Give All the Facts Up Front to Win the Sale in Business and at Work
As I was wrapping up a client phone interview right before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I received an unexpected knock at my door from a very nice local woman (and her less-than-enthusiastic tween daughter), who did not initially identify the reason for her unplanned visit and instead opened the conversation by asking me if I read the Bible, and then invited me to read the palm card in her outstretched hand – I guessed she was a member of a religion that encouraged door-to-door proselytizing. I said yes, and that I was happy with my religion, without taking / reading her palm card. Undaunted, she asked me if I was receiving spiritual comfort during these troubled times, and I answered unequivocally “yes.” She asked me to keep her religion in mind as she departed. I reiterated again that I was happy with my current religion.
I later found out from a minister-friend of mine that the woman’s particular religion included a belief system that guaranteed one of a finite number of places in heaven for its members once they reached a certain quota of conversions – hence the incentive for the door-to-door visitor’s enthusiasm and persistence.
Given my own business-development DNA, I admire the persistence: however from a sales standpoint, I absolutely don’t like it when anyone selling anything doesn’t identify their organization / product up front – it completely undermines the goal of creating emotional safety during the relationship-building / sales process. Bottom line, I don’t want to be manipulated or fooled into a sale. Instead:
- Be up front with the reason for your visit, phone call or email;
- Tell me your name, organization, phone number and website;
- Email me or call me in advance to set up a time to talk, out of respect for me and my time as a prospective customer;
- Confirm that I have the need(s) that your service and/or product may solve (during my unplanned sales call experience above, I confirmed twice that I was happy with my current religion);
- Confirm that you’ve researched me and my company, and indicate that your service has the potential of solving at least one problem / pain-point / need that I have – if you’re taking up my time to meet your own needs (e.g., earning a sales commission or your place in heaven), then it sounds like you need more sales training and professional development.
How do you (or will you) give all the facts up front (and more importantly, research and listen for the prospect’s needs to meet / exceed) to win the sale in business and at work?
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