Get More Profitable Clients with a Vegetable Brush

  Want better results from networking?

You can get much better results from your efforts when networking and calling on clients with this tried and true, time-tested  method.

It’s what I learned as a Fuller Brush salesman that you can use to get more profitable prospects. Don’t turn your nose up at this. It really, really works.

At one point in my life I was working my way through college—U of M grad school. To help support my wife and little girl, I became a Fuller Brush man and went door-to-door selling their products. Their quality products sold at a premium price, just like yours might.

When Fuller Brush trained me, they used a classic selling technique that financial advisors and business owners would do well to emulate.

Let me explain. I find when coaching many financial advisors and business owners, they go about prospecting and selling in the wrong way. They talk about how good their services and products are. They describe their lofty mission statements. They talk about awards they have won. It’s not that this is bad. It can be very good if used in the right order and at the right time.

Let me tell you what I mean by telling a story of one of my clients. He was a financial advisor who had worked at Dell Computer for many years as a software engineer. He felt unfulfilled working with things and wanted to help people. He became a financial advisor.

He didn’t see it until I pointed out to him that it would be natural for him to target Dell employees. After some discussion and research, we targeted top level Dell executives nearing retirement age.

Because he understood their dreams, aspirations and problems, he created a great ad that created rapport.

So he would approach a prospect with this packet that was all about himself. How he once worked for Dell and understood their culture and their special needs. Pretty powerful stuff. It was well done. He stood out from the other advisors.

But the doors barely opened. It was because he didn’t know what every Fuller Brush man knew. You don’t lead with who you are or how great your products are. That’s important, but comes later.

When I was a Fuller Brush man and someone opened the door I didn’t show a flyer of my products or open my sample case. The first thing I did was to pull out a vegetable brush, hold it where she could easily grasp it and say, “Here’s a free vegetable brush.” Practically every single time it was accepted. Then nobody slammed the door when I opened my sample case and showed my line of products.

They all listened. Not everybody bought something, but most really tried. They looked everything over. Many even apologized for not needing anything this time. But most bought something. Those vegetable brushes made me enough money to get my Masters degree in clinical social work.

And so it is with all selling. Break the ice by giving away something of value—a report that shares some of your expertise, some free advice.

I do it every chance I get with my free online marketing course, 7 Secrets You Can Use Today to Quickly Attract More Profitable Clients.

 Here’s How to Use It, Step-By-Step,
When Calling on Prospects or Networking.

After a little small talk and asking someone about their business, wait until they ask what you do. Answer with your well-crafted, thoroughly practiced, unique selling benefit (or elevator conversation.) When they express interest, like asking for your card, you offer to email them your version of the vegetable brush. Ask if it’s all right to call them to make sure they got it and answer any questions they might have.

Then they are expecting your call and you have a reason to call. During the call you tactfully find out more about their needs and problems. If you see where you can help them solve their problems, you can offer to help. An advisor could offer a second opinion about his portfolio. A marketing consultant could offer a free assessment of his marketing plan. A business coach could offer a complementary strategy session to help him grow his business faster.

A couple of my clients use the vegetable brush strategy effectively when cold calling on business owners. Admittedly cold calling is doing things the hard way, but some advisors use it as a last resort. I even know of one advisor who prefers cold calling, but that’s another story.

So craft the most attractive vegetable brush you can. Offer it to your prospects. Use the routine I described over and over. You become more skillful with practice and keep getting better results. Your prospecting efforts will become much more effective.

Do you have your version of the vegetable brush? Are you clear about how to craft one? Do you know when and how to offer it? I would love to hear your comments below. I promise to respond.

Wishing you a rich and rewarding business and life,

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