Don’t Waste My Time!Written by Kelley Robertson
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In another situation, I listened to a sales person pitch his product by reading PowerPoint slides. His slides discussed his company, their financial backing, their products, their clients, blah, blah, blah. Not once did he ask me what I wanted in a solution. Instead, he kept his attention focused on his agenda, once again, wasting my time by talking about something that had no relevance to my situation or business. Professional selling means helping someone make an educated buying decision. That means you need to determine how your product or service fits into their situation. I was once asked by an advertising sales rep what to do if prospect’s publication targeted a different demographic that advertisers. My answer was simple, “Move on.” In some cases, your product or service may not be needed by your prospect or may not fit into their plans. This means you move on to next prospect. Don’t waste their time and yours trying to reconfigure everything hoping something will work out. Virtually everyone I know is pressed for time. Respect that fact. Save your customers time by asking a few well-thought out questions BEFORE you suggest a product or service. That way you won’t become a time waster. But, how do you control a customer who is a time waster? There are a couple of ways… First, ask a few high-quality questions early in sales process to determine exactly what your customer is looking for and what their buying criteria are. One of these questions should be something that identifies time-frame that your customer is working with. The second thing you can do, particularly if other person has indicated that they aren’t making a buying decision in near future, is to direct them to your website or offer other printed materials for them to review. Third, ask them to make a buying decision. This approach is effective because time waster will become uncomfortable and will often end sales discussion himself. The fourth strategy is to drop them like a hot potato. Don’t waste your time trying to close them. Be pleasant, firm and direct. Tell them that you must take care of other customers and move on. You only have a certain number of hours of prime selling time in any given day. Don’t waste your time selling to people who have no intention of ever buying. And, avoid wasting time of your customers. © 2005 Kelley Robertson, All rights reserved Contact him at 905-633-7750 or Kelley@RobertsonTrainingGroup.com
Kelley Robertson, President of the Robertson Training Group, works with businesses to help them increase their sales and motivate their employees. He is also the author of “Stop, Ask & Listen – Proven Sales Techniques to Turn Browsers Into Buyers.” Receive a FREE copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his free sales and motivational newsletter available at www.kelleyrobertson.com.
Ancient PowerPoint SecretsWritten by Laura Bergells
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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.