One highly anticipated event plus one meeting where I was the buyer both had my stomach in knots. These were perfect examples of how to NEVER sell.
Time was committed on a Saturday to attend the event. It promised to be a highly creative crowd.
The problem began and ended with the organizer. “Charles” was proud of his accomplishments in attracting clientele. His charm faded when he stated, “Do marketing like a drug dealer. First attract clients on a low fee, get them hooked, and then keep increasing the price.” What?!
Next, Charles announced he had a great way for attendees to make extra money. His suggestion was to put a different cover on new books, change the order up of the content, and then slap one’s name on the cover. He essentially said copyright laws may be ignored.
I quickly left the room.
I was investigating possibilities for a new phone. Within a few minutes, I knew not to trust the salesman, because he:
- Spoke almost exclusively to my husband while ignoring me
- Avoided my questions
- Purposefully complicated answers
To make matters worse, he treated us as schoolchildren by turning on a meaningless video when another prospective client walked in the door. As soon as he passed across the threshold, we walked out.
I have always advocated to build relationships wherever you might be. One never knows whether the person near you might be your next prospect.
Be polite, be kind, and be helpful.
By beginning meetings from the other person’s perspective, the process of building sound relationships will take root. Leaving your goals behind to help solve the person’s problems first will lead to a grateful clientele.
Over the years, I met strangers who over time became colleagues and friends:
- Jim Beach and I were introduced years ago when he taught entrepreneurship at Stanford.
His AM/FM, School for Startups Radio, has me featured me as his guest; this is the second time.
- Mary Mora of MGM Speakers, and I met at a networking event many years ago
The podcast is live here; this is the third time as a her guest.
- Donnie Tuttle of Sales Parrot, and I recently met via Twitter
My guest interview on Donnie’s podcast is live here
- NewVoiceMedia, recently sent an email with a request for my articles
“Seize the Opportunity to Take Your Best Shot” is now published and promoted to their networks
This is noteworthy because all of these interviews and article posted today!
- Do you leave your goals at the threshold to speak with full attention on the client?
- Are you striving to improve the situation for each client?
- Are testimonials and referrals filling your pipeline?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, take time to seriously consider where improvement may be made. A pushed sale is never long-lasting. However, thoughtful conversation and sound relationships produce a returning and referring clientele.
- Avoid hard core tactics
- Stay away from unethical people
- Answer questions directly and honestly
- Treat men and women equally
- Don’t push what you are stuck with, instead, speak to your best
- Be honest as to whether you can fully solve the problem
- Suggest other vendors if you are not able to help
- When questions seem unusual, inquire as to the reason for it
- Make the prospective client’s priority your priority too
- Ask for budget and “when would you like to get started?”
Following these guidelines will lead you to the Smooth Sale!
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