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Cutco Can Do It; Why Can’t We!!!

If you look close enough to this picture:

you will see my name “SANSONE” etched into my new Cutco Cutlery set. What’s amazing to me is that I didn’t think I needed a new set of knives, I certainly didn’t have any difficulty cutting my last steak.

So why do I own them ???? Because Cutco is smart enough to train their college-age, door-to-door salesman to ask for referrals. That’s right, my wife’s name was given to this young man from one of her friends and he cold called my wife and asked to set up a presentation of his company’s product. He was knowledgeable, polite and asked for the sale. Then after he got the sale he said “most of my business comes from referrals; who do you know that might be interested in a new set of knives? My wife was so satisfied she happily referred a few or her friends, not sure if any of them bought but that really doesn’t matter. What matters is that Cutco is smart enough and disciplined enough to make it part of their sales process to always be networking and ask for referrals from their satisfied customers.

The question I put to you is: why can’t we get our salespeople to ask for referrals? We all know that referrals close at a higher percentage, have a higher gross profit margin, have a higher CSI and cost almost nothing to get. You would think that this would be one the first things we teach our sales people like Cutco taught their part-time employee.

Can you imagine how much fun we could have and how much money we could make if more of our showroom traffic were referred from satisfied customers, as opposed to the price banging we all do with the online shoppers.

We all know the answer to the question…. It takes a process, training AND work. Every one of us knows a few salespeople who ask for referrals religiously and they are our top producers. Why not demand the same from all of our salespeople. Let’s at least try!!

Paul Sansone Jr.


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  • Great post Paul. Here’s my spin on why “Car Salespeople” don’t ask for referrals.

    1. Haven’t been trained on how to ask. Why? Because their managers never did it.
    2. Fear of rejection.
    3. Other deep rooted fears.
    4. Not managed to ask (see #1)
    5. No need. With walk-in traffic they have the mindset they don’t need referrals.
    6. It’s extra work. Most salespeople take the path of least resistance.
    7. I could add a few more, but those are 6 good reasons.

    Solution: Make referrals part of the paperwork. Print up a fancy-dancy “Perferred Customer Referral Sheet.”  Have room for at least 10 entries. If the salesperson at time of delivery does nothing more than just hand the customer the sheet to fill out, (Here, I need you to fill this out) they will average 5 referrals per sale.

    If your store is selling 200 units a month that’s 1,000 referrals for the store. If your salespeople get weak in the knees and only close 2% of the 1000, that’s 20 deals. @ 2K a copy that’s $40,000 straight to the bottom line. That’s an easy $500,000 at the end of the year. If you get your salespeople trained, you’ll make over $1,000,000 just in referral business.

    Also, use referrals to close deals. *T.O. Manager or salesperson* “This deal is way below what we would normally sell this vehicle for. But here’s what I’ll do. Give me 10 referrals of people you know that might be in the market either now or somewhere down the road and we’ll take this deal.” This works if you’re sitting on a 4 pounder or 2K under. Good luck!

  • My first Sales Job was selling CUTCO for Vector marketing. I would suggest every aspiring sales person cut their teeth selling these knives they are a wonderful product but cost more than most of my customers kitchen appliances. Great experience 15 years ago and I still use those tools till this day.



  • simple

  • Nice!

  • STRONG!!! 

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