunity. For the salesman spending $1000 on clothing was the max he would ever spend but the customer may have a $5000 limit.

Turn Off Your Spider Sense While You’re on The Sales Floor

We’ve talked a lot about money in this episode and of course sales is about helping your customer solve a problem but none of us can afford to do that for free. The point is, when you prejudge a customer and assume they aren’t going to buy, you can’t help them and you make no money. It’s a lose, lose situation.  And if you impose your spending limit on your customer you take away their opportunity for another product or service and limit the money you make.

The pros know to treat every customer as if they are going to buy and once the say yes Pros “Go for the NO” and continue offering helpful products and services until the customer decides they have everything they need.

Today’s One Two Punch

Treat Every Customer Like They’re Going to Buy

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