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Three stages of the dummy curve

In our last blog, we put the “Dummy Curve” in action, showing how being a “dummy” can help you in the sales process. We show an example using a young, inexperienced salesperson named Carlos, who had great results when he didn’t know much about what he was selling, terrible results after training on the products, and then good results when he went back to being a “dummy.” “. The moral of the story is: Carlos became a better salesman once he reached the final stage, realizing that he could use the fictional approach to his advantage.

Carlos went through each of the three stages. The first stage was the genuine dummy stage. Carlos was new and knew nothing about heaters, but his attentiveness and willingness to listen to prospects’ problems boosted his sales ability. The second stage was the amateur stage. He went to heater school and came back an expert on many different products and was eager to show everyone his new knowledge. Unfortunately, that didn’t work very well. After careful self-analysis, Carlos entered the third stage, which we call the professional stage. It’s where Lieutenant Columbo spends his time solving crimes and where the real sales professionals spend their valuable time.

Remember: In the pro phase, Carlos injected a bit of Lt. Columbo into his more informed and slick approach. He pretended that he didn’t know as much as he did. Back to the mannequin stage, only this time, he was a mannequin on purpose.

what were those “fictional” stuff? Act vulnerable, ask questions, admit lack of understanding, and ask the prospect for help. We call these kinds of things “play dumb” Each time Carlos played dummy, he gathered more information, information that led him to the prospects’ problems, concerns, goals, and ultimately, pains. This is the meaty stuff that makes for effective sales. What would happen if you did what Carlos did and became a “silly” again?


When you play dumb during a conversation with a potential customer, you might find yourself asking questions like: “Can you help me with this? I don’t quite understand what you mean.” Most of the time, the prospect will elaborate. you could also say, “When you talk about this, could you explain it to me as if I were a six year old?” Try it. If you get in the habit of asking questions like this, I guarantee you’ll start to gain a much deeper understanding of where the lead is coming from and you’ll be able to establish trust.

Many sales professionals fear using the dummy curve because they think to be “in his game” It means having all the answers. In fact, the real sales professionals are the ones who are adept at determining how much deception to do, given the situation, and what questions to ask next. The amount of simulation you do should always be determined by the behavior of the prospect. You always want the prospect to be in a slightly more acceptable position than you present as a salesperson. Once again, think about what Lieutenant Columbo does. It makes the suspect feel superior to him. Your goal is to do the same, but luckily, there is no murder case to solve.

Curious? Why would you want the other person to feel better than you? It is simple. You will feel good through the empowerment of helping others. In other words, by acting a little more vulnerable than the prospect, you help the prospect feel better by answering questions that uncover her pain.

The degree to which you act vulnerable, the level of OK-ness What you show and act depends on the prospect. By saying something like “Can you help me with this?” you’re basically saying, “Wow, you’re better than me. Can you give me a hand?” Most people will respond positively to this approach. If you still have doubts about trying it honestly, let me ask you this: What happens if you do the opposite? What happens if you outperform the prospect? I’ll tell you, the same thing that happened to Carlos in the second phase of the Dummy Curve. The lead will shut up and close, leaving you with no sale. What fool wants that result?

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