Lunch and Learn – July 20, 2012: Getting Checks

Eric F. Gilbert

Eric explaining how to make leads turn into checks.

This past Friday at the historical Broadway Bar in downtown Sarasota people gathered to hear Eric F. Gilbert talk about how to turn leads into money.

He began his talk telling us how was led in this direction. You see, he did not want to do sales. He even told his bosses that he’d do ANYTHING but sales.

But the thing is, he actually cared about the clients. He got to know them and genuinely care about them. They began to call and ask for him regarding their accounts because they trusted him. Then they began asking for him regarding new business. Before he knew it he was making his company a lot of money. It was the beginning of a new path for Eric.

He came to share with us how he feels he accomplished his success.

The very first piece of wisdom he shared was:

People don’t buy products, they buy people.

How do you do that? You simply ask them about them.

Eric shared a story about a baseball bat won as a sales award. The difference between genuine and con would be how the salesperson referred to the baseball bat. Do they ask about the bat? Or do they just start talking about baseball?

If you wanted to know about the person – and show you care to know them – you’d ask what it’s significance was. Even if it is baseball-related you’ve made it personal.

If you spent an hour getting to know someone but didn’t pitch a product it is ok – you are the product.

The next point he made:

People don’t buy on price – they buy on comfort

If they are not comfortable with you they won’t buy UNLESS the price is worth the risk.

Many times you can win a bid even if you were higher because they are comfortable with you. They trust you.

Here’s an important point he discussed:

Never propose a solution that does not include what the customer asked for

Believe it or not, this is a common mistake. The customer comes and tells you what they want and you being the ‘expert’ and knowing better, you present them with what you think is best.

Well you cannot do that because it sends a message to the client that you are not listening to them. That you do not care what they think. That their opinion is not important nor does it matter.

If you feel their choice is not what they ‘really need’ ask questions to find out why they chose what they did. Then you not only offer them your solution, but theirs as well so they have a choice. Additionally, know your competition so you can offer them something unique.


Always discuss the budget before giving a proposal

You don’t want to offer a solution that costs much more or much less than what they planned to spend. Let’s say they wanted to spend $30,000 and you showed them a proposal worth $2,000. What do you think the client would surmise?

And even if they say they do not know what the budget is or is not willing to give you numbers at first, if you have made them comfortable you will be able to get at least a ballpark amount.

It would seem the most important point to take away from the Lunch and Learn was to care about your clients. Genuinely care about them… and if you don’t they’ll be able to tell.

To summarize:

  • People don’t buy products – they buy people
  • People don’t buy on price – they buy on comfort
  • Never propose a solution that does not include what the client asked for
  • Always discuss budget

We at BarCamp would like to thank Eric for sharing these points with us and we’d also like to thank those who came out to the Broadway Bar to listen.

See you next time when we will have Shauna Vee teaching us Project Management: Learn how to go from Overwhelmed to “Mission Accomplished” in 5 simple steps on August 17th at the Broadway Bar!

And for more information on the happenings at BarCamp Sarasota, visit our site at