360-891-6113 [email protected]

I’ll Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse…

One look at my name and you’ll know that I have an Italian background. You should also know that I’m from Chicago, and yes, I really do have an Uncle Vito. So I speak with some authority when talking about a “Mafia Offer. “


What is a mafia offer? It’s an offer too good to refuse. And it’s one of the most powerful ways of increasing sales and margins at the same time.


The problem: We constantly hear from customers that their biggest concern is cost. I’m not about to suggest that cost is not important. But focusing sales efforts on beating the competition by cost is a losing strategy. Why? A simple stroke of the pen can change cost. So it’s always a race to the bottom.


The solution: When we go a little deeper into what cost means to a buyer, many new opportunities can begin to surface.

  1. First and foremost, listen to your customers. What is their most significant need? (ie. Speed, quality, unit cost, timing, flexibility, volume, etc.)
  2. Make sure you can effectively and efficiently take care of that most significant need.
  3. Solving a customer’s problem ALWAYS MEANS that their sales increase or their costs drop. It means simply that they are making more money. Any proposed solution should specifically address ROI (Return on Investment).
  4. Check your margins. Think win/win. You deserve the reward for creating customer value.


A study conducted by IBM showed the following about sales people:

  • 80% are product pushers. Product pushers drop off literature. or focus on presenting features and benefits to a buyer. How do buyers react? They become skeptical and look for objections. After all, they need to protect themselves. Product pushers also force more mental work on buyers because the buyer must evaluate the merits of the deal.
  • 15% are solution sellers. Solution sellers listen carefully to customers, and then craft the best possible solution that meets their needs. They sincerely care about the customer.
  • 5% are “trusted advisors.” A trusted advisor has a very close relationship with the customer and has earned respect over time by being open and honest. The customer has so much trust, that she/he will seek out the sales person for advice on how to handle something. Why? Because they know the sales person will NEVER do something to harm them, even if it means turning down an occasional sales opportunity.


This should be great news for you (unless you’re a product pusher). It means that if you care enough to really listen to your customers, focus on their most significant needs, and model your sales process around that, you’ll be able to make them an offer they can’t refuse…


These are learned skills. If you train and review your sales people around these principles, you should expect your sales AND margins to increase. 


P.S. Send me an email if you’d like a list typical most significant buyer needs.