An Honest Conversation - Not A Presentation
The old time traditional sales manager and sales person are going to have a tough time with this concept of a sales call being an honest conversation with prospects, not a presentation. Now I'm not saying that you never make a presentation. At some point in time you have to fulfill the expectations of your prospect as to what it is that you do. However traditionally, the focus has been on product knowledge and the presentation of same, not to listening and being open to what the prospect really needs.
Unfortunately, all the big mouthed, obnoxious, pushy sales people always seem to call on your prospects right before you do. So, by the time you call on them they have developed a hardy and well planned defense system. Then you walk in looking, sounding, smelling and acting like a typical sales person and guess what? Let the games begin! Prospects are not bad people, but they have been taught to act that way by bad sales people. The components of the prospects defense aystem are:
- Show no real interest.
- Mislead so you don't find any vulnerable spots.
- Gather free consulting and other information in the form of prices, specifications, uniques solutions to problems, etc, (that they will use against you later on).
- Lead you on into thinking you have a chance at a sale, (in case they need more free information).
- Encourage you to "chase them" through voice mail, stalls and objections and finally tuned gatekeepers.
Don't Be Traditional
It is the actions and words of the sales person that triggers this defense system. If you want to sit down and have an honest conversation with your prospect or customer, you must prevent their defense system from automatically kicking in. Here are some pointers on how not to have the Prospects System kick in:
- Learn to not act like, sound like, smell like or talk like a traditional sales person.
- Never intentionally or unintentionally intimidate your prospect or client.
- Learn to be "buyer centered" not "I centered" in your conversations and actions.
- Study the psychology of selling so you understand the behavior and actions of your prospects and clients. You can then move into their comfort zones.
- Your sales call should consist of interview and normal conversation. If you were to tape your sales call would it sound like a normal discussion betwee two interested parties or a one-way conversation?
Remove The Pressure
If you follow this advice, you will remove the pressure your prospects and clients are feeling. With the pressure gone, there is no need for a defense system. Without the defense system you can have an honest and intelligent conversation with your prospect or client and quickly determine if you can help them or not. Rarely are we selling products or services that will be useful to everybody. If it is not a fit, find out quickly, shake hands and part friends. You should not feel like you have just left a battle at the end of your sales call.