When you’re vocal and visible, and you’re putting your business right out there on the internet and social media, you invite quite a lot of attention from people selling things.
I’ve made my living (as well as my profession and my business) from the sale of products and solutions. I’m actually quite receptive to sales calls—but with one caveat, as you’ll see. If you do call me or call on me, you might end up as market research or in a blog post, be it good, bad or ugly.
This past week I did give someone, Joe, my time. It was for a product I was only marginally interested in learning about, for the use of one of my clients. Joe actually did a decent job of reaching out to me and compelling me into a conversation with him. Once we got on the phone, however, any interest on his part in my business, my problems or my needs…utterly vanished. He launched right into product details, functionality and capabilities. I actually zoned out while he babbled on, and in my mind began seeking out analogies I could use to describe this particular experience. I came up with the image of issuing a dinner invitation to Joe, and considering him 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 into 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. Bring something of value to the table.
Until next time, stop hoping and start SELLING!
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