Being vocal, visible, and putting your business out there on the internet and social media invites a lot of attention from people selling things.
Being that I have made my living, my profession, and my business from selling products and solutions, I am actually quite receptive to sales calls. (Beware, however, as you’ll see, if you call on me, you may be market research or wind up in a blog post – good, bad, or ugly.)
So this past week, I gave someone my time, Joe, for a product I was marginally interested in learning about for my clients’ use. Joe did a decent job of reaching out to me and compelling me to have a conversation with him but once we got on the phone, all questions and interest about my business, my problems, my needs . . . disappeared. I zoned out a bit on the call as he launched into details, function, and capabilities and began thinking of analogies to use to describe this experience. I landed on the image of inviting Joe to dinner and thinking of him as a lousy dinner guest.
Did Joe show up to eat, or did he show up to share and contribute to a meal?
Being a good dinner guest means you bring something to the table. A bottle of wine, dessert, a side item . . . you are gracious for the opportunity to share a meal together thus, you contribute to the feast.
The same goes for a salesperson invited to talk to a prospect.
Showing up late is rude. Showing up empty-handed is disrespectful. Monopolizing the conversation is offensive and focusing only on yourself is egotistical.
Are you there strictly to feed your own agenda or do you have value to share?
Give your prospective customers the respect and courtesy they deserve for inviting you in. Not everyone gets an invitation to sit at the table and when you do, your chances of being invited back are improved when you make a great impression, listen and uncover the problems your prospects have, and articulate the distinct value or solution you have to solve those problems.
Sales is not about technique or fancy jargon. Selling is communication and it’s an exchange of value and the simplest of rules apply here: don’t be a sorry sales guest, and bring something of value to the table.
Until next time . . . stop hoping and start SELLING!