Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Sell Fast with Impact

New method speeds up sales

Just when you think there's nothing new after the Internet, Andy Paul, author of Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company's Sales comes up with a method he claims miraculously reduces the time to get and close a sale.

The method he describes in his book requires specific steps that make up what he calls MILT. That stands for Maximum Impact, Least Time.

. Here are some of those steps:
Sell with Maximum Impact in the Least Time. The sales representative evaluates every step of the customer's buying process. To insure she is absolutely responsive she thoroughly prepares to immediately answer every question posed, with no need for time-wasting follow up. She has everything needed to take an order and close the deal right away.  He or she may even ask for questions or topics to focus on at a meeting so that she can prepare ahead and be ready to address those concerns completely. 
Always Sell with the Sharp End of the Stick.  The selling company positions its deepest product knowledge closest to the customer. They make sure that every representative has the skills and experience to guarantee that every communication and interaction (whether by email, meeting, phone call, or product demo, etc) delivers the value required to meet and exceed the customer's requirements. If other peoples' expertise is needed, they are utilized immediately using the best technology available.
Sell Low.  The representative changes her tactics from only interacting with the top management tier to selling directly to the functional and mid-level managers, technical professionals, and support staff that are the actual decision makers for her product.  The representative recognizes that the she can demonstrate exceptional value, building a relationship with the client that can be nurtured and developed over the long term, by selling to the real decision makers at the customer. Getting a smaller order secured faster is often a better option.  Selling lower in the organization enables you to do just that. 
Paul's book also details specific zero-time selling tactics designed to help people achieve and utilize MILT.  Here are some of them:
1. How you sell is as important as what you sell.  You must build trust and differentiate your company while creating value for your customer by how you sell your product or service.
2. If you are talking to a customer, it is urgent. The Internet has made it possible for customers to get 70-80% of the information they need to make an informed purchase decision about your product or service before they contact you for the first time. If you are talking to a customer, they want answers now and you had better deliver what they need to know now because there is no second chance.
3. Everything happens now (unless it has already happened). The timeframe for every sales action is now. Get a lead, follow up now. Get a question from a customer, answer it now. Of course, not everything can happen immediately, but the most important things can and must.
4. Measure. Fine-tune. Measure.  You must develop a system of responsiveness, delivering content in zero-time. Every step of your sales process must continually be measured and improved with the goal of reducing to zero the amount of time required to deliver that content. 
5. Every customer is the center of your universe. The least expensive, least time-consuming and least competitive sales are those you make to your existing customers. To ensure a steady show of orders you must practice unconditional support.

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