Don’t Waste My Time!

Written by Kelley Robertson

Many participants in my programs ask how to deal with people who appear to be seeking information and nothing more. In many environments these individual’s are called time wasters. Time wasters come in every shape and form but they usually possess a few consistent characteristics – they ask a continuing stream of questions, take up loads of our time, and seldom end up buying anything. What is particularly interesting about these situations is that many time wasters don’t set out to be that way. It is usually our fault that this happens because we don’t controlrepparttar sales process. And in many cases, we becomerepparttar 146288 time waster. Most sales professionals know they are supposed to ask questions to learn about their customer’s needs but I have learned thatrepparttar 146289 majority of sales people tend to be more comfortable responding to questions rather than asking them. Here is a simple fact…the person who asksrepparttar 146290 questions isrepparttar 146291 one in control ofrepparttar 146292 sales process. I have conducted hundreds of sales training workshops inrepparttar 146293 last ten years and I consistently have people tell me they knowrepparttar 146294 importance of asking questions. Asrepparttar 146295 discussion continues I usually discover that they do in fact ask questions – after they encounter objections or resistance fromrepparttar 146296 buyer or customer. But that means it’s too late. Now it will appear that you are trying to justify your product, service, price, etc. Sales people hear this, but it seldom sinks in. Here is a personal example. After reading one of my weekly sales tips a sales person emailed me (forrepparttar 146297 second or third time) and said he had been focusing on his needs rather than mine in his previous correspondence. He presented a couple of good points so I agreed to a telephone conversation. When we connected he immediately launched into a ten-minute monologue about his company and its services. At this point it still wasn’t clear what he wanted from me so I asked. He went on to say that he wanted me to endorse his product to my clients and newsletter subscribers. I then stated that my target market is mostly specialty retailers and asked how his product would help them. His reply, “Oh, it won’t.” He had now just wasted almost 15 minutes of my time – valuable time that could have been used to work on one ofrepparttar 146298 many projects on my desk. As a sales person, he had just become a time waster. If he had asked one simple question in his email he could have saved us both time because he would have learned that our companies were not compatible.

Ancient PowerPoint Secrets

Written by Laura Bergells

Yes, there are ancient PowerPoint secrets...secrets your grandmother knows and is probably willing to pass down to you.

But what's this you say? Your grandmother has never even heard of Microsoft PowerPoint?

No matter. If your grandma was like mine, she knew something aboutrepparttar power of an effective presentation.

Ancient PowerPoint Secret #1: A little treat. My grandmother was repparttar 145760 master of what you might call a coffee klatsch...getting people together to talk and tell stories underrepparttar 145761 guise of having some sort of treat. In my grandmother’s day,repparttar 145762 treat would usually involve meeting over coffee or tea, and some sort of wonderful, home-baked sweet. And with these coffee klatsches, Grandma would inform and entertain while developing or maintaining treasured relationships.

If you’re in sales, you can learn a lot about PowerPoint presentations from your grandma. Chances are, her coffee klatsch objectives probably aren’t that much different than your PowerPoint presentation objectives. Like Grandma, you want to inform and entertain your audience…and you’ll want to develop and maintain valuable long-term relationships, as well.

I’ve given lots of PowerPoint presentations in my day. And I’ve probably closed more sales over a box of doughnuts than with any single presentation! How can it be any wonder that many coffee shops today offer free, open wireless connections? Coffee shop owners know that duringrepparttar 145763 day, business people often close deals over coffee and treats. The free wireless access that coffee shops offer is an inexpensive, effective lure to attract business people. Inrepparttar 145764 same way, offering your prospects a tasty treat is a friendly, low-cost way to begin a sales relationship.


Ancient PowerPoint Secret #2: A little conversation. Inrepparttar 145765 past six weeks, I closed three deals in coffee shops. I bought coffee and treats for my prospects, popped open my notebook computer, and had a conversation (not a presentation!) about my prospects’ needs. Yes, I developed PowerPoint slides for all three meetings. But I didn’t use PowerPoint to present: I used PowerPoint to guide a conversation.


Now, you know that conversations are two-way, interactive forms of personal communication. But what did your grandmother know? She knew that conversations can be downright entertaining! And that’s yet another ancient PowerPoint secret: a series of conversations are much more effective than any single presentation when it comes to building relationships. So instead of building a massive PowerPoint presentation, why not build a PowerPoint conversation?


Here’s how: start by listening to your prospect. Conversations are all about give-and-take, which involves listening, not just talking. Avoid storming into your first client meeting with an “All About Us” PowerPoint presentation. Your grandma wouldn’t blab her life story to someone she just met: and neither should you!


Instead, ask questions. Find out about your potential clients’ business and what challenges they might be facing. Have a conversation, not a presentation.


Ancient PowerPoint Secret #3: A little more conversation. If you think your or your company can help your new prospect, ask them if they’d like to meet you in a few days…for coffee and treats, of course! Tell your prospect you’ve generated some good ideas for their business based on your conversation, but you’d like a little time to give a little more thought to what they’ve said.

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