General Sales Practices: E.M.B.E.R.


The great sales trainer, Larry Wilson, taught that before we could sell our prospect, we needed to “warm them up.”  He recommended using an ember.  Now don’t get the wrong idea!  He did not mean we were to set them ablaze.  In this case Larry used ember as an easy to remember acronym.  E.M.B.E.R. stands for “Establishing a Mutually Beneficial Empathic Relationship.”  Some salespersons today might say that we need to create a “Win Win” relationship with the prospect.

For both the salesperson and the prospect to believe that the purchasing of a product is good for each of them; three questions must answered in the affirmative.  These questions may or may not necessarily be asked allowed but they must be understood within the minds of both parties or the sale will not take place.  These three questions are:

1.     Do the benefits of this specific product meet the exact needs of the prospect?

2.     Is this specific product the best available to meet the prospects’ needs?

3.     Is the price of this specific product the best price available?

When both the salesperson and the prospect believe that the answer to all three of these questions is “yes”, then the sale will happen.  The sales process should provide the answers to those questions.  Following is how the sales process may do that well.

In the Qualifying part of the sales process the salesperson could use the “Magic Wand” question.  It could sound something like this:

“Mr. and Mrs. Jones, let’s imagine that we wave a “Magic Wand” and it is three months from today.  How would things be different because of your owning this product for the past three months?”

The answers the prospect will give the salesperson will identify exactly what their desires are for this product.  Next the salesperson needs to strengthen the prospects desire for the prospect by moving them from what they “think” to what they “feel.”  That can be done by asking the following question:

“How do those differences make you feel?”

As the prospect is describing how the meeting of their needs makes them feel, they are heightening their own interest in acquiring the product.  Now the Professional Salesperson would move into the Presentation part of the sales process and know how to present the Features, Advantages and Benefits of this product so that it honestly represented how this product would meet their needs.  This presentation should cause the prospect to believe that this product is the best available to meet their needs.

The third question regarding the amount of the investment can be answered by the salesperson in the Closing part of the sales process.  A good technique to help answer the price question is the famous Doug Edwards “Reduction to the Ridiculous Close.”  This technique divides the total investment by the lifetime use of the product to create a “small investment per use” mind set in the mind of the prospect.  To explain how to use that technique let us assume the purchase is a $1500 Lawn Tractor.  The closing dialog could sound something like the following:

Salesperson:  “Mr. and Mrs. Jones, would you agree that during the Spring, Summer and Fall you would probably use your new Lawn Tractor on the average of once per week to either cut the grass or remove the fallen leaves?”

Prospects:  “Yes”

Salesperson:  “That would be at least 26 times each year.  And as you know this Lawn Tractor will most likely last you at least 10 years.  So you would use it, over the next ten years, approximately 260 times.  Would you agree?”

Prospects:  “Yes, that sounds about right.”

Salesperson:  “Well, that means that by owning this wonderful Lawn Tractor at our excellent price of only $1500, your lawn would look exactly like you, your friends and your neighbors would love for it to look for only $5.77 each time you used it.  What day this week would you like us to deliver it to your home?”

These prospects will buy this Lawn Tractor because: (1) the Qualifying part of the sales process answered Question 1, (2) the Presentation part of the sales process answered Question 2, and (3) the Closing part of the sales process answered Question 3.  So go warm up some prospects with your new found ember and create lasting sales and clients!

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1 Comment for this entry

March 11th, 2011 on 6:37 am

Great piece, very enlightening.