I had an enlightening experience this afternoon that I thought was worth sharing as I feel it illustrates one of the fundamental problems many sales people face. I received a phone call from a gentleman I met at a trade show last week. I had stopped by his booth to find out what his company did. We had a brief conversation at the show and exchanged business cards.
This gentleman called me today to follow up on our conversation and give me his sales pitch. However he got off on the wrong foot and never succeeded in getting me interested, even though he has a service I think could be invaluable. The reason I say this poor fellow got off on the wrong foot is that he immediately started telling me all the wonderful things his program can do for me, except that he didn’t ask me any questions about my current situation.
I would have been quite willing to give him any information he asked for had he taken the time to ask me some questions. HOWEVER, he did not choose to ask me he instead decided to tell me what I should find useful.
I think too many sales people fall into this trap of talking when they should be listening. This man was very nice and polite (though this was really the only reason I stayed on the phone as long as I did) but he did nothing to grab my attention, or more importantly nothing to give me a reason to part with my hard earned money.
To me the best approach to take is not one of selling but one of educating and providing solutions for expressed problems or challenges. It is amazing the things you can learn if you just take the time to ask some questions remember everyone is tuned into the same radio station WIIFM (what’s in it for me), if you can relate your pitch to what is important to your customer your results will increase dramatically.