My overwhelmingly depressing and totally exasperating experience as a prospect happened yesterday when I had the opportunity to be on the other side of the table from where I usually sit as the “sales trainer.” This particular sale attempt was being conducted over the phone and since I often train these skills it was an illuminating experience, to say the least.
Here’s what I learned:
- Sounding like you are reading a script is a total turnoff. Inserting little asides into the “monologue” comes across as canned because well, they are. A better strategy would be to ditch the script, learn and internalize what you have to say and if you must use it at all, make certain that it sounds 100% natural.
- Not answering the prospects questions, in fact ignoring them, is a recipe for disaster. Don’t make prospects wait until you go through your entire song and dance. When they ask you a question must detour and respond.
- Pushing your own agenda even when the prospect isn’t interested can turn them off so much that there may be no salvaging the budding relationship. Don’t continue to sell when the prospect has pretty much told you they’re not interested. A much better tactic is to engage in some insightful probing to uncover the prospect’s wants and needs.
- I wanted to provide some sage sales advice but I didn’t, mostly because I couldn’t get in a word edgewise. That’s another sales “must” – let the prospect speak; in fact, you should encourage them to speak because if you ask the right questions your prospect will tell you everything you need to know in order to advance the sale.
The sales rep told me that they would follow-up immediately with an email but so far I haven’t received one. I guess that’s the last tip for this post – do what you say you are going to do!
Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?