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    Profound Relationships of Mutual Trust and Respect in Twenty Minutes
    Relationship Marketing Report, Vol.11, Issue X, November, 1998

    At 9:45 AM June Avery dials the 144th phone number on her list. The prospect answers personally, rather than his voice mail. He's only the eighteenth prospect she's reached in this second hour of calling. She quickly and courteously disqualified the first seventeen; they were all Low Probability Prospects. June presents a brief (twenty-one seconds) "prospecting offer" for one of her company's products and then asks the prospect if what she offered is what he wants. The Prospect says, "Yes" and she asks "Why?"

    Five minutes later the prospect is telling June that when he was in high school he took an aptitude test. That test indicated that he would be good at engineering. That's why he went to Drexel University. Ten minutes later the prospect is relating why he was so hostile towards his father when he was nine years old, and how much he resented his mother for not doing anything about the situation. June asks, "How do you get along with your parents, now?" The prospect answers that they have a very good relationship, now. June asks him what he means, and he describes their present relationship and how it came about.

    At that point June decides that the prospect is someone whom she trusts and respects. She knows that he feels the same way about her, and that they've established a deep emotional linkage. What did she do to get the prospect to reveal so much about himself at a deep emotional level? She asked the right questions. How does she know what question to ask? It's a simple "Relationship Inquiry" process, that is easy to learn, in which the prospect always suggests the next question to ask. Why did the prospect reveal so much about himself? Because he wanted to - the vast majority of people (over 99%) do. What made June decide that the prospect is someone she can trust and respect? Part of it is intuition based on the prospect's history and part of it is that in reconciling his differences with his parent, without any lingering grudge, he showed generosity of spirit that is usually indicative of someone who is trustworthy.

    Next June begins a series of Discovery or Disqualification questions relating to how the prospect will buy the product she sells, how he will use it, and why. Each time the prospect answers one of those twenty-seven questions he makes a deeper commitment to buy the product from June, and confirms that he is a "High Probability Prospect" or he disqualifies himself. At any time June has the option to:

    1. Terminate the sales process for now and call again at a strategically better time.
    2. Terminate the sales process for that product with that prospect for the near or distant future.
    3. Disqualify the prospect's company as a potential customer until that person is in a decision making capacity
    4. Arrange for an outside salesperson to visit the prospect and deal with issues that June cannot handle by phone, fax or email.
    5. Complete the entire sales transaction with the customer or prospect by phone at that time, or in one or more phone conversations with that person, and/or with other decision-makers and decision authorities at the prospect/customer company. Alternatively, an outside salesperson, if one is assigned to the account may engage in Relationship Inquiries with other decision authorities and assist in, or take over, completing the sale process.


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