…On your Marks, Get Set, GOOOO!!!
All too often I see Sales Agents in a HUGE hurry to talk to their next customer. They have no idea WHO that customer is, WHAT that customer Wants or Needs or WHY the customer might want or need it.
Not knowing anything about your prospect is a BIG sales mistake.
Slow Down and Smell the Roses
[bctt tweet=”Honestly, Sales is not a race.”]
I realize you might have sales quotas and a boss breathing down your neck, but it is not actually a competition on how many customers you speak to, but really it is about how many sales you get.Is it not preferable that you speak to 5 customers and sign up 4 rather than speak to 30 customers and sign up 1?
I often see it with rookie sales agents. They are in a tremendous hurry to knock on that door, or pick up that phone and they have no idea who they are calling or why.
If you read my earlier article where we discussed Newton’s Law, then you should know that when you rush headlong into a sale, you are going to get the equal and opposite reaction of the customer rushing headlong AWAY from the sale.
It is not a pretty sight.
Do your Research
Before you approach a customer, do your research. You need to know who the customer is, what he does, why he is there, why he might need your product and any other data you can glean about the prospect.
E.g. did he ever buy a similar product, did he hate it, love it, etc.
Does he have a wife, a child or children, what is his age, what are his likes and dislikes? ANY data you can obtain about the customer is going to help you to talk to him. Does he live in a big house, a small house? Is he frugal, is he a spender, is he married, divorced, etc.?
Why do you need all this information? Well, think of it this way; if you found out that 30 people were in a bus in some remote village somewhere in the world that you have never been to and never heard of and ran off the road and they all died, does it really ruin your day? No? Exactly!
But what if you found out that a bus that contained 30 kids from your kid’s school. You find out it ran off a road and they all died. Then that makes a HUGE impact.
Why? Because that school is YOUR kids school, you know that school, you have seen that school, you have walked the grounds, you may not know the kids personally, but you might have seen them. It is a completely different story.
Familiarity breeds affection.
If you discovered something killed your worst enemy you would be more shaken up than finding out something killed someone whom you have absolutely no idea about. You have more affection for your worst enemy strangely enough.
The more you know about the customer the more you will like him. And the more he will like you. Whether you like someone or not has a lot to do with whether you want to speak to them or not.
You are not really interested in speaking someone that you do not like. And how familiar that person is to you determines whether you want to speak to them as well.
By way of example, if you are Chinese and you are walking around in China where there are 1.4 billion other Chinese people, you are not inclined to go talk to everyone you see.
But if somehow you find your way into the middle of Africa amongst nobody but Africans and then one day you see another Chinese person there? You are going to have a huge smile on your face and immediately run over to talk to them. They will be just a happy to see you.
Knowing something about your prospect makes it a lot easier to talk to them and them to you.
Why Else Should I slow down?
Well, nobody appreciates being pushed into things. Taking your time, not rushing into the sale, and spending some time just getting to know your prospect s not only more fun, but pays handsome rewards. We all trust friends more than strangers, right?
Don’t just rush into the sale. Make friends with your prospect, be interested in him or her. I tend to not even talk about what I am there for until I know the prospect and I are getting along.
The Lady on the Porch
I was once training some door to door guys and I had them go and try sell our product to an African American woman. She was sitting on the front porch reading a book. She shot the first rookie agent down in flames. He went up and immediately started pitching the product.
After he came back defeated, I sent the second rookie. Of course he received an earful because she had only just managed to kick out the first chap. The third poor victim had it even worse!
I went in and closed the sale once they were all completely convinced that the prospect was impossible. First, I approached her and told her that I was sorry that we had disturbed her reading. I mentioned that it looked like a book about Africa and that I had been born in Africa. She said yes. She remained irritated.
I concentrated on the book and asked about the title, and the author and whether it was any good. Then I wrote down the information and thanked her. I then pointed out the broken drain from her gutter and suggested that the water might damage her foundation. I asked her if she wanted me to do a temporary repair.
Of course she did and I did a 10 second repair that would last a few months until she found someone to fix it properly.
I then asked her if she wouldn’t mind telling me why she thought the first three guys were so irritating. She happily obliged. We were friends before long and I told her why we were selling the product we were selling and she happily bought it.
It’s not magic
There was nothing magic about this. But the third biggest mistake I see sales people make is being in a hurry. Maybe it is laziness, maybe it is not. But in Sales, slow down, research, learn about your prospect and make more sales from fewer prospects!