Full and original article posted on Selling Power (page 2)

John Connor couldn’t believe what he had just heard. It had been a long day that had included a four-hour drive along Interstate 37 on a steamy April morning in Texas. Connor, president of Quality Assessments Mystery Shoppers Inc., was meeting with the owner of six fast-food restaurants in Corpus Christi to pitch his firm’s service: sending undercover evaluators to assess employees’ customer service skills. The meeting had gone well so far. The prospect saw the need for third-party assessments and liked that Connor had a track record in food service. Connor had every reason to expect that he’d be able to strike a deal.

But then, the zinger. The prospect sat up in his seat, picked up a pencil, and looked Connor straight in the eye. “Before I can sign a contract, I’m going to need to know your costs – and see proof,” he said. “For all my vendors, I only allow a maximum of 10 percent profit margin.”

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