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We want an enterprise backup package. Why? Tell me what problem we are trying to solve, then tell me how your product solves that problem. Is it going to save us time and money? Is it going to improve reliability? Is your product going to make it easier to restore files? What makes your product shine?
What salespeople have been doing is telling me to buy their products. They have not been selling. I already know all about their products, their companies and their services. I don't need them to tell me this information again, especially since it already exists on their very own web sites.
No, what I need to know is how are our problems and requirements are met by their products.
Let me give you an example. A few months ago I went into Saturn dealer to buy a new car. The salesperson came over and greeted me personally, then asked me what I was looking for.
As I explained my requirements she asked lots of questions. What kind of financing was I looking for? What color? Did I have kids? A wife? Was I looking for something conservative or flashy? One thing she found out right away is I have a big concern about maintenance costs. Another important issue is comfort. On other hand, look of car is not all that critical. This question and answer period went on for over an hour. It was pleasant and not stressful by any means - in fact, it was great just telling gal what I wanted from a car.
Now it was her turn. She spent next hour showing me cars which met specifications and qualifications that I had given her. She showed me under hood, and explained how Saturn cars are easier to maintain than others. She showed me how car is dent-proof by hitting a sample automobile with a hammer.
She didn't spend any time at all on look of car - she knew (because she listened to me) that this is not very important to me. Instead, she spent time telling me how a particular Saturn model met my needs - needs that I had just been telling her.
Needless to say, she got sale.
What computer salespeople have been doing is showing me pictures of computers, sending me specifications and explaining to me how wonderful their products are.
What they should have been doing is listening, then responding. Instead, they were simply presenting canned presentations. Much like Toyota salesperson that I visited only thirty minutes before Saturn dealer. Needless to say, Toyota dealer didn't get sale.
So what's moral of this story? Computer salespeople need to get to work. The fat, lazy days of last ten years are gone - we are entering a recession folks. Recessions are buyers markets. You've had it easy, now roll up your sleeves and really sell.
The other lesson is equally simple - listen. Once you've listened, ask some questions, then listen some more. Do this until there is nothing else to listen to. NOW, after listening, tell me which of your products best solves those requirements that we have just told you and why.
That's what I want from salespeople.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.