Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sales Tip 1

What do you do when the prospect is a freakin' idiot?

Before you shut me down on this one consider what I am going to say.  First of all the reason I am calling this a sales tip is because I believe that if you are going to start a business or succeed in business it will be very helpful to be able to sell.

The other day my family and I were going to the Pacific Science Center to see real fragments of the Dead Sea was everybody else.  My wife and son went early and got tickets and my daughter and I rode with my mother and father-in-law.  We were trying to find a place to park.  In our quest we were driving down an alley of sorts.  From out of nowhere a fellow who was sipping on a Latte and listening to music through his headphones almost runs into our car at about the passenger door.  Once he realizes that a car is coming down the alley and he almost ran into it he yells out a few choice words and runs to catch up to us at the point the alley will enter back to a real street.  He yells something else, pounds the side of the car with his fist and as he is passing by yells a few more obscenities. 

At this point as I was sitting in the rear on the drivers side I thought I should point out the error in this guys thinking so I rolled down the window and began to explain.  This fellow apparently had just come from the Post Office at that time I didn't understand what that had to do with anything and let the fellow know.  Mind you I was not using the same type of vocabulary as this fellow.  So rather than see and understand the error of his ways this guy began to make motions indicating he wanted to share his Latte with the passengers of our car.  I saw this coming and got the window rolled back up most of the way.  My father-in-law who was driving didn't get his window back up but also the Latte wasn't aimed exactly at his window.  Splash!

Doesn't sound much like a sales situation you say?  Well here is the deal...when you are in business and dealing with anybody you will come across times that your Point of View doesn't seem to match up to the other persons point of view.  In many sales books that I have read they put a lot of effort into techniques for how to counter objections.  I suppose this works for them but for me it feels a lot like an argument and seems to be a lot like my experience with the Urbanite Latte Guy.  My advice in sales and my own personal motto has always been, "Sell to people who want to buy!"

If somebody is objecting to what I am telling them I have a few choices.  I could sit and argue with them until I ware them down, or I could move on to work with somebody that wants what I have to sell.  That simple.  Now of course in "follow-up" sales situations sometimes you have to find out a way to make things work.  In that case you are best to give up on the technique you are using and adopt a new Point of View.  I have found that the best way to get there is to ask a lot of questions.

In my Seattle experience above if we weren't in a hurry to get into the Science Center for our appointed entry time I could have gotten out of the car and offered to buy this poor deluded guy a new Latte and ask him if there was some way I could make his life more safe.  Instead I just moved on.  That is not a bad tactic in sales as well.  Just move on and find somebody that you get along with and that you enjoy working with.  Your life will be better, I guarantee your business will be better and you will have surrounded yourself with people that have a different view about sharing a cup of coffee.


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