I think everyone has lost the plot when it comes to sales. Today we are all so worried about coming across too “salesy”… we have forgotten how to sell. Yes, no one likes to be “sold to”, everyone wants an opportunity “to buy.” But, this has now been taken way too far. I can have a conversation with someone on the phone for three minutes and I still have no idea, why have they called me? Keeping to the edges of a conversation is not a way to engage a prospect. Getting to the core, the reason for the call is the sure way to find middle ground quickly. Sometimes, it is refreshing when someone just tells you why they have called up front. No guesswork.
For example, a real estate agent calls to residents in his local area and says, “Hi, my name is John, I am a property specialist in your area. I have sold number six in your street – do you know the price that it sold for?” At least, then you have a starting point for the conversation, rather than… not getting to the point quickly and losing the interest of the listener.
Every person we meet today we expect in some way that they are trying to sell us something. We all are a walking, talking advertisement for ourselves. Irregardless of what you may think, anyone who deals with people is in sales. That must make up nearly the entire population. We are all programmed in our head to think, ”I wonder what this stranger wants… so why not just say it.”
Often it is how you say it rather than what you actually say that makes the maximum impact. Fewer words are always better. By not beating around the bush, being very clear in your delivery you win your potential customer over and over again. Don’t be ashamed to say, “I would really like your business, what do I have to do to win it?” I want someone who REALLY wants my business and is prepared to work really hard to get it and keep it.
So how do we move forward on this concept of straight talking and no more soft-selling. It requires the following:
- Get very clear in your own mind WHY you are calling someone?
- How can you deliver the message in the least amount of words and still sound authentic?
- What is the desired outcome of the call?
- If they are not a right fit, politely say thank you and move on. Your time is as valuable as is that of the person you are speaking with.
- Document any next steps and make sure you do it when you said you would.
Finally, I think sales have become a lot more personal, people are looking for career improvement, personal development – anything that you can offer that makes them look and feel better professionally or personally. Life is so short, everyone is just striving to do their best in the shortest time possible. Just go for it, “Say what you mean and mean what you say” and hopefully the response will surprise you.