Someone was speaking at an event the other day on the topic of sales. As a business owner, I’m particularly interested in sales – because without sales you don’t have a business. And without sales, you don’t have customers – which in my book should be the core reason for your business’ being. But I digress.
As I and other members of the audience listened, we became increasingly disappointed with what we were hearing. The speaker was all about refining a perky elevator pitch using a pretty standard issue script and closing the sale using their ‘system’.
And although questions and comments were encouraged, when anyone dared mention the pitch didn’t fit their business or they felt uncomfortable using ‘the system’, they were reduced to rubble with a comment like “well if you want to waste time and an opportunity to close with a half-baked sales pitch – go right ahead.”
But wait, it got worse – in fact, the room was told that when the prospect asked questions about the product or service, that we shouldn’t waste time answering questions because the prospect would soon forget what they’d asked once they’d agreed to become a client. And after all, we weren’t there to be the prospect’s therapist. WOW!
Needless to say, the room became quiet and ‘polite’, pretty quickly.
Now I have nothing against having a plan for saying what you do when asked or about having a process for managing sales, in fact, I’d encourage it. However, the world has moved on from the 80‘s/90’s close by manipulating the customer to re-live their points of greatest pain, getting them to say yes as many times as possible and to always, always, be closing – preferably as fast as possible. The reason for as fast as possible is that it gives you more time to rack ‘em, stack ‘em, crack ‘em and move on to your next conquest.
Except, that I don’t want to be anyone’s next conquest. It’s all a little too one night stand for my liking. Now I’m sure this works for some people. But not for me and I’d warrant probably not for you either – unless your purchase is devoid of any real importance.
I prefer to get to know our potential customers – we buy into their business as much as they buy into ours. But most of all, we work with our future customers at the speed they’re comfortable – not the speed that suits the Serviced Office team.
Why? Because as a salesperson or business owner, your whole job is about making your customer feel respected and comfortable enough to form a relationship with you. And over time to build up enough trust that they’re prepared to entrust their life/business/children/health/car/pets/savings – (whatever it is that you look after) with you. And that’s the point – building relationships and trust takes time.
The last thing any of us wants is for a client to feel like they made the wrong decision because they felt ‘hustled’. That’s not the experience you want a client to have. Not only does that break any level of trust, those clients end up grumpy, disenchanted and usually sharing their experience with others – I know because I’ve been there – and so have you.
So I guess I’ll be sticking with my tried and tested sales approach for a while longer. Sure it takes a little longer, but building relationships work. And best of all, I can look all our customers in the eye and they smile back – and that’s priceless.
If we can help free you from the burden of admin so you can take the time to woo your customers the way you’d like to be wooed, we’d love to talk to you. Call us on 9994 8000 or you can drop me a note.