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At this point, many sales people give a yelp of protest at this advice. They want to dive right into their product and services, and fire up their “All About Us” presentations right away!
But if you want to develop a long-term relationship, slow down! Give it some thought! By telling a new prospect that you’ve listened to what they said and that you want to think about it, you’re showing them that you respect their ideas. That’s flattering stuff. And by asking for a second meeting, you’ve also assumed close. In this case, close is simply a second meeting.
And of course, your prospects will definitely want to talk to you again! Everyone loves a good listener. Plus, your new prospects will want to hear big payoff from investing in their first meeting with you. And guess what? By slowing things down, you’ve favorably predisposed your prospects into liking what you have to say. Why? Because if they’re busy, they’re thinking subconsciously, “Now, why am I meeting with this person again? I know, pastries are good, but that’s not real reason, although I sure would like another one sometime soon. Oh, I know why -- it’s probably because I like this person. I’m sure I’ll like her products, too. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have agreed to meet with her again!”
So ask for a second meeting and go home. Go back to your office. Armed with information you’ve gleaned from careful questioning and listening to your prospects’ concerns, you can custom-build a PowerPoint conversation that’s “All About Them”. This is way more effective than typical “All About Us” presentation.
And remember, Grandma didn’t have any use for bullet points! Bullets are for shooting people, and pointing is bad manners! So when you develop your PowerPoint conversation, remember what Grandma really loved: relevant, entertaining, illustrative stories. Make sure you tell a few good stories to your client in every conversation. Bullets can injure and kill: but a good story can really help you sell!
Put it all together… A little coffee, a little treat, a little conversation: that’s essence of beginning and developing an ongoing customer connection. A series of conversations over delightful treats can set a beautiful stage for building a long-term business or personal relationship. This approach is much better than plunking down a notebook computer filled with fancy graphics, animations, and sound effects. You may kid yourself that PowerPoint’s technical “eye candy” can take place of Grandma’s penchant for telling entertaining stories over coffee and cake – but it isn’t. You only get to build strong relationships over time, so put away your hard-sell PowerPoint presentation slides….and grab a cookie!
Laura Bergells is a writer, speaker, and internet marketing consultant from Grand Rapids, Michigan.