If you read the title of this blog (and…I’m going to go out on a limb here and hypothesize that you did), you may be wondering,
“What the heck?!?
However, I stand by the title…at least…in one specific situation:
When you are conducting that initial sales interview a lot of things don’t matter (at least, in the opening portion of that meeting):
The stories of past customer success with your product or service
Those personal stories you’ve crafted and edited to help the customer know why you are passionate about the product
Those jokes and one-liners that you think are “oh-so-endearing” to the potential customer
That pitch you’ve worked on for hours
Those rebuttals and responses you’ve crafted for hours with your sales trainer
All of those things? They go completely out the window as soon as you sit in front of the client or say, “Hello” on the phone. They don’t matter.
What does matter?
The person sitting in front of you (or on the other end of the phone).
That’s it. Period. End of story.
So, what is a salesperson to do when faced with this harsh reality?
Then shut up.
If you want to earn – and that’s a key point – if you want to EARN your potential customer’s attention, trust, and money – you have to take “you” out of the equation at the beginning of the conversation.
Sales isn’t about the product. It isn’t about your delivery. It isn’t even about how well you prepare. No, while each of those is important, what is more important is this: Sales is about the client – their needs, their fears, what excites them, and what makes them want to run for the hills.
Make the customer feel heard by listening, asking follow-up questions, taking notes, and confirming you understand.
Make them feel like a person; make them feel heard.
Then and only then can you begin to earn their business.
Bonus: This isn’t just limited to sales – try it on a date, at dinner with your children, or…well…just about anywhere.
Until next time, become genuinely interested in others and make today great!